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Highlights—September 20, 2014

  • Fortune:

    IBM CEO Ginni Rometty gets past the Big Blues. By Michal Lev-Ram. (Editor's note: I've not included an extract for this article. The article looks like it was written by IBM Corporate Communications, or perhaps by Ms. Rometty's personal assistant.) Read it if you must.
  • New York Times:

    IBM Offers Workers Training and Pay Cuts. By Steve Lohr. Excerpts: IBM is cutting the pay of some employees in its services business by 10 percent for six months while they spend up to one day a week in training programs.

    The move is unusual, according to work-force experts, but could become a trend in retraining programs as both corporations and workers struggle to stay competitive in a fast-changing economy. Some disgruntled IBM employees say the step is a cost-cutting tactic disguised as a training program. IBM says the program is limited to a small number of employees and is meant to avoid laying them off.

    Last Friday, some workers in the company’s outsourcing business received emails informing them of the program. It stated that “a recent assessment” had identified workers who “have not kept pace with acquiring the skills and expertise needed to address changing client needs, technology and market requirements.” The email then added, “You have been identified as one of these employees,” according to a copy sent to The New York Times by an IBM worker. ...

    Employees receiving the offer are given little choice, other than to look elsewhere in the company “for opportunities for which your skills may be a better match.” ...

    The workers are in the IBM business unit that manages technology operations for other companies, in long-term outsourcing contracts that typically extend for five or more years. The IBM workers log billable hours, and if they spend a day a week on training, that amounts to 20 percent fewer billable hours. IBM regards the 10 percent salary cuts as a form of “co-investment” with the cost shared by workers and the company.

    Some IBM workers don’t see it that way. One person who has worked for IBM for more than 20 years said that the skills assessment referred to in the email was not tailored to individuals. All the workers in his group, he said, were being assigned the same training program. He noted that the Indian workers who were part of the same team doing similar work for the same client were not involved.

    “It seems like a cost-cutting exercise that is being presented as a training program,” said the IBM worker, who asked not to be identified because he feared consequences for criticizing the company.

  • The Channel:

    Read IBM's note to staff announcing mandatory training and 10% pay cut. Big Blue says its outsourcing bods aren't up to snuff on buzzword tech. By Neil McAllister. Excerpts: The program was announced in a memo issued to the affected staffers, all of whom work in the Strategic Outsourcing arm of Big Blue's Global Technology Services division. The letter, a copy of which was seen by The Register, reads:
    A recent assessment revealed that some GTS US SO executives, managers and employees have not kept pace with acquiring the skills and expertise needed to address changing client needs, technology and market requirements.

    You have been identified as one of these employees.

    The missive goes on to explain that from October 16, 2014 through March 31, 2015, all IBM staffers pegged for the program will be required to devote one day a week, or up to 23 days total, on "skills and expertise development."

    During that period, their pay will be adjusted to 90 per cent of their base salaries and their retirement plan contributions and stock purchase deductions will be reduced accordingly. The memo says they will be restored to full pay effective April 1, 2015, once they have completed the program.

    The required training reportedly encompasses "cloud, analytics, mobile, security, and social," which IBM shortens to CAMMS. But some angry commenters at the trade union website Alliance@IBM see the entire program as nothing more than an underhanded cost-cutting measure and have chosen to rearrange the letters.

    "Friday when I was told I was 'not affected' by the SCAMS action, I was also told I would get to pick up my SCAMSed colleagues' work," wrote one commenter, going by the sobriquet Suffering-in-GTS. "And no, I'm not getting their 10% paycut added to my pay. So ALL of the US GTS employees are getting the CAMSS-shaft, one way or the other."

    Another commenter claimed to have been flagged for the program despite having devoted much of the year to skills development, saying, "I have received recognition this year for sharing my expertise and offered to be a mentor when asked. So just where are my skills lacking?"

    One anonymous source told ComputerWorld on Monday that the program only affected a single-digit percentage of IBM's total workforce. But another Alliance@IBM commenter said that within the Strategic Outsourcing organization, as many as 75 per cent of employees may be affected. ...

