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Synnex Exec To Varnex Attendees: Collaboration Is Key To Thwarting ‘Massive’ Digital Complexity

‘What I see with Varnex is more and more collaboration,’ Synnex President of Worldwide Technology Solutions Distribution Michael Urban says. ‘So it’s a collaboration where the dots are connected to each other. So it’s not a one-way linear way, it’s really a full connecting to each other.’

Synnex President of Worldwide Technology Solutions Distribution Michael Urban said the pace of workplace digitization is growing, along with its complexity, meaning end users want MSPs who can deliver all their solutions in one package.

“Think about how many new vendors are coming out, new ISVs are coming out, security vendors coming out to the market,” he said. “There are many companies coming up and bringing a product to the market. … You have to sell a complete package of solutions to the market. This is not an easy play because you have to be a generalist. A generalist in this world now is more difficult because of the end customer requirements. This complexity coming out of digital transformation is massive.”

Urban was the keynote speaker at the 2019 Varnex Spring Conference in Greensville, S.C. This was his first event at Synnex, after having joined the company in February. Prior to working at Synnex, he spent six and a half years at rival distributor Tech Data where he was senior vice president of strategy, transformation and global vendor management. Before that, Urban, a German native, spent 13 years at Actebis Holding GmbH, where he was CEO before it was acquired.

While there is increasing complexity involved in helping customers digitally transform their business, Urban said Varnex members have an advantage in that they are not alone.

“What I see with Varnex is more and more collaboration,”he said. “So it’s a collaboration where the dots are connected to each other. So it’s not a one-way linear way, it’s really a full connecting to each other. ... It’s a great way to let you have a chance to talk to each other, customer to customer, customer to vendor, customer to Synnex, and then vendor to Synnex. This is a very good environment that has been built with your input over the years.”

Cecilia Corcoran, president of Roeing, an MSP based in Lafayette, Ind., said Urban is dead on in his analysis of what the end user wants.

“They want a solution,” Corcoran said. “They don’t want to figure out all the pieces and put them together. That is our role. That’s why Varnex is so critical. We don’t have to be everything to everyone. We can leverage all of these partnerships to bring all these pieces to the table. It’s too complex today. Our small- business partners can’t do it all. We are their advisers.”

Urban also said he expects hybrid cloud to grow to become up to 50 percent of the market on the data center side, with the other 50 percent remaining on premises.

“I don’t believe that everything goes to the cloud,” he said. “There will be always a good mix and maybe half-half in the classic data center on premises, but also, at the same time, also running also in the cloud.”

Merging the classic, on-premises data center with the cloud is not an easy play for MSPs, he said, but it will be necessary in the next one to three years. He said in the near term his priorities will remained focused on a few categories including the Internet of Things, security, and expanding Synnex internationally.

Corbin Payne, who works in procurement at Universal Adaptive Consulting Services, a Richmond, Va.-based MSP, said apart from the industry know-how he was most impressed by Urban’s personal story.

“For him to be who he is, in the position that he’s in where he’s come from, that stood out to me tremendously,” he said. “You’re looking at someone who wasn’t born here and yet reached this position he’s at now, it just really impressed me. And to see the direction that he said the market is moving, that was great as well.”

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