Bill Rodrigues, President, North America Commercial and Global Sales, at Dell
by Mark Cox
AUSTIN — Dell’s decision earlier this year to ramp up its distribution efforts has led to their enlisting another broadline distributor, with a deal having been completed to sign on Synnex. The deal is U.S. only. However, Canada is one of the countries under active consideration for the expansion of the relationship.
The Synnex deal is not to be officially announced until next week. However, at the DellWorld event, badged Synnex reps were visible, and Synnex is hosting a party, so it does not seem to be a closely guarded secret.
“I talked with Synnex yesterday at lunch, said Bill Rodrigues, President, North America Commercial and Global Sales, at Dell, on Thursday morning. “This is a new relationship. They have high expectations of what they want to do with us. We have high expectations of what we want to do with them.”
“We are very excited about having them,” said Cheryl Cook, Dell’s channel chief. “It’s always smart to not be so dependent on a single relationship, and dual source is a healthy relationship for both of us. A lot of my team also has strong relationships with their management. Synnex does a lot of small business and SMB, on the lower end of the market. They have an affinity and a really good reach into that partner community. They are somewhat complementary to Ingram and Tech Data.”
Cook said the deal with Synnex will include traditional PC and client offerings, but also their enterprise offerings. She also said that the Synnex deal was substantially the same as the Tech Data and Ingram Micro deals.
So what about Canada?
“We are exploring when and what to do in Canada here,” Cook said. ‘We don’t want to be overdistributed in a country the size of Canada, so we will see. But Canada is in consideration.”
Cook also said that the established value-added distributors like Arrow and Avnet aren’t really on Dell’s radar for channel distribution.
“I had long standing relationships with them in my Sun days,” she said. “Avnet is very valued in my OEM business, but our x86 volume in our client business doesn’t require that sophisticated value-add that they do. As we expand, Ingram and Tech Data have a lot of capabilities to extend our reach, but we will always evaluate that part of the business.”
Distribution is still a relatively small amount of Dell’s channel business, as the company began its partner efforts “Partner Direct.” The distribution business is growing significantly however. The distributors provide a lot of presale and sales support and each have put in place dedicated Dell people.
“We can now expand our business significantly but it was also a reactive strategy because all my competitors are in there,” said Frank Vitagliano, Vice President, Global Channel Strategy & Programs, at Dell. “I had a number of solution providers who wanted to work with us but said ‘you have to have a relationship with distribution.’ We were losing opportunities because we did not have a relationship with the major distributors.”