Syscap appoints new Head of Channel Sales to drive commercial growth

Paul Hansen responsible for non-direct vendor and specialist broker channels

Syscap, the UK’s leading IT finance provider, has strengthened its senior management team following the appointment of Paul Hansen as Head of Channel Sales. Hansen, who joins from Aldermore Bank, will be based from the company’s office in New Malden, Surrey.

Hansen will drive commercial sales via non-direct channels principally through Syscap’s bespoke finance solutions for IT software vendors, resellers and distributors. He will also focus on the specialist broker offering of Syscap’s parent company, Wesleyan Bank, targeting professions, educational institutes and SME businesses in addition to scoping emerging markets as part of the dual role. This includes building on his expertise to leverage the Wesleyan brand to expand into the medical and dental vendor markets.

Hansen previously worked at Aldermore Bank as Head of Business Development and Shawbrook Bank prior to that selling asset finance products to the UK healthcare sector. He has also gained over 20 years’ experience in the UK and European IT channel arena with Key Finance Group and Key Equipment Finance in various direct sales, broker management and programme management positions.

Paul Hansen comments, “Syscap and Wesleyan Bank have enviable reputations for providing specialist financial products and outstanding service to their clients so this is a really exciting opportunity. My immediate strategy is to develop the relationships we have with our partners and intermediaries while building new ones in both existing and complementary sectors to maximise our revenues.

“With support from the wider Wesleyan Group, Syscap can continue to grow and enter new markets whilst being in control of its capital, pricing and risk model which provides an excellent platform for us to thrive.”

Syscap became a wholly owned subsidiary of Wesleyan Bank in April 2016. The combined division, which is part of the Wesleyan Group, provides tailored commercial and personal banking solutions to over 22,500 professions customers under two distinctive brands. Together the Bank and Syscap employ 120 staff from three UK office locations situated in Birmingham, New Malden and Northwich.

Philip White, Managing Director of Syscap and Commercial Director at Wesleyan Bank, adds, “We have been aware of Paul’s qualities for a long time having worked in competitive situations for nearly two decades. His vast experience of direct sales and the IT channel made him an outstanding candidate and he will play an integral part in executing our growth strategy which centres on providing unrivalled support to our partners.”

Syscap crowned Vendor Specialist of the Year at Leasing World Awards 2016

Syscap’s parent company Wesleyan Bank also named ‘Top Professions Funder’

5 October 2016 – Syscap has been crowned ‘Vendor Specialist of the Year’ at Leasing World’s annual awards. In a double award triumph, Syscap’s parent company Wesleyan Bank was also named ‘Top Professions Provider’ at a ceremony held at Hilton London Bankside last night.

Now in their eighth year, the Leasing World Awards are one of the finance industry’s most respected awards schemes, recognising outstanding achievements in customer service, business performance and innovation.

Syscap, the UK’s leading IT finance provider, beat off fierce competition to claim the prestigious accolade. The six-strong judging panel named Syscap the winner of the ‘Vendor Specialist of the Year’ category due to its most impressive variety of specialist vendor funding products, service support and commitment.

Syscap has built an enviable reputation for developing tailored financial solutions for IT software vendors, resellers and distributors for over 25 years. In June, the company launched its enhanced Partner Portal to assist vendors to close more deals using the company’s finance facilities to support the strengthening of its partner incentive programme. This has coincided with a one-third increase in more partners registering to use the portal compared to 2015.

Syscap has also developed ten new specialist products this year to help vendors to alleviate cash flow concerns, drive incremental revenue for their partners and increase customer retention levels. More recently, the company has bolstered its senior management team following the appointment of Paul Hansen as Head of Channel Sales.

Phillip White, Managing Director of Syscap and Commercial Director for Wesleyan Bank, comments, “We are delighted to win two prestigious industry awards in one night, beating strong competition in the process. Our collective achievements further serve to highlight the strides the whole team has made since the integration between Syscap and Wesleyan Bank was completed in April.

“We will continue to put the IT finance needs of our partners first through our comprehensive payment over time products, which help to bring versatility and clarity to vendors’ sales processes and their customers’ investment programmes.”

