IBM is offering a 90-day deferred payment on selected IT services as well as 4.6 per cent financing on hardware in the US, Canada and some Latin American countries, the company said Friday.
The offers, valid until March 31 and offered through IBM and its partners, are only available to customers who spend between US$50,000 and $1 million, or C$50,000 and C$1 million in Canada, on eligible products, IBM said in a statement.
The buy now, pay later offer is a first for IBM Global Services, IBM said. At the end of the deferral period, financing will be provided by IBM Global Financing.
The offer is valid for business integration services, including consulting on areas like electronic business and integrated technology services -- a hardware oriented service that covers installation, maintenance and upgrades, IBM said.
"We have been concentrating on hardware financing and now we are adding services," said Anna Von Bismarck, a spokeswoman for IBM Global Financing based in Hamburg, Germany.
The announcement is nothing earth shattering, just good marketing to kick off the year, said Anthony Miller, an analyst at Ovum Holway, the IT services research arm of London-based Ovum Ltd.
"IBM, like all the major IT players, wants to financially engineer the deal in the way it is attractive to the client. If you're trying to do a large enough deal then IBM and any of the other vendors will find a way to finance it, with a month, two months or three months of deferred payments and other sorts of deals," he said.
The financing offer for hardware is valid for most IBM eServers, personal and printing systems and storage products shipped in the first quarter and installed by March 31, IBM said.
Financing products and services is gaining popularity with customers, said Von Bismarck.
"Customers more and more prefer to finance their project or hardware decisions," she said.
In Europe, IBM offers low-rate financing on hardware, Von Bismarck said, adding that the company is thinking about offering the deferred payment deal outside of the Americas.
"We might offer the same deal in Europe, we don't have something comparable in place," she said. "We do finance complete projects, including hardware and services. This is negotiated with each customer and could include a deferred payment, what we call an adapted payment plan."