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Canadian Technology Reseller Think Communications Finds Flexibility in Its Cash Conversion Cycle Working With IBM and Bell Microproducts


IT Financing Becoming a Key Enabler for Resellers as Challenges Emerge

VICTORIA, BC - Mar 2008: Think Communications, Inc., a leading local technology products and services reseller for business, academia and government agencies in the province of British Columbia, Canada, has aligned itself with IBM Global Financing, the lending and leasing business segment of IBM (NYSE: IBM), and Bell Microproducts (PINKSHEETS: BELM), a leading, international, value-added distributor of technology, to achieve greater management of its cash conversion cycle at a time when resellers are confronting new challenges in the IT channel.

Under this new three-way arrangement, Think Communications would leverage IBM Flexible Credit™ to establish a line of credit of between $100k to $400k CAD to fund its purchase of technology components from its leading supplier Bell Microproducts. IBM Flexible Credit, which was recently launched in Canada this year, would enable Think Communications to readily integrate technology solutions for sale to its end-user clients. Think Communications then has the flexibility and option to further extend payments with IBM Global Financing by up to an additional 90 days, at a competitive monthly interest rate. Flexible Credit program details can be found in English and in French.

“As a reseller, it is all about simplicity and flexibility,” said David Saele, founder of Think Communications. “24/7 access to a tool that can help us effectively manage our cash conversion cycle allows us to focus on our clients and make sure they are getting the very best service and technology to suit their business needs.”

Today many resellers are challenged by recent dislocations in the credit market. They are finding that IT asset based lenders like IGF, who can manage credit risk because of their significant technology experience, can provide a viable option as more traditional sources of credit tighten.

In addition, resellers are also finding that their clients are requiring longer technology engagements because of their need for a greater mix of hardware, software and services. Where engagements used to run on average 30 days before the reseller received payment for a job completed, more complicated jobs that require value added services, like asset disposal, training, or software installs have stretched payment times outward on average to 45 to 90 days.

“For resellers like Think Communications, having greater flexibility in their cash conversion cycle can make all the difference when it comes to growing their business, going after more clients and widening their market share,” said Ben Nikolaevsky, manager of Commercial Financing, IBM Global Financing Canada.

Bell Microproducts treasurer, Karl Steffensaid the three-way agreement is “an example of how companies can work together to build a healthy IT channel. We’re committed to providing our customers the products, programs and financing arrangements that drive their success.”

“Ready access to available lines of credit is a key enabler for resellers looking to survive today’s challenging technology landscape,” said Steffensaid.


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