PHOTO - Vincent Ler, general manager, general business, IBM Malaysia.
Technology giant IBM has extended financial support to Malaysian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to help them grow by managing analytics, which includes 'big data', and cloud computing.
IBM Malaysia general manager, general business, Vincent Ler, said IBM Global Financing, which is IBM leasing and loan segment, will provide US$1 billion (RM3.2 billion) worth of financing during the next 18 months to help SMEs in Malaysia take advantage of a new suite of advanced technologies such as analytics and cloud.
"This effort is designed to help SMEs spur innovation and drive economic growth by making credit more easily accessible," said Ler, speaking in late October 2011. "Financing is one of the biggest challenges limiting the success of SMEs today. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) consistently reports that more than 50 percent of small businesses fail within their first five years due to lack of capital. SMEs are important to the global economic recovery as this segment is responsible for nearly 65 percent of global GDP [gross domestic product], representing more than 90 percent of all businesses and employing more than 90 percent of the world's workforce."
"There is an urgent need for capital and resources to support SMEs in this economy," he said. "IBM's US$1 billion in financing for SMEs is designed to eliminate many of the cost barriers they face to grow their business. IBM will offer simple financing solutions, some starting at as low as 0 percent for 12 months with no down payment, allowing them to immediately acquire the IBM technology and services they need to begin to transform their businesses, while managing their cash flow more effectively."
Ler said this financing will be available to SME clients in Malaysia through IBM Business Partners. "IBM is also launching a comprehensive set of new solutions, which include workload optimised systems combining hardware and software and services offerings focused on technologies, such as cloud, analytics, collaboration and security, specifically designed to address SMEs' key needs."
"These IBM solutions will help SMEs deploy a cloud platform quickly and help SME clients free their employees from worrying about IT and the significant costs associated with it," he said. "In addition, the solutions include analytics for SMEs to tackle 'Big Data' challenges to help better extract insight and spot trends to make better business decisions and identify new market opportunities."
"SMEs are the engines of new ideas for our economy and for economic growth," said Ler. "Curiosity and new thinking are what sets them apart. Significant effort need to be made to provide a strong foundation for SMEs to establish their business for growth. As information has become the new currency, the ability of SMEs to survive in an increasingly competitive and global environment is largely determined by their use of new technologies such as cloud and analytics to quickly access the right information and use it as a competitive advantage."
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