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Synnex NZ eyes corporate growth, cloud...

A move into the corporate space is helping propel Synnex New Zealand to new heights as the distributor gears up to celebrate its ninth birthday.

Richard Harri, Synnex New Zealand country manager, says the corporate reseller and system integrator business now accounts for 10% of the company's business, with the figure growing quickly.

Two new staff are being hired to service the market, and Harri teases 'there may be changes in the vendors we represent, with some new vendors coming on'.

“We have established terms of trade with all of the corporate resellers,” he says.

“Lenovo has been key for us, along with Acer and Asus. Typically corporate resellers are tied to the system brand and although being classed as a tier 1 still source through distributionfrom time-to-time to take advantage of local stock and cross-brand promotions.”

Harri says Synnex, which started life locally in 2005 as a PC component specialist selling to independent PC assemblers, has recently re-racked its warehouse to increase capacity by 30%, ensuring the business can continue expanding as it enters its tenth year.

While he's coy about growth expectations for the commercial division, he will say he expects it to 'double, easily' over the coming year. Across the company's six areas - independent shop channel, national retail, e-tail, corporate, dealer VAR and OEM - Harri says the distributor aims to continue its 40%-plus year-on-year growth.

It reported a bumper revenue for 2013, up 55% to pass the $100 million mark, with Harri confident of another record year this year.

Cloud ahead?

While other distributors are rushing to jump into the cloud space, with recent cloud announcements from Westcon and Exeed the latest, Harri is more circumspect.

Internationally Synnex has a cloud platform with it's CloudSolv marketplace already proven in the US.

Any roll-out to New Zealand, however, will be part of an Asia Pacific-wide drive, and Harri says the local version – when it gets here – may be different from that seen in the US.

Says Harri: “It makes a lot of sense to not have to carry infrastructure for the peak season all year round and to keep the infrastructure costs off the balance sheet as an expense rather than an asset.

“Currently we provide the consumer end-point devices, but in future we will become a point

of aggregation and enablement for both distribution and billing platforms to facilitate the channel's cloud play.

“We recognise the fact cloud is changing the way we do business and Synnex will respond to maximise opportunities for customers and vendors.

“But sometimes it's better to do it right the first time and not be afraid of watching and learning from others.”

When asked if waiting too long could be detrimental, Harri responds that the lightning speed of the industry means first mover advantage can be very rapidly eroded.

“You can leap frog ahead if your solution proves stronger. Fast followers can overtake having learned by the first mover’s mistakes, vicariously.”

People please

Harri says despite Synnex's growth – the company now employs close to 60 staff here – people remain the heart of the business.

“We always want to do exciting things with our staff and we have team events every quarter, whether it's going to Rainbow's End, or movies and dinner.

“And we have monthly updates for all staff on key indicators for the business.”

The fun factor continues out to customers, with the company known for its 'experiential' promotions – and Harri promises plenty more ahead for 2014, including current promotions with Intel offering a trip to White Island and an Antarctic expedition with Acer.

Other future promotions will include an adventure to the Galapagos Islands and Route 66 road trip in a convertible Mustang will also be on offer.

“We want to give [resellers] real bucket list experiences. Life is too short to not have a good time along the way.”