Cisco Capital's European boss is lending his monetary muscle to the vendor's quest to push into the small business space, starting with an extension of its zero per cent financing scheme.
Cisco's EasyLease programme will now run until 31 July, offering terms of up to three years on deals worth £1,000 to £200,000. Smaller contracts must contain at least 70 per cent Cisco hardware, software or services.
Deals worth more than £100,000 require a 60/40 split, but this could be relaxed on occasion, said Stuart Hall, European markets business development manager at Cisco Capital.
"If there is a strategic deal that is key for the partner, we can look at a different deal," he explained.
EasyLease is reviewed on a biannual basis and Hall said he hoped it will remain in place for the foreseeable future. Financing "will be critical", he added, in Cisco's drive to add 220 small business-focused UK partners and increase its presence in the low-end market.
"Many smaller businesses do not have access to funds," explained Hall. "For partners selling into these customers, [financing] is not something that will help grow the deal; in a lot of instances, customers are only buying because of zero per cent financing."
Unified communications would be one area to benefit from the provision of financing offers, claimed Hall.
Keith Humphreys, managing consultant at EuroLAN, said Cisco should also address the low-end voice channel with hosted technology and annuity models.
"There has always been good margin on voice hardware," he said. "The opportunity [for Cisco] is now cloud and hosted, as those guys have been used to selling minutes and working on an annuity basis."
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