Q&A | January 20, 2014

SYNNEX, Google Partner To Give VARs Unique Education Sales Opportunity

Bernadette Wilson

By Bernadette Wilson, associate editor, Business Solutions magazine
Follow Me On Twitter @bernadeditor

Lenovo ThinkPad Chromebook

SYNNEX Corporation is the first distributor in North America to provide the Google Chrome Management Console and related tools and services. This enables authorized resellers — with SYNNEX support — to offer a turnkey solution that brings Chromebooks in a managed environment to their K-12 education customers.

Chromebooks are a viable option for schools. The computers are priced lower than most competitors, and with quick boot up and little need for IT intervention, they preserve more time for classroom instruction. In addition, the Chrome platform lends itself to a secure environment for students, allowing administrators to set domain limits and protect student users and their data with web filters and firewalls. Also, Chromebooks are aligned with the requirements for Common Core State Standards assessments. Eddie Franklin, VP of sales for public sector and vertical markets at SYNNEX, comments that, in some situations, schools may opt for other platforms, but education’s interest in Chromebook is creating an opportunity.

“What we bring to the party is the channel program. Our resellers can scale to cover the U.S. market,” Franklin says. SYNNEX developed a turnkey solution for  its reseller partners to offer, with technologies including networks, network security, bandwidth, accessories — as well as Chromebooks available through SYNNEX from Acer, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung. Solutions providers can manage this business through SYNNEX' Chrome specific CLOUDSolv marketplace. “This tool provides order entry and decision support, allowing solution providers to deliver solutions customized for specific school district needs,” Franklin explains. With the Chrome Management Console, solutions providers will be able to control access and customize features without touching each device.

Additionally, SYNNEX has developed its "white glove" Chrome Management Console service portfolio. This includes a pre-sales consultation to help optimize the campus for successful Chromebook deployment by considering areas such as wireless capabilities and teacher adoption. The service portfolio also includes pre-deployment service including device updates, network settings, and delivery, onsite teacher training, and a “concierge desk” providing technical support for teachers and administrators.

SYNNEX also considered this solution’s actual end user: the student. “Part of the education is educating the students about properly handling a device and being responsible. It’s baked into the curriculum,” comments Franklin.

Franklin stresses although the turnkey solution is available from SYNNEX, resellers may rely on only certain facets and provide other technologies and services on their own. “We’re a ‘professional services backdrop.’ We’re here to provide support.” SYNNEX also took the bottom line for resellers into account as they developed the total solution. “Chromebooks cost less, so resellers ask, ‘Will I make less money?’” Franklin explains. “We put together a case for the reseller that includes selling professional services — they can sell services, not just devices.”

For information, visit www.synnex.com/chrome or email chrome@synnex.com. Resellers will be nominated by SYNNEX to Google for approval and then follow an authorization process that takes about two weeks to complete. The education market falls within one of SYNNEX' largest vertical practices, Public Sector, supported by the SYNNEX GOVSolv program.