To provide its clients with state-of-the-art analytics tools, SPS Srl must continuously invest in innovation. How can the business free up capital to fund product development?
IBM Global Financing helps SPS Srl keep cash flow in balance with flexible financing plans that enable the company to manage software license purchases and payment cycles.
Negotiatesfavorable payment options with a financier that understands the IT market
Balancescash flow by aligning payments to project benefits
Encouragesinnovation by freeing up funds for research and development projects
Business challenge story
Today, more and more organizations are recognizing the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) to transform their business model and create competitive advantage. Advanced analytics techniques such as machine learning are no longer just a subject for academic research—businesses are applying them to everyday problems across a wide range of business functions, from sales and marketing to inventory management and logistics.
For SPS Srl, an Italian software company that has specialized in advanced analytics for more than 20 years, the trend towards mainstream adoption of AI creates both opportunities and challenges. To take advantage of the increased demand for advanced analytics solutions across a wider range of industries, the company must develop new solutions that address the specific needs and use cases of each sector. And to maintain its dominant position as new competitors enter the market, it must continue to innovate and update its existing products.
SPS Srl’s main product is Statistics for Data Analysis, which is built on the IBM SPSS Statistics platform. The product is highly modular, and includes a range of powerful new models, algorithms and tools that extend the IBM solution’s built-in capabilities. Clients can choose pre-packaged sets of modules for specific sectors, such as healthcare, tourism, and environmental, social and economic research, and they can also create their own unique solutions by combining multiple add-on modules.
Stefano da Col, Sales Director at SPS Srl, comments: “Machine learning is a very fast-moving field, so we need to invest continuously in research and development to ensure that our products are always at the leading edge.
“Unlocking the capital to fund innovation is always a challenge when you are tied to the rhythms of the software business. For example, we typically need to purchase IBM SPSS software licenses at the beginning of a project, but the client may not pay us back until months later.”
Building a strong relationship
To help its sales teams negotiate flexible deals with clients while maintaining a steady cash flow to help fund research and development, SPS Srl decided to engage with IBM Global Financing.
“IBM Global Financing is a valuable partner, and we have established a strong relationship with them over several years,” says da Col. “They are very dedicated to supporting us and helping us find the best financing solutions for our business.”
For example, SPS Srl has been able to take advantage of a financing solution that allows the business to purchase IBM SPSS software licenses at the start of a client project and pay for them over the course of 12 months—spreading the cost and eliminating the need for large up-front investments.
“Working with IBM Global Financing helps us obtain great payment terms for our software acquisitions—often much better than the terms that traditional financial institutions would offer,” comments da Col. “The ability to discuss financing with people at IBM who really understand the IT business creates an easy dialog where both parties are talking the same language.”
Delivering state-of-the-art analytics
Thanks to the flexible financing plans from IBM Global Financing, SPS Srl is able to compensate for fluctuations in its cash flow, reducing the amount of capital it needs to keep in reserve and freeing up funds to invest in research and development.
“Even when we need to make a large purchase of IBM SPSS software licenses for a major project with a client, we can still maintain a positive cash flow by deferring most of the costs until the client has settled our invoices,” says da Col. “On the corporate side, this means we have much more liquidity, so we can allocate economic resources to investment in R&D. Moreover, on the customer side, we can be smarter in our proposals, offering more attractive deals and more flexible payment plans.”
Above all, the strong technical and financial relationship between SPS Srl and IBM enables the company’s clients to take maximum advantage of IBM SPSS software through the Statistics for Data Analysis solution.
“Statistics for Data Analysis gives users a great degree of autonomy in their analysis activities,” comments da Col. “By building on the IBM SPSS platform, we’re opening up advanced analytics and machine learning to new audiences—helping business users gain deep insights independently and freeing the data science team from the burden of routine analysis tasks.”
He concludes: “The most important benefit is that we empower our clients to exploit the available data, completely independent of the underlying IT architecture. Our advanced analytics and machine learning techniques enable users to correlate information from different data sources and build powerful predictive and prescriptive analyses that go far beyond the summary data provided by traditional business intelligence tools.”
For more than 20 years, SPS Srl has been providing advanced analytics and machine learning solutions and support services to clients throughout Italy, including leading universities, medical research institutions, government agencies, and many other organizations and companies. The company develops its own proprietary solutions based on IBM SPSS Statistics, and also resells IBM SPSS and IBM Watson® software.
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To learn more about IBM Global Financing solutions, please contact your IBM Global Financing representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit ibm.com/financing.