Introducing… George Mutch

George Mutch is a recent recruit to the direct sales team in Syscap’s Northwich office. He tells us about Belgium, golfing and the thrill of a fast-moving workplace.

The first career path that attracted George was investment banking or stockbroking. He explains: “At school I realised I was good with numbers, so banking seemed like a good idea. I also liked the idea of a high-paced lifestyle.

After studying Finance, Economics, Accountancy and Business at college, George began a degree in BA Finance and Investment at Coventry University. The course was mainly aimed at people planning to become financial advisors, but George quickly realised that banking and finance were not customer-facing enough for him, and would not make use of his interpersonal skills.

I worked for a while doing sales with a company called American Golf. I really enjoyed it – talking to new people all the time and closing sales. I realised I needed a career that would marry my two main interests – sales and finance.

George found Syscap through an agency and was recruited to be a graduate account manager in the Northwich office: “I love the interpersonal side – you’re not locked away somewhere without any connection to anyone! I also like developing new skills and learning about products.

Syscap appealed to the young graduate because of its credentials as an agile, expanding company with plenty of promise. George says he saw Syscap as “edgy, whereas lots of finance companies are a bit boring.

The atmosphere within the sales team also suits George well. “We’re relaxed when we can be, but serious when there’s work to do. It’s a good mix which means while there is a lot to learn, it’s not overpowering.”

George says he is excited to be in a company which is “changing day by day”, and is excited to see how the organisation develops, especially in view of the recent acquisition by Wesleyan Bank.

Looking back, George is glad that he followed his passions and would advise teenagers considering a career in business or finance to do the same: “You should pick your strong subjects, the ones that you enjoy. Nobody really knows what they will do later, but having qualifications plus a good work ethic gives you that little bit extra.

Working at Syscap has opened George’s eyes to the size of the business finance market in the UK: “Some businesses really struggle with tight budgets and cash flow issues – we step in and assist them. I had no idea how big the need was for commercial finance until I joined Syscap, now I see that the majority of businesses, especially smaller ones can all benefit from some sort of finance solution!

George is comfortable learning on the job in a direct sales team that mixes graduates with more experienced salespeople. George says there are always other people at his level around for mutual support and more seasoned colleagues who are really encouraging, too.

The more experienced people are always ready to help you out and lend you their experience. If you’re struggling with a problem there is always someone there to ask, and they never treat it like it’s a burden.

George currently lives in Wilmslow with his girlfriend, but he has not always been based in the UK. He spent the final year of his degree distance-learning through online lectures and resources while living in Antwerp in Belgium, which was an interesting cultural experience.

There were loads of good things about Belgium. For example, people there go out rain or shine, it’s a really busy place. They just grab an umbrella, whereas in the UK we hide indoors when it rains. I found people in Belgium were really nice and friendly.

Some things in Belgium were a bit strange – mainly food: supermarkets are really confusing because everything looks different. They like flavoured teas a lot, which was weird. I was glad when I found an English shop selling ketchup, HP sauce, Marmite and other home comforts!

As George’s former job at a golfing business might suggest, he’s a man who loves to tee off. Golf is a real passion and George is keen to start using his clubs again, but “I’ve not settled in long enough where I live to find anywhere to play yet!

If you’d like to join the Syscap team, take a look at our job vacancies here.

How Technology Helps Children Learn – IT Finance for Schools

IT has revolutionised the way we live, but worries about finance are preventing many schools from investing in facilities for the next generation.
As any parent will tell you, most young people love to play games, use the internet and talk to friends online. Yet some schools are slow to embrace software’s potential, often because of issues about IT finance.
There are many benefits of implementing technology in the classroom. One of the most fundamental responsibilities of a school is to prepare children for their future lives. Just about all professions these days involve use of a computer or digital resource, even outdoor hands-on trades such as building and gardening.
Technology also facilitates more versatile learning styles than traditional teaching methods. Computers accommodate different learning styles and can be used at different paces by students, preventing quicker children from becoming bored and less-able pupils from worrying about their performance.
Online learning environments are available around the clock, so children can access them for homework or learn more in their own time if they wish. This active learning breaks down the stigma of looking ‘square’, empowering children to take responsibility for their own learning.
Many people have concerns about children’s safety online and their ability to navigate the web without seeing or reading unpleasant things. On the other hand, these issues are not going away. Schools can play a valuable role in discussing online safety, particularly for children with less tech-savvy parents.
Is your school in need of education finance to boost its IT facilities? We have a range of finance options for schools. Just get in touch to discuss your needs.

