LAS VEGAS – Bob Stegner, the lead executive of VentureTech and now VARNex, told CDN that you can’t catch lighting in a bottle twice. But the senior vice-president of marketing for Synnex never intended to replicate VTN with VARNex when he launched the distribution buying group in 2008.
Instead, Stegner wanted to do something different with VARNex, and focus more on the SMB reseller and enable them to partner and share best practices than create another VTN.
“There are plenty of enough good partners for three groups,” he said. Stegner refuses to steal any members from rival VTN or TechSelect. The strategy instead is to find channel partners that service an entire local area. He believes that the Canadian channel community is aligned to VARNex’s strategy because there are so many small resellers in remote areas of the country.
VARNex Canada has 24 members signed so far. They include: A+M Data Corp., Audcomp, Computerized Business Solutions Inc., Superior Computers, NCIX, First Phase, Data Micro Logic and Dymaxion. At the VARNex conference, held here, Synnex also invited compete partners such as Laser Networks and CPU. Meanwhile, in the U.S., VARNex sports more than 240 channel partners.
The current president of the VARNex Partner Council, Mike Brogan of Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based Erb’s, said potential Canadian VARNex members should know that this group’s is not driven by larger resellers or vendors, but the business partners. “The biggest difference between VARNex and the others is that this group is made up of like-minded partners who are interested in growing their business and sharing new ideas and best practices with other members,” Brogan said.
At first Brogan declined Stegner’s invitation to join VARNex because he was not interested in a vendor-driven buying group. “But (Stegner) said VARNex is not going to be that and that the focus would be on SMB and the agenda would be ours, so I said I would give it a whirl,” he added.
HP Canada (NYSE: HPQ) channel chief John Cammalleri said he had no trouble committing to VARNex. “Sometimes HP needs to get out of the way, and we are on distribution. That comes with a cost but the gains are significant and it improves the speed to market,” he said.
Cammalleri said that HP Canada will increase funding to Synnex as part of the company’s on-going investments with its partners, such as the Incentive Based Funding program. This program enables partners to come to HP with a great opportunity and be part of the process, along with Synnex and the VARNex group.
Tim Lomax, president of A+M Data Corp. of Markham, Ont., was always interested in joining organizations such as VTN or TechSelect but his primary distributor was Synnex, so he held back. When Synnex decided to include Canadian channel partners Lomax became excited at the prospect of partnering with other top solution providers.
Lomax’ strategy as a managed print services provider is to offer his services to other VARs or partner with a managed services provider and have them offer A+M services.
“I believe the ultimate winner in the managed print services space will be the managed service providers that can off the full suite and the opportunity to partner with them through VARNex will help us expand our business geographically and with our product offering,” Lomax said.
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