Sparking Inspiration and Illuminating What’s To Come – Lighting the Way at CommunitySolv Spring 2024

by Kaye McMillan
8 minutes read

I have the distinct pleasure of leading TD SYNNEX CommunitySolv, our North American partner community. CommunitySolv is a unique opportunity in the channel that equips members to evolve, modernize and grow through peer-to-peer connection.

Recently, partners from across North America gathered in Las Vegas, NV, and Toronto, ON, for CommunitySolv’s spring events, centered around the U.S. and Canadian markets, respectively.

Our dual events, with themes of “Light the Way” in Las Vegas and the “Power of Partnership” in Toronto, focused on how we’re guiding partners through the complex, dynamic environment of our industry. The programs brought together channel leaders and experts who were all eager to discuss the challenges and innovations that are reshaping the IT ecosystem.

I was dazzled by more than just the lights along the Vegas strip – the positive spirit and strong sense of unity CommunitySolv fosters is unlike any other. For those who couldn’t make it, I wanted to share some highlights that will hopefully spark inspiration as you continue throughout 2024.

In the Hot Seat: Data, AI and Sustainability

Throughout the event, our general sessions were filled with insightful keynotes and engaging panels from industry leaders that explored topics that are top-of-mind for partners.

Our guest keynote speaker, Jeff Ma, laid all the cards out on the table when it came to data. He is known for being a member of the infamous MIT Blackjack team and served as inspiration for “Bringing Down the House,” and the movie, “21.” Ma has also served as Twitter’s VP of Data Science and Analytics and currently works as an advisor and board member to several startups. In his keynote, he shared his thoughts on the value of data in 2024.

To no one’s surprise, AI continues to be the talk of the town. There was a great panel featuring partners who are using AI, data and IoT solutions in creative ways. Charles Elliot, CEO of Think IT AI, shared how his company is working with the Florida Department of Transportation to make roads safer by testing AI-powered technology that allows cars and traffic lights to communicate. I loved how he described the importance of communicating the value of AI solutions:

The nuts and bolts of a solution do matter, but at the end of the day customers want to know what we are doing to solve and what new abilities they are going to have after the solution is in place.”

Sustainability was another popular topic. Adam Rutstein, Senior Director of Global Sustainability at TD SYNNEX, shared a sneak peak at a new sustainability practice builder TD SYNNEX is launching to help partners on their journey to becoming better corporate citizens for the planet. The way he describes the role of sustainability in the technology industry resonated with me and our audience:

“The landscape for sustainability is evolving at a very rapid pace. In fact, it has emerged as a business imperative. Companies need to build holistic harmonized programs that meet the expectations of this evolving landscape.”

A trend that became evident from CommunitySolv is the ability to use AI to further sustainability goals. Multiple vendor partners shared information about up-and-coming AI PCs and how the neural processing units (NPUs) in these products reduces the amount of power devices require. There is now a push from customers to leverage this technology to reduce their carbon footprints.

Insights from the Main Stage: How to Win With Global Solutions

Another theme throughout the event was the importance of maintaining a global outlook. As the world becomes increasingly connected, the demand for global fulfillment and service delivery is growing; however, it can be difficult for SMBs to manage this on their own. International regulations are ever-evolving and increasingly complicated, and various routes to market come with their own sets of challenges that must be considered and managed. There is a clear need to leverage partnerships across the channel effectively in order to successfully capitalize on these global opportunities.

This aligns with what we found in our 2023 Direction of Technology report, which indicated that outsourcing functions such as business planning and managed IT services is up from 2022 and will continue to rise.

Using its unique position in the heart of the IT ecosystem, TD SYNNEX has the global reach and expertise partners need to manage logistical and legislative risks associated with expanding solutions. However, expectations between partners must be managed properly, as opportunities in international markets cannot be executed the same way they are in domestic markets.

Shining the Spotlight on Our People

In addition to discussing emerging technologies and industry trends, we took time to hear from the people who are driving us forward. There was an insightful women’s luncheon sponsored by Elevate, TD SYNNEX’s women’s business resource group, which explored topics such as the importance of sponsorship and mentorship to career development, how to attract female talent through company culture and servant leadership, and how male colleagues can demonstrate allyship in the workplace.

We also held breakouts to highlight ways CommunitySolv members could achieve operational excellence and maximize their partnerships with TD SYNNEX. With sessions centered on driving consistency in sales, enabling marketplace integration and finding profitability in the cloud and SaaS markets, we showcased the ways our people are here for our partners.

Empowered by Partnership: CommunitySolv Canada

CommunitySolv Canada was a smashing success; at the general session, our Chief Operating Officer, Patrick Zammit, and Canadian president Mitchell Martin spoke to the changes they have noticed making waves across the channel, especially in the world of AI. They also discussed challenges facing the Canadian market and TD SYNNEX’s approach to addressing them. Additionally, the general sessions featured a variety of keynotes that emphasized the value of partnering in strategic ways.

With workshops centered on navigating mergers and acquisitions, human resource management and monetizing AI solutions, there was plenty to keep partners engaged.

Thank you to all of our incredible CommunitySolv members, sponsors and co-workers who made CommunitySolv’s 2024 spring events so successful! To learn more about CommunitySolv, click here.

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