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.

Discuss this Blog Entry 2

on Jan 6, 2012
Reducing the IT costs is not just about financing. Microsoft must change its software structure also. For example, when a new Exchange Server version is releases you need to buy new machines. This concept should change and the new versions must use current hardware. Second thing Microsoft should do is changing Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS) mentality. MCS offers more than enough hardware and software whenever an organizations consults it. And the wise people in the IT departments just halve whatever MCS recommends. Third thing to do is to use new opportunities. For example, cheap netbooks can be used as DCs, Web Servers, DHCP or DNS Servers. Powerfull but relatively cheaper notebooks can be used as servers, instead of nasty, power-hungry servers. Fourth thing is to use tablet PCs instead of desktop or notebook computers. They consume less energy and they can be easily connected to enterprise applications. Small businesses can make use of Gmail's offer: Gmail hosts mail services for free for 10 or less users. And for more than 10 users, it is cheaper than Microsoft cloud services. Fifth thing is to host mail services on the cloud. Hosting mail servers on premises is just costly and tiresome.
on Jan 6, 2012
With todays ecconomic challenges and financing for software and services being a challenge for most lenders this is a tremendous initiative from Microsoft.

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