Microsoft launches software financing

Microsoft has launched a new customer financing program promising customers pay-as-you-go software access.

Project leader, Elizabeth Aris, said its aim was to reduce upfront costs associated with acquiring new software. The vendor has partnered De Lage Landen.

Customers could finance a combination of software, hardware and services regardless of vendor, Aris said, provided there was a Microsoft component. The minimum spend was $15,000, with terms ranging 2-5 years. There is no limit.

While financing IT hardware was commonplace, Aris said there were fewer software and services options because they were harder to quantify.

"Banks lend against hard assets preferably. Software and services don't fit that mould," she said. "They either look for other assets to insure against, or charge higher interest rates. As it's our core business, we don't treat software that way at all."

Aris said lower upfront costs would see customers more willing to fork out larger sums on their overall IT infrastructure.

"US evidence shows us that the deals grow 15-40 per cent bigger with financing," she said.

The new program would also benefit Microsoft partners who were providing full hardware, software and services solutions, Aris said.

"Typically, a reseller gets squeezed on services, which is the element completely under their control. This financing option leaves room for customers to afford those services," she said.

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