Security software vendor ESET has entered into its first-ever financing collaboration in North America, with Hitachi Capital America Vendor Services, to finance customer deals. It allows for other products, including hardware, to be financed through the program as well, not just the ESET component. The program, which was announced to partners last month at ESET’s North American Partner Conference in San Diego, is available in both Canada and the U.S.
“In Canada, we recognized that our business in the past has been SMB, for the most part,” said Iva Peric-Lightfoot, ESET Canada’s country manager. “Now we are seeing our opportunities grow in the number of seats that our resellers are going after. We need to offer our partners the capability to go after these bigger deals, and the customer financing gives them the ability to do that.”
Peric-Lightfoot said that ESET has an anticipatory expectation of reseller requests for financing around these larger deals in particular.
“I haven’t heard a reseller say they couldn’t get a deal because of a lack of financing, but we expect that as we climb in the market, it will become more of an issue,” she said.
All ESET partner resellers in North America are automatically eligible to participate in this program. Hitachi Capital America has set the entry level for deal sizes at $25,000, but Peric-Lightfoot said that there is some flexibility here.
“Hitachi has said that they will be willing to work with smaller amounts,” she indicated. While the program is intended to encourage larger deals, it is not limited to them, and many of the deals financed will likely be the SMB ones traditional to ESET.
“Cashflow is often an issue for both customers and partners in this market, and this will greatly improve the ease of doing business,” Peric-Lightfoot said.
Hitachi Capital America’s experience in working with the channel was a factor in ESET choosing them to handle the financing, in the first deal of its kind that they have offered in North America.
“We entered into negotiations late last year, and signed the contract early this year,” Peric-Lightfoot said. “We went through a vetting process, but we found that they were easy to do business with, both for resellers and end users. They were also very channel-conscious, so we determined that they could service our partners well.”
The ease of doing business will extend to a speedy decision on approval of deals.
“Hitachi will get the reseller feedback within four hours,” Peric-Lightfoot said. “We think that will be another major differentiation for us.”
The financing covers products other than the ESET ones, as long as they are part of the same deal.
“The financing is not just for security, but for a more complete solution,” Peric-Lightfoot said. “Customers can purchase all the elements of the solution, including hardware like laptops and servers – anything other than competing products to ESET.”
Peric-Lightfoot indicated that ESET is hopeful that the new partnership will bring in additional revenues.
“Given that the barriers to entry are so low, I’m optimistic,” she said.