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Cisco pitches zero percent financing; other news

Cisco launches three-year zero percent financing; software licensing gets more obtuse.

IT channel news in brief for Jan. 25, 2010

Cisco launches three-year zero percent financing

Hoping to jumpstart IT purchases, Cisco will offer mid-market customers zero percent credit for up to three years.

The new offer, good till July 31, covers Cisco hardware, software and services only and companies with up to 1,000 seats, said Maryann Von Seggern, Cisco Systems Inc.'s director of worldwide channels. It covers Cisco purchases worth $1,000 to $250,000.

Cisco enterprise, service provider and public sector customers are excluded.

But for core smaller companies, many of which have seen their banks cut back or close their revolving credit accounts, Cisco's offer will prove attractive, said Joe Pucciarelli, a research director at IDC.

"For the last two years, banks have scaled back these revolvers in an unprecedented manner," Pucciarelli added. Cisco's offer, in his view, broadcasts to the market that it has capital available.

He expects other top-tier vendors -- Hewlett-Packard, IBM and others -- to launch similarly aggressive deals.

Software licensing/compliance complexity grows

Software license compliance is getting harder at a time when companies hope to save money by buying less shelfware and software vendors are trying to wring every last cent they're due.

Virtualization, multiplexing and other factors make software licensing -- already a sticky wicket -- stickier still, according to a new report from Forrester Research Inc.

That means more vendors are launching surprise compliance checks, the purchasing agent with a large defense contractor told

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