    In February, Big Blue said it expected to eliminate as many as 15,000 workers by the end of 2014.

    Selected reader comments follow:

    • "The turnover is going to be fun to watch." And that's exactly what they want. You leave, no redundancy or other pay offs. Win / Win for IBM I'm afraid.
    • Top marks, IBM, top marks... I wonder how many of the 15,000 cut jobs are expected to be a result of pissed-off 'under-performing' workers walking out?

      I knew a guy once who used a similar strategy to get rid of girlfriends he didn't like - pissed them off until they left. He was not well regarded by those who knew him.

      IBM have a serious problem, which is that they are wedded to their deal with the Wall Street devil, also known as the 2015 Roadmap. They have promised a $20 EPS by 2015 and they must show they are on the right track. This has meant layoffs after layoffs.

      In some (many) ways, 'Wall Street' is to blame. The current situation with high-speed trades based on sometimes torturous algorithms has led to strategies of jumping on any mis-pricings, with stocks being held for mere minutes or changing hands - in some cases - many, many times per second. This type of trading is completely agnostic to long-term growth or any fundamentals of the traded company.

      Even where HFT is not used, this situation has created a culture of NOW profits.

      The end result is that IBM appears to be sacrificing its long-term profitability as a company in order to convince the analysts, whose prognostications are then jumped on by the howling hordes of investors.

      The show goes on. For now.

    • Re: Top marks, IBM, top marks... This has got nothing to do with HFT and Wall Street and more to do with misguided incentives to the execs and board. After all who do you think is going to benefit from IBM hitting it's 2015 target, it's going to be the execs and board members with all their stock options. As a result Ginni is doing everything she can to hit that target. Once done she can sell up the options, along with all the others and leave the train wreck that she's created meanwhile pocketing a nice wedge of cash.
    • Re: Top marks, IBM, top marks... > I wonder how many of the 15,000 cut jobs are expected to be a result of pissed-off 'under-performing' workers walking out? You think that IBM is actually that sensible? No. It will not be the under performers that get sacked. This is all about the money. The people that are actually worth having around are considered "expensive". The guys with experience with IBM, experience with the client, and a proven track record will be the ones shown the door.

      I have personally witnessed this myself.

      Also, salary/hour reductions for the outside contractors is nothing new.

    • The answer is relatively simple, which is that Rometty has promised $20 EPS in 2015 and anything that does not work to that goal is expendable. Her goal is not revenue and she has stated as much fairly plainly and indeed, revenues are in decline.

      Pushing for steadily increasing EPS while revenue steadily declines is simply not sustainable. The way they are making this 'work' is to jettison anything that does not directly add to their EPS for the current quarter. And each quarter that means getting rid of staff.

      Wall Street simply does not care for a profitable and sustainable IBM; they care only about making money from them. If that ends up sinking the company then so be it - there are always more companies to make money from.

    • There are two sides to this coin. IBM is kind of in a catch-22.

      Over the past decade IBM has made record profits by cutting to the bone. Buying back shares to help reduce the number of shares on the market to help boost their stock price.

      Now they have a problem.

      No SO customer will buy from IBM if IBM can't provide the skills required. That makes the SO employee dead weight. What good is an employee who knows Lotus Notes when the market wants someone to support Outlook?

      Or if an Oracle DBA is certified on their regular products but not Exadata?

      Or they don't know 'Big Data'...

      So IBM has to retrain their employees. Those who don't skill up are gone.

      IBM also has to figure out how to subsidize the cost of the training. After all, you can't charge the client if your employee is off training.

      This isn't a good thing for IBM. It says long term, IBM is toast because they can't attract the necessary talent and they don't invest in their people.

      To your point, on US contracts, customers don't want offshore labor onshored. They will beat up IBM on this and reduce IBM's profit margins.

      This is definitely yet another warning sign of IBM's impending doom.

