IBM Global Financing Adds $2B in Stimulus-Related Credit

Blackwell said that a number of IBM’s financing options directly benefit channel partners. For example, credit engagements that originate through channel partners are paid in full directly to the partner once the customer signs off on the financial documents and the project is delivered. Customers may defer repayment to IBM for up to six months, and then make interest only payments for the following 12 months.

“The partner receives the funds immediately when the customer signs the financial documents,” Blackwell said. “It greatly helps to fund the partner’s cash flow.”

IBM will grant credit based on the customer’s qualifications, irrespective of anticipated funding through the ARRA, Blackwell said. Financing is available for hardware, software and services and is not confined to IBM products. “We’re not financing things that just have an IBM logo,” she said. “This is meant to be project-oriented and have IBM content but we understand that other companies’ products could be included.”

One channel partner that has consulted with IBM on its Dynamic Infrastructure program agreed that the availability of additional credit targeted at stimulus-related IT projects will help bump sales. “We expect we will be using some of that money, especially for our larger accounts,” said Bob Verola, president of Vicom Computer Services Inc., a Farmingdale, N.Y.-based solution provider.

Blackwell said that the additional $2 billion in available credit might be increased if IBM sees clear evidence that the funding has unlocked previously closed budgets. “If the program works well, we could look at extending the number,” she said.

An analyst following the financing market for market researcher International Data Corp. praised IBM’s tying credit to stimulus-related IT projects. “Mapping and applying their IT project financing skills to ARRA-related infrastructure projects will provide many of the same benefits IT buyers have enjoyed for years—faster time to market, funding flexibility and tailored repayment options,” said Joseph Pucciarelli, director IDC Research, Technology Financing Strategies.

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