In the opening keynote of the Varnex Spring Conference, Kevin Murai discusses how Synnex wants to help partners leverage the “third platform.”
Synnex (SNX) CEO Kevin Murai outlined where the distribution giant will place its focus in the near future this morning at the spring Varnex conference opening session. Among talk of cybersecurity and consumer technology, he focused primarily and predictably on the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing. As opposed to hyping up talk of new technology, however, the message was one of applying existing technology in new ways.
Murai specified, for example, that Synnex views the IoT as a closed loop solution based on established technology being enabled by broad infrastructure and broadband availability to create new connectivity applications. He outlined a structured approach to providing IoT technology that holds great opportunity for channel companies, starting with the sale, installation and management of devices and sensors that routes data to a central control through a managed gateway. Data is then fed through an analytics engine that tells the user about their environment and provides actionable insights.
None of this is new hat, but the exciting part for Murai is the potential that the IoT holds for predictive modeling based on access to real-time data. “This is where that power and value of IoT is going to come into play,” he said. “Personally, I believe that IoT solutions are going to be the biggest growth opportunity for all of us.”
The IoT is too expansive not to specialize, and Murai says that Synnex will “go narrow and deep” into specific solutions such as commercial building controls and public sector surveillance, tying into its SMARTcity initiative.
Worldwide IoT spend exceeded $1.7 trillion in 2015, according to IDC, and is projected to grow to $3 trillion in 2020. And this, according to Murai, is the primary growth driver behind most of the investments Synnex is making in “third platform” technologies such as cloud computing, enterprise mobility, big data and consumer tech.
Which is not to say that the legacy “second platform” client/server technologies that Synnex sells have lost value. “Do not ignore the second platform,” Murai warned. “It’s still the vast majority of what gets sold in technology, and you have to continue doing a good job there.”
Beyond its legacy core technology offerings, the company will continue to invest heavily in solution-centric programs. Murai spent a good deal of time discussing CloudSolv, Synnex’s SMB community designed to enable cloud-based technologies. Again, Murai emphasized that he wasn’t discussing a revolutionary new technology, but rather how its exploding growth is creating new opportunities for partners.
“Cloud is nothing new,” said Murai. “Everyone’s been talking cloud and third platform for a long time now, but it’s becoming real.” The majority of growth in ICT by 2020 will be in third platform technology, he said. Worldwide spend on cloud environments is projected to grow at 15.5 percent CAGR from 2014 to 2019, while non-cloud spend will decline by nearly 2 percent CAGR. It’s clear that consumption models are changing.
CloudSolv began as a marketplace for cloud-based services such as infrastructure and software and today had become an API provisioning tool with dynamic billing capabilities. Moreover, Murai sees CloudSolv as a community of traditional VARs, MSPs and born-in-the-cloud resellers that collaborate, exchange ideas and develop best practices. “What is CloudSolv? Think of it as the SMB community and ecosystem business platform.”
Murai urged partners who have just recently begun to operate in the cloud to take advantage of the support and training initiatives Synnex offers through CloudSolv. “Over time, especially in SMBs, there is going to be a net shift from on-premise to cloud. We can help you make that transition from traditional onsite up to cloud-based computing.”
Murai also briefly touched on ConvergeSolv, Synnex’s solution for shifting architecture from traditional data centers to hybrid cloud infrastructure, emphasizing legacy relationships with HP, Dell and Lenovo as well as software partnerships with companies such as Red Hat.
The third service Murai highlighted was MobilitySolv, emphasizing that the goal is not selling more smartphones (although, he made sure to mention, Synnex will be bringing more smartphone lines on in 2016). The core of the company’s investment in enterprise mobility, however, is about connecting people and devices, moving data through the enterprise and managing data security. He cited new partnerships not just on the hardware side, but also on the carrier side with Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner and Canadian carrier Rogers.
Murai emphasized that Synnex gauges its success by the growth of its partners, although the company has its own impressive numbers. It just celebrated its 115th consecutive quarter of gap profitability, ended last year with over $13.3 billion in revenue and ranks No. 220 on the Fortune 500 list. The way to enable growth, Murai says, is not by being just a source of supply, but a trusted partner and a strategic part of channel partners’ businesses.