posted by Lori Berry on Monday, June 05, 2017 in Unified Communications and IT Blog

“We have to change the direction of the channel.” That was the message I got when I came to GreatAmerica roughly eight years ago. I looked at THE CHANNEL – it was giant and intimidating and moving down its seemingly unmovable path – and thought, “How can I have even the smallest impact on any of this?!?”

By changing the direction of the channel and our business, my visionary leaders needed to get Solution Providers to use financing as the main driver of product and service sales. Fortunately they knew we had to take it one step at a time and exactly how I fit into the picture. I was tasked with getting a monthly payment quote on every proposal that went out the door of the companies we worked with.

So I started by making calls to our customers to figure out what software they were using to create their quotes, followed directly by a ton of calls out to all of the systems our customers listed. It didn’t happen overnight, but eventually we created integrations with those tools.

These integrations were a win-win-win. They helped the software companies provide additional features and value; saved Solution Providers a ton of time by having quoting capabilities at their fingertips; and we got closer to our vision of changing the channel by getting monthly payments on every quote.

Eight years ago it was just a vision, but today it is close to reality. Thanks to collaboration with the top quoting tools in the Unified Communications and MSP channels, we see 66% of our finance volume coming from Solution Providers using those integrations.

This served as an extremely important lesson for me and my team with these two takeaways:

  1. Financing helps our partners to be more successful. With it, they are more profitable, getting bigger deals with more margins and are overall more efficient.
  2. We could never have achieved our success alone.

Our channel has amazing vendor partners and by working together, we have transformed together. GreatAmerica was lucky to work with great people, starting with CorsPro back in 2010 and continued to expand our integrations with Tigerpaw, ConnectWise Sell (formerly Quosal), QuoteWerks, and ChannelOnline –and that was just on presenting a payment on quotes. Our recent integrations with ConnectWise Manage are taking that next step to truly make financing part of our mutual partners’ processes from sale to payment.

This is a “thank you” to all the great channel partners out there. Thanks for listening to the customers we serve and collaborating with other channel partners. The possibilities to help Solution Providers are endless when we put our heads together. By teaming up, we will continue to impact the channel in a way that helps everyone succeed. We truly are better together.

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About The Author

Lori K. Berry is the Director of Strategic Technology for the Communications and Data Group at GreatAmerica Financial Services. She began her career in the IT channel  as an account manager for an MSP in Cedar Rapids, IA in 2003 before joining GreatAmerica in 2009. Lori has represented GreatAmerica at industry events, putting most of her focus on Life-Cycle FinancingTM, a strategy that combines financing solutions with IT business objectives. Lori also develops integration between GreatAmerica client portal tools and client software applications.  Lori earned her B.A. degree in MIS (Management Information Systems) from the University of Northern Iowa as well as a certificate in International Business. Email: lberry@greatamerica.com

  1. monthly payment
  2. quoting
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