    • In fairness to Rometty, she inherited the $20/share promise from the previous regime.

      The saddest part about all this is that even Wall Street no longer cares about the $20 number, ever since they figured out how IBM would have to achieve it -- many of them would actually be happier if IBM were bold enough to say "the business landscape has changed radically and that goal is no longer appropriate; at this phase of the cycle, reinvestment is more important than EPS".

      Frankly, everybody in IBM, from top to bottom, will be relieved when we are finally rid of the albatross

    • This is how IBM outsourcing works:
      1. Win an outsource contract for some legacy system(s). Promise the TUPE staff a long contract etc.
      2. Reduce the staff on the contract to the bare minimum, putting everyone else on the bench. It helps if any part of the process can be offshored.
      3. If you are on the bench for too long then you are performance managed out of the business. It is your problem that IBM has no suitable work in your area/pay scale. Note that most re-assignments seem to be based on old-boy networks that the in-source employee has little access to.

        Also worth noting that IBM is also inflexible in terms of travel, e.g. you travel in your own time to get to and from your place of work. an example given to me was a job offer in Glasgow which would mean that I was travelling on Sunday afternoon to be in the office at 9:00am on Monday and travelling Friday night to get home after midnight.

        It was made clear that you and your skills were 100% the property of IBM to use and abuse as they wanted. What amused me, was that so many so-called smart people were willing to give up all their spare time to help IBM make money, whilst all the time being under fear of being 'put on the bench'.

      4. Do not invest in the remaining staff, who have 'crucial' legacy experience and are busy making up for all the staff lost at (2).
      5. Expect the remaining staff to give up pay to learn useful market skills.
      6. If staff at (5) don't do what you want then put them on the bench; see (3).
      7. Go to (1).

      I've been through the IBM TUPE process once, and saw it for exactly what it was. An opportunity for IBM to make a short term profit, sweat the assets and dispose of anybody who wouldn't play by IBMs rules.

      Luckily I managed to manipulate my way into redundancy, but I feel sorry for any IBMers remaining.

    • Ahh it's the old "the beatings will continue until morale improves" school of management.
    • There seems to be two types of IBMer. Those that live and breathe IBM and are willing to give up their entire life to IBM. And those that have been acquired by IBM and are then used and abused to be thrown away.

      The few long-term IBMers I knew thought it was perfectly acceptable to spend only one night a week at home with their partner and children, and rarely took all their holiday. It seemed to be more important to slowly move up the IBM ladder than actually have a life outside of work. What was laughable was that these long-term IBMers were not even that well paid, and put up with all the shit.

      In my brief stint with them (I had to do 12 months), they openly stated that I would be receiving an "under-performing" review not based on my ability to do my existing job, but because I refused to be pushed into taking a job on the other side of the country. One which would have meant me being away from home for 5 nights of the week, and only seeing my wife and children at weekends.

      Well "fuck you" IBM, thanks for the money (it'll pay for my kids to go to university), the summer at home and a new job with a company which cares about its staff. Incidentally, I'm also now in the position to influence contracts with 3rd parties. Guess which company is not going to win any contracts on my watch :)

    • Been there, had a breakdown or two about it, dreadful environment.
    • Restored to full pay on 1st April? Someone has already mentioned that this news wouldn't look out of place on The Onion. Making promises for April Fools day isn't going to help. After years of cutting cost by not replacing essential staff when they leave I cannot say that this news really surprises me. Anonymous because, until recently, I was an IBM droid.
    • Mandatory training; they will still have to meet impossible utilisation targets, and the "training" will just be something they are supposed to make up in order to tick a box on an appraisal form.
    • If it's the usual thing, the targets won't be reduced to account for the mandatory training, so you either do the mandatory training and miss utilisation targets, which gets you a poor review result and redundancy, or meet the utilisation targets by missing the mandatory training and get a poor review result and redundancy.
    • At IBM you fill out your PBCs. It's basically goals your manager tells you pretty much what to write. And at the end of the year, the question is if you accomplished them or not.

