IBM Corp. this week announced a new pricing scheme called the Power to Choose that will help companies with limited budgets finance new technology purchases.

From now until the end of December 2003, customers can choose one of three options: to either make payments with reduced financing rates – called low-rate financing; defer all payments until the start of 2004; or take the Enhanced Upgrade Deferral option that is only available when purchasing an IBM iSeries 7xx.

Since the offer finishes at the end of this year, the sooner customers buy, the longer they can take advantage of this program, said Belinda Tang, vice-president and general manager, IBM Global Financing at IBM Canada Ltd. in Toronto.

With IT budgets being slashed throughout the industry, Tang said that many businesses are having difficulty upgrading their technology and sticking to a budget, and that’s why IBM has revamped its pricing scheme.

The offer is available for IBM’s eServer pSeries, eServer xSeries, PCs, TotalStorage, Printing Systems, Retail Store Systems, and One Time Charge software. However, with One Time Charge software applications, buyers must purchase hardware during the same transaction. Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) products, services and maintenance are not included in the Power to Choose program.

With the Enhanced Upgrade Deferral option, only available for IBM iSeries 7xx purchases, users receive a product upgrade to iSeries 8xx followed by low-rate financing after a deferral period.

Buyers can receive financing for purchases ranging from $25,000 to $1 million and can get rates as low as 2.75 per cent for the full term of financing agreement, according to IBM. To be eligible for this program, customers must order by Dec. 15, 2003 and have requested an arrival date of Dec. 31 or prior.

Those who select the deferral option will have financing terms between 28 and 42 months or 24 to 36 months depending on the agreement reached after the deferral period has ended. The deferral program and the Enhanced Upgrade Deferral program for iSeries 7xx is valid for customers who have products shipped before Sept. 15, 2003 and an arrival date prior to or on Sept. 30, 2003.

Only customers that have Best or Best Plus credit ratings are available for the low-rate financing.

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