Office Evolution Infographic – Dalek Dictation to 3D Printing

For more than 60 years technology has increasingly defined the way we work.

Just take a look around your office or home workspace and consider how much the devices you and your colleagues use daily really help you to do your job. It’s easy to take for granted the technology that enables a wide range of communication and collaboration, supporting efficient ways of working.

But take a look at our interactive infographic to see how today compares to the offices that our parents or grandparents spent their working lives in. A typical office in the 1950s, for example, would have been full of typewriters that could run out of ink half way through a letter and fuelled an entire market for ‘Liquid Paper and Tippex’. ‘Revolutionary’ dictation technology on the other hand made the user of it sound like a Dalek! But that was about as advanced as office technology got – the rest really was resigned to TV science fiction!

Fast forward to 2015 again and printing technology has moved on to the production of 3D objects. Not only have devices become multifaceted, we’ve seen the proliferation of mobile technology that has totally changed the face of what constitutes ‘working life’.

It’s true then that few organisations can escape the increasing demand for technology investment now that it’s a critical asset for businesses. Only when you see current technology alongside that of years gone by can you fully appreciate how vast the change has been, and how businesses have increasingly found it a challenge to keep up with competitors on the technology front. And of course, as technology demands have grown, so has the challenge of funding them, as we at Syscap know all too well.

We hope you enjoy the infographic which will tell you how individual devices have developed to become the gadgets that today adorn our desks and pockets. You can also read some interesting personal views of workers from each era or decade. What technology would you have used to carry out a day’s work 40, 50 or even 60 years ago?

Click here to view the infographic.

blogimagesyscap

Another award nomination for Syscap!

Syscap has received its fourth industry award nomination in just two months – this time for the prestigious Leasing World Awards 2015.

We’ve been shortlisted for Vendor Specialist of the Year – focused on those leading the provision of finance to the vendor community, an area Syscap has been passionate about for 25 years. We’re proud to be joining other worthy nominees, Henry Howard Finance and Shire Leasing.

The Leasing World Awards aims to recognise the leaders within the financing sector along with acknowledging the next generation of up and coming talent.

Philip White, Managing Director of Syscap comments: “We’re delighted to be shortlisted for this accolade. At Syscap we’re committed to working closely with vendor clients to provide them with the right flexible finance solutions to meet their customers’ needs and ensure they can grow their businesses quickly and efficiently.”

Winners will be announced at the annual Leasing World dinner, on the 1st October at The White Suite in London. Other categories include UK Lessor of the Year, SME Champion of the Year and New Challenger of the Year.

Having already been nominated for the CRN Awards and the Leasing Life Awards, Syscap certainly has an exciting awards season ahead!

Congratulations to everyone who made the shortlist, you can take a look at the full list of categories and the broad range of funders who have made the shortlist for 2015.

Syscap’s a double Leasing Life Awards finalist

Syscap is delighted to announce that it has received two nominations for the Leasing Life Awards 2015.

The first is in the ‘SME Champion – UK’ category alongside other reputable finance providers such as Lloyds Bank and Azule Finance, all of which recognise how important small and medium-sized businesses are to the UK economy.

Leasing Life Finalist 2015 | Syscap

“The self-service customer portals that we recently developed are among the ways that we have strengthened our dedication to SMEs. We understand that small businesses aren’t experts in finance, and so we give small firms 24/7 administration options to enable them to carry out financial processes promptly” says Philip White, Managing Director of Syscap.

