British firms have spent years delaying IT investments because of tight trading conditions and the credit squeeze. As the economy struggles to pick up, and ‘Rusting Britain’ becomes keen to implement IT system upgrades, the new SFS scheme is designed to help resellers unlock their customers’ desire to invest in IT by spreading the cost across regular payments. To make things easy, SFS supports its reseller partners by giving them the choice to either use SFS to deal with the whole financing process, or using their training so that resellers can lead the financing proposition themselves.
Companies joining the SFS IT Reseller Programme don’t just benefit from association with the Siemens brand – they are also assured of a financing partner that is happy to manage the whole process, including any IT refresh programme, part-way through a contract term, dealing with end of term and asset disposal. Resellers who took part in the Programme’s pilot found a keen demand from customers for financing options, and are now using it as a powerful tool to close deals, retain their existing customers, add a competitive edge to their proposition and beat their competition.
The European IT Observatory recently commented, “Companies across Europe are now catching up on IT investments that they had postponed during the economic crisis." Financing from SFS helps resellers to ride the wave of this surge in demand. Not only does the financing option help close more deals, it also helps to make those deals more affordable - because the cost is translated into an operational expense spread over monthly payments. Cashflow for resellers is also improved because SFS pays the reseller direct for the IT solutions, and then manages the financing agreement and the customer payments. The ongoing financing relationship also allows resellers to build long-term customer relationships for repeat business, delivering affordable technology upgrades that help customers reduce total cost of ownership for their IT systems and keep them competitive in their markets.
There are further benefits to the SFS partner scheme. For a start, any balance between hardware and software can be financed, including pure software deals. In fact, SFS is happy to finance end-to-end solutions, including the full range of client project costs such as installation, maintenance and training – in other words, a truly flexible solution tailor-made to business needs. Each IT sale, from £1,000 upwards, is tailored with a flexible payment profile to match the client’s available budget or payment capabilities. Financing agreements are written in clear, understandable English, and financing decisions are turned around quickly.
Jon Palmer, IT Sales Manager at SFS, notes, “Credit is still tight, but firms want to invest in their IT to take advantage of expected economic growth. Financing options help them pay for upgraded IT through affordable regular payments. Our early partners in the SFS IT Reseller Programme are not only closing more business, but are also finding that they can include a far wider range of equipment into an overall financing package than they’d ever imagined possible.
Recent research suggests that leasing IT systems and replacing them every three/four years can reduce IT systems total cost of ownership by 25 per cent. This is because support costs and downtime soar after the four year period. It also notes that 70% of respondents said the availability of finance options such as leasing are critical in reseller selection. So the new SFS programme comes at just the right time for resellers to take advantage of this trend.”