Since June 2010, Lenovo has offered financing to end users under the Lenovo Financial Services brand, and in June of last year, the 60-day SMB financing program was extended to U.S. channel partners. Now, the program is coming to Canada, initially through Lenovo distribution partners Supercom and Synnex, and later through the company’s full range of distributors.
Diane Croessmann, executive director of Global Financial Services at Lenovo, said that in the U.S., the program has had the expected effect – Lenovo is doing business with more SMB-focused channel partners, and more regularly.
“We’ve seen a nice increase in resellers who had not previously purchased from Lenovo,” Croessmann said. “And that’s certainly an objective of the program.”
One other effect of the program in the U.S. that the company hopes to repeat with the Canadian launch: Croessmann reported that partners in the financing program are growing their business with Lenovo “above the normalized rate of growth across the rest of the community.”
Lenovo has long been a powerhouse at the enterprise level, and has built up its retail presence in Canada over the last year. Growing its channel for SMB is one part of its “protect and attack” strategy to build new markets while holding onto traditional strengths.
Partners can sign up for the program at Lenovo Canada’s financing page. To qualify for the program, VARs generally have to have at least half their revenues through SMB customers. Once approved, partners qualify for up to $250,000 in financing, dependent on their credit situation with their distributors. The financing program covers all Lenovo products, and partners can use up to 20 per cent of the available credit on non-Lenovo products to help round out solutions.
Once in the program, the solution provider’s previous terms for Lenovo products through their distributors is replaced by the 60-day terms. Croessmann said it really is as simple as that.
“There really is no gimmick,” she said. “It’s a market play and we want to help our SMB partners growth their business. There’s no subtle twist here, it really is as pure as it looks.”
Although the program is currently available through Supercom and Synnex because of challenges with getting systems set up for the new program, Croessmann said that in the next few months, the program will be available through the company’s other Canadian distribution partner: D&H, Hartco, Ingram Micro and Tech Data.
Croessmann said the program was always intended to be North American in nature, and that she is “very happy” to have Canada up and running. The only regret? It could have come sooner.
“I wish we’d had this in the 2010 timeframe,” she said.