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Technology distributor Tech Data is rolling out 60-day financing for
technology resellers and several technology leasing options for resellers to
offer to their end customers in an effort to help resellers close deals, even
as IT budgets are frozen and financing becomes scarcer.

In such an environment, offering end-user companies a credit option can help
close deals, experts say, by smoothing out the price objection. End-user
companies can realize the benefits of the technology now without having to pay
a big upfront price that would likely not be in the budget in 2009. Instead,
they can spread out the cost over a few years.

That’s why Tech Data’s moves come at a crucial time for solution providers and
IT buyers. While commercial financing for technology did not initially feel the
hit from the financial crisis and meltdown, in late 2008 some companies that
served the space were beginning to pull back.

GE Capital notified customers in late November that it would end its technology
leasing business in 60 days. IBM ended its
flexible credit program aimed at small business owners. And IBM
Global Financing tightened its open lending practices a bit to favor solutions
from IBM and some of its key partners such
as Lenovo. Plus, Textron Financial Services pulled back from offering financing
on a broad base of technology deals to just offering financing on technology
the company manufactures.

"The credit market place today is causing people to prioritize, to do
what’s important, more strategic," Scott Tillesen, director of credit at
Tech Data, tells Channel Insider. "What we are seeing [with some companies
dropping out of certain types of financing] is the effect of that."

To fill the gap, Tech Data has struck some new partnerships with third-party
financing companies, such as Castle Pines Capital, an affiliate of Wells Fargo.

"Through them we’ve been able to offer extended terms of Cisco
products," Tillesen says. That means resellers can have 60 days to pay for
orders instead of 30 days. That also means that resellers can preserve the
net-terms account with Tech Data that they use to support existing IT
purchasing needs, according to Tillesen.

In addition, Fujitsu and Kaspersky Lab recently partnered with TDCreditServices
and GE Capital Solutions to provide resellers with 60-day terms for their
products. Other vendors offering 60-day terms through Tech Data and GE Capital
Solutions include Fortinet, Hewlett-Packard, Lexmark, Lucent, SonicWall and