GE Access Tackles Security Market, Offers New Financing Program

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Midrange distributor GE Access is making a big push in the security market with a new financing program for solution providers.

Through the end of June, GE Access will offer end users 90-day terms on security products purchased through solution providers, said Michael Minard, executive vice president at GE Access.

The initiative is an extension of GE Access' OpenLink program, under which the distributor finances end-user purchases with 30-day terms while paying solution providers their normal profit or commissions within 10 days of the sale, Minard said.

Through the end of June, GE Access will offer end users 90-day terms on security products purchased though solution providers--and will handle credit checks and other financial details.

Products from Check Point Software, Nokia, ISS, RSA and StoneSoft are included in the promotion.

The 90-day terms are contingent on the end-user proving credit-worthiness. Minard said. "We will handle the bad debt," he said. "This helps the reseller by giving [them essentially unlimited credit."

Minard said GE Access may extend the 90-day terms to other product lines, depending on the success of the security promotion.

Jason Prost, president and CEO of Guardian Technologies, a Chicago-based security solution provider formed less than two months ago, said the new OpenLink program is a boon to small systems integrators since it allows them to concentrate on making deals and letting GE Access handle financial details that are often beyond their expertise.

"We are a security consulting firm," Prost said. "That's our expertise. We are not a financial institution. Our job is not to extend loans to companies. GE Access, with their resources, can do it. In return, they can leverage the existing business relationships of smaller resellers."

With GE Access handling the financing, Guardian can focus on brokering new deals, Prost said.

"GE Access takes away the need for us to do fulfillment, or financing, or related paperwork," he said. "It let's us go out and broker another deal. I can go out and market aggressively and not have to worry about the back end."

The program also helps reassure customers that their business will not be burdened if the VAR doesn't have adequate resources or goes out of business, he said.

"Customers want to deal with us, but they don't want to worry about [whether we can fulfill," Prost said. "They might have a $7 million project and look for vendors who can fulfill the deal. They don't want us to say we can only do a $10,000 part of a $7 million deal."

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