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IBM de-authorizes Synnex and what it means for Canada

Synnex Canada not impacted by IBM's decision

It hasn’t been a great week for Synnex. IBM has decided to de-authorize the distie from selling System x products, a decision that came as a shock to Synnex and its partners. To add to the bizarreness of the situation, Synnex was believed to be IBM’s top distributor of System x products.

However, the decision will have zero impact for Synnex Canada. According to Jim Estill, Synnex Canada president, the distributor never sold the line. Synnex Canada will continue to sell IBM Software, he said.

System x is still being sold by Avnet, Arrow, Ingram Micro and Tech Data, and the vultures are already circling, since Synnex will be cut off as of Jan. 19.

IBM said it’s looking to streamline its supply chain, but the move still doesn’t make a lot of sense. Because not only does it shake the foundation of its relationship with Synnex, it should cause other disties to raise an eyebrow at just how easily they can be cut off, without any say in the matter.

And it doesn’t exactly send the right message to the channel, either. IBM has been proclaiming that it needs the channel – but this announcement isn’t in line with that.Solution providers either have to switch to another distributor or move to another platform altogether.

Synnex is now pushing HP, which already accounts for a third of its business. But co-CEO Kevin Murai seems to have more faith in Synnex’s relationship with HP than with IBM at this point.

But will solution providers really make the switch? While HP could benefit from this situation, it’s more likely that solution providers will simply have to deal with another distributor. Though it may make them wary of dealing with IBM for future projects and therefore they won’t recommend IBM to their customer base – so it could hurt IBM in the long-term.

Synnex will continue to deal with IBM’s software group, but it’s hard to imagine this won’t cause a rift between the two. If this truly came as a shock to Synnex, then it will damage the distie’s relationship with IBM across the board, since such a move can only build mistrust.It’s hard to believe there’s not more to this story. Online comments from solution providers show they’re not buying the reasons behind IBM’s decision. They’re annoyed by the disruption to their business and wonder if this will result in price increases.

But other disties are already looking to recruit Synnex solution providers for System x. And many of them will probably make the move to another distie, whether they want to or not, since they have to continue to support their customers with IBM shops.

So it seems Synnex will lose out, which hardly seems fair. In the end, though, by shaking its customers’ faith, IBM may be the biggest loser.