Microsoft Financing Looks to Help Cash-Strapped IT Departments

With the global economy still in the doldrums, beleaguered IT professionals and IT managers are struggling to do more with less. Part of their strategy for staying afloat revolves around sticking with legacy software that is still getting the job done, like the legion of IT departments that are opting to stay with Windows XP rather than upgrade to Windows 7. Computer hardware is also cheaper and more powerful than ever, a situation that leads many businesses to solider on with older equipment that is still getting the job done.

Yet not every IT department can afford to stay with legacy hardware and software systems, and sometimes -- for the sake of ensuring critical business tasks or functions – new investments must be made in IT resources. Recognizing that businesses may need help in financing new software and hardware purchases, Microsoft has ramped up promotion of their Microsoft Financing arm that provides a number of financial services for Microsoft customers. To get the latest on what Microsoft Financing can offer customers, I recently spoke with Seth Eisner, general manager of Microsoft Financing. 

 seth-eisnerEisner mentioned that Microsoft Financing generally helps customers with three different financial scenarios. "We can help customers map their payments to deployments, or help them align financing around their budget cycles," Eisner said. "We also help customers with periodic payments that work [more effectively] with their cash flow situation...our financing options allow us to help customers buy more, buy better, buy bigger, and buy more often."

In a statement included in a news release as part of the renewed publicity push for Microsoft Financing, Microsoft partner Steria -- a provider of IT business services in Europe -- said that Microsoft Financing has helped them streamline their IT operations. "We’ve known about financing but not for software," says Phillip Cournot, purchasing officer at Steria. "We’ve used other sources to procure our hardware, so when we learned about the Microsoft financing capabilities we were sold on the convenience. This is by far the best and most flexible financing solution we’ve used for purchasing our software and services."

According to Cournot, Microsoft Financing helped Steria update their enterprise licensing agreement to allow for more flexible payments stretched over a three year period, a change that more closely matched the actual deployment of their software. "My core IT challenge is to deploy Microsoft Office and Windows across our enterprise and reduce IT costs," says Christian Revelli, Group Chief Information Officer at Steria. "Microsoft Financing helped me in this task by splitting the cost of the rollout over three years."

We'd love to hear from Windows IT Pro readers that have used Microsoft Financing in the past, or plan to do so in the future. So please add a comment to this blog post or start up a conversation on Twitter about it.

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