IBM Global Financing Announces Millenium Deferral Program

With the introduction of its "Millenium Bridge Deferral" program, IBM Global Financing is hoping to avoid year-end sales doldrums brought about by overextended budgets as company's head into the homestretch of Year 2000 compliance.

The program was created to give North American customers a payment deferral for up to 150 days when they lease or finance a new AS/400, RS/6000 or point-of-sale system, or equipment from IBM's Networking Hardware, Printing Systems or Storage Systems Division. As long as the products are installed during the remainder of 1999, the program employs a sliding payment deferral of one to five months, depending on when the installation takes place.

IBM Global Financing's Preferred Rate Financing--with rates beginning at 6.9 percent APR--is expected to remain in effect throughout the Millenium Bridge program.

Though the program does not target any particular IBM product line--for example, the new AS/400e Dedicated Server for Domino that hits the streets September 24--Chris Whelan, IBM Global Financing's director of customer financing for the Americas, points out that Millenium Bridge Deferral is a "great offering" for IBM customers looking to implement the new server or any other e-business solutions. Since the program moves all cash payments out of the 1999 timeframe, Whelan expects it will be very attractive to customers looking to install new technologies like the new Dedicated Server for Domino late in the year.

"IBM Global Financing has for a number of years recognized the fact that many customers approaching the end of the year have technology requirements that exceed the remaining budget," Whelan says. "What's different about this deferral program is that we're building on the Preferred Rate financing rate, and we’re providing the program starting in August of this year so we can provide up to five months free use of the equipment."

--L. Greenemeier