February 12, 2009, 11:11 AM — The credit market still hasn't turned around, despite the government giving big money to big banks. It would seem that they're hanging onto whatever's left after they've doled out the million-dollar bonuses; credit requirements are so stiff that it's freezing a lot of smaller businesses out. Solution providers and VARs too are feeling the pinch, as less credit is available to their customers, and less crdit is available from channel financing programs.
A CRN report said that at least three channel financing programs for VARs have dried up, either making terms too strict for many, or shutting down completely. For example, IBM's Flexible Credit program for smaller businesses has been closed; and a technology leasing program has also been limited. The limitation centers around IBM Global Financing narrowing down its financing opportunmities to only IBM and Lenovo equipment; previously it had been open to any technology products.
Although IBM tried to spin this in their favor, calling it a "great thing for IBM resellers", but it doesn't strike me as good for the market. Sure, it's great that IBM will still finance IBM equipment for their VARs, but the fact is, a lot of solutions are multi-vendor in nature. If IBM Global Financing will only bankroll part of a deal, then in many cases, there will be no deal at all. Textron has reportedly made a similar move.