Ingram Micro is to pump more credit into the channel from May as part of an expansion of its outsourcing services portfolio.
The distributor will undertake invoicing and cash collection on behalf of resellers in a move that will allow VARs to underwrite bigger deals without risk, avoid carrying the burden of late payment and pursue European contracts without having to register for VAT in other countries.
The scheme, called Select Source, will be available in the UK next month.
Greg Lockton, senior director for business development at Ingram, said the move will add whatever margin the reseller requests and charge a commission based on the length of a customer's payment terms. The usual terms and conditions will apply, except for the transfer of title and risk, and payment for the product.
He said the programme is expected to be self-financing and Ingram will not have to sustain the burden of late and default payments, which has contributed to a recent string of poor financial results. Resellers will not be penalised for late payments by their clients, but Ingram will renegotiate contracts with VARs if a customer defaults.
"The reseller will be paid his margin at the end of the month, regardless of whether the customer has paid. If the customer defaults entirely, we'll need to go back to the reseller, but we won't go back just because of late payment," he said.
Greg Spierkel, European president at Ingram, said: "Initially, resellers and vendors looked to Ingram to provide product availability, configuration and fulfilment services. Today, these companies are also asking us to take over their end-user billing."
Stuart Dickinson, managing director of VAR Silicon Alley, said the scheme will allow small resellers to "go after big deals" because there is no risk involved.
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