Syscap’s software vendor partners include Autodesk, Infor and Sage. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wesleyan Bank which is part of the specialist mutual finance services provider, Wesleyan Group. The combined division of Wesleyan Bank and Syscap offers tailored commercial and personal banking solutions to over 22,500 customers under two distinctive brands.

Adapting Your Business for the Digital Age

With rising competition from new digital players, investing in new technology has never been more vital for keeping up with industry trends and retaining market share. But do IT companies suffer from the old cobblers shoes adage in this respect?

A recent survey commissioned by Exact revealed that 38% of the UK’s small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are concerned that if they don’t adapt their business models for our increasingly digital world, they could go out of business within the next five years. Despite these growing concerns, only 6% of these businesses are doing something about it and investing in new technology, and worryingly IT companies are equally bad.

All organisations, but especially IT businesses, must adapt to thrive or face struggling to survive.

How can IT SMEs rise to the challenge?

  • Invest in cloud technology
    Whilst you are busily moving your customers to a cloud model, how much of the software you use to drive your business is delivered in the same way? Digitalisation of a company can require vast amounts of investment of both money and time; however, this has proven worthwhile. In the past year 58% of businesses have moved to a cloud computing model, which is an increase of 11% from the previous year. Investing in the setup of a cloud model and cloud tools for your business will bring a number of benefits, including improved efficiency, increased collaboration and up-to-date software plus it frees up capital expenditure.
  • Instil a culture that nurtures a tech-savvy workforce
    One of the best ways to continue growing as a business and remaining adaptable to change is by bringing in new thinking. Building a positive, modern tech-forward working environment begins at the recruitment stage. By attracting new forward-thinking employees from a variety of backgrounds and skill sets and cultivating a collaborative work ethic, your business can ensure it continues to move in the right direction. Make sure these people are equally applied to solving internal business problems as well as customer issues.
  • Form strategic technology partnerships
    In a Vodafone poll technology providers were thought to be great third-party partners. By partnering with other companies, you can leapfrog the competition in developing new or complimentary solutions for your product portfolio. 69% of the businesses polled believed the benefits of having a third-party tech partner enabled them to compete within the larger market and strengthened the company’s capabilities. These partners can also support scalable growth and help you adapt to new tech trends, ease transitions and assist with training without overshadowing your overall business aims and plans. In this new world, your old competitors are now your new friends.
  • Utilise alternative finance options
    As with technology partners, finance partners can be equally valuable. When traditional funding sources are unable to meet funding needs, IT SMEs can now look to a growing alternative finance market to assist their growth and transition. A new generation of IT-specific finance companies can provide much more bespoke, relevant services that are best suited to an IT company’s needs and help them stay in control of their finances.

As a dedicated provider of IT finance, Syscap can create tailored solutions, giving you rapid access to funding through a simple and quick process. For more information or to join the Partner Programme visit Syscap online.

Why is Syscap unique?

The combination of our breadth of offering, sector expertise and intimate knowledge of the professions and SME marketplace leave us ideally placed to support your IT business dreams. When other lenders deny finance, it’s usually because they don’t see the value in your assets and services, but at Syscap we understand these are integral business needs and are of as much value to customers as hardware.

With demand for hardware decreasing and these intangible services becoming ever more crucial, Syscap can provide the right business loans for your company.

Payment Over Time

Successfully overcoming customer objections and resolving them early on can set a great salesperson apart from an average one. Business finance can play a key role in helping IT vendors and resellers to overcome common objections during the sales process.

Customer objections can range from budget restrictions, not being able to justify the purchase and future growth plans all the way to costs being too high.

Syscap can enhance your business and transform your sales cycle by enabling you to:

  • Increase Qualified Leads Convert more leads faster and at a higher value and margin by taking the focus away from price during negotiations and turning it towards offsetting cost vs return on investment.
  • Gain New Customers With the cost of switching spread over time rather than paid up front the switching or upgrade of software and hardware becomes more palatable to the end user customer.
  • Close Deals More Quickly By removing the budget objection and providing same day quotes your sales staff are able to focus on closing business, in turn improving efficiency.
  • Provide Business Incentives By providing incentives such as mid term refreshes of technology with little or no increase in monthly costs, we help encourage your customers to stay on the latest versions of software which reduces your overall cost of supporting your customer base
  • Access Additional Benefits Syscap has a history of providing specialist, high-quality services for its IT partners that go above and beyond those of other finance lenders. This includes additional benefits such as tailored marketing support and collateral, access to its partner portal for 24x7x365 quoting, incentives for completed sales and a range of finance solutions and products that help your business grow.

