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Managed service providers, system integrators and other
solution providers belonging to the ASCII Group recently got their hands on a
new financial lifeline thanks to the industry association’s partnership with
GreatAmerica Leasing. Together the two began offering in October a new suite of
leasing and financial options for partners belonging to the group.

According to Marty Klees, senior vice president and general
manager of GreatAmerica Communications and Data Group, ASCII community members
will be able to team up with the financial group for services such as its
Life-Cycle Financing program, a spectrum of services that includes private
label leasing, standard leasing and customized programs

"ASCII members will be able to upgrade and update the
network infrastructure of their customers using customer friendly contracts and
payment structures,” Klees says.

Based in Iowa, the firm already worked with industry group
CompTIA in a similar partnership. With a strong reputation in the IT market,
the company seemed a natural fit according to some ASCII members who have
already worked with it.

"We have used leasing in our business model for many
years and we have closed many deals that wouldn’t have happened without
financing," says Brian Gregory of Network Innovations in Olathe, KS.
GreatAmerica (has) great tools that are easy to use and the process goes
smoothly every time without our intervention.”

As many businesses dig in to weather the continually
dragging economic conditions, leasing and financing equipment may be an
important way for the channel to help them keep their technology infrastructure
up to date. According to a new report out from the Equipment Leasing and
Finance Association in October, U.S. businesses originated $7.1 billion in new
loans, leases and lines of credit in September, up from $5.7 billion in August.

While those numbers reflect leases for every kind of
equipment under the sun, ASCII executives report that the group’s 2,000-strong
membership has been offering more leasing options lately, thus the new
partnership.

"More of our members are starting to offer leasing
options to their customers, so we needed an experienced partner who would have
the confidence of our membership,” says Doug Young, COO and senior vice
president of the industry group.