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TD Synnex’s Sammy Kinlaw On Major Partner Communities Reorganization

‘Communities are so big and so meaningful to TD Synnex. They’re an audience of partners who were dedicated. And for that dedication, they get favors. They gain other things perhaps that one of our resellers might not get if they don’t consider the community. There’s just a lot of extras’, says Sammy Kinlaw, TD Synnex’s senior vice president of sales communities for North America.

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Exploring The Role Of Partner Communities

When Tech Data and Synnex merged to form TD Synnex, the IT industry’s new largest distributor inherited three partner communities: Varnex and Stellr from Synnex, and TechSelect from Tech Data. The question for TD Synnex and for Sammy Kinlaw, who recently became the combined firm’s new senior vice president of sales communities for North America after years as the top channel exec at Lexmark and Lenovo where he sponsored those communities, was whether or not to merge them into a single community.

It is an important question for the channel. Most IT distributors have communities of solution providers who come together to discuss areas of common interest, get unique vendor support, and sometimes collaborate on projects. Kinlaw told CRN that he was originally leaning towards combining TD Synnex’s three communities into one, but after studying the makeup of those communities decided instead to keep all three under a new single umbrella organization called CommunitySolv as a way to fully support all three while ensuring that different types of partners have unique community support.

“All three have an audience,” he said. “All three have different benefits for their members. All three have different benefits for the investing vendors. That’s why I’m going to leave them separate.”

Doing so also brought a new opportunity to Bob Stegner, TD Synnex’s senior vice president of marketing. Stegner, who formerly served as senior vice president of marketing North America at Synnex, was the long-time leader of the Varnex community, but is now stepping up to focus on marketing for all of TD Synnex North America.

The new CommunitySolv and executive changes are just a part of the big changes coming as TD Synnex moves beyond the new merger. For details, click through our slideshow.

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