Syscap Finance Options

As well as financing your customers we can also offer business specific finance for your own business including:

  • VAT funding
  • Tax funding
  • Asset purchase

Become a Partner Today

With over 25 years of experience in the tech finance sector and active relationships with over 350 partners you can be sure that your business is in safe hands with Syscap.

Join today and enhance your sales model by signing up to our Partner Programme.

Syscap Executive – Top 50 Influential People in Asset Finance

1 July 2016 – Philip White, Managing Director of Syscap and Commercial Director of Wesleyan Bank, has been named in the Leasing Life ‘Power 50’, an annual list which acknowledges the top 50 most influential people in the asset finance industry across Europe.

The fourth edition of the Leasing Life Power 50 has received more input than any previous year, with nearly 1,100 people casting votes over a two week period. Voters were asked to nominate up to five people in the European leasing arena who they thought deserved to make the final shortlist.

This year’s ‘Power 50’ was dominated by senior figures working for lessors (31) with advisers from law firms, consultancies and accountancy firms making up the second largest category with ten people. The other nine entrants on the list consisted of brokers, trade association members and technology providers.

Philip White has been part of Syscap, the UK’s leading IT finance provider, for more than two decades progressing from Sales Director to Managing Director. More recently, he assumed a duel role as Commercial Director of Wesleyan Bank after Syscap was acquired by specialist mutual financial services provider Wesleyan in 2015.

White has played an instrumental role in overseeing the subsequent integration of Syscap as a subsidiary of Wesleyan Bank and has helped to spearhead a new strategic direction under two distinctive brands. From 1 April 2016, Syscap customers comprising professions, educational institutes and SME businesses transitioned to Wesleyan Bank with the Syscap brand being reserved exclusively for IT vendors, resellers and distributors. The combined division forms a formidable financial services business offering tailored and commercial banking solutions to over 22,500 customers.

The integration has already proven a success with the division achieving a 97% growth in commercial lending for January-May 2016 compared to the same year-on-year period in 2015. In addition, significant investment has been made in improving digital service capabilities, including Wesleyan Bank’s recently launched Tax Portal for customers who would prefer to transact their business online, along with Syscap’s upgraded Partner Portal which enables IT vendors and resellers to close more deals using the company’s payment over time option.

Philip White comments, “I’m proud to be recognised by the readers of Leasing Life and my fellow peers for the contributions I have made to the industry. To appear on the Power 50 alongside such highly esteemed figures is an achievement I would not have been able to make without having a hugely talented and hardworking team behind me.

“2016 has seen us make excellent strides in building a growing, successful and sustainable business which puts the long-term needs of our customers first. Wesleyan is also committed to drawing new talent into the financial services industry and we are investing heavily in our apprenticeship scheme to attract and nurture the future leasing talents of tomorrow.”

Syscap Launches IT Finance Portal For Partners

Syscap, the UK’s leading IT finance provider, has today launched its enhanced Partner Portal to assist vendors and resellers to close more deals using the company’s finance facilities as part of strengthening its partner incentive programme.

The online platform provides a fast and easy way for partners to obtain a quote for extended payment 24/7, 365 days a year to enable them to be more proactive in answering customer queries. Mobile responsiveness has also been improved to assist time-pressured sales people to obtain quotes on the move. By providing an instant online quote, the Syscap Partner Portal removes the administrative burden on vendor sales staff so they can accelerate their deal cycles and focus more on rewarding value-added tasks.

IT vendors and resellers can manage their own opportunities whilst having complete visibility of every one, from entry date through to current status and historical transactions.  All proposals in the Partner Portal are fully supported by Syscap’s dedicated partner account management team who are on hand to guide partners throughout every stage of the sales process.

The user-friendly platform’s latest version contains over 100 functionality improvements which have been developed in direct response to feedback from Syscap’s partners following a rigorous testing period.

These include the addition of new quick and full quote templates and advanced search capabilities to speed-up the quoting process, in addition to simplifying document uploads. The portal now provides comprehensive on screen tips and training videos alongside a breakdown of the different types of terms they can offer which are easy to understand, even to non finance sales people.

