Las Vegas – When VARnex started three years ago it had a modest 24 solution provider members in Canada. The following year it rose to 47. Today, Mitchell Martin, president of Synnex Canada told CDN that VARnex Canada reached 81 members.
With in three years VARnex Canada has more or less matched the membership of Ingram Micro’s VentureTech Network and Tech Data’s TechSelect. VentureTech has about more than 70 members, while TechSelect Canada has a little less. But Martin was quick to note that VARnex’s SMB focus would lend itself to a bigger membership.
“I’m thrilled,” Martin said. “We don’t just have anybody. VARnex Canada has the top SMB players in every province,” he said.VARnex in North America has 276 members and the plan is still to grow the base. Martin said that at times partners “fall off the map” so they will continue to recruit Canadian solution providers.
“The trick is to retain this base over time. We need to provide value for them so they stay and we will work hard on that,” Martin added.
VARnex Canada advisory council president Nick Jupp, called this conference a watershed moment for the group. Jupp, who is also the vice president of operations for Halifax-based solution provider Dymaxion, said that Synnex worked hard to get the membership numbers to this point as well as getting the necessary vendor partners on board to support the group financially.
Synnex Canada announced that HP Canada, Eaton Canada, InFocus, Igloo, Lenovo, Microsoft, OKI Data, Symantec, StorageCraft, Abbyy, Ergotron, NEC and Wasp. Synnex has organized these vendors into groups of sponsorship named Diamond, Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze. Only HP is in Diamond. Eaton Canada is in Platinum. The rest are in the other three levels.
Sylvain Tremblay, executive vice president of Quebec City solution provider CPU, said that VARnex has not increased his business yet, but it has given him value. “We can talk to others with skills I do not have. Right now VARnex has not increased CPU revenue, but it has increased my knowledge,” he said.
Tim Lomax, president of Toronto-based managed print services provider SmartPrint, said that VARnex has strengthen his relationship with Synnex Canada. Lomax added that Synnex was already his preferred distributor, but he feels he has a seat at their table.
“Last year I went to Synnex with an idea that would improve my efficiency and strip out cost. Since I was a VARnex member they connected me to new resources that helped me engage with other channel partners on cross-practice activities or outside my geography,” Lomax said.
He added that at first it took a while for solution providers to build trust within VARnex, but now it is third year members are opening up and sharing. “The trust has grown throughout the base of the partnership,” Lomax said.