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IBM Commits $1 Billion in Financing for SMBs

It's no secret that small and medium businesses are the key engine to economic growth and job creation.

IBM on Thursday said it will pony up $1 billion in credit to provide financing to SMBs looking to purchase its software, hardware and cloud services through its network of partners over the next 18 months.

The credit will be offered through IBM Global Financing, where partners can create price proposals and file credit applications for their SMB clients online. Big Blue said it will offer lease and loan packages with some starting as low as 0 percent over 12 months with no money down.

In many cases, partners will be able to apply online for the financing on behalf of their customers and receive approvals within minutes, IBM said. The company identifies SMBs as companies employing fewer than 1,000 people.

"SMBs are the engines of new ideas for our economy and for economic growth," said Andy Monshaw, general manager of IBM Midmarket Business, in a statement. "As information has become the new currency, the ability of SMBs to survive in an increasingly competitive and global environment is largely determined by their use of new technologies such as cloud and analytics to quickly access the right information and use it as a competitive advantage."

Supporting the financing plan, IBM said it is launching a set of solutions which include bundled hardware, software and service offerings. Areas of focus include cloud, analytics, collaboration and security, IBM said. The company is looking to emphasize offerings on some of its acquisitions that include BigFix, Cast Iron, Cognos, Netezza and SPSS.

IBM said minimum deal sizes are $5,000. Many of the offerings start at $5 for each user per month for 100 users over a period of 36 months.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on September 08, 2011 at 11:59 AM