Philip White, Managing Director of Syscap, comments, “Syscap has a long history in helping its channel partners grow their business. This extends to allowing them to expand through investment in assets and new technologies, to funding short term troughs in cash flow which are common as they move to models such as SaaS.

“Our improved Partner Portal makes it effortless for our partners to introduce finance as an integral part of their sales process. The latest version includes some impressive new features and is part of our ongoing commitment to use appropriate technology to make doing business with us easy.”

The portal is one of a number of benefits that the company offers under the banner of the Syscap Partner Programme which includes comprehensive training, dedicated account management and a rewards and incentive scheme that awards points for every opportunity presented. With an added points incentive to support the launch of the new portal, Syscap is confident of attracting more channel partners to join its programme.

White adds, “The significant enhancements we have introduced to our Partner Programme are the culmination of intense dialogue with our staff and partner communities. Our close working relationship, coupled with our ability to support our partners as well as their end user customers, differentiates us from our competitors and cements our position as the leading IT channel finance specialist.”

 

Syscap Focuses Exclusively On IT Channel

Leading IT finance specialist strengthens support and coverage for IT vendors, resellers and distributors.

1 April 2016 – Syscap, the UK’s leading IT finance provider, today announces it has become a subsidiary of Wesleyan Bank. The completion of the integration forms a formidable commercial financial services business offering tailored banking solutions to over 22,500 customers under two distinctive brands.

Wesleyan Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wesleyan Assurance which is part of the specialist financial mutual, Wesleyan Group. Following the Sycap acquisition by Wesleyan in February 2015, which was in part due to aspirations to grow long term lending book in the SME & IT asset spaces, this move demonstrated the combined desire to harness expert knowledge in the professions market to the fullest extent. Together the Bank and Syscap employ 120 staff from three UK office locations situated in Birmingham, New Malden and Northwich.

From 1 April 2016, existing Syscap customers comprising professions, education institutes and SME businesses will be directed towards the Wesleyan Bank brand while the Syscap brand will be reserved exclusively for IT channel activities to support its network of vendor partners and resellers.

Philip White, Managing Director of Syscap, comments, “Syscap has been at the forefront of the IT finance industry for over 25 years. More recently, we have seen a real shift from vendors simply thinking of finance as a way to overcome budget objections to using it to drive other buyer behaviour, from transitioning to SaaS models or encouraging customers to lock into longer term support and maintenance contracts.

“Wesleyan, with its ethical and customer centric approach, was a natural home for Syscap and has allowed us to significantly invest in people, processes and systems to benefit our partners and their customers to accelerate mutual growth.”

The successful integration has enabled Syscap to extend its comprehensive payment over time solutions to cover software, hardware, services, maintenance and support. It also provides funding to assist IT vendors to invest in new technologies, such as data centres, and increase margin on their deals by prime contracting customer contracts through purchasing the required partner services and licenses upfront in bulk.

Additional investment has been made to strengthen Syscap’s partner portal to offer more relevant sales and marketing content, in addition to providing extended training and support services to better assist IT vendors and resellers. To keep things simple, there will be no changes to existing payment agreements for customers of IT vendors and resellers who have live lease or loan products with Syscap, or through one of its funding partners.

White adds, “We are now able to offer more focused support to our partners from a larger software development team behind our vendor portal right through to credit, business administration and front line account management.

“This is enabling us to run more successful sales and marketing engagements which are helping IT vendors and resellers remove potential barriers to sale and close more deals.”

Looking for commercial insurance, funding or finance? Visit Wesleyan Commercial Finance.

Syscap Is Changing – Vendor Finance Focus

Syscap is a subsidiary of Wesleyan Bank

Syscap was acquired by the Wesleyan Group in February 2015 and is a subsidiary of Wesleyan Bank Ltd. Wesleyan is a natural home for Syscap, due to its focus on the professions market and aspirations to grow its long term lending. Being part of the Wesleyan has allowed us to invest in people, processes and systems as well as extending our product offering which now includes corporation & partner Tax, VAT funding, fee funding, WIP funding, insurance, as well as a range of personal finance products for business owners and professionals. We also offer comprehensive payment over time options to partners for their customers covering software, services, maintenance and support.

