BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions UK, the leasing and finance solutions specialist, has announced the appointment of Graham Drew, Bernard Saikalis and Matt Dredger as Business Development Managers within its ICT finance division.

BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions specialises in leasing finance for professional ICT equipment, offered through its partner network comprising of leading manufacturers, distributors and resellers.

In his role as Business Development Manager, Dredger brings with him almost three decades of experience in the leasing industry. Over his career, Dredger has worked for businesses including Forward Trust, Lombard, ECS and 3 Step IT. He joins BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions from his own successful company, Borroclub, an online peer-to-peer sharing platform, where he was Founder and Director.

Saikalis joins the team from Close Brothers Technology Services where he held the position of Relationship Director. He also previously held Area Finance Manager positions at De Lage London and Syscap Group, where he launched the Autodesk finance program in the UK, and the Infor program in France.

With a career in the asset finance industry spanning over two-decades, Drew joins the business from Value Add Finance, a business he established last year. Prior to this, Drew has held positions at businesses including Shawbrook Bank, Credit Suisse Securities and De Lage Landen where he was European Sales Director.

As Business Development Managers, Dredger, Saikalis and Drew will be responsible for new partner recruitment in the tech sector and enabling BNP Paribas’ extensive network to make leasing an integral part of the sales process.

Martin Ardern, ICT Sales Director of BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions UK, said:

Our ICT team is going through a period of rapid growth and it is my pleasure to be able to welcome Matt, Bernard and Graham on board.

Each of them brings decades of experience in the asset finance and leasing industry to the role and I believe they will be instrumental in helping us achieve our ambitious growth plans.

ICT finance is a solution that is empowering businesses across the country to stay ahead of the curve, maximise productivity and compete on a global scale.

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By Jean-Michel Boyer, CEO, BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions UK

Where leasing hardware has become relatively commonplace, software finance is rather less widespread. This isn’t because software finance is not a viable or worthy option for companies. Many businesses don’t know that they can lease their preferred applications in the same way that they might lease PCs, printers, and other office equipment. Similarly vendors and resellers aren’t always aware of the benefits of selling with finance – which simultaneously limits their ability to service customers who don’t have immediate access to capital and prevents them from offering more flexible finance packages.

But if leasing can enable easier and more affordable access to tangible assets like, smartphones, and laptops, why can’t they do the same for intangible assets like software? Businesses that lease their most essential applications rather than buy them benefit in several distinct ways. They get better software, they can scale more effectively, and they have more financial freedom, and can maintain a healthy cash flow.

Where finance is concerned, the difference between tangible and intangible assets is often negligible. Here’s why.

The benefits of software finance

The principal benefit of software finance is, unsurprisingly, cost. Enterprise software can be prohibitively expensive for a small business, but it can also bring a significant competitive advantage. A company that uses accounting software is usually better equipped to manage its finances than a company that relies on Excel spreadsheets, but benefiting from these programs will often require some kind of initial outlay. If they can’t afford it, they can’t take advantage of it.

By spreading payments across monthly or quarterly instalments, it’s easier to pay for the licenses they need without compromising on quality with a lesser or older version of the software. The reseller can also allow them to consolidate add-ons and other costs within one predictable payment plan – making the expense easier to digest and manage. If the business needs to upgrade or scale, the lease can be amended to meet their evolving requirements.

Similarly, companies sometimes buy applications without fully considering the issue of compatibility: if a program doesn’t complement its existing setup, it can be hard to get the most out of it. A leasing agreement can be tailored to the exact needs of the customer and include both tangible and intangible assets: if they require a computer with a more powerful processor to run their suite of accounting applications, it can be included in the deal; if they require support with IT infrastructure, telecommunications, cloud storage, or anything else, it can also be arranged.

Software leasing is also well-suited to changes in requirements as businesses scale and their needs grow or change. If a business’ original agreement is for 10-15 software licenses, securing more can often be an unnecessarily troublesome task. Businesses are often given a choice to either stick with what they have or pay the excessive costs of upgrading to the next tier. With software finance, it’s much easier for an end-user to upscale to their specific needs.

It’s also easy to avoid the problem of built-in obsolescence that comes with software and hardware alike. Leasing IT equipment allows businesses to keep pace with advances, iterations, and upgrades: at the end of an 18 month contract, the end-user can pay for a newer, more sophisticated tool or application on comparable terms. This means they never have to worry about their equipment or their software becoming slow or ineffective over the long term as they’re seldom very far from a high-quality replacement. Given the pace of development, particularly with software, this is an important consideration for businesses that need access to state of the art technology to keep up with the competition.

