Synnex Simplifies Path to Managed Services

New On-Demand Services Program is designed to make the distributor a one-stop shop for managed services and help small and midsize VARs reach the potentially lucrative market. Approach minimizes VARs' investment in expensive infrastructure.

Seeking to cut back their internal management costs and improve the technology and service they receive, small and midsize businesses are increasingly requesting managed services from their channel partners.

To help these SMB VARs meet this demand, and to enable the proactively sale and support of managed services to their clients, Synnex Corp. unveiled its On Demand Services family of channel offerings. The Fremont, Calif.-based distributor created four segments: On Demand Field Services, On Demand Managed Services, On Demand Edge Services and On Demand Professional Services.

“We’ve dabbled with services a little bit in the past. We had some services, but we didn’t have a good portfolio,” said Bob Stegner, senior vice president of marketing at Synnex, and a former executive at Ingram Micro. “That’s what VARs need: A one-stop shop for services.”

Solution providers can use as much or as little of Synnex’s services as they want and need, he said. On Demand Field Services supports desktops, peripherals, servers and network installations via a group of more than 50,000 technicians around North America, according to Synnex.

The managed services component addresses the storage, network management and security needs of VARs’ end-clients, and Edge Services focuses on VoIP, remote PBXes, remote digital signage and PrintSolv, Synnex’s print-management solution. Lastly, the Professional Services team works with channel partners on proof-of-concept field tests, capacity planning and assessment studies and other pre-sales analysis.

“VARs don’t have to invest in the infrastructure. If they want to do data security, they can do all that without having the infrastructure and capital expenditure up-front,” Stegner said. “As a VAR, I’m not going to go out and put together a [Network Operations Center] NOC.”

Managed services in general delivers the benefit of adding incremental, ongoing revenue to a solution provider’s income and, by its nature, generally increases the amount of face-time spent between VAR and end-customer. By enabling solution providers to offer the services often associated with larger competitors, these smaller firms gain an earlier foothold and can vie with bigger companies for business, said Stegner.

MSP-oriented solution providers also are in a better position to sell products, since they will know when a client’s equipment is becoming obsolete or problematic, he added. “They will know when equipment is failing or funning out of disk space,” Stegner said. “A VAR can really show high value.”

Just as VARs are expected to turn to Synnex for support, the distributor teamed up with several developers. Participating products include DS3 Datavaulting, Perimeter eSecurity and itControl Suite. “We are selling our product through Synnex as the network management and monitoring component of their On Demand Service,” said Sheldon Waters, president and CEO of itControl Solutions Inc., which develops itControl Suite, an automated management system designed to simplify the management and service of computing environments.

To succeed, however, channel partners must get buy-in from their employees and engineers, some of whom may be skeptical about the MSP approach. “It’s a different model,” said Stegner. “You have to have the ability and desire to change your business model. We need to focus on the training and getting them up to speed.”

During the next year, Synnex expects between 15 percent and 20 percent of  its channel partners will have incorporated On Demand into their business, he said. “They may prove me wrong and be a higher [percentage], but I don’t think they’ll prove me wrong by being lower,” said Stegner. “I think the biggest challenge is to make sure they don’t move too fast.”

TAGS: data security,VoIP,managed services,Synnex,VARs

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