James Reed

TD SYNNEX’s James Reed on opportunities in retail and current business propositions

PCR speaks with PCR Awards shortlisted company, TD SYNNEX – Endpoint Solutions, UK and Ireland, Managing Director, James Reed about current opportunities and challenges facing the channel

What sort of a year has it been for TD SYNNEX?
For the whole IT industry it’s been a good year in some respects, more challenging in others. There were various global factors that impacted every sector and accelerated change. It’s been one in which TD SYNNEX – has demonstrated the resilience and strength of its business and ability to support partners, both in optimising their opportunities and meeting the short- and long-term challenges they face.

We’ve helped partners get through a difficult period in which product supplies were constrained. As that starts to ease, we are seeing more partners looking at alternative finance options for customers. We’ve seen extremely strong take-up of our Easy Upgrade (consumer) and Tech-as-a-Service (B2B) offerings, which enable customers to buy hardware, software and services for a regular subscription payment, rather than making an up-front capital purchase.

We have also seen huge growth of our trade-in services. Verified refurbishment and recycling makes trade-in more attractive and helps sustainability efforts, so that helps in a number of ways.

The skills shortage has also been a significant challenge for resellers and that’s fuelling demand for our services offerings, which we are expanding strongly – and we talk about that in more depth below.

The company was shortlisted for three awards this year – what did mean to you and to TD SYNNEX?
It means a great deal – especially to our people. The PCR Awards recognise the tremendous efforts that people in our business make in supporting our partners in growing sales, driving profitability, reducing cost, and improving levels of customer satisfaction.

That we are shortlisted in all three categories for which we could apply is testament to the dedication and capabilities of our teams right across the business. It’s also a reflection of our strong collaborative approach, and our positive culture of shared responsibility, fairness and equality.

It also speaks volumes for the breadth and depth of our capabilities. We have more than 7000 active customers in the UK and our focus is entirely on meeting their needs. We supply products and services to every type of partner – from small independent retailers, through to major chains, online webstores, and B2B resellers and MSPs right across the UK and Ireland. We work with all the major industry vendors both in B2B and in B2C and in most cases, we are the number-one or number-two distributor for those players.

Whatever type and size of reseller or retailer business you are, whatever sector or market you address, we’ll be able to provide the products, services, and business development support you need to grow your business.

What do you see as the biggest opportunities for you, for retailers and resellers, and the channel as a whole over the coming year?
Services is a big area of potential and the flipside of the skills shortage means customers need more help and support. There is a move towards more managed services – especially in security – and we can help here too. Many customers are still migrating to the cloud and that’s another major opportunity. The change to working practices and smart meeting rooms is also an area of great potential.

We have already introduced 15 new services this year, including a managed print service – OpenMPS, which has been very well received, smart home and TV installation, and printer installation and break-fix services. We see services as a big area of potential for partners.

We’ve seen much more focus on the cloud and on digital security as a result of the shift to hybrid. Partners have needed a lot of support in helping their customers migrate to the cloud and adjust their security posture. We’ve seen strong growth in both areas, and we’d expect to see that continue into 2023.

On cloud, as we have partnerships with all three leading public cloud providers – AWS, Google, and Microsoft Azure – TD SYNNEX has been able to support them every step of the way, from initial engagement, managing usage and billing, and adapting their own business model to one that is much more focused on subscription and services.

We also have our own security practice that gets partners enabled and ready to provide the protection their customers need.

What will be the biggest challenges? How much of a concern is the expected squeeze on consumer spending and how can retailers and resellers manage their way through that?
Supply challenges are easing but have not disappeared completely. The skills gap is something that won’t go away quickly, and we need to work together in the channel much more to utilise all our skills to optimum effect. Clearly, there will be an impact if inflation creeps up and people feel that they need to hold back on spending to cover price rises in energy and food.

That said, technology is now such a central part of our lives. If measures to stimulate activity have the desired effect, we may start to see an economic recovery quite soon. Credit and finance may be an issue for some partners and here we can provide a lot of help with different options such as Easy Upgrade, TaaS and access to flexible lease-finance programmes.

TD SYNNEX and many channel businesses have been placing a lot of emphasis on sustainability and on DEI recently (as highlighted in PCR’s DE&I September issue roundtable).

Why are these issues so important and how can retailers and resellers start to address them?
Sustainability and moving towards net zero carbon is vital – and diversity, equity and inclusion is just as important. We take both very seriously and have clear and positive plans in both. We’re ready to support and advise partners as well.

We have already completed a full assessment of our own carbon footprint and set out our plans to minimise our carbon emissions and move to net zero carbon and we are helping partners to do that as well, having recently launched a service that enables partners to conduct their own assessment and formulate a net zero plan.

DEI is a cornerstone of our company culture. Our view is that, by harnessing the different experiences and backgrounds of people, we can be more productive, innovative, and effective as an organisation. We are committed to maintaining a culture that celebrates diversity, equality, and inclusivity. We have for some time now had three business resource groups (BRGs) – Elevate for female co-workers; Spectrum for LGBTQ+ colleagues; and Embrace for ethnic minority co-workers. We plan to have a BRG in place for disabled co-workers later this year.

Which markets and areas of tech do you see as having the most growth potential? What should retailers & resellers do to address that potential and what you doing to support them?
As I mentioned earlier, services will be a big area of potential. Cloud and security, and smart meeting rooms will also be major areas of growth potential. We are also seeing some good growth with AR/VR and PC gaming. We are supporting retailers, resellers, and all partners through strong investment in all these areas. We can support them both in understanding markets and opportunities – through dedicated programmes and our Tech Data/TD SYNNEX Channel Academy learning platform – as well as help them to develop the capabilities and confidence they need to build their own business practices in key areas, such as cloud or security, smart meeting rooms, or AR/VR.

In addition, we have a wide range of solutions and services that they can take to market and offer as part of their own portfolio or simply resell. With all our activities, the aim is always to support partners in growing sales, increasing profitability, lowering cost and improving customer satisfaction.

Shortlisted Consumer Electronics Distributor of the Year







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