Hewlett-Packard (HP) has launched an online financing and leasing scheme to offer its SME channel partners more flexibility when selling technology products and services.
The initiative, called e-Finance, is a way for resellers to help close deals that otherwise might not have been signed off by customers' financial directors because of IT budget restraints, explained Ken Maxwell, director of solutions organisation for the UK at HP.
The scheme is mainly targeted at resellers selling into the SME space. "Resellers can offer end-users a way of paying and the option to lease all our products, hardware, software and services," Maxwell said.
"Resellers just have to contact our lease support desk, which will then use an online tool to get an instant credit limit and financing option. It is a way for resellers to free up their credit lines with their distributors and off-load them onto HP. It allows them to have more than one line of credit."
Under the scheme, which has a minimum lease amount of £1,000 and a maximum of £150,000, HP handles all of the negotiations with end-users, and any questions they may have on the finance or leasing options, said Kevin Barnes, UK sales manager at HP.
"HP does all the terms and conditions and the reseller gets commission," he said. Barnes added that HP will finance entire solutions, even if they involve rival vendors' kit.
However, Philip White, sales director at rival finance and leasing company Syscap, said HP's scheme could be another way for the vendor to take ownership of an end-user.
"The customer is being dictated to by one particular vendor, whereas we are vendor-independent and only finance a solution. We don't supply equipment," he said.
"Even if HP claims it will finance other vendors' equipment, it is because it wants to own that customer, and financing is a way of doing that.
"All vendors want a footprint business. If the end-user wants to migrate to a different platform, how easy is that vendor going to make it for them? Not very."
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