Resellers are hesitant to embrace a PC rental scheme from Microsoft, which the vendor has claimed will support partner expansion into the emerging global markets.
Microsoft’s FlexGo PC rental scheme, which is still in a trial stage, will allow resellers to rent out PCs to end-users through a pay-as-you-go or monthly subscription format. VARs charge for the PC and pre-pay cards in whatever format they wish. Specialist motherboard technology, together with an internet connection, will monitor end-users’ available credit.
Jeremy Gittin, business development manager at Microsoft EMEA, told CRN that FlexGo will allow people and small businesses in emerging markets, such as India and China, to afford a PC.
“Initially, I predict the internet pay-as-you-go service will come through telecoms firms, and the hardware service will come through the channel,” he said. “This will allow resellers to expand their operations into emerging markets while safeguarding their investments.”
Microsoft said it has already trialled FlexGo in Brazil, but admitted that it is still exploring ways of allowing its financial partners to underwrite PC purchases and pre-pay cards for low-income end-users.
Shaun Frohlich, executive chairman of Microsoft VAR Teksys, said FlexGo will have a limited positive effect on small UK resellers.
“It’s innovative, but it won’t be an easy scheme for VARs in the UK to work through,” he said. “It may help resellers expand, but it’s more likely to help the largest VARs, and those that have already established channels in emerging markets.”
Sue Richards, managing director of Microsoft VAR EBM, said FlexGo will not appeal to the UK channel.
“I can see it working on things such as PDAs and tablet PCs,” she said. “But I don’t really see it working for PC sales through the UK channel.
“I don’t understand what the opportunity is, and I can’t see any VARs that will want to take such a scheme into an emerging market. A volume sale would be needed [with FlexGo]. If you sell in volume, end-users will not buy in this format.”
CEO Graeme Watt admits the trading climate is becoming a little more uncertain as he and CFO Graham Charlton reflect on the reseller's £1bn year
Security vendor appoints Infinigate as part of strategy to grow channel business
As the trade war between the US and China ramps up, Marian McHugh investigates what impact this will have on UK prices and how partners are adapting to higher costs
CRN quizzes Avaya CEO Jim Chirico on the firm's progress after exiting Chapter 11 earlier this year, and listing on the stock exchange