Challenging Times Set to Continue

Distributors Nimans and Rocom say resellers will continue to face challenges throughout this year as the economy slowly gets back on the road to recovery.

“Certainly the indications from many of our customers are that the next 12 months will remain a very challenging time, as was the case throughout 2009,” said Dealer Sales Director, Tom Maxwell. “Business failure rates increased last year and it is clear that revenue streams for many resellers were hit by the impact of the global slowdown.”

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Looking ahead, Tom says the convergence of voice and data will continue to accelerate, offering resellers tangible opportunities to grow their businesses, with products such as the Aastra 800 ‘soft’ PBX growing in popularity.

To help ease cash flow and the availability of credit, leasing is proving a big growth area for the distributors and a valuable tool for resellers – with a Nimans/Rocom specialist in-house leasing division providing a wide range of dedicated services. Tom says leasing has become the missing link in helping resellers unlock sales potential which would otherwise be lost by the continued lack of credit. An experienced team works across both brands, making decisions in less than four hours with an acceptance rate of over 80% which is up to three times higher than the industry norm.

Maxwell says leasing has become one of the most effective solutions for dealers in a slowing business world where capital reserves and the availability of credit have dried up. “The credit crunch has really affected dealers on two fronts. In a lot of cases their own credit facilities have dried-up as many of the big finance houses that traditionally supported telecoms have now moved out of the market. Also they have had to tighten-up in view of the global slowdown, so proposals are not getting accepted in the same volumes. This is combined with a general shortage of capital in the channel from their own customers. So even where dealers have found opportunities, because of a lack of finance options they have not been able to complete a sale.”

In a bid to boost the popularity of finance and leasing both Nimans and Rocom have raised credit limits for resellers – so that deals managed by the leasing team do not impact on standard credit terms.

Maxwell also emphasised: “Over the last 12 months our network services division has developed quite significantly as more broadband products come to market, creating lots of opportunities for resellers particularly with the more robust networks available. There are some very compelling product sets available which are driving demand.

“From a reseller’s perspective everything they need can be obtained from a single source – from traditional telephony to today’s modern IP systems and applications – along with the network capabilities that join everything together.”

He concluded: “Following the acquisition of Rocom by Nimans things have really settled down now. Both companies are in a much stronger position to help their customers face the challenges ahead with renewed vigour and confidence.”