IBM turns multi-billion creditor

IBM appears to be so frustrated with the lack of SMB client sales growth after the financial crash in 2008 that it has announced a scheme to loan money to a slew of them to the tune of $4 billion.

The plan will open the kitty up through IBM Global Financing and even come with a mobile app so companies can potentially access credit in minutes, anywhere.

IBM pointed out that by 2020 it’s expected there will be 10 billion mobile devices out in the wild, so it makes sense for the company to speed up crediting through the iPad, iPhone or Android (but not Blackberry).

BusinessInsider reckons that Big Blue is playing the long game. By getting involved at an early stage and opening its kimono to credit and IBM technology, partners are more likely to stay with the company in the long run. Besides, IBM spokesperson Ed Abrams told BusinessInsider that plenty of SMBs want to indulge in the latest buzzwords – big data, cloud – in tech, they just need a little direction, preferably towards IBM.

Abrams said the program is on the back of a trial last year where the company injected $1 billion worth of financing into the SMB market, expecting it to last 18 months. IBM got through it in less than a year, and 7000 businesses signed up.

IBM seems to be planning to plant as many seeds as it can for even more long-term growth.