Lexmark is giving its SMB resellers up to five years' worth of contract revenue up front in a move it claims will give struggling VARs access to essential cash.
The print vendor is marking its launch into the Basic Print Services (BPS) arena with the scheme, which will see resellers negotiate contracts between three and five years long with end users.
After working out customers' estimated consumables usage over the period, Lexmark will then give the VAR all the money up front.
The firm's UK and Ireland channel manager Martin Fairman explained how resellers will benefit from the move.
"[Resellers] sell all the hardware and make some money there with incentives from us, then we will collect all the [services usage] data from the end user. We do all the heavy lifting and the dealer just has to engage in the conversation.
"It is unique; no other vendor does this. We recognise that this climate is very tough, we know dealers are struggling and this gives them the opportunity to get cash quickly instead of over three or five years, and we want to reward them," he said, adding that usually, its resellers are paid quarterly and have to wait until the contract's end to realise all the cash.
The incentive scheme forms part of the vendor's ambitions to sign up an additional 400 partners in the region.
As part of its channel growth ambitions, the vendor is also launching a training scheme which will see quarterly events designed to encourage resellers to sell its solutions as well as its hardware products.
The Advantage Academy, which is open to all its reseller partners, will consist of both classroom and online events, according to Fairman, who added that its direct sales team could be brought in to help teach VARs how to sell solutions.
He added: "We want to educate [partners] on how to sell solutions, which is a completely different skill from selling hardware. We have a willing and able salesforce to go out on joint visits [to customers] and hold [the reseller's] hand if they do not have the confidence and skill set – we want to bridge this gap."
Lexmark recently appointed Danny Molhoek as its new UK and Ireland general manager in a move it hopes will aid expansion in the region.
The appointment comes after the print vendor announced its acquisitions of Twistage and AccessVia, which it claims will bolster its position in cloud and managed print services respectively.
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