Finance firm aims at IT channel

Finance firm aims at IT channel

Alliance Finance is putting the final touches to a new financing and asset management offering for the IT industry.

The company's national vendor manager, Reg Hickey, said its aim was to partner up with the vendors rather than directly approaching end-users. The term 'vendor' is used by Alliance to describe manufacturers, distributors and resellers.

Hickey said vendors were able to choose the level of interaction they wish to have with Alliance. For example, providers could opt to have Alliance manage the entire back-end asset management systems, as well as assist in closing deals with their end customers. Alternatively, they could rebrand the system as their own and simply plug into Alliance's asset management application.

"We'll let them talk to the end customers about packaging options," he said. "We want to make the vendor our customer.

"They can then choose to sell and promote our offering under their own brand."

Partners would have the option of earning a sales commission on the financial component, or a share of the revenue generated by monthly service charges. The amount would depend on how much of the work was undertaken by Alliance.

Hickey said Alliance could also supply funds to the vendor to allow them to offer leasing options on equipment.

Although the company had developed a range of options for both distributors and resellers, Hickey said Alliance's initial focus was on VoIP providers.

"Organisations such as GE Finance can be 'all things to all people'," he said. "We are trying to offer a niche solution. We're focused on the part of the market with services capabilities."

Hickey said the increasing popularity of VoIP, along with the services nature of telecoms convergence, made it key target market for Alliance. "The one thing that end customers have done is to finance or lease their PABX systems and photo copiers," he said. "With a VoIP sale, it's all about reduced cost and the fact that you don't have to own the equipment.

"The convergent market therefore is susceptible to finance. Having a fully managed solution is where we see a whole lot of opportunity [for us]."

Distributors could use Alliance's asset and finance system as a value-added service to resellers, Hickey said. Alliance won't put a minimum limit on the size or scope of those resellers it signs up.

"We support SMBs - we want our vendor partners to win SMB," he said. "So we don't mind how small the deal is. SMB and mid-market are the key take-up areas for VoIP."

Alliance is now working with several VoIP providers for its asset management and financing offering.

Hickey said it expected to have its first customer online by the end of February.

The company was also engaged in discussions with a number of distributors, he said.

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