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Symantec ties new extended financing to SMB skills

High-tech vendors have been pretty creative this year about establishing new financing options for partners that have been hit hard by the credit crunch. Now, Symantec has started up a new short-term program that is intended for partners that have made the effort to earn its SMB Specialization status.

The effort, called Symantec Extended Terms Financing, provides extended terms of 60 days (instead of 30) on certain Symantec products that are sourced through certain North American distributors including Douglas Stewart, Ingram Micro, Synnex and Tech Data. Right now, the financing program will run through Jan. 30, 2010. The only partners eligible to participate are those that hold the Symantec SMB designation. The financing is being provided by GE Capital.

Randy Cochran, vice president of North America channel sales for Symantec, says that the vendor currently supports roughly 700 partners who are part of the SMB Specialist program, which has been in effect for about nine months. He would like to see this number grow slowly to more than 1,000 resellers and technology solution providers. The next financing program will help with this, but Cochran believes it will take several quarters for the SMB program to reach that enrollment level.

“We’re not the first vendor to offer extended terms but we think we’re the first one to offer this in conjunction with education,” Cochran says.

The financing dovetails with Symantec’s Survive and Thrive Business Management series, which the vendor kicked off in June. The Survive and Thrive learning series will contain a total of five webcasts and 12 online modules offered over approximately 24 weeks. Topics covered in the series include maximizing cash flow, finding investment capital, identifying new lines of business, and figuring out whether certain clients are a good economic value proposition.

There is no minimum deal size to be covered by the financing; but the program will only cover certain products. The ones that DON’T apply are listed on this collateral.

Here’s the press release with more details about the Extended Terms Financing Program. And here’s the registration link for the Survive and Thrive Business Management Series.

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