Lenovo Canada has extended its program that offers 60-day terms to solution providers focused on the Canadian SMB market to a third distributor, adding Tech Data Canada to the mix.
The financing program was originally launched in mid-2010 in the U.S., and introduced to Canada in early 2012 through distribution partners (and soon to be one integrated company) Supercom and Synnex.
To date, the company has signed up some 126 Canadian solution providers for the program, and Stefan Bockhop, director of channel sales for Lenovo Canada, expects that number to grow with Tech Data on board.
“This takes the success we’ve had with this program thus far, and widens the aperture,” Bockhop said. “It gives a number of other partners an opportunity to access this program.”
In the 14 months or so since the program was introduced to Canada with Synnex and Supercom, Bockhop said he’s seen the program taken up “in all provinces and all verticals.” In introducing the program to Canada last year, Diane Coressmann, executive director of Global Financing Services at Lenovo, said that as a result of the program in the U.S., the company was doing more business with SMB-focused channel partners, and doing so on a more regular basis. That also appears to be the case here in Canada – with the added benefit that the nature of the Canadian market makes the SMB-focused VAR even more prominent in Canada than in the U.S. And with that group, Bockhop said that the 60-day terms, combined with Lenovo’s leasing offerings, can make “a big difference” where cash flow is concerned.
“This working capital crunch is catching partners in the middle, and this is a great way to loosen that up a bit,” Bockhop said.
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.
Access to terms is done at the Lenovo level, so solution providers many take advantage of the 60-day offer through any or all of the participating distributors. So while Lenovo’s goal in extending the financing offering to a third distributor is clearly to reach additional solution providers, there is also the opportunity for Tech Data to grab some business that had gone to the soon-to-be-merged Supercom and Synnex due to the terms offering.
Bockhop said to support getting new solution providers on board for the package, Lenovo will promote the new offering heavily on Tech Data’s annual Business Builder tour, and will devote some of its own field resources to directly contacting a number of solution providers who have been targeted and pre-approved for the terms to get them to apply. He said Tech Data has also identified a number of good fits within its own partner ranks who are not yet using the extended terms, and will be promoting directly to them.
When the program was initially introduced into Canada in January of 2012, Croessmann suggested that the terms would be extended through all of the vendor’s Canadian distributors over the ensuing few months. However, the company has taken a more deliberate approach – 15 months later, Supercom and Synnex remain authorized, and Tech Data is coming on board. There does not appear to be an immediate timeline for bringing the company’s three remaining Canadian distributors – D&H, Hartco, and Ingram Micro – into the program.