IBM has taken the wraps off a new financing app aimed at its UK partners as it earmarks $4bn (£2.6bn) to be offered in channel credit.
Big Blue is hoping the app – powered by its IBM Global Financing (IGF) arm – will help resellers seal crucial deals in minutes and avoid the headache of wrangling over finance terms.
The app – launching in the UK today after a pilot launch in the US and China – will run across iOS, Android, Windows and BlackBerry platforms on tablets and smartphones, and will allow partners to simply obtain quotes, request credit checks and for contracts to be sent to them, all of which can be completed in less than 10 minutes.
Ajay Khindria (pictured), director of IBM Global Financing, told CRN: “We operate in 55 countries and have 125,000 customers and are the largest captive IT financier. Everything we do is being offered through partners as well.
“We have put $4bn additional credit aside for financing through our global partners – last year alone we did $1bn in a year,” he added. “We can offer multi-year spread of financing and there are other benefits for partners as well. They could get paid incremental incentives or [be] paid for promoting financing.”
And he said that any smaller partners dismissing the app because it would be for large amounts only, could think again.
“This offer goes as low as £5,000 and for the larger deals we can develop bespoke packages,” he said. “We understand technology and because of that we are able to put in place some very creative offers and fair market value leasing agreements.”
Khindria added that IBM has about 6,000 partners in the UK and has some stipulations before financing can be obtained.
“Clearly we have to be selective with partners for IGF and we ask them to sign a supplier agreement with us first,” he explained. “We need to validate partners, but we want the channel to be offering more financing and we will provide more support to those that invest in it.
“Technology continues to change faster than ever and hardware is being updated all the time. IBM has plays in cloud, smarter technology and big data for example, but not everybody can afford the technology to do this. Sometimes by having financing in place they can do these things as it is cheaper than a straight purchase.”
One US partner that has already benefitted from the app is John Lambert at Mapsys, who used it to grab a $250,000 deal in March.
"It was great to use and I was glad I had it. The end customer came back with a change last minute and I was able to turn contracts around in five minutes, whereas the old way would have taken a lot longer."
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