Syscap has also been shortlisted in the ‘Vendor Finance Provider of the Year’ category, recognising the support that it’s increasingly given vendors and resellers through offering them flexible financial solutions. It’s an honour to be nominated alongside finance providers that also support the IT vendor sector, such as Cisco Capital and BNP Paribas.

“The support that we give to vendors goes beyond offering financial solutions. We have actively provided networking opportunities to vendor partners, as well as tools and marketing support for their own campaigns”, say White.

Combined with the CRN Awards nomination from last month Syscap now has an exciting few months ahead and hotly anticipate the Leasing Life Awards ceremony in Budapest this coming December.

Congratulations to everyone else who has made the shortlist – it’s encouraging to see such a broad spectrum of financial services industry players receive credit for their work. Take a look at the full list of award categories and nominations here.

The Secret To IT Sales Success – Finance For IT Sales

It’s the ultimate goal of any sales pitch: getting your customers to say ‘yes.’ Yet, if you’re an IT salesperson you will have no doubt learned through experience that winning customers over is no mean feat.

The truth is that customers enjoy buying; they look forward to investing in, and utilising, the latest IT software and technology. The problem is that they just don’t like being sold to, which makes your job – as a salesperson – rather challenging.

So, what’s the secret to IT sales success? Is there a winning formula you can apply to all types of sales scenario? In his international bestselling book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, social scientist Dr Robert B. Cialdini explores the psychology behind why people say ‘yes’ and determines six universal principles that influence people to buy. Those principles, as outlined in articles on copyblogger and Inc., include:

  1. Liking

Think about it: how many times have you said ‘yes’ to a salesperson you didn’t like? The first step of the sales process involves building a rapport with the customer. You must start a meaningful conversation with them – ask them questions (that aren’t sales-related), listen to their answers and respond with your own personal stories.

Don’t fake friendliness or be overenthusiastic as this is likely to put the customer off. The key is to be genuine – speak to customers how you like to be spoken to. Just remember that building a relationship with the customers comes first; the selling part comes later.

  1. Authority

Customers like hearing from – and consequently buying from – authoritative figures. That’s why toothpaste brands often use dentists in their adverts, because they help boost credibility and instil trust in consumers.

If you’re selling IT equipment, you should have expert knowledge of all the products you’re selling. You should know individual specifications, pricing, general benefits and USPs; this will allow you to talk about the tech with confidence and answer customer queries immediately instead of making them wait for a response.

You must be transparent with prospects from the offset so they have no reason to doubt or mistrust you. This is really important when it comes to pricing – all costs must be communicated and if you offer it, IT finance is something which should be discussed with customers up front once determining the available budget.

  1. Reciprocation

Reciprocation is the human desire to repay a debt to someone. It has powerful implications in sales, as customers often feel obliged to return a favour when they have received something from a business for free.

If you offer a prospect a freebie, it should be product-related – a free software trail, a free consultation to discuss IT needs or a future purchase voucher, for instance.

  1. Commitment and consistency

We all have a deep-rooted desire to be consistent in our words, actions and attitudes. What this means is that, when we make a certain commitment, we feel inclined to remain consistent with that commitment in the future.

Applying this to the sales process, you should aim to get a little ‘yes’ from a customer and then work up to a big ‘yes.’ Start by making a small request, for instance, ask a prospect if they could fill out a questionnaire or if they’d like to receive a free newsletter. If they said ‘yes’ to your small request, they’re more likely to say ‘yes’ later on when you ask them if they’d like to buy your product.

  1. Social proof

Customers will feel more comfortable buying your products and/or using your services if they know other people are doing the same. So, if you give a prospect proof of other businesses using your products, they will feel more encouraged to use you.

When speaking with a prospect, mention other businesses similar to theirs that are customers of yours. Additionally, on your company’s website, make sure there is a customer testimonials page or section you can direct prospects to.

  1. Scarcity

This principle suggests that things are most attractive to people when their availability is limited. So, if customers feel like they might miss out on a great deal, they feel encouraged to take it quickly while they still can.