Behind the scenes we have been working hard to integrate our activities in an appropriate manner taking into consideration our customers, brands, distribution and account management support. From 1 April 2016 we have decided to reserve the Syscap brand exclusively for our channel activities and move our professions, education and SME business to the Wesleyan Bank brand.

What does this mean for me?

We are fit for growth. We have a bigger team supporting you from the software development team behind the vendor portal right through to credit, business administration and front line account management.

We are keeping it simple. If you or one of your customers already has a live lease or loan product with Syscap or one of our funding partners, there will be no change to this agreement or the way and frequency with which you make payments to us.

We have a dedicated channel just for you. Over the coming weeks our website and social media pages will become dedicated to our IT vendor partners only, giving you more relevant and focussed content and updates. Make sure you keep up with our latest news and announcements by following us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook where we’d love to have your review.

If you’re in the medical, dental, legal and teaching professions, or are an SME, you will find all relevant content at www.wesleyanbank.co.uk.

Why Syscap?

Syscap’s IT finance programme is the largest of its kind by membership in the UK and features 13 of the UK’s top software vendors and over 350 IT resellers as partners. Our clients include Sage, Autodesk, Infor, Concurrent Engineering and Advanced Business Solutions. With 25 years experience and a wide portfolio of products we can tailor an appropriate payment over time that benefits both you and your customers.

Happy New Year: what 2016 has in store for your business

What is your strategy for the year ahead? For many companies, 2016 will be the year they get serious about using data to predict and meet customer needs. Businesses that lag behind may find their customer base shrinking as they look to more responsive competitors.

It might seem hard to know where to start in adapting your business to meet this challenge. These top tips will help you get started.

  1. Value personalisation
    Offering customers a personalised service used to be an experimental quirk used by some companies – now it’s becoming standard practice.
    Businesses need to be able to offer high-quality experiences tailored to the individual needs of their customers. Getting it right means stripping out legacy IT systems and investing in business technology that can serve today’s needs. The dividend will be greater customer loyalty and brand engagement.
  2. Make it company-wide
    Customer engagement strategy has to be an organisation-wide effort; you can’t have one individual or team chipping away at it while the rest continue business as usual.
    Companies need skilled professionals who can manage data analysis, develop customer experience journeys and people who understand the technology that is required to set up an effective system.
  3. Lead from the top
    If you are going to reinvigorate your customer experience, the CEO has to be engaged and involved. This buy-in from the top means businesses can make the crucial investments that are involved, and stay the course if initial results are disappointing.
    Having a bold, ambitious CEO who truly understands how the business IT platforms work is vital.
  4. Develop a customer-focused culture
    You need to become almost obsessive about your customers – a half-hearted approach will yield poor results.
    As the IT system used by your business changes, so too your culture, internal organisation structure and perceptions about yourself must alter to meet the new reality.
  5. Break with tradition
    There are many good things about being a long-established business, but you must continue to evolve and develop in order to thrive in the age of big data.
    Companies that play it safe by retaining legacy systems are at risk of losing customers as they offer a poorer experience. No matter how long you have been going, you will need a new mindset to maintain success in future.
  6. Invest in analytics
    Data analysts are fast becoming the most important people in a company. Once data was informative, now it is an essential tool for maintaining competitiveness.
    Collecting data is one thing, but understanding it is quite another. You need to know what questions you wish to answer before diving into a sea of data. Crucially, data analysis should always be linked to actions, not just filed away somewhere.
  7. Engage with customers
    Offering a personalised service means working on the affinity your customers have with you. Consumers respond well to being asked what they think, so long as the type of question, frequency and ease of answering are set appropriately.
    Developing systems for collating customer feedback and canvassing opinions and interaction is a fundamental part of the new data-ruled landscape.
  8. Commit to digital
    The ‘digital first’ principle has been with us for a while, and it’s time for businesses to truly embrace technology as being at the heart of their operations.
    Digital should be embedded into every element of a business, helping to harmonise the customer experience across different channels. However, this doesn’t mean that the offering for every device should be identical – learn how your customers use the different devices on offer and tailor your systems accordingly.
  9. Recognise privacy as a value proposition
    With regular headlines about snooping, hacking and data leaks, consumers are placing more and more importance on knowing their data is managed securely by the brands they trust.
    It never hurts to double check the security of your systems, looking at issues such as encryption and storage practices of outsourcing suppliers. If huge multi-nationals have vulnerabilities, it’s highly likely that you do too.
  10. Focus on operations
    In a data-driven marketplace, there is no more important driver of value than your operational model. It’s not enough to just say you are customer-focussed, you need to prove it by what you do as well.
    Thriving companies will be led by the insights provided by customer data, arranging internal and digital structures to promote flexibility in delivering value.

