Navitas Lease Corp., a Channel Finance 25 company, has introduced hardware as a service (HaaS) offerings for managed services providers (MSPs) and channel partners. The move caught MSPmentor's attention because Navitas financial team members have worked with N-able customers and partners for more than five years. Here's the update.
"All leasing companies say they can do Pass Through Service but in actuality they will only do it if it is of interest to them," said Jim Offner, director of business development at Navitas Lease. "Most lease companies won’t set up a service provider if they are only going to be doing a handful of deals per year. We, however, are taking the approach of working with the small and medium MSPs with the strategy of “hitting a lot of singles instead of going for the home run.""
The Good and the BadGenerally speaking, I think the HaaS market has been a hit-and-miss experience for many MSPs. Scores of MSPs work with HaaS specialists like CharTec, which also offers training and sales services to channel partners. But some MSPs have also gotten burned by HaaS upstarts that had questionable financial and business management practices in place.
How does Navitas hope to stand out from the crowd? "Some MSPs have tried to finance the HaaS offering in-house but that could be a slippery slope and hard to manage," said Offner. "I am aware of other companies offering HaaS but the MSP has to pay to join and buy only specific types of hardware. That can be a challenge if your customer has been using Dell for the last 15 years and all of a sudden you have to force them into something else."
In contrast, Offner claims, Navitas Lease Corp. has a simple offering. "We have a form for the MSP to acknowledge that we have their permission to collect their monthly payment from the customer. We have a Rental Agreement with the customer along with a HaaS Addendum. That’s it."
As a result, the service provider can offer a monthly payment to the customer and provide a solution of new hardware and services. This also allows the customer to budget their IT costs, Offner says. Navitas does not dictate the type of equipment that can be used and there is no contract for the service provider. There is also no recourse to the service provider in the event of a default, meaning that Navitas takes on the financial risk, Offner claims.
Navitas has developed a quoting tool to help MSPs quote monthly payments to customers. If the customer is interested in moving forward and has a proven track record (for instance, at least 10 employees and 10 years in business), then Navitas needs the customer's name, address and approximate financial commitment. Navitas then uses D&B to explore the customer's business track record, number of employees, comparable credit established and pay history. Navitas pays for the D&B report(s) and the search does not impact the potential customer's credit. On proposed transactions over $75,000, Navitas requires financial statements.
Do Your ResearchGenerally speaking, interest in HaaS seems to be growing as MSPs seek to offer complete IT as a Service -- everything from hardware to software to services as a single monthly fee. Companies like CharTec seem committed to the long haul. More recently, Equus has launched a HaaS offering and even Google is introducing some HaaS offerings through the Google Chromebooks for Business push. Plus, leasing companies like GreatAmerica have worked closely with VARs and MSPs. Now, along comes Navitas.
We'll be curious to see how the HaaS players evolve and serve MSPs. But we also warn MSPs to ask HaaS partners for multiple references. Financial and accounting scams pop up from time to time in the HaaS market. Do your research before signing on the dotted line.
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