Determined to broaden the services it offers, Synnex Canada has opened a technology solutions division to go beyond shipping boxes to VARs.
“We want to bring solutions to our resellers so we’re more than a pick-and-pack distributor,” said Keith Jalbert, vice-president and general manager of the new unit.
It’s one of two new divisions the company has opened. The other is a consumer electronics unit aimed at stereo and audio-visual resellers.
The technology solutions division will cover enterprise products as well as the point-of-sale gear that Synnex’s EMJ Data division has been selling. Most of the hardware and software are already in the company’s line card, said Synnex Canada CEO Jim Estill. “We’re just delineating it a bit more clearly for our vendors and customers” by setting up the division, he said.
But Jalbert also said he and his staff of seven will assemble security, telephony and print solutions channel members can take to their customers.
One of the first is called PrintSolv, a way partners can assemble a cost-per-page printer lease for customers, similar to solutions offered by major printer manufacturers.
It uses a Windows tool licensed from PrintFleet Inc. of Gananoque, Que., to discover printers on a network and estimate how they’re used so a solution can be suggested to the customer. A software agent stays on the network and alerts the distributor when supplies like toner are running low. The supplies are shipped directly to the customer, but the VAR is invoiced.
A PrintSolv roadshow explaining the program began Sept. 19 in Calgary and goes to Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.
Jalbert said vendors such as Hewlett-Packard, Lexmark, Xerox and Brother back the tool.
His division is also looking to assemble solutions for security products, which include products from Fortinet, and Barracuda Networks. New to the line card is Brocade’s load balancing gear.
In the telephony area the distributor already carries Internet solutions from Bell Canada. Jalbert said he is looking to add other vendors to create packages attractive to small and medium-sized organizations.
Jalbert came to Synnex Canada from Agilysys, a U.S.-based value-added distributor, where he had been the Canada manager of its Keylink Systems distribution division for seven years.
Synnex Canada’s expansion into the consumer electronics market follows efforts by Ingram Micro and Tech Data.
Kevin Baggs, vice-president and general manager of the new CE division, is targeting stereo stores, camera stores, professional audio-visual companies and home theatre specialists for products ranging from LCD televisions to networking cable.
Synnex can carry more inventory than smaller audio-visual distributors, he said, and can offer next day or customer drop-off shipping.
There are some 7,000 potential stores to be signed across Canada – not including big box retailers – said Baggs. “If I could get half of those I’d be doing very well.”