Do you need to invest in systems to harness the power of customer data? Why not talk to Syscap about our finance options?

Introducing…Paul Slapa

You may know him as Syscap’s Head of Direct Sales, but Paul Slapa narrowly escaped a career in software programming. He explains how the company has changed and his hopes to lend more to the UK’s SMEs.

Paul says: “I was quite good with computers at school, so I did IT GCSE, then A Level, then a degree in Computer Science. At the end of my degree, I realised I actually had no interest in spending my life working in IT and that it was just a hobby. I didn’t fit as a computer geek – I just wasn’t as passionate about it as other people on my course.

Unsure about what to do after university, Paul got in touch with a graduate recruitment agency. “They got me an interview with Syscap, saying they did computer sales. Luckily, I researched the company before the interview and worked out it was not an IT sales company!

Paul was offered a place on Syscap’s graduate programme. “I haven’t looked back since – I’ve worked for Syscap for almost ten years now.

Paul can see that there may have been a family influence on his career choice, although he was not aware of it at the time. His father worked for Lloyds Bank for 38 years, and his mum worked in banking too before having children and retraining as a nursery teacher. Paul and his dad still enjoy a good chat about the finance world, “although the rest of the family switches off!”

Back in 2006, Paul found a very different company to the one he knows today. “It was a typical sales organisation back then, not as extreme as the Wolf of Wall Street but there was a fair bit of ego around; people liked nice cars and being a bit flash, making lots of money. As a 21-year-old straight from university, I thought it was great.

Paul did not enjoy this booming environment for very long, however, as the financial crash hit two years after he started in the team. “The world changed, the company changed. It felt like everything was imploding.

After some turbulent economic times, Paul believes Syscap has come out stronger: “It’s definitely a better place to work today. We have a more considered, commercial approach to how we do things. It’s not all about the money; there is a longer-term plan. For employees, this means better career progression and a clearer organisational structure.

Now a manager in charge of a team of 16, Paul enjoys developing and implementing strategy, as well as regular contact with other teams, especially marketing. The recent move to target SMEs as well as professional firms is really paying off.

We’ve been doubling the business written for the last two years, and I expect we will again this year. Now we’re owned by Wesleyan, a bigger company, there is more money to lend and a longer-term approach. There are five million SMEs out there that we can canvas for funding. My role is to build the team that will take on the huge growth opportunity. I want us to be – hands down – the most important part of Syscap. It is very exciting.

Paul recently helped restart Syscap’s graduate recruitment programme. As a graduate recruit himself, he feels strongly about the benefits of hiring people fresh from college: “You get people at a stage in life where they are hungry to be busy and work hard. I always tell them that sales work is not rocket science – the most successful people are simply the hardest workers.

The first question graduates and recruiters ask Paul is always about sales targets. “I’d love them to hit targets from month one, but really what I care about is behaviour.  If you can learn and absorb as much knowledge as you can, ask questions if you don’t understand something – but ask once, not twice – I believe in the long term you will be successful.

Outside work, Paul is the proud father of a five-year-old daughter and son who is nearly two. Another boy is on the way, due next spring. The family moved to North Wales, where Paul grew up, so his daughter could go to the same school as him and to be close to Paul and his wife’s parents.

Despite growing up in Wales and living there now, Paul is keen to dismiss a misconception: “People think I am Welsh, but I am not! I was born in Shrewsbury and lived there until I was five.

An avid sports fan, Paul plays five-a-side once a week and inherited his dad’s love of Manchester United, “which is not very entertaining right now – we’re in for some lean years!

Now we come to Paul’s darkest secret: his love of professional wrestling. “My wife tells me I’m nearly 30 and should have grown out of it by now, but if I was ever on Mastermind, pro wrestling from the late 90s would definitely be my specialist subject.