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Synnex, Arrow focus on future

Those that invest in key growth area and continue to look for ways to add value will emerge from the downturn in better shape

Finally, some good news: Synnex beat Wall Street estimates for its second fiscal quarter. The distie attributes this to gains in its global business services and a gradually stabilizing economy. But Synnex, like other disties, is helping customers find new opportunities – rather than cutting investments to the point where it hurts the channel.

Synnex is focusing on vertical markets, while Arrow is helping channel partners support online communities and social networking for their customers and their own businesses.

Synnex, which reported a net income of US$19.2 million (up four per cent from the same quarter last year), is focusing on three areas: unified communications, managed print services and healthcare. The UC market, for example, has remained relatively strong, despite the recession.

To boost its UC offerings, Synnex signed a deal with Siemens Enterprise Communications in April to offer its complete product line for voice, data, video and security to North American resellers. This is significant, in part, because Siemens is known as a direct player, but it’s hoping a channel play will give it an edge against rivals Cisco, Avaya and Microsoft. This also gives resellers another option when selling UC, as well as access to Siemens’ global services infrastructure.

Synnex has also garnered support from the big guys – HP, Xerox and Lexmark – for its managed print services program, called PRINTSolv, despite the fact this program competes with similar programs from these vendors. And in healthcare, Synnex is helping resellers target physicians who are switching over to electronic health records, and providing add-on solutions such as digital imaging and documents management solutions.

Arrow, for its part, is also looking ahead to future opportunities, and has signed an agreement with Igloo Software, a provider of online community and social software solutions for business – including an integrated suite of content management, collaboration, social networking and administrative technologies. (Arrow is Igloo’s first distribution partner for this solution).

The technology, which is being used by the likes of the David Suzuki Foundation and the BlackBerry Partners Fund, will be available to Canadian resellers through a hosted platform that can scale to support hundreds of thousands of users. The idea is that resellers can offer this to their customers as a way to improve employee engagement and productivity or deepen business relationships. Or, they can use it within their own businesses to communicate with customers, distributors and vendors.

So is the economy stabilizing? It’s anyone’s guess. But it seems that those who are getting through these tough times are those who aren’t slashing and cutting and running on empty – but investing in key growth areas, looking to the future, and continuing to add value where they can.