So, if you are selling a customer computers for their business, you could offer them a bulk buy discount but add a deadline for the offer and make them aware of it. Yet, as the Inc. article states, often in B2B selling it is more beneficial to focus on the overall loss the customer may incur if they choose not to buy your product – i.e., you should make the ROI scarce.

Do you have any of your own tips for encouraging customers to say ‘yes’? If so, please comment on this article!

For information on how finance can support your IT sales, click here.

Cycle Infor Heroes: Philip’s challenge

It all started back in February when our MD, Philip White, went for a post-meeting dinner with George Czasznicki, CFO at enterprise software firm Infor. Syscap and Infor have been partners for over ten years, both directly and through channel partners and subsidiaries.

Fancy a trip to Paris?” George asked, to which Phil, sipping his second glass of wine, immediately replied, “Of course.” An outing to the French capital sounded ideal, Phil thought – a chance to relax, sample some fine Parisian cuisine and do a spot of sightseeing.

Oh, by the way,” George added, “we’re cycling.

Inspired by the 2014 Invictus Games, the team at Infor decided to host their very own charity event to raise money for Help for Heroes; a non-profit organisation that supports the UK’s wounded war veterans. Cycle Infor Heroes will see 30 amateur cyclists from the UK and beyond embark on a gruelling 230-mile ride, setting off from London’s Horse Guards Parade on the 17th of September and finishing three days later at Paris’ iconic Eiffel Tower, where they will be treated to a well-deserved feast at a classic French bistro.

Never one to shy away from a challenge, Phil – an inexperienced cyclist, in his own words – invested in some essential Lycra and treated himself to a shiny new Bianchi bike. “I also bought myself some cleats to look the part,” Phil says, “But, as I was approaching the traffic lights on my very first road outing, I realised I had no idea how to remove my foot from the pedal. Slowly, and in front of a long line of cars, I started to fall onto the pavement. You could say that was a defining moment for me!

phil-small-child_300x200

After his cycling mishap, Phil realised it was time to start taking training seriously. He visited Cadence Performance in Crystal Palace, where the team assessed him and created a tailored training plan. “I’ve been adhering to the plan religiously since day one. I even trained during my holiday in Spain, riding 600k across 9 days!

Ride25, the cycling event company helping Infor organise the ride, told Phil that the 30 riders taking part in the event will naturally split into three groups: those who can, those who think they can, and those who can’t. “At best, I want to be at the back of ‘those who can’ and worst, at the front of ‘those who think they can’.

Help for Heroes was set up back in 2007 after husband and wife Bryn and Emma Parry visited injured servicemen and servicewomen in Birmingham’s Selly Oak Hospital. The very first event the couple hosted to raise money was a bike ride – “So, you see,” Phil says, “cycling is at the core of this charity.

Emma has spoken openly about how donations to Help for Heroes have dropped by a staggering 40% in the past five years. Phil comments: “It may be due to charity fatigue or because war simply isn’t front-of-mind for people anymore. But, it’s important to realise that supporting war veterans is just as critical now as it ever has been. The trauma people suffer is long term and many find themselves needing life-long rehabilitation. Watching the Invictus Games, we hear many humbling stories of soldiers who have recovered well from their experiences – but that’s only a small percentage. There are many others who are still struggling, not just with their injuries but with things like relationships and reintegration within society.

Phil has managed to raise almost £7,000 through his JustGiving page, which is over double his initial target of £3,000. “I’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity and support of my friends, family and colleagues. My aim is to hit £7,500 before the big day.

Phil tells us he’s eager to get going. “It’s something I’ve trained very hard for in order to raise as much money as possible for an unforgettable cause. It’s been physically and mentally challenging, and I’ve had to make a few sacrifices. I must admit, when my alarm rings at 5am and it’s cold and wet outside, on a few occasions I’ve been tempted to hit the snooze button. But then I think of the brave people who have served our country – what they have been through and what they sacrificed. They didn’t hit the snooze button. They didn’t give up.

With just under a week to go, Phil’s putting in the final preparations and has invested in some chamois cream for the ride. “Let’s put it like this: when I reach the French bistro, I plan to be celebrating equally as hard as I’ve trained!

