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It's a new year and a new first quarter and a new and somewhat challenging economy in North America, and therefore IBM is offering financing deals in the United States and Canada.

Last week, Big Blue rolled out a zero per cent financing program called Fast Start Financing that, as the name suggests and as the company has done many times in the past, offers cheap financing to customers. In this case, the deal is available for those looking to acquire Power Systems servers (running any of the operating systems supported, including IBM i, AIX, and Linux) and on various storage arrays.

The Fast Start program gives customers who meet IBM's criteria a 12-month full payout lease with no interest payments over that term. Customers have to spend between $5,000 and $1m (in either American or Canadian dollars in those respective countries where the program is offered). You take the purchase price, divide by twelve, and cut Big Blue a check each month for that amount until you pay it off.

The deal can be applied to any storage array, but if you read the fine print, it cannot be applied to Power 575 (water-cooled supercomputer nodes), Power 595, Power 770, or Power 780 machines. Customers can get Fast Start financing from machines bought directly from IBM or through resellers.

There's also a bonus depreciation financing deal available in the United States, which you can get the details about here, that runs through December 31 of this year. This Bonus Depreciation Lease Rate deal has rates as low as 2.1 per cent for fair market value leases that run from 24 to 60 months and that offer deferrals of one, two, or three months. This deal can be done on equipment acquisitions as low as $5,000.

IBM has a bunch of other financing options, which you can find out about here, that may or may not apply to Power Systems but could apply to other stuff you are buying in your IT shop.

IBM has different financing units in different countries, which have different rules for the way capital equipment can be financed. IBM may not be offering this deal explicitly in Europe or Asia, but customers in those regions can probably get something close if they ask and tap their foot a little with their arms crossed. ®

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