Growth and Adaptability: A Focus on What’s Important for VARs in 2021 Previous item How VARs can Re-Evaluate... Next item 2021 Predictions: IT...

2020 was a year unlike any other. Never before has the IT channel, like every other industry this year, been forced to innovate to such a degree. The rapid increase in the need for connectivity, security, and flexible infrastructure drove Cisco distributors and VARs toward embracing new IT models across the channel.

 “2020 was definitely a test of how well we can adapt to unprecedented events,” Shawn Motley, Director of Cisco Product Business Management at SYNNEX Comstor, reflected. “The pandemic has accelerated the need to be ‘connected’ for work, school, and our personal lives and has shown that remote technology can help us remain productive, and in some cases, accelerate our productivity.”

Shawn Motley, Director, Cisco Product Business Management

With over two decades of experience in the IT channel, Motley has a deep understanding of what it takes to survive and thrive despite adversity. This experience, with the SYNNEX Comstor EDGE Progression Programs as the foundation, was critical to helping his partners navigate 2020.

“Helping our partners understand the solutions available to help them continue to grow their business practice has been top of mind for us,” Motley explained. “Educating on secure remote solutions, subscription, and cloud-based business models and ensuring an excellent customer experience have been major focuses.”

As a result of this precision focus on enabling partners to grow their Cisco business despite the global pandemic, Motley and his team saw unprecedented growth rates in 2020.

“The growth rates of partners in the EDGE programs far exceeds that of non-EDGE Cisco partners. This is something we’re very proud of and pay close attention to. EDGE Progression programs continue to evolve and become more robust, which is helping our partners continue to achieve accelerated growth within their Cisco business practice. It is also a significant reason why SYNNEX Comstor won Cisco Distributor of the year for North America and Globally,” he told us.

While 2020 was the year of “adjustment and resiliency,” Motley expects that 2021 will be the year for focus and growth for VARs. Read his predictions for the year below:

EDGE360 Editors: Given the drastic changes of 2020, where do you see the opportunities for VARs in 2021?

Shawn Motley: Solutions that are simple to deploy and manage, recurring offerings, and secure remote solutions will continue to be opportunities in 2021. Understanding and driving customers’ experience with these solutions will be a major focus in finding success.    

EDGE360 Editors: What technologies are going to make the biggest impact in the new year?

Motley: With many of us still remote, technologies like 5G and WiFi 6 become even more critical for success along with collaboration solutions that keep us connected and able to “see” each other. Security remains top of mind and is critical regardless of where and how you’re connected. 

EDGE360 Editors: For VARs looking to grow their Cisco practices in 2021, what should they be thinking about/working toward in the New Year?

Shawn Motley: Define your goals and let SYNNEX Comstor help you create a roadmap to achieve them. Whether it’s focusing on security, collaboration, data center, etc., or all of the above, we can help to make sure you understand how to quickly build and grow your practice while taking the steps to achieve maximum profitability.  

EDGE360 Editors: How will the EDGE Progression Programs continue to evolve?

Motley: We continue to evolve the EDGE programs based on partner feedback and our internal Cisco expertise. Better visibility for partners into their Cisco business is critical. Things like tracking rebates, understanding when maintenance, and subscription renewal opportunities are coming near, and a clear view of business gaps are a few of the features we continue to build on within the EDGE programs. The EDGE programs, coupled with our entire SYNNEX Comstor team of experts, make for a Yummman award-winning combination.

EDGE360 Editors: How would you summarize your predictions for 2021? Please explain.

Shawn Motley: 2021 will be the year of Focus and Growth. 2020 has helped us focus on what’s important and what’s needed to remain connected and thriving in our business and personal lives. 2021 will be the year to grow. Whether it’s learning about new technologies or expanding into new markets, SYNNEX Comstor is here to help you focus on those goals and achieve profitable growth. Our team of experts is ready to help you ring in the new year and can be reached at