Turbotodd

Ruminations on IT, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Posts Tagged ‘financing

Gone In 60 Seconds: IBM’s New SMB Financing Plan Intended To Boost Economic Growth

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I just heard the very end of the Federal Reserve Chairman’s talk in Minnesota.  When Bernanke was asked a question near the end about the movie “Too Big To Fail,” an HBO docudrama (which I highly recommend) that featured Paul Giamatti as Ben Bernanke, Bernanke joked: “I haven’t seen that movie…although I did see the original.”

The audience lapped it up.  Who’d a thunk Ben Bernanke was a comic at heart!?

But, all kidding aside, as many eagerly await President Obama’s jobs speech later on this evening, IBM made an announcement earlier today that should help credit-qualified small and medium businesses finance IBM technology purchases.

IBM announced earlier today it would provide $1 billion in financing to help such companies take advantage of a new suite of advanced technologies such as analytics and cloud computing over the next 18 months.

This effort is intended to help SMBs spur innovation and drive economic growth by making credit more easily accessible, with approvals often in less than 60 seconds, through IBM Global Financing.

Financing is one of the biggest challenges limiting the success of SMBs today.  U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) consistently reports that well over 50 percent of small businesses fail within their first five years due to lack of capital. Since this segment is responsible for nearly 65 percent of global GDP, representing more than 90 percent of all businesses and employing more than 90 percent of the world’s workforce, SMBs play a critical role in a global economic recovery.

Today’s news addresses the urgent need for capital by providing the right foundation and resources to support SMBs in this economy. IBM’s commitment of $1 billion in financing for SMBs is designed to eliminate many of the cost barriers they face to grow their business. IBM will offer simple, flexible lease and loan packages, some starting at as low as 0 percent for 12 months with no money down, allowing them to immediately acquire the IBM technology and services they need to begin to transform their businesses, while managing their cash flow more effectively.

This financing will be made available to SMB clients through IBM Business Partners who can benefit from enhanced online financing tools to generate price proposals and get fast approvals for credit applications for SMB clients, all available by a simple click of the mouse.

As part of today’s announcement, IBM is also launching a comprehensive set of solutions, which include workload optimized systems combining hardware and software and services offerings focused on technologies, such as cloud, analytics, collaboration and security, specifically designed to address SMBs key needs.  IBM aims to help this segment by making these advanced technologies, once reserved for larger enterprises with large budgets, available to SMBs through IBM Business Partners at an affordable price. These new offerings also introduce technologies from IBM’s recent cloud, analytics and security acquisitions such as Cast Iron, BigFix, SPSS, Netezza and Cognos.

“Reaching people on the go is core to our business,” said SkyMall COO, Jay Scannell. “The opportunity lies behind the ability to tie online buying to offline activity.  This will drive expansion and innovation in the way we conduct commerce and will require the continued investment and advance technologies to keep pace.  As a long-time IBM customer, we have used analytics to make key decisions about our business.  Today’s news demonstrates IBM’s commitment to support and strengthen SMBs and we are excited to see the advancements this will drive in the retail industry.”

“We are currently at the forefront of an entrepreneurial renaissance that is sweeping the globe,” said Mike Grandinetti, managing director at Southboro Capital “Affordable and powerful technology has gone mainstream. It has closed the gap between big corporations and small businesses, enabling entrepreneurs and small to mid-sized businesses to radically change the way that we think about and approach our work.

“While some may find it surprising that big company like IBM is involved, they have long been  a powerful ally to entrepreneurs around the world, helping small business grow and deliver the next wave of technology innovation.”

In addition to software, services and financing, IBM offers a variety of ways for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses with no-charge access to advanced technologies, leading business and technology experts and training. Through its Global Entrepreneur Program and network of 40 global Innovation Centers, IBM helps businesses solve tough challenges, enter new markets and access the training and support needed to get their products to market faster.

IBM is providing $1 billion in financing through IBM Global Financing to credit-qualified SMBs over the next 18 months. SMBs can use this financing to take advantage of advanced technologies such as cloud and analytics to drive innovation, become more efficient, and ultimately grow their business.

You can learn more here.

IBM is providing $1 billion in financing to credit-qualified SMBs to help bolster economic growth.

All Things Smarter Commerce

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The Wall Street Journal’s “All Things D” conference is taking place out in Rancho Palos Verdes, California this week.

A number of digital industry leaders and luminaries are speaking at the event.  (Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings is being interviewed by Kara Swisher as I write this post.)

Former Google CEO and executive chairman Eric Schmidt was onstage there event yesterday, and the Washington Post coverage suggested Schmidt was melancholy about missing out on how to contend with all those hundreds of millions of Facebook friends in the world (read: “the social graph”) while at Google.

Danny Sullivan delivered his own top 10 takeaways from the interview, but the headline that stuck with me was “failing at social,” or in Schmidt’s words, “disambiguating identity” on the Internet.  Schmidt mentioned he wrote memos on the subject four years ago and yet “did nothing.”

And hence chinks in the strategic Web armor are thusly created.  Glad I caught a replay of “Robin Hood” last evening, to get in the spirit of close contact Internet platform battles.

Also makes me wonder to myself aloud, hmmm, what memos might Mark Zuckerberg currently be writing about holes in the Facebook platform strategy!?

Well, the FB seems to have a pretty good head start, so he’s probably got plenty of time to miss a key inflection point.

Meanwhile, IBM had its own announcement to make yesterday around its smarter commerce initiative, one expected to help IBM Business Partners seize the growing market opportunity created by shifting buying patterns in the mobile and computing space.

The headline: IBM will be providing sales, marketing, and technical guidance, and BPs can also qualify to earn incentives of up to 50 percent of the software sales transaction and receive zero percent financing.

IBM’s estimates the Smarter Commerce market opportunity for software at $20 billion, driven by the demands from organizations who are increasingly looking for ways to bring new levels of automation to marketing, sales and fulfillment to secure greater customer loyalty.

IBM is investing in its ecosystem of partners, delivering the right set of skills, technical support, development resources, and industry expertise that will allow them to expand their capabilities to more effectively fulfill client demands brought on by social networking and mobile computing.

Smarter Commerce for Business Partners offers two options designed to help partners build and deliver a broad range of offerings — from integrated supply chain management, collaborative B2B networks and business-to-consumer solutions.

  • Software Value Plus Smarter Commerce Capability – business partners can now qualify to receive incentives as high as 50 percent of the sales transaction for Smarter Commerce software, including Unica, Coremetrics, Unica and Websphere Commerce offerings. To qualify, Business Partners must be authorized IBM software providers with certifications in sales and technical support.
  • The Smarter Commerce Solution Development Initiative — designed to deliver industry-specific sales and technical support, client focused workshops, access to IBM’s global innovation centers and sales assistance in client engagements. To qualify, regional integrators, ISVs, marketing service providers, must have IBM software and industry-specific certifications in retail, telecommunications, banking and consumer product industries.

Certified partners can also take advantage of the Smarter Commerce University to increase their skills.

Through virtual and face-to-face course materials, business partners can gain access to quick-start sales plays, role-based learning, competitive analysis and analyst review information as part of the training.

Visit here to learn more about IBM’s smarter commerce efforts.

Written by turbotodd

June 1, 2011 at 4:37 pm

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