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Hewlett-Packard will aggressively move to take on Synnex partners who formerly sold entry-level IBM servers in hopes it can gain market share in the SMB market.

IBM recently de-authorize Synnex as a distributor of its entry-level System x server products effective January. Synnex is transitioning its solution providers to other vendors like HP, according to a Synnex spokesperson.

Synnex did not disclose the number of resellers affected by IBM’s decision, but a spokesperson says the distributor’s relationship with IBM remains strong, and since System x was the only IBM product Synnex sourced on the server side, software and storage partners won’t be adversely affected.

“We continue to have a strong relationship with IBM for software and storage. The deauthorization doesn’t make much sense, but we will continue to support IBM,” Synnex says.

Synnex “plans to ensure our partners have strong solution options through other OEM server vendors like HP going forward,” the spokesperson said.

Frank Rauch, vice president of TSG Sales, Solution Partners Organization of the Americas, tells Channel Insider that the news—while surprising—won’t affect HP’s existing go-to-market strategy of helping new and existing partners sell products across the vendor’s portfolio.

“We’re not going to do anything special with partners who fulfill through Synnex that we don’t do with our other distribution partners like Tech Data, Ingram Micro, for instance,” Rauch says.

He does admit that the announcement presents a unique chance to make a stronger play for Synnex solution providers who weren’t selling HP product on their line card, and thus to increase HP’s market share.

“There is definitely a market opportunity here and we are ready to take advantage of that,” he says. “We’ll be doing everything we can to bring them into the fold—we are not just looking to go after a solutions shift, we’re going to be pushing much harder than that.”

Rauch says HP’s regional channel account managers will be aggressively pursuing training, raising awareness of HP solutions and making on-site visits to solution providers to help them transition their server business to HP.

“We can make sure these partners are well-armed by uniting our sales force with them to more aggressively pursue customers in the market,” he says.

The news also presents an opportunity to expand former System x resellers’ solutions offerings to include not only HP Proliant servers that go head-to-head with System x, but complementary technologies like virtualization, ERP and unified communications. Such an approach will help HP gain marketshare as well as drive new solutions revenues for its partners, Rauch says.

“The message is, we can help you grow in places you are not competing right now,” he says.