Sun Extends New Financing Options To Partners

The expanded unit, dubbed Sun Microsystems Global Financial Services, will provide financing and leasing for hardware, software and services sales, said Paul Perricone, U.S. director of the business unit. The group also hired five channel managers to support solution providers in the United States. Previously, Sun provided financing exclusively for hardware purchases and had no specific channel support, Perricone said.

Perricone noted trends toward solutions selling prompted the changes at Sun. Today customers are consolidating their providers and looking for more services-based offerings, such as "utility" computing models, he said.

As part of the changes, Sun will allow solution providers to finance an entire solution, even if it includes products from competing vendors, Perricone said.

In addition, Sun channel managers will help solution providers secure funding specifically for services deals. "Services are not a tangible item" and are often more difficult to finance through a traditional bank, he said.

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Future growth includes a plan to add Web-based financing tools for solution providers, Perricone added.

The unit also supports Sun's direct sales division with the same services.