"Our customers are reaching out for support, from financing to sales strategies to guidance on how to run their businesses," says Mary Campbell, vice president of marketing at D&H. "SMB companies, and the VARs who serve as their advisers, especially need to leverage their partners' strengths in order to thrive, so we're gearing up with the kind of assistance they're asking for."
That assistance takes the form of the Business Assurance Credit Program, through which Harrisburg, Pa.-based D&H will disseminate a total of $38 million in credit through a two-tier program that will benefit about 4,000 SMB VARs and integrators. According to the distributor, this influx could generate a 10 to 20 percent sales increase among these customers. The funds could be used by VARs for new business generated by the economic stimulus plan, which may include technological upgrades in markets such as education and healthcare.
Virtual online events is another D&H offering that enables resellers to visit a virtual campus where they can enter booths, chat with vendor representatives, and reach out to other attendees, social networking style, with questions and conversations. The first virtual event is scheduled for April 2, 2009 and will feature five exhibits from some of the distributor's top-tier manufacturers. The online events offer access to new technologies and vendor partners without travel, registration, or other associated costs, and without losing office time.
"There is room for growth in the channel. We're still imagining the opportunities that will generate from the shake-ups we're seeing now," says Rob Eby, vice president of purchasing at D&H. "There is currently an economic stimulus plan in the works, as the government promises to revitalize our technological infrastructures on several fronts, from schools to medical offices to municipalities. If we can keep our resellers educated and provide resources like credit to help them take advantage of opportunities even through the hardest times, we'll all thrive together."