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TD Synnex To Combine TechSelect, Varnex Partner Communities

Joseph F. Kovar

With the merger activities combining Tech Data and Synnex into TD Synnex nearly complete, the company, now the world’s largest IT distributor, is looking at combining its TechSelect and Varnex partner communities into a single larger community as a way to expand opportunities for its members.

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TD Synnex is building out a roadmap for a single solution provider community that will combine the distributor’s legacy Tech Data TechSelect and Synnex Varnex communities into a single partner community.

However, there will continue to be separate organizations for the company’s U.S.-based and Canada-based partners, although they will be meeting more with each other than in the past.

TD Synnex was formed last year with the merger of two large IT distributors, Tech Data and Synnex. However, after the merger, the Tech Data TechSelect and Synnex Varnex communities remained separate organizations, both with separate U.S. and Canada groups.

[Related: Done Deal: 5 Things To Know About The New TD Synnex]

The differences between the existing Varnex and TechSelect solution provider communities are not that big, said Kaye McMillan, vice president of sales and communities at TD Synnex. McMillan, talking with CRN at this week’s TD Synnex CommunitySolv conference, said TechSelect has historically been a little bit more focused on advanced solutions, while Varnex has been more focused on the endpoint market.

“But to be very candid, they’re almost getting to the same types of partners,” she said. “As part of our TD Synnex merger activities, we looked at what the communities are, what do they mean, how are they defined. The size of the partners in TechSelect also tends to be on average a little bit larger, although we have partners of all sizes. But really the primary difference was just a little bit heavier weighted on the advanced solution side in TechSelect.”

The combination of Tech Select and Varnex into a single community with separate U.S. and Canadian branches is expected to happen within the next year, McMillan said.

The big advantage of consolidating the communities is scale, McMillan said.

“I think there’s much more opportunity in terms of a bigger organization, more networking opportunities, getting to work with some different partners than maybe those you’ve worked with in the past as part of one community or the other,” she said.

TD Synnex next year will also be focused on building out a partner directory based on its partner community, McMillan said.

“We’ve seen so much collaboration between partners whether in Varnex or TechSelect,” she said. “It could be used for things like partnering on a specific opportunity or a deal where they’re sharing things such as how did they build their security practice, how are they managing or transitioning to more of a services practice as opposed to mostly hardware, those kinds of collaborations.”

The directory would include a profile for each of the community members highlighting their specializations, whether it be some vertical or specific technology, McMillan said.

“They could use it to find each other, to partner on those opportunities outside of the conferences,” she said. “And so we would have a place for them to interact with one another because that does become quite important to them. If you talk to a lot of partners, you’ll hear stories of either they‘ve either partnered on a particular deal or in some cases one has acquired the other.”

TD Synnex is not looking as a separate community of the scale of Varnex or TechSelect for its MSP partners in the next year at least, although the distributor could offer an overlay to the 1,200 partners now in its existing communities that could encompass MSPs who currently are not members, McMillan said.

“I think there‘s opportunity for us to have MSP tracks and focus areas in our upcoming events and deliverables throughout the year for MSPs,” she said. “But I don’t know that we would host it as a separate community outside of the combined partner community.”

Varnex and TechSelect are still separate communities, but TD Synnex brought them together in joint meetings at this week’s CommunitySolv conference, said Bob Stegner, senior vice president of North American marketing at TD Synnex.

“We’re putting the two, Varnex and TechSelect, in there together and sending them the same message,” Stegner told CRN. “I mean, we’re one now. We have not combined the two. That‘s something to think about.”

Varnex and TechSelect members are very loyal to their communities, and it’s important to approach the building of a single community with members’ needs in mind, Stegner said.

“We want to do the right thing,” he said. “But we also need to do to the best thing for TD Synnex. And I‘m a big believer that once they become one, there’s a lot more benefits they can get. Any company knows economies of scale works.”

A single community will offer channel partners new opportunities, Stegner said.

He cited a meeting between a TechSelect member and a Varnex member he observed.

“And they’re getting ready to partner together,” he said. “Now, they‘re in different parts of Canada, so they don’t really compete with each other. But they‘re getting ready to partner. They wouldn’t have had that opportunity before.”

The ultimate goal is to bring TechSelect and Varnex members into a single community, with separate U.S. and Canada groups, Stegner said.

“It’s happening,” he said. “It has to happen. [But] it’s got to be the right time, which is soon. There’s no question about that. It makes no sense to not do it. I think you just have to respect each group. And that’s it. And they‘re there. I’d say they‘re pretty much ready.”

Bringing Varnex and TechSelect into a single community is the right move to ensure continuity of the communities, said Robert Charlton, director of operations at LANStatus, a Trumbull, Conn.-based solution provider and MSP which also provides managed services to other solution providers to small to offer their own and which is a member of the Varnex community.

The merger of Tech Data and Synnex went smoothly, with no disruption at all, Charlton told CRN.

“And so they need to do that with the two communities,” he said. “It probably will happen by this time next year, or maybe spring of 2024 they’ll be fully merged in everything. It’s just a lot of moving parts, a lot of pieces. Tech Data did one thing one way, Synnex did things in other ways.”

The merger of the communities should result in simplicity and better use of resources for channel partners, Charlton said.

“As a partner, if you did things through Tech Data, you did it through Tech Data,” he said. “If you did things through Synnex, you did it through Synnex. What we saw at CommunitySolv is that TD Synnex was able to merge a lot of what Tech Data has been doing with what Synnex has been doing. And when you get those type of combined offerings, it just really grows what partners have.”

Joseph F. Kovar

Joseph F. Kovar is a senior editor and reporter for the storage and the non-tech-focused channel beats for CRN. He keeps readers abreast of the latest issues related to such areas as data life-cycle, business continuity and disaster recovery, and data centers, along with related services and software, while highlighting some of the key trends that impact the IT channel overall. He can be reached at jkovar@thechannelcompany.com.

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