Cisco Again Courts SMB Sales with Two Financing Promotions

Vendor offers zero percent financing on Unified Communications 540 and 560 Series and extends 3 percent, three-year financing for SMBs in the U.S. through April, 2011.

February 2, 2011

D.H. Kass

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Cisco Systems Inc. said that it has broadened financing options available to small- and medium-sized businesses (SMB) through its Cisco Capital arm, offering zero percent financing on its Unified Communications 540 and 560 Series until July, 2011, and extending a 3 percent, three-year offer in the U.S. to the end of April, 2011.

Both promotions aim to stir up more sales from SMBs through channel partners, officials said. In the past year, Cisco has used its financing arm as a competitive lever, making numerous adjustments to prod markets and customers, and offering supplements to channel partners’ profits.

For its voice solutions, the vendor will extend zero percent financing on a 36-month lease with a $1 buyout option at the close of the term for Cisco-only solutions including the UC 540 and 560 Series and the Small Business Support Service. Cisco’s UC Manager and Manager Express are not eligible.

Cisco said that the total amount financed must be at least $5,000 but cannot exceed $75,000. The promotion is available until July 30, 2011 only in the U.S. and must be run through qualified Cisco channel partners.

In lengthening its offer to finance SMB deals at 3 percent for three years through April, 2011 and smoothing out the approval process, Cisco wants to make it as easy as possible for SMBs to secure financing, said Kristine Snow, Cisco Capital president.

“We excited to be opening our doors to small business,” said Snow, in a video blog. “We’ve definitely focused on streamlining the process, making Cisco Capital and financing an easier process to work with,” she said.

The extended offer, good for deals up to $150,000 on Cisco only products, builds upon a zero percent, three-year promotion that Cisco initially rolled out a year ago intended to ease SMB buying concerns, spark demand and help partners’ bottom line.

Snow said that Cisco has reduced the turnaround time for channel partners to secure financing decisions quickly and has overhauled the @once approval tool that helps users make the proper credit choice at the outset of the process.

She also said that its eDocs is now accepting electronic signatures to speed up the purchase order and funding process, and that the vendor is offering a marketing kit specifically to help channel partners close deals using financing.

The vendor also has made zero percent financing available to SMBs in Canada, extended its EasyLease zero percent financing in Europe through July, 2011 and reduced its maintenance financing rates to 3 percent through July, 2011, officials said.

TAGS: SMB,Cisco,financing,channel partner,capital

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