      And here's the thing.

      Your utilization target should be reduced by those hours spent on training. Or rather those hours should count towards your utilization because they are company mandated. Of course...IBM won't do that.

      Then it's up to your manager to rate you as a 1, 2 or 3. If you're rated as a 4, you have 90 days before you're out. And of course there can only be one number 1. ;-)

    • Education benefits? Many large companies have education benefits.

      The catch is, you often have to walk up to your boss and ask to be sent to class, or a workshop, or whatever. Sometimes you even have to write half a page justifying how the company would benefit from you having an improved skill.

      This is called "initiative."

      What I would guess is that there's a vast tonnage of people at IBM who are lacking in this thing. This is probably a remediation effort to make up for a presumption that having that word on a resume meant the employee had the attribute.

      Those who have been keeping up-to-date feel screwed by shouldering the extra work, but I'd wager they've been being screwed by their skillless coworkers for some time now. It's now simply more obvious.

    • Re: Education benefits? Get real.

      Me: I'd like some additional training in agile software development. I think it would really help improve delivery on my projects.

      IBM boss: Well, I can't send you on a training course for that, but I can point you towards online training.

      Me: Thanks, I'll take a look.

      sometime later...

      IBM boss: Hey your utilisation has gone down, why are you booking so much time to training?

      Me: I'm only booking 3 hours a week to training.

      IBM boss: Well, you're going to have to stop that until your utilisation recovers.

      Me: OK, I'll reduce it and learn in my own time.

      sometime later...

      Me: I've learnt some new stuff from my online training and I'd like to make the following changes...

      IBM Boss: We can't afford the time to implement those changes. Just continue with what you're doing; oh and by the way we had to let Jo and Bob 'go', so here are four more projects for you to manage.

      sometime later in review...

      Me: I've been looking around for my next role. All the roles want agile experience, so none of the hiring managers will take me on. I've trained online but no one seems to want to give me a chance because I have no real experience.

      IBM boss: Never mind that, your utilisation is poor, so I'll have to mark you down. No bonus for you, and if you don't buck up your ideas you'll be getting 'the letter'.

      IBM acts just like a pimp. They hire out their employees (keeping a nice juicy cut), slap them around a bit to keep control then drops them as soon as their skills are no longer required. If you are happy to remain in an abusive relationship then good for you. But I've got more respect than that and chose to leave for much happier pastures.

    • I'm an IBM employee, and I don't find this unreasonable at all. One of the most frustrating things about IT is that we're expected to "stay current" with new skills and training, but with very little guidance on what to learn and where to learn it.

      1 day per week for 6 months adds up to about 200 hours of training. Assuming a salary of $80k, that's about $4k that an employee pays for training minus income taxes, so let's say $3k.

      $3k for 200 hours of real world, useful, hand-on training is a pretty good deal. But to say that it costs the employee $3k is quite disingenuous. That's because an employee is being trained on company time. So here's another way of looking at it: Instead of an employee taking time off work and paying for outside training, and assuming he was earning $40 an hour, he is actually *being paid* $25 an hour for 200 hours of training.

      In my mind that's a $5000 bonus, and now I'm a little jealous.

    • And that's why you're an IBM employee. You eat this shit and believe it's good for you.
    • Any senior executives get the letter?
  • Computerworld:

    IBM cuts pay by 10% for workers picked for training. By Patrick Thibodeau. Excerpts: Asked about program, IBM spokeswoman Trink Guarino said the firm "is implementing a skills development program for a small number of U.S. strategic outsourcing employees. Under this program, these employees will spend one day a week developing skills in key growth areas such as cloud, analytics, mobile and social."

    One IBM IT professional, who asked not to be identified, said he was "shocked" to be added to the list, particularly since his work has been consistently praised by managers.

    By reducing pay "by a significant amount," IBM is acting "in the hopes that the employees won't be able to sustain that pay and decide to quit, exempting IBM from letting them go and have to pay severance," the employee said. ...

