informa
/
3 min read
Commentary

Crisis Survival Kit: If It's Not On Sale, Don't Buy It

The recession is putting the screws to everyone and that means falling prices on hardware, software, services, and a host of other business technology. From Azeleos to Dell, HP to Intuit, it's a buyer's market out there.
The recession is putting the screws to everyone and that means falling prices on hardware, software, services, and a host of other business technology. From Azeleos to Dell, HP to Intuit, it's a buyer's market out there.Pick your cost saver: steep discounts, down-market offerings, or total financing. There's no shortage of variations on slashing prices right now and for business owners who have money to spend -- or need to upgrade or expand IT infrastructure -- now is the time to buy.

Piling on the SMB pricing programs offered by HP, Intuit, Cisco, Intacct, Powerbuy, and Toshiba, two recent entrants in the price wars are Dell and Azaleos.

Taking a marketing cue from Inuit by calling it a stimulus and pricing cue from HP in offering 0% financing Dell introduced it's so called "Economic Stimulus Package For Small And Medium Businesses." The program offers interest free financing for 90 days and a $1 buy-out lease promotion (see HP offering, again). The Round Rock Texas-based PC maker is also pushing its line of PowerEdge Energy Smart servers under the auspices for helping business owners reduce power consumption -- if you need a server, buying one that costs less to run makes sense. Dell's even taking the advice route and blogging about how financing can conserve precious capital.

Meanwhile, Azaleos is offering appealing financing on a package that also promises simplicity. The managed MS Exchange services provider's "All-In-One Financing Option" bundles hardware, managed services, and deployment and migration services into a one package offered on a monthly subscription basis. It's welcome news for businesses planning to migrate to Exchange 2007 and businesses owners eager to shift the balance sheet from capex to opex.

With tight spending expected to continue well into the year, the popularity of leasing will only increase. As a Forrester Research report stated, "More often than not, leasing is the preferred option in financing an IT infrastructure environment. This is particularly true when 1) the technology replacement follows along the same industry life-cycle turnover for that specific technology; 2) a business need exists for rapid technological changes; 3) a business need exists to drive the quick adoption of a new technology; and most importantly, 4) spreading out payments and using operating funds rather than capital funds would be beneficial."

Put another, more accessible way by Scott Gode, Azaleos vice president of marketing and product management, "In uncertain economic times, IT organizations are often faced with capital expenditure freezes or reductions, but must maintain service levels in the face of evolving business and technology requirements."

Leasing is hardly a new strategy for IT investments, but you can count on it getting more popular over the near term and that should mean more specials and appealing programs as vendors compete for your business.

More From bMighty: Financial Crisis Survival Kit

Editor's Choice
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing
Pam Baker, Contributing Writer
James M. Connolly, Contributing Editor and Writer
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing
Greg Douglass, Global Lead for Technology Strategy & Advisory, Accenture
Carrie Pallardy, Contributing Reporter