Corel Corp. has inked a deal with Synnex Information Technologies Inc. in a bid to expand its channel presence in the U.S.

Under the expanded partnership, Corel will help resellers peddle software solutions to consumers, government, education and business customers in the U.S., says Steve Houck,

Corel’s executive vice-president of partner relations. “”It will better support the channel south of the border.””

Corel has had about a five-year relationship with Synnex Canada and is now making its move into U.S markets – in particular the SMB space where the company will get a healthy boost thanks to the expanded partnership and focus, Houck says.

“”Synnex was addressing VARs and resellers that we weren’t doing business with in the SMB space . . . Looking at their offerings and who they were serving, we’re not creating conflict with our other distributors and partners, and we’re addressing a new customer set that we hadn’t touched before.””

The Synnex partnership coincides with the launch of WordPerfect Office 11, which is ideal for the SMB space, and with the rollout of Corel Painter 8 , which is also attractive for smaller organizations, Houck says. “”Synnex distribution gets into those smaller organizations that still need professional applications – and they do a really good job of servicing those resellers that service those customers with licensing programs, distribution programs, training and marketing programs.””

He says Corel’s wide range of solutions – including graphics, office productivity, XML, process management and educational products – will cater to Synnex’s wide range of resellers with number in the thousands. Resellers will also see more licensing opportunities. “”Synnex has online licensing technology that allows resellers to manage licensing online, which is great for customers.””

The latest company alliance will hit home with resellers and customers who’re looking for non-Microsoft product, he adds. “”They tend to make better margins on non-Microsoft product. WordPerfect, in particular, and Painter (and all of Corel’s product portfolio) – these are desktop applications that are broad-based that SMBs can use and that can offer better margins to resellers.””

Houck says customers want the same functionality at a lower price, while resellers want bigger margins. “”These are trends in the marketplace that are playing into Corel’s favour.””

In addition to Synnex, Corel services the North American market through distribution partnerships with Ingram Micro, D&H, Tech Data, and Infogrames.

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