For businesses, the opportunities provided by finance are valuable indeed. IT setups are often complicated and specific to each individual organisation: figuratively speaking, businesses often find themselves buying square pegs. Fixing the ‘round holes’ will often require assistance with training, installation, and routine support.

With finance, these soft costs are wrapped up into the original contract. This simplifies the process of integrating software into operations, accounts for possible contingencies, and ultimately costs less for the end-user.

SaaS vs finance?

One argument against leasing is that, with the rise of Software as a Service (SaaS), which offers applications on a pay-monthly subscription basis, leasing and other forms of finance are effectively redundant.

But the idea that SaaS and software finance are somehow opposed is flawed. They are in fact perfectly complementary – and SaaS has, in many ways, boosted the case for software finance. 

In the consumer sphere, entertainment as a service platforms like Netflix and Spotify have popularised the idea of accessing content rather than owning it. Instead of building a collection of physical media on outdated formats, you can simply pay a small flat monthly fee and receive access to more entertainment than you could ever store. In the B2B sphere, SaaS solutions like Xero and Salesforce offer comprehensive financial management and business development services for a regular monthly payment.

SaaS is great for businesses if they want ‘off the shelf’ software, however leasing can offer fully bespoke software solutions which incorporate soft costs such as training, installation and maintenance. These costs can end up being quite high and if the business has not planned for them they may have to tap into their lines of credit or draw on valuable cash reserves. With finance, businesses can also opt for custom-built solutions that wrap up the cost of an entire IT solution including software, hardware and soft costs into a predictable regular payment, enabling businesses to plan for the future more effectively.

This isn’t to say that leasing is perfect for every application or organisation. Any financial agreement should be looked over by an accountant and weighed against a company’s business model. But if companies require the best software, at a convenient, manageable cost, they should look to fund their tangible assets the same way they fund their intangible assets.

We are committed to your business growth. Our competitive finance solutions can help you capitalise on new opportunities. Contact us today to discuss your needs with a member of our team.

How as a service is changing the channel - infographic

We are committed to your business growth. Our competitive finance solutions can help you capitalise on new opportunities. Contact us today to discuss your needs with a member of our team.

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Suhale Vorajee
Head of Marketing and Communications
BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions UK

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By Tristan Watkins, CEO, BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions UK

A recent survey from Spiceworks indicates that UK IT budgets are set to decline in 2017. There are many different reasons for this: for example, 33 percent attributed it to political and economic uncertainty. Regardless of the cause, however, you can be sure of one thing: large, expensive software and hardware purchases will be harder than ever to justify.


Already, businesses and consumers are moving away from high-value upfront transactions and towards models that allow for regular upgrades, flexibility, and lower commitments of time and money. A customer looking for software will often find it available for an inexpensive subscription: enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools, for example, may be prohibitively costly to purchase on perpetual licenses, but as a smaller, recurring monthly expense, they’re often far more manageable.


What’s more, the model is gradually moving beyond software; having started with SaaS, it’s slowly moved towards Hardware as a Service – HP, for example, offer 24 and 36-month hardware subscriptions – and Infrastructure as a Service, as offered by Amazon Web Services.


It’s gaining in popularity, but while smaller, regular payments may be the best option for customers, it won’t always be viable for a margin-sensitive reseller. How can resellers benefit from this trend without damaging their profits?


They need to embrace subscription models, but they don’t have the cash flow to sustain it. Leasing agreements may offer the best of both worlds: the financier pays the reseller’s invoice in full, but the customer can still pay the financier in smaller, recurring payments. This arrangement confers several advantages on the channel partner and the end-user alike.

Extra costs

Every IT setup – from a simple CRM deployment to a complete infrastructure overhaul –  requires some level of customisation, and customisation inevitably drives up the cost. New software always needs to be tailored to the specific business, and often needs to run on new hardware which can comfortably exceed the cost of the application. Setup, implementation, training and delivery costs frequently rise beyond the limits of a customer’s budget. Complicating matters more is that these expenses won’t always be predictable, even for routine installations, and unforeseen costs could jeopardise the project. Leasing simplifies this by rolling these costs into affordable, regular payments. Finance packages can include whatever add-ons the user needs, from the equipment itself to implementation, training and ongoing support.

Regular upgrades

How software and hardware on finance can change the channel

Software and hardware becomes obsolete increasingly quickly, but updates can be prohibitively expensive. Hardware such as desktop computers will start to creak after a couple years and intelligent companies should have a three year refresh plan in place to keep their business running smoothly.

