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IBM Quadruples Financing Pot to $4 Billion

IBM announced to its partners on Thursday that it will provide $4 billion in financing over the next 12 months for credit-qualified clients. The total, intended to spur technology purchases by small and midsize businesses worldwide, represents a quadrupling of the amount of financing IBM had promised a little over a year ago.

In September 2011, IBM had committed to providing $1 billion in financing, an amount Big Blue expected to need about 18 months to dole out. Instead, some 6,800 companies around the world used that financing in just 12 months.

"Smaller businesses, in particular, exhibited a stronger than expected appetite for new technology, including analytics, cloud and advanced infrastructure," IBM stated in a news release about the expanded financing.

Emboldened by the ability of the IBM-provided financing to kickstart purchases in spite of ongoing struggles in the global economy, IBM is upping its own stimulus effort with partners as the evangelists.

"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," said Mark Hennessy, general manager of IBM Global Business Partners & Midmarket, in a statement.

The financing will be made available through IBM Business Partners in more than 50 countries. Partners can also use the financing themselves to expand their own businesses. In the United States, the offerings are provided through IBM Credit LLC and the minimum transaction size is $5,000.

At the same time as IBM is increasing its pool of credit, the company is also launching a new mobile app that will allow IBM Business Partners to apply for financing on behalf of their clients from a sales call and get an answer back within minutes, the company said.

Earlier in the week, HP also expanded its Extended Finance Program for resellers.

Posted by Scott Bekker on November 15, 2012