Acer is ramping up its support for the government's Home Computing Initiative (HCI) by launching a channel-only product bundle for resellers.
The HCI scheme, set up in 1999 and relaunched this January, allows employers to offer employees a tax-exempt loan, with repayments taken from their salaries, to buy home PCs.
Having appointed an HCI manager in January, this week Acer launched its first product initiative to win business on the back of the government scheme.
The vendor has yet to announce what products will be included in the bundle. Sarah Scott, UK desktop business manager at Acer, said: "The products in the package will be SME-focused and will not be available through retail or off the page."
The scheme allows companies to save up to 60 per cent on the cost of a PC. Because repayments come out of salaries, employers also pay lower National Insurance contributions, turning the human resource department into a profit centre.
"When the HCI scheme was launched, take-up was slow because the Inland Revenue did not explain the benefits to businesses very well," said Scott.
"But now a board has been appointed, made up of Microsoft, Intel and BT, which will get the message across."
Ian Snadden, director of SME and channel sales at Fujitsu Siemens Computers, said the vendor has been selling on the back of HCI for the past three years. But he agreed the scheme has not been well promoted by the government.
"Before the relaunch, the legislation existed but customers were sceptical about its benefits," he said.
Shaun Frohlich, executive chairman at reseller Teksys, said: "It is an innovative way to promote a product range and any manufacturer that gets behind it will see a return on investment.
"There is an advantage to customers. If 10 workers take up the offer the firm will save money and the staff will get cheap computers and become more competent users."
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