2021 Predictions: IT Distribution and VARs Should Focus on Partnerships and Perseverance


As we usher in the new year, many of us are happy to say goodbye to 2020. Yet, we can’t forget that 2020 has taught us many important lessons that we’ll carry into 2021. Jay Denton, Senior Vice President and General Manager of SYNNEX Comstor North America, reflected on 2020, noting that it was a Leap Year in more ways than one. While 2020 forced organizations to quickly adapt, Denton predicts that 2021 will continue to test the limits of the IT channel, it will require IT distributors and VARs to stay in synch and persevere.

Jay Denton, Senior VP and GM of SYNNEX Comstor NA

Understanding the value of partnerships across the channel, Denton predicts that distribution will remain healthy in 2021, but for those who want to stand out, he predicts opportunities “to modernize or even re-invent” some aspects of the traditional distribution model. “Those that demonstrate agility – as we have and plan to continue – will capture the business as the shift in consumption models for products and services continues,” he said. “Envisioning what the future holds for “Cisco as-a-service” is exciting and will require the best and brightest to move swiftly to stay at the front of the pack.”

Yet, Denton believes that the value of partnership extends beyond IT distributors and OEMs. “There is tremendous value that can be realized in a strong partnership between reseller and distribution,” he said. “As we have seen so often, many of the value-add opportunities accessible via distribution remain unknown to many resellers. We work every day to educate our customers about what we can do for them, how it translates to quantifiable value in their business, and how it can result in a very strong win-win relationship well into the future.”

That focus on delivering value is why SYNNEX Comstor brings together so many experts for its partners. From Partner Business Managers that know the ins and outs of Cisco programs, promotions, and incentives, and offer educational training and certifications, to a dedicated Customer Experience team “that does a deep-dive on the metrics of the business to understand where the profit pools are and how to get there fast,” Denton explained. “And I can’t say enough about our Engineering team, a top-notch crew of ridiculously smart and highly qualified experts in every Cisco architecture. Whether it’s the initial design, configuration validation, you name it… for those resellers who’ve discovered and rely on that team, it’s a difference-maker for them.”

So, while 2021 won’t bring immediate relief to the challenges we faced in 2020, Denton believes that with strong partnerships, it will be the year of perseverance. “It will be critical for resellers – both to survive in the near term and thrive in the long term – to partner even more closely with their vendor and distribution partners,” he said. “With focus, determination and investment in the areas that we know will yield dividends if we maintain and strengthen our partnership, I think the future, which may end up looking different than we envisioned it might just a few months ago, is ripe with opportunity to prove that the business we are in together can make our communities, businesses, families, and nations strong and resilient to future challenges that we know will come our way.”

After all, at the end of the day, Denton reminds us that, “We are all in this together.”


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