Mitchell Martin, the president of Synnex Canada

Published: November 1st, 2017

The acquisition of Westcon-Comstor by Synnex will have a large impact in many global markets, but it may have its most significance in Canada.

In an interview with the President of Synnex Canada Mitchell Martin, the longtime leader of the Canadian distributor told CDN that Westcon-Comstor dramatically improves the line card in three areas all targeted at the enterprise: Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC), security and networking.

Martin admitted that before the Westcon-Comstor acquisition Synnex had a weaker market position.

“At this point, we can now do a variety of things in terms of developing plans with vendors (previously under only Westcon-Comstor) who will have access to Synnex’ customer base. The emphasis is on net new business and we’ll be looking at customers that we have never done business with in the past,” he said.

The deal became one for Synnex to add the extensive Cisco portfolio to the line card, but after the integration process was completed Martin said there was very little overlap and a lot more synergy than initially expected.

One area Martin will be targeting for Canada is in service providers, something Cisco has been strong in for more than two decades. While Martin has yet to have a meeting with the newly named Cisco Canada president Rola Dagher, he said he is looking forward to meeting her. Martin and his team at Synnex Canada have outlined new meeting targets and are formulating attack plans now for this effort.

And, one way Synnex can help Cisco Canada is from an SMB perspective as that is a strength for the Canadian operation.

“We’ve always been strong in that area and we’ve programmatically built it up with our Solv series of programs for developing solution selling for the SMB base and this can lead to a nice incremental opportunity,” Martin said.

Joe Cozzolino, SVP of Cisco Services, said SMB in the tier two model is an opportunity to add services and get them working with Westcon-Comstor/Synnex to add new services capability. Currently, the tier two channel are not selling services where it is in support and professional. The large distributors have been working to develop these types of practices to help them get to the SMB.

Chris Dedicoat, EVP of Cisco Sales, sees a connection with the tier two channel players and the service providers through distribution. “I think the distribution play is working well getting these two together. And, this is not all things software either and includes the devices. What’s important is to get real knowledge and understanding on that part of the business. It has tremendous opportunity to evolve if they are able to help the channel understand the value of activation and renewing practices. This still has to change but we are encouraged with the work we are doing through distribution with the partners in the tier two environment. We feel this will be critical to long term success,” Dedicoat said.

Possibly a much bigger opportunity may lie in security. Westcon-Comstor took several years to re-position itself as a security focus value added distributor. The Tarrytown, N.Y.-based distributor started as a networking-only provider. Martin said the security segment provides an environment for huge growth. “We are definitely working with Westcon-Comstor staff to further develop this strategy and positioning because we too see it as a mutual strength along with networking which was well defined. We want to put more focus on Cisco too because they are adding more security solutions along with other networking vendors,” he added.

Two quick hits before we go. Leyland Brown, the longtime HP Canada executive and CDN’s first female to be named the No. 1 Newsmaker of the Year has left HP Canada. CDN wishes her well.

Another friend of CDN Ross Pellizzari has a new job as the chief revenue officer of VersaPay. Pellizzari was the channel chief of both Cisco Canada and Palo Alto Networks Canada along with the President of Avaya Canada.