Syscap signs Ideagen to IT finance partner programme

Syscap now operates UK’s largest independent IT finance programme by membership

London, 9th September 2015 – Compliance software vendor Ideagen has become a Select level partner and the latest addition to Syscap’s partner programme. Ideagen will now be able to use Syscap’s financing to offer its own customers more flexible subscription based payment terms, while ensuring that it is still paid at time of sale. As the UK’s leading independent finance provider for IT, Syscap’s programme now features 13 of the UK’s top software vendors and over 250 IT resellers as partners, making it the UK’s largest independent IT finance programme by membership.

Ideagen is a leading provider of enterprise governance, risk and compliance software and healthcare solutions, which enable organisations working in highly regulated industries to meet their quality compliance standards. Ideagen will use Syscap’s finance service to provide its customers with financial solutions that can balance payment against risk.

As a partner Ideagen will benefit from dedicated Syscap account management, training for its sales team, and access to an online quoting tool to ensure deals aren’t delayed when waiting for a credit decision.

Ben Dorks, sales and marketing director at Ideagen, comments, “Our customers operate in an environment where IT issues can have significant consequences. Being able to offer clients flexibility and security of payment terms is vital for them to ensure that they have the best technology available to them. We evaluated a number of suppliers but it was Syscap’s experience in providing financing solutions for software and services that set it apart from its competitors. Its level of interaction and support to our 60 plus sales team along with its online portal means that it’s easy for us to access solutions fit for our customer needs at any time.

Philip White, managing director, at Syscap adds, “We’ve invested heavily in our IT channel programme over the last 12 months and we continue to see this attract leading vendors and resellers. The channel is increasingly focused on the need to offer customers flexible financing options in today’s cloud based world. Using finance IT vendors are able to sell up to 30% more by removing the barriers often placed by budget restrictions. Ideagen increases our footprint in the public sector too, where we are already engaged through the likes of Softcat and Advanced Computer Software. I am delighted to welcome Ideagen on board and look forward to a long and mutually productive relationship.

Syscap has witnessed rapid growth in its IT channel partner programme that was re-launched in April this year. This growth highlights the increasing trend by resellers and ISVs to offer their own customers the OPEX payment model that typically comes with cloud services. Resellers are also increasingly turning to providers like Syscap for finance support to fund new assets required to support this growth such as datacenters, new premises and other infrastructure.

Syscap IT sector clients include Concurrent Engineering, Sage, Autodesk, Infor, Softcat, Viglen, Datel and Advanced Business Solutions.

 

For further information or interview opportunities, please contact:
Rob Skinner / Katherine Wilding
Skout PR
01625 869418
rob.skinner@skoutpr.com / katherine.wilding@skoutpr.com

 

Syscap shortlisted for CRN IT Channel Services Provider of the Year

Syscap are thrilled to be shortlisted this year at the CRN Channel Awards 2015.Channel Services Provider of the Year Shortlist CRN Awards 2015 | Syscap

The Channel Services Provider of the Year category is a hotly contested one, and we are extremely honoured to be among those named in the shortlist, along with other well-respected companies including The IT Marketing Agency, Networks First and Comms-Care.

Syscap has worked hard to develop its channel offering over the last 12 months, investing large sums into our systems offering, product development and marketing. We relaunched our Syscap Partner Programme back in January 2015, utilising a new partner portal as well as additional training modules and tools for the sales teams of our reseller community.

We very recently launched our updated online quoting tool, allowing our resellers to instantly get initial credit review and feedback on their customers, as well as giving them access to real-time interest rates and personally transact their own deals to suit them. For more information about our Syscap Partner Programme, click here.

We’d like to congratulate everyone who has been shortlisted for the CRN Awards 2015 and look forward to seeing you there to celebrate the very best in the IT channel space. We’re especially pleased to congratulate our partners on their shortlisting success including Bytes, shortlisted for Corporate VAR of the Year and Softcat, shortlisted for Reseller of the Year.

We look forward to celebrating with you in November! For the full shortlist and more information on the awards click here.