D&H and Wells Fargo have teamed up to make it easier for VARs to take advantage of an exploding market for education resources with special financing options, the companies told CRN exclusively.
The partnership establishes a channel financing program for D&H specifically designed to help resellers keep up with accelerating K-12 education market demands. In particular, it was established in response to the ConnectED education initiative, under which almost all American schools must be equipped with the latest broadband and technology by 2017. The special deals under the financing partnership include special interest-free financing for resellers and extended financing terms.
The financing program is opening the door for resellers looking to take advantage of the millions of devices that education groups will be looking to put in place over the next 16 to 24 months, Larry Staub, director of the education division at D&H, said.
"I think the opportunity is so large that there's business to be had for all," Staub said.
However, the challenge smaller resellers are facing as they look to take advantage of the opportunity is that they may not have ample credit to cover the multimillion dollar deals that a lot of districts are calling for as they look to upgrade their equipment and infrastructure, Staub said.
While a national solution provider might easily have the funding available, D&H wants to give smaller resellers a fighting chance with financing to grab a piece of the market, Tony Warfield, director of credit services at D&H said.
"We don't want our little guys to be left out of this opportunity," Warfield said. "We want the reseller to stride confidently into the ConnectED and Common Core sphere of opportunity with their holster fully loaded," he said.
Last month, the Harrisburg, Pa.-based distributor also said it was expanding its resources for VARs in the education market, with webcast trainings, sales and marketing support, contract bid assistance and more.
"We'd hate to have an SMB reseller given an opportunity for a large bid and think they can't handle that business. We want them to understand that if they have the facilities to get this business and support it on their end with setup and support ... we don't want them to walk away," Staub said.
Wells Fargo said it has developed a program with D&H to help resellers make the most out of the education opportunity.
"D&H has quite a lot of their resellers that sell into the K-12 education market. They want education to get out in front and be as supportive as possible in assuring that their resellers had not only the technology products available but the financing options that would allow them to finance these large products," Franco Zayas, managing director, Supply Chain Finance, said.
Greg Huza, partner at Little Chute, Wis.-based Heartland Business Systems, said that he is seeing technology becoming more and more important to schools as they look to improve student achievement. He said that his company has been focused on the education market for a long time, so they aren't necessarily seeing a lot of growth, but he said that additional financing options from D&H could prove very useful.
"I can see D&H coming out with some financing being a really cool thing for partners like us," Huza said.
PUBLISHED JUNE 18, 2014