IBM Certified Pre-owned Equipment helps Champion Solution Group to win

Published on 21-Sep-2012

"When we need refurbished equipment we think of IBM Global Financing first" - Marc Straus, Champion Solutions Group

Champion Solutions Group

Computer Services

Deployment country:
United States

IGF, IGF: Used Equipment


Founded in 1979, Champion Solutions Group is among the top IBM Business Partners today, providing clients complete technology solutions of hardware, software, services and maintenance.

Business need:
Champion Solutions Group one of the largest IBM Business Partners today saw the need for older technology at a lower cost that is certified and has the ability to be placed on maintenance.

Champion Solutions Group one of the largest IBM Business Partners today saw the need for older technology at a lower cost that is certified and has the ability to be placed on maintenance.

IBM Global Financing provides: - Access to the WORLDS largest inventory of IBM Certified Pre-owned equipment*, upgrades and features - Significant cost savings over NEW - An option for their customers to choose new vs. pre-owned. Online pricing tools that provide the quickest, most accurate and best possible price and turnaround Buying refurbished through Champion Solutions Group from IBM Global Financing provides clients: - Cost savings - Competitive financing rates and rental options - A 90 day satisfaction guarantee and IBM maintenance options

Case Study

About Champion

Founded in 1979, Champion Solutions Group is among the top IBM Business Partners today, providing clients complete technology solutions of hardware, software, services and maintenance.

The challenge: Need for Growth
Champion Solutions Group knew they were losing some business on price and the availability of older technology. Some companies can’t afford new equipment every time they needed to do an upgrade or expand their legacy environments. In order to help these customers protect their investments they would need someone that specializes in used equipment. This was a great opportunity to grow a small part of the business and that is when they decided to work with IBM Global Financing to help clients save significant amounts of money. And that’s also when Marc Straus Vice-President of Wholesale Solutions joined Champion in 1998. “With my extensive background in used equipment, I naturally brought with me the idea of selling used IBM equipment to our customers,” says Straus. Combining that experience with IBM Global Financing inventory—has led to many successful deals—in which Customers have gotten the best solution at the best possible price. Straus says, “When we need refurbished equipment, we think of IBM Global Financing first.” Since the dotcom bust and recent economic downturn, used equipment has become the first option for many companies seeking cost savings or when facing tight budgets. According to Straus, “Sales driven by used equipment account for a growing part of Champion’s business and currently contribute more than 8 percent of sales.” “It’s an important 8 percent in revenue as it keeps us in accounts looking to purchase USED and also drives software and services giving us the ability to offer a turnkey solution,” adds Straus. Selling the hardware is just the beginning. As a partner, champion Solutions Group is able to bundle the OS, SW Suite and HW maintenance as well as offer IBM Global Services install or their own in house services technical team.

The solution: Addressing customer perceptions
Straus explains to his customers that they’re not taking a risk by buying IBM Certified Pre-owned Equipment. He quotes his own simple rule: “The true story is the best one to tell and the easiest one to remember,” he says, “And that’s what I tell them—every time.” Buying IBM Certified Pre-owned equipment is almost the same as buying from IBM new, because they follow the same rigorous test processes in remanufacturing*. The IBM mid-range (System x®, System i® and System p®) servers, storage and networking products are tested in the original plant of assembly as the new, using IBM quality products and standards.

The solution: Meeting Champion’s needs
“We are not in the business of warehousing equipment or building products,” says Straus, “We can’t afford to be.” We rely wholly on IBM to provide that for us and our customers.“We do pre-build configuration and they do all the product remanufacturing and handle the shipping to our customers. This allows us to save time and money and in turn allows us to sell at the lowest possible price” says Straus.

The solution: Meeting Customer Needs
IBM Certified Pre-owned Equipment solves the customer’s hardware problem at a much lower cost. Champion and its customers are very satisfied with the value and quality that IBM Global Financing provides. “Having repeat business on pre-owned equipment is critical to Champion and IBM,” Straus adds. “If we don’t help these customers, someone else will.” This is a win, win, win—for IBM Global Financing, Champion and the customer. A very important part of offering refurbished equipment is making sure it’s the right product solution and configuration for the customer’s environment. Based on the past 12 years and the amount of repeat business we have had, it is fantastic. This tells us that IBM Global Financing is pricing the equipment properly to us and providing quality refurbished products to our customers in a timely manner.”

The benefits
Champion uses IBM Certified Pre-owned Equipment as an important strategy element for keeping customers and growing business. “There are three kinds of customers who need used equipment,” says Straus, “1). Those who always buy used equipment, because that’s the way they do business; 2). Ones who have older technology that they are still maintaining and 3). Those who really need to save money”. IBM refurbished equipment, provides these customers the most reliable option with the best performance. “Just peace of mind that I am working with the manufacturer makes it easier to do my job well,” says Straus. More importantly for Champion, the end user cost of the IBM Certified Pre-owned Equipment is balanced—and even outweighed—by several important factors. “As I said earlier, the hardware drives so many other parts of our business, from software to Services to Maintenance”, adds Straus.

Selling IBM Certified Pre-owned Equipment
Straus summarizes the benefits of working with IBM Certified Pre-owned
● Customers save money; history proves this is very successful.
● Customers know the advantage goes beyond saving money and into enhanced price/performance value, improving satisfaction—and driving repeat business.
● Champion keeps customers and grows its business.
“At Champion, the winning formula for closing more business and gaining repeat customers is working with IBM Global Financing; it’s simple.” says Straus and winning is what a Champion does best.

For more information
To learn more about IBM Certified Pre-owned Equipment, please contact your IBM Global Financing representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website:
Visit the Champion Solutions Group website:

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2012 IBM Global Financing North Castle Drive Armonk, NY 10504-1785 USA Produced in the United States of America February 2012 IBM, the IBM logo, and are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at The content in this document (including currency OR pricing references which exclude applicable taxes) is current as of the initial date or publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided. IBM Global Financing offerings are provided through IBM Credit LLC in the United States and other IBM subsidiaries and divisions worldwide to qualified commercial and government clients. Rates and availability are based on a client’s credit rating, financing terms, offering type, equipment and product type and options, and may vary by country. Non-hardware items must be one-time, non-recurring charges and are financed by means of loans. Other restrictions may apply. Rates and offerings are subject to change, extension or withdrawal without notice and may not be available in all countries. * refers only to IBM manufactured equipment