Channel programs News

Synnex's Stegner: Our Partners Can Leverage Cisco, Palo Alto, F5, FireEye Thanks to Westcon Americas Deal

Michael Novinson

Synnex SVP Bob Stegner said purchasing Westcon Americas will allow the distributor to support leading data center network vendors like Cisco, Palo Alto Networks, F5 Networks and FireEye.

The Fremont, Calif.-based distributor's expertise in the server and storage space is highly complementary to Westcon's strength around security, networking and unified communications and collaboration, Stegner said.

"There's not a lot of overlap, so I think it's going to be win-win for our customers," Stegner, Synnex's senior vice president of North American marketing, told CRN.

[Related: WestconGroup CEO: Synnex Deal Will Unlock Public Cloud Capabilities For North American Partners]

Synnex today supports networking, unified communications, and network security through its ConvergeSolv practice, with both Synnex and Westcon-Comstor enjoying relationships with Check Point Software Technologies, Symantec and Avaya, Stegner said.

Westcon Americas will operate as a standalone entity and continue to go to market under the Westcon-Comstor brand, with Stegner saying there won't be any changes to Synnex's ConvergeSolv or Westcon's North Americas business at the very beginning.

After the deal closes, Stegner said Synnex plans to work with both ConvergeSolv and Westcon-Comstor to figure out how each of the business units can be enhanced through the other's capabilities.

"I personally think they'll end up morphed," Stegner said. "I think they'll just kind of blend together."

More expertise around networking and unified communications will be a natural fit for Synnex's channel partners, Stegner said, many of which are really focused on that business right now.

"Anytime you have a chance to enhance that business, you take advantage of it," Stegner said.

The acquisition will also expand Synnex's distribution business into Latin America for the first time. Stegner said Westcon-Comstor has more than $500 million of annual sales and 800 employees across 12 countries in the region.

"Through some of their acquisitions and strategic investments, they've become a market leader down there, so I think it was a natural thing for us to go in with them," Stegner said.

Westcon-Comstor partners shouldn't expect any changes in the Latin America business, Stegner said, with the employees supporting those customers today remaining in place after the deal closes. As for legacy Synnex partners, Stegner said the distributor would need to work with its current vendors as far as supporting them in Latin America is concerned.

"It's not an automatic thing," Stegner said. "We need to work through with the different vendors on what those opportunities are."

Stegner said taking a 10 percent ownership stake in Westcon's Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Asia-Pacific business will help Synnex achieve one of its stated objectives: providing solution providers with access to a global platform for one-stop shopping. Once the deal closes, Stegner said Synnex channel partners with a global footprint would be able to work with the distributor on those opportunities.

"That's a big deal," Stegner said.

The decision to take only a minority position in Westcon International was informed by the distributor's recent operations modernization work through an SAP implementation. This has been very significant for Westcon International, Stegner said, but also disruptive to the division's financial performance.

"We think a minority share is appropriate for this time," Stegner said. "It will give them [Westcon International] the ability to focus on their business versus the transaction."

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