Exclusive Networks is to begin offering resellers finance and leasing in-house after acquiring French finance house Fibail System.
The pan-European distributor will draw on Fibail - which controls about €40m in contracts - to launch its own financing and leasing division, Exclusive Capital, which it said should be offering finance to UK resellers in as soon as six months.
Distributors regularly partner with the big finance providers but owning the capability in-house will make the process smoother for resellers, Barrie Desmond, chief operating officer at Exclusive Networks, promised.
"If you go to a third-party finance house like GE or Syscap, that's a parallel process which requires [the reseller] to go back to the drawing board if they are required to offer finance," Desmond said.
"We have tried to work with a partner company before but they weren't interested in any [deals] less than $100,000. We are trying to take that disconnect away and make leasing a part of the natural sales process if and when it is required by the partner and the end user."
The move also goes hand in hand with the rise of new as-a-service consumption models, Desmond explained.
Boulogne-based Fibail System, whose refinancing partners include the major French bank subsidiaries, specialises in IT and has been operating since 1996. Its services will be available via Exclusive Capital to resellers in France and Belgium almost immediately, Desmond indicated. Although Exclusive Capital will soon be rolled to other countries, including the UK, this may require further acquisitions due to the local knowledge required, Desmond said.
"We are speaking to a number of potential targets in this space," he said.
Having an in-house leasing capability will provide a boost to Exclusive's emerging but fast-growth vendors who sometimes get beaten to deals against the likes of Cisco, Dell or IBM simply because they have their own finance arms, Desmond said.
Exclusive Capital will offer finance even on deals that feature vendors that sit outside Exclusive's portfolio, Desmond said.
Fibail is similar to Exclusive's last acquisition in December, of channel services firm ITEC, Desmond (pictured) said, in that it shows the VAD is "continuing to disrupt not only in terms of technology but also consumption and acquisition models".
Garath Lauder, managing director of newly formed security VAR Cyberseer, welcomed the move.
"Distributors are now getting more encompassing and having a broader offering - including a finance offering - is helpful to us," he said.
Last April, rival VAD Cloud Distribution forged a partnership with finance house BNP Paribas and founder Scott Dobson claimed this model enables his firm to turn around leasing quotes for resellers in under two hours.
"A couple of years ago leasing was a bit of a dirty word but over the last 18 months it's certainly become more in vogue," he said.
"The one drawback with purchasing a finance provider - rather than partnering with one - is you own the risk as well as the profit, although 95 per cent of the risk will be passed on [to banks] anyway.
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