Comms vendor Alcatel-Lucent has teamed up with BNP Paribas Lease Group (BPLG) to offer channel partners a range of financial products to sell into the SME space.
Alcatel-Lucent Financial Services is initially being rolled out in Spain, France, Poland and Benelux. It will be extended to other countries, including the UK, where it could be launched as early as next month.
The vendor’s partners selling into the SME market will be able to access credit checks, quotations and financing contracts. Alcatel-Lucent is also offering SME customers zero-per-cent financing until the end of 2009. BPLG will be offering partners training on the products, which are provided through an automated online tool.
Barbara Ristau, global director for financial partnerships and programmes
at Alcatel-Lucent, said that credit checks and financing deals for projects between r1,500 (£1,385) and r100,000 could be processed within a day.
“We wanted to make sure partners were equipped, not just with communications solutions, but financial solutions,” said Ristau. “We have structured this so as to be something that is applicable to all partners.
“The SME market has a challenging financial environment, so we wanted to make sure we gave partners some extra tools to support sales in that area.”
Martin Ratcliffe, business development director at Alcatel-Lucent Premium partner Amillan, claimed financing issues are the biggest obstacle to SME investment in technology.
“A lot of customers are looking at revenue-based purchasing,” he said. “It is great to see Alcatel-Lucent taking the lead any sources of financing are valuable sales tools.”
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