    Lee Conrad, national coordinator at the Alliance, a Communications Workers of America local, said that "IBM employees have no problem with learning new skills but to combine that with a salary cut is outrageous and unacceptable. IBM continues to drive morale and employee loyalty down with each new slap in the face like this," said Conrad. "IBM needs to be mindful of further demoralizing workers and adversely affecting customers," he said.

    Selected reader comments follow:

    • I'd be interested in studying the average age of those employees picked for the cuts as compared to average age overall. Is this just yet another way for IBM to screw older workers without getting sued too often? BTW - I'm a former IBM service customer, we have already moved our service contracts to other vendors due to poor performance by IBM.
    • Ginny, I know...start making your employees pay for their travel expenses related to IBM work. This will save 1000's of dollars and further alienate the employees.
    • If IBM thinks off-shoring and outsourcing it's IT organization will keep clients, they need to take a harder look at all the complaints from those accounts. The Global Daycare Facility (GDF) (if it's still around) is also a joke. IBM needs to listen to its clients or hang it up. My company will be dropping IBM's x86 line of products because the hardware has not kept up with technology. We are moving to a VCE solution.
    • With the departure of Lou Gerstner, IBM has gone down hill. He was the last CEO who knew how to take care of his company and employees at the same time. Yes, he laid many people off but his overall resolve was seen through the rebirth of IBM. When he retired and "Sammy" took over, IBM went straight to the dogs.

      I remember when Sammy took over and he and Lou were in Vegas at an IBM sponsored training event for its employees (believe it or not, IBM did usually sponsor training for employees). Sammy commented he would take part of his annual bonus and give it back to the employees. Of course everyone cheered but of course this never happened. Now Sammy has retired and brain-washed Ginny into thinking the IBM 2015 goal is all that matters.

      As an ex-IBMer, I asked for training on multiple occasions only to be told there was no funding available. Someone else posted current IBM employees should challenge this with defining exactly what skills are lacking to make sure they adhere to the current dictatorship (oops. I mean directive).

      Lou please come back and save IBM from itself!

    • I am glad I am not working for IBM. The company usually pays for training, not take 10% of you salary. That is bull.
    • Why do people stay in IBM? Is it because of the pension? The IT market is pretty good out there so I don't see anything that would want to make you stay in a dinosaur company like IBM unless you have you worked for decades with the hope of getting a pension from there.
    • What pension? That was taken away 14 years ago.
    • Now you know why Warren Buffet invested in IBM.
    • So what's the problem, IBM can't find any more cheap H1B's or offshore workers, so now they have to start milking their own employees to make up for lost profit? This company seems to be in a death spiral. You get what you pay for, and you get what you deserve, which is what is coming to IBM for going the cheap route with H1B scabs and offshore workers.
    • I worked for IBM for many years and had a senior position. The company was going down in a hand basket and offered me a package, which I took and ran; they don't do that anymore. Every job I've had after IBM paid substantially more than what I was earning at big blue. IBM pay is not great. They expect you to appreciate what they do pay for a reputation long gone. It's sad, for those still working there. I'm happy now.
    • I am a current IBMer with 25 years service. For the past two years IBM has asked me to retire, but I still need to work as I am only 60 years young. I have kept pace with the latest and greatest, but the pencil pushers who look at bogus tools we use say I haven't.

      IBM and its leadership team don't have one original thought between them and only care about the stock price which they have driven up artificially so they can all cash out and live happily ever after while they screw the little guy.

      I lost my pension, retirement health care, and now 10% of my pay until they "let us go" next year. Humiliating? Yes. IBM's products have not kept pace with innovators in the industry, it's all marketing hype.

      Smarter Planet looks like a U.N. commercial. Clients are ultimately dissatisfied and we spend most of our time in crisis management. They won't listen to people on the ground; they listen to Ivy Leaguers who are great on concept, but poor on tangible results.

