Synnex has enhanced the benefits of joining its Varnex community with the addition of staffing services, new member-to-member focus groups, a comprehensive training program and more.
The Fremont, Calif.-based distributor notified members of the changes at its Varnex Fall Conference this week in Las Vegas.
Bob Stegner, senior vice president of marketing, North America, at Synnex, said the new programs were the result of demand from Varnex members.
The staffing services are being provided by VAR Staffing, a Richardson, Texas-based company that specializes in finding channel-focused talent, and will include recruitment for both full-time and contract employees, according to Synnex.
The new focus groups are designed to help members share best practices. The first groups have been formed around managed services and marketing, according to the distributor.
The training program, dubbed Varnex University, will launch in March 2013 and lets VARs send new hires to Synnex's Greenville, S.C., campus for a five-day session. In addition, Synnex will host two-day sales skill-training classes and additional courses around Synnex programs and vendor solutions, Stegner said. Future classes will be scheduled based on demand, he added.
"One thing we can help SMB [VARs] with is training sales reps. They might be hiring [someone with sales experience], but it wasn't in IT. We can help them on the IT side and blend in things with the vendors that are important," Stegner said. "In the old days, it was more product training. You'd spend the entire day talking about HP products. Now it's how to take a product and put it in a solution and how it fits in the customer [environment]."
Giving a week out of the office can be a lot for a VAR to invest in a new sales hire, but the Varnex University program will deliver ROI on that investment, Stegner said. "You need to have the first [class] face to face. If you have that, you can do follow-ups [remotely]," he said.
Other new Varnex benefits include 250 end-user leads for VARs that sign up for the distributor's DemandSolv reseller marketing program before the end of the year and a revamped Varnex member portal that includes a member search feature and real-time updates that allow members to search for potential partnerships.
In addition, Lenovo Channel Chief Chris Frey told attendees his company will sell Varnex attendees a demo unit of its Tiny PC for $199 and its new Twist tablet/ultrabook for $299. During the show, Stegner negotiated a deal with Microsoft to give attendees a free copy of Windows 8.
The increased benefits could be part of a new recruitment effort for Varnex. The roster currently has about 279 U.S. members and 81 more in Canada. Stegner said he'd like to get to 350 in the U.S. and maybe 100 in Canada. Synnex hosted several Varnex prospects this week in Las Vegas.
"It's a very strong group right now. Vendors will tell you there are resellers they've never met, but I don't want to get to a certain number just to get to a number," Stegner said. "We're looking for [VARs] in some different verticals and specialties."
PUBLISHED NOV. 13, 2012