Feeds

IBM lubricates Obama's IT stimulus

Fronts $2bn for 'smart infrastructure'

High performance access to file storage

For US companies, state and local governments, and educational institutions, figuring out how to get a piece of the Obama $787bn stimulus package is a drag - and a drag on business.

And so, IBM has announced that it is fronting $2bn of its own financing in an effort to speed up IT-related projects that come under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). IT projects comprise about $35bn in total spending over the life of the act.

IBM was focusing on key IT stimulus areas even before Barack Obama was elected president last fall, and many made it into the ARRA funding, including smart electric grids, healthcare IT systems, and increased broadband Internet access. IBM wants to speed up the process and let customers finance the IT portions of these projects now, as they chase the funds to do the projects from Uncle Sam or the states or agencies that are being given control of the ARRA funds.

The $2bn is not just a not a lump sum of cash dedicated to ARRA projects, but rather the value, as calculated by Big Blue, of lower finance rates, more flexible payment, and deferred payment plan options it is giving to those engaging in ARRA-backed projects as well as the structured lines of credit.

IBM says that it is tweaking financing packages so the payment schedules and amounts for ARRA projects align to the payment streams that government, educational, and corporate institutions expected to receive as stimulus funds are released. By the way, the ARRA financing plans can be used for the purchase of IBM hardware, software, and services as well as those from its rivals - IBM Global Financing just wants to get its interest, like any other bank.

While the idea of a smart electrical grid - which more efficiently distributes power and which allows consumers to decide when the least costly time is for them to use electricity - is one that most people agree on as being a good one, the actual U.S. electrical grid has apparently been subjected to some hacking attempts and there are some fears that a more automated system will be even more hackable.

This is like icing on Big Blue's smart grid cake, of course, because now it can not only help automate and instrument the electric grid for various power companies, but can sell them secondary services to secure the more automated grids. To date, IBM says that it has been involved in more than 50 smart grid engagements with governments and power companies around the world, which is not a bad number so early in the upgrade cycle.

In a separate announcement, PC and server maker Dell also said this week that it would partner with those chasing ARRA funds to help them steer through the bureaucracy. Dell surveyed 662 IT managers at healthcare, government, and educational institutions who are impacted by ARRA, and 78 per cent of them said that information about ARRA was "non-existent, too generic, or not understandable," which comes as no surprise considering it was written by Congress.

It is too much, it would seem, for a clear means of applying for and receiving ARRA funds, and it looks like IBM, Dell, and others are positioning themselves to benefit three times from the law - first, in helping organizations figure out how to get funds; second, by closing deals for IT products; and third, in financing those product sales while organizations await ARRA funds. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.