2020 IT Channel Reflections on Remote Working Myths, Collaboration, and Growth


Each year, the EDGE360 editorial team connects back with the leaders in the SYNNEX Comstor organization to reflect on the year and the milestones or changes that we’ve seen in the industry. To say that 2020 was an unprecedented year is an understatement. It was a year where the IT channel was forced to adapt, embrace change, and leap through hurdles never faced before.

There were some very interesting milestones that were forced upon us in 2020,” Dan Forbes, Senior Director of Cisco Field Sales at SYNNEX Comstor, told us. “I think almost everyone in the IT channel can agree that we tested the myths about home worker productivity, and we found that employees can continue to contribute and drive results in a work from home mode.”

Yet, while the workforce proved long-held myths were false, there were other areas where connectivity came up short. “We also learned that there are some major gaps in our education system when it comes to access,” Forbes explained. “Remote learning only works when everyone has basic connectivity. Unfortunately, that simply isn’t true across America.” If this wasn’t clear before 2020, it definitely became a major concern as so many educational institutions shifted to a remote online learning or hybrid learning environment.

Through all the changes, to ensure productivity, nearly every organization and individual sought out collaboration tools to connect. “We learned the power of our collaboration tools in 2020 in our workplace and also our personal lives,” Forbes noted. “In my case, it was the power of Webex to keep my team and our customers connected as much as possible in a way that felt meaningful.”

While the IT industry has focused on messaging and collaboration for years, 2020 was the year that it was fully realized because of the advancements in technology. “We may not have weathered this, even a few years ago. Without the transformation to cloud over the past several years, and the advancements in collaboration, smartphone technology, and even just simple access, I can’t imagine how much deeper the impact of this global pandemic would have been.”

As SYNNEX Comstor teams were adjusting to their own new environments, they were also helping the VAR community adjust to a “new normal.” But Forbes told us that one thing that didn’t change during these uncertain times was the focus on consulting with partners regarding their Cisco practices. “Across the country, we found our message resonated even more through 2020, as partners looked at ways to maximize their business and ensure they were capitalizing on all the programs available to them,” Forbes shared. “It’s been part of our value proposition for years and in 2020, many more IT channel partners turned to SYNNEX Comstor because they aren’t seeing this from anyone else.”

Forbes noted that 2020 has been a year of “shock and awe.” He told us that, “If it seemed like it could happen, it did happen.” But with all the challenges and hurdles faced along the way, Forbes noted that 2020 spotlighted those who were “built to last for the future and ready to move forward.” He elaborated on the success that SYNNEX Comstor has achieved this year, despite the fact that 2020 was the year that kept on changing. “We’ve been able to grow and expand in 2020, while others in our market have been forced to make hard choices. This speaks to the breadth of our business model and the value that we bring. I am in awe of the success we have been able to drive considering all of the factors outside of our control,” he concluded.


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