The best way to manage this is to make IT expenditure a predictable cost. On a fixed lease contract businesses know how much their upgrade will cost, and can plan accordingly. Let’s not forget that aging hardware is also expensive: if a business owns their own equipment, they have to bear the cost of disposing of it responsibly as well as conducting a full data wipe.

Leasing agreements represent a clear opportunity for resellers to develop mutually beneficial relationships with their customers and ensure repeat business. The financier works with the reseller to suggest upgrades, and the end-user benefits from a level of sustained strategic support that wouldn’t be part of a more conventional cash sale.

Flexibility and scalability

Customers seldom know how their businesses are going to grow and evolve: their requirements change in ways they never expected or anticipated. Software and hardware, however, tends to put down roots – embedding itself into company systems and infrastructure to the point where it can be extremely difficult to replace. If an end-user wants to scale their business up, they may find that their present IT setup is holding them back: it’s not fit for purpose, but it’s too well integrated to remove. The leasing model avoids this problem by enabling customers to upscale with ease.

What suits one end-user may not suit another though, and when you throw leasing into the mix, you’re adding another layer of due diligence and the expectation of financial responsibility in with it. Advising your customers to have their accountants review the agreement will go some way towards putting everyone’s minds at ease.

But the promise of software and hardware as services has clear long-term appeal. If they’re flexible, adaptable, and use alternative financial models, resellers will be in a unique and powerful position to deliver on it.

We are committed to your business growth. Our competitive finance solutions can help you capitalise on new opportunities in the IT sector. Contact us today to discuss your needs with a member of our team.

By Tristan Watkins, CEO, BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions UK

The must-haves for previous generations of SMEs aren’t as important for the new wave of digitally native companies. Spurred on by a stream of Millennials entering the workplace, many smaller businesses are putting off major purchases – or avoiding them entirely.

Starting your own business is an exciting and challenging venture. For many entrepreneurs it’s a first-time foray into a world of spreadsheets and budgets, HR and office overheads, all of which can be daunting – and very expensive to get right.

However, advances and innovations in technology have changed how we do things, both in our personal and work lives. We now have greater access to affordable experiences and assets; from holiday accommodation via Airbnb to collaborative workspaces that share resources. 

The shift towards access has meant the emphasis on outright ownership is dwindling. People want to lease, rent or pay monthly for products and services, and the younger generation, raised on subscription-based business models such as Netflix or Spotify, is driving this trend into the workplace.

More and more business owners are considering subscription-based agreements that enable them to spread their costs over a longer period of time. This means you can afford the software and supplies you need to run your company, without putting pressure on your capital and operating budgets. It’s a business model you are already very familiar with: by paying monthly for your mobile phone, you can afford the handset of your choice, and upgrade to the latest versions as they’re rolled-out, staying up-to-date and connected.

Get more bang for your buck

Let’s further consider the example of mobile phones. Buying a phone with a contract is essentially the same as leasing an asset over the course of an agreed period. The payment terms are predictable, and upgrades are offered as technology improves and the asset declines in value. Now, apply this model to your office printers, computers and software systems. Instead of having to make a large upfront payment – drawing heavily on your capital – you can spread your annual budget even further and lease what you need, for as long as you need it.

Stay ahead of the curve

Any product, whether it’s a new mobile phone, a car, or CRM system, has a shelf-life. These technologies come with built-in obsolescence; their value deteriorates in time and newer versions are constantly being launched. It’s an expensive business keeping up – unless you opt for leasing rather than owning. This way you’ll always have access to the latest products on the market, without breaking your budget.

Facilitate business growth

As a company grows, the needs of its people grow too, challenging the products and services already in use to work harder and faster. Unfortunately, no matter how much you crack the whip, your bandwidth won’t be able to support the weight of 50 new employees. Leasing contracts can be adjusted to suit your needs as they change, finding the right fit for your business requirements, as well as your budget.

Benefit from additional support

Integrating the latest software into your existing systems and processes is not always easy. Often, follow-up services are needed to get the programs up and running with as little stress as possible, but these add-ons are not necessarily available to you when making an upfront payment. If you procure your software via a leasing agreement, extras such as hardware, training, consultancy and set-up assistance can be included in the contract.

Leasing assets in today’s subscription economy is a huge opportunity for businesses that want to experience the benefits and competitive advantage presented by the latest technology, and aim to do so while maintaining a positive, well-managed cash-flow and planning for long-term business growth.