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Westcon-Comstor adds more flexible payment options

Distributor Westcon-Comstor cuts the ribbon on Flex, with the aim of making it easier for a wider range of partners to offer subscription billing

Westcon-Comstor has reacted to the demand from the channel for more payment options with the launch of its Flex option.

There has been a growing appetite for subscription models, but distribution and partners are not always in a position to deliver that smoothly.

Westcon-Comstyor is hoping that its Flexible Payment Solutions can take the pressure off those that want to give customers choices but are fearful that they will run into headwinds with working capital and cashflow. The distribution will be providing Flex, contracted and invoiced directly by the channel player, removing the need for third-party billing agents and brokers.

Partners that have not been able to provide flexible subscriptions before will be able to lean on Flex and add it to the menu they can put in front of customers.

“The market has an obvious desire for subscription-based consumption models, but to offer this is no mean feat. We’ve designed Flex to best serve both vendors and partners. With Flex, partners unlock greater vendor discounts by increasing the deal size and maximising the value they get for their budget early on,” said Callum McGregor, CFO of Westcon-Comstor

He added that there are several clear advantages that result from a decision to back the flexible payments in house and reduce the need for external agencies to be involved.

“Because we don’t use third-party billing providers, partners deal with us in the exact same way that they would with any ‘standard’ purchase. Plus, they can match payments in with payments out, so the customer gets exactly what they want, how they want it, without affecting the partner or vendor’s cash flow,” he added.

McGregor said that the timing of the launch of Flex also came against a background of vendors and customers calling for subscription payments.

“With over 90% of tech companies now embracing consumption business models, according to EY, Flex will help all our channel partners and vendors take full advantage of subscription models and capitalise on the direction that the industry is headed,” he said.

One of those that has taken advantage of Flex is channel player Cello, which reported that the distie has now armed it with tools that would unlock more customer activity.

“If you’re not in the business of making your partners and customers successful, then you won’t be in business for very long,” said Andrew Allan, chairman of Cello. “Gone are the days of a one-size-fits-all approach, flexibility is critical to successfully adapting to market changes.”

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