IBM beefs up financing for business partners
By Digital News Asia January 1, 2013
- IBM announces US$4bil in financing for credit-qualified clients to eliminate many of the cost barriers that businesses face today
- Mobile app will be launched in 2013 to make it easier for partners to provide price proposals and generate credit approvals on-the-go
IBM has announced it is providing IBM Business Partners worldwide with US$4 billion in financing for credit-qualified clients over a period of 12 months.
This financing, through IBM Global Financing (IGF), is intended to make obtaining credit easier and more accessible and to enable IBM's global partner ecosystem and their clients to acquire advanced technologies such as cloud, analytics and PureSystems.
Mark Hennessy (pic), general manager, IBM Global Business Partners & Midmarket, said finding capital for a new business or idea is almost always challenging.
"As a result, the gap between a promising vision and a business reality appears to be even more of an unbridgeable chasm. With this effort, IBM aims to provide the right foundation and resources to our global ecosystem of partners and clients to ensure that businesses, large and small, have access to the right technologies for success," he said.
IGF will offer simple and flexible lease and loan packages, the company said in a statement, some starting at as low as zero percent for 12 months with no money down, allowing these businesses to acquire the technology and services they need from IBM and those developed by IBM Business Partners, while managing their cash flow more effectively.
The commitment of US$4 billion in financing for IBM’s global ecosystem is intended to eliminate many of the cost barriers that businesses face today, the company said.
One such IGF beneficiary is Avnet Technology Solutions, a global IT solutions distributor, which can now provide clients with a more flexible financing option.
"IBM Global Financing provides an alternative source of funding and helps lower upfront costs. This is important especially in this climate of economic uncertainty. Strategically, we have found IGF to be a competitive key differentiator when marketing comprehensive solutions to our customers,” said Bennett Wong, vice president and general manager (Asean), Avnet Technology Solutions.
A recent global survey of 1,144 businesses by the University of Oxford and IBM found 63% of respondents gained a competitive advantage by using analytics for their organizations.
This is a 70% increase from the 37% who cited analytics as a competitive advantage in a 2010 IBM study.
Additionally, cloud continues to gain momentum as companies are looking for more efficient and economical ways to tackle complex, data intensive business challenges. According to IDC, public IT cloud services spending will reach almost US$100 billion in 2016.
This initiative builds on the US$1 billion in financing that IGF made available through IBM Business Partners for small and midsize businesses in 2011, which the company said resulted in 6,800 global companies using financing in just 12 months versus an expected 18 months.
Smaller businesses, in particular, exhibited a stronger than expected appetite for new technology, including analytics, cloud and advanced infrastructure.
According to IBM, thousands of small and midsize businesses are already reaping the benefits of the US$1 billion in financing made available last year to clients.
This financing will be made available through IBM Business Partners including managed service providers, resellers, ISVs, SIs and distributors, from more than 50 countries.
In addition, IGF can help credit-qualified Business Partners run and expand their business by providing working capital for IT purchases and improve their cash flow by providing financing for accounts receivables.
Financing on the go
IBM is also launching a new mobile app as another step to simplify the way IBM's Business Partners can apply for and secure financing for their clients within minutes via any mobile device.
With 10 billion mobile devices forecasted by 2020, the proliferation of mobile technology is fundamentally changing the way people think, work, act, and interact, IBM said.
According to Morgan Stanley, 90% of mobile users keep their device within arm’s reach at all times, and complete many kinds of transactions across these smart devices.
Aimed at addressing this changing business environment, the mobile app is designed to make it easier for IBM Business Partners to provide their clients with price proposals and generate credit approvals within minutes using an iPad, iPhone or Android mobile device.
It is based on IGF’s simple Rapid Online Financing tool, designed for non-finance experts with an easy-to-use interface and is designed for contracts worth up to US$500,000.
The app will be available in the United States this month and will be rolled out globally beginning in China in January 2013. It will also be made available in selected Asean countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand in 2013.
For more information on IBM Global Financing, click here.
For more information about the IBM Business Partner Network, click here.