    • Worked with/against IBM on a major account and back many of Joe's assertions with relation to IBM's front-line performance with its customers. HP was kind enough to just cut people and offer a severance package...at least for a while...rather than drag them through the mud like this.

      No one should really be shocked! It's been going on like this in the tech sector and corporate America as a whole for decades. It's all to appease the almighty shareholder who, as a whole, are mindless and easily duped into thinking that any level of cuts in personnel can somehow translate into further sustainability or an increase in actual profits. How is it possible when service or operations suffers?

      Investors need to wake up and realize that when ANY given industry shows they are cutting PEOPLE, in a large or prolonged scale, it means the sector as a WHOLE for that business is contracting or has contracted and money in that sector is drying up or gone.

      I'm sorry Joe! Shouldn't be happening to people like you who know the business and the customer!

    • Really? Are you freaking kidding me? This is really ridiculous and one of the most greedy things I have ever heard. My perception of IBM as a corporation has gone from good to horrible.
    • Shameful. While corporate profits grow at unprecedented rates, the wage earner continues to lose ground in buying power over the last 20 years. This is what we get when we become a fascist country. We seem to be returning to the days of the industrial revolution and unfettered capitalism. I've never been a fan of unions, but I'm beginning to see their value.
    • A huge failure of leadership. For instance, did they think of the impact on morale in the other divisions? And how about the effect on customer? I am so embarrassed by IBM's management, and so glad I am retired.
    • Since IBM management clearly missed the explosion of the cloud a few years ago, and is now playing catch-up. I think they should all take a 10% pay-cut and improve their skill set so they might be in a position to lead the next "Big Thing".
    • The affected employees should ask the following questions. 1) What SPECIFIC class do I have to take; 2) Is there a test or accreditation at the end; and 3) If I finish it early and pass the test do I get my salary reinstated? If they can't answer this then it is all BS.
    • Derek, I am one of the thousands of people on that list. I asked those very questions and got BS in return. It's a set up to get rid of US-based employees, especially older higher paid employees. I happen to work on a contract we've signed and re-signed twice and my head count is in the cost case (I'm paid for by the client). The skills I need on what I work on at the moment are not valued, but guess what—they're still needed.
    • Wow—that's awful. I can just hear the senior management meeting conversation: - "OK, we have to reduce costs, who has an idea? Nothing is too outrageous, so let's hear what you have." - "How about this?", says one brown-nosing VP wannabe. "Let's first insult them by telling them they are not skilled enough to do their job, and then demoralize them by adding that for them to get the needed skills, they have to take training classes; that we will basically charge them for, by cutting their pay." We insult them and lower morale at the same time. Not only will we save money by cutting salaries, but there will be some, many hopefully, who are so incensed, they quit, saving us even more money!"

      "And...", says another long time boot licker. "Let's make the selection of staff arbitrary. Like picking names from a hat. That will add confusion and an element of fear because we are bound to pick people who don't need skills improvement. Doing this will keep the backlash to a minimum because the people not picked will just be happy they were not selected, and will keep their mouths shut. The cry baby selectees who do complain, we just ignore. Giving them more incentive to quit."

      "Outstanding!" says the most senior suit. "Demoralizing, insulting confusion...and fear. Two very clever people just earned a very nice Christmas bonus. Make it happen!"

    • Spot on. IBM leadership doesn't have one original idea between them and have been driving the ship aground for quite some time.
    • What is interesting is that the reason these individuals are "out of date" is that for the last X number of years, they focused on billing hours to the exclusion of personal development...with the full encouragement of their managers.
    • Exactly how does IBM attract and retain talent again? I don't get it.
    • They BUY IT. Innovation is through acquisition. IBM has thousands of vampires that suck the brains, hearts, and souls of the people that they acquire. The vampires feed on the fresh ideas and the raw talent of the newbies and they replace the void with multiple layers of process and management. Retain talent?
    • This company went down the toilet when the MBAs got control. You can't run a scientific company with a bunch of bean counters.
    • Keep in mind, most of the top level brass at IBM are technical, not financial people. Second, when you take individuