Richard Harri – former founding country manager of Synnex New Zealand – is heading back to distributor-land, to lead Dicker Data’s push into the volume business.
Harri, who for the past 12 months has been establishing and growing Lenovo’s consumer business locally, is taking on the newly created role of volume business unit manager, charged with full responsibility for all aspects of Dicker Data's volume business including strategy and sales.
Phil Presnall, Dicker Data New Zealand general manager of sales and marketing, says the appointment is ‘hugely significant’ for Dicker Data.
“Richard’s experience is very complementary to what we have already existing in the business,” Presnall says.
Synnex, which Harri was tapped to set up in New Zealand in 2005 and lead for 10 years, was a strong player in the volume space – an area Dicker Data New Zealand has previously not played strongly in but which is now a key target for the distributor.
“Insights into that market and a lot of the vendors Richard has worked with in the past will prove very useful to us,” Presnall says.
While volume currently accounts for just 5% of Dicker Data New Zealand’s business, Presnall has been vocal in his desire to have it account for one-third of the business.
Presnall, who spoke to ChannelLife about the appointment earlier this week, says Harri’s appointment ‘reaffirms’ the distributor’s commitment to invest and grow its footprint in that market.
“It won’t be an overnight change, but the ambition is for us to have more partners on our books, transacting more regularly and a ramp in the number of discussions that we’re having with volume vendors to hopefully start to onboard some of them within six to 12 months,” Presnall says.
Dicker Data’s volume business currently has around half a dozen vendors, including lynchpin Toshiba, while reseller numbers on its books have also been ramped up significantly in recent months to increase the distributor’s appeal to volume vendors.
“We need some decent sized volume vendors to help drive the business, and ideally a couple within the next 12 months,” Presnall says.
“Someone of Richard’s calibre coming into the business with his knowledge and experience obviously is going to be very, very useful in that space,” he adds. “Having worked almost 20 years in distribution, he holds relationships nationwide with all types of resellers and a large cross-section of vendors.”
Harri meanwhile has welcomed the move back into distribution saying it’s a market he knows and loves and he’s looking forward to the new challenge and reconnecting with many customers and vendor partners.
“I’ve got relationships I’ve built up over nearly 20 years and I enjoy representing multiple vendors because the landscape is always changing and it brings opportunity,” he told ChannelLife earlier this week.
“I believe the opportunity for Dicker Data to grow the volume business in New Zealand is significant.
“Working for a PC vendor for the past year has provided me with new insights and learnings that will enhance both the existing and potential future vendor partnerships Dicker Data possesses,” Harri says.
However, he says his initial priority it to fully understand the Dicker Data business.
“You don’t want to have change simply for the sake of change, you want to make sure you understand why things are done the way they’re done, and understand the people in the business and relationships enjoyed with resellers and vendors.
“We’ll be open to opportunity and making sure we have the products that our customers demand.
“There’s an entrenched licensing and cloud business that is very successful and from a hardware perspective I’m sure we can go deeper with existing customers and also look at customers who maybe don’t purchase so frequently to look at the wider customer base.”
Under Harri's watch, Synnex New Zealand became known for its 'experiential' rewards campaigns for its resellers, offering a range of luxury 'once in a lifetime' experiences for resellers.
Harri takes over the new role on 01 July.