Synnex Steps Up With Printing Software, New Vendor Pacts


At its annual VAR conference in Greenville, S.C., the distributor bolstered its position in the government sector by landing authorization to sell Panasonic Toughbook notebooks to federal agencies. In addition, Synnex signed a distribution agreement with Fortinet to sell the company's integrated security appliances. Synnex also said it would add JVC products to its home integration lineup as early as next month.

The flurry of moves comes on the heels of former Synnex COO John Paget's appointment last week as president of the company's burgeoning Technology Solutions Division (TSD).

"We felt the timing was right [to offer a solution distribution model]," said Bob Huang, president and CEO of Fremont, Calif.-based Synnex. "We have the management capability, we have the financial resources to do it. The market is ready."

But some solution providers weren't overly impressed with the new push. "Who isn't a solution distributor?" said Craig Carnahan, vice president of Cybergear, a solution provider in Gilbert, Ariz. In the past few years, Carnahan said, Synnex has moved up from his third or fourth distributor to No. 2 in volume because of superior supply chain logistics and customer service. "Synnex is small enough that I can still talk to John Paget, but big enough to have all of the vendor authorizations," he said.

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Paget called the new effort a "model within a model," noting that Synnex will continue its traditional distribution but bring solutions traditionally offered by value-added distributors to the enterprise market and tailor them to the SMB space. "The solutions business has gross margins that are double those of a commercial distributor," he said. "This will be the significant driver of operating income as we go into the future."

Mike Kelley, senior program manager at iGov, a McLean, Va.-based solution provider, said he was impressed with Synnex's new Printsolv cost-per-page image management solution and likely will train several salespeople on it.

The software solution, developed in partnership with Hewlett-Packard, Xerox and Lexmark International, allows VARs to capture page counts, toner levels, device status and utilization of any printing device on a network, said Bill Sheldon, senior vice president of document management for the distributor's TSD. VARs then can bid a solution to customers that includes hardware supplies and maintenance bundled into a cost-per-page lease.

Synnex vendors supported its new strategy. "It's a smart move to build on their core business," said John Thompson, vice president and general manager of HP's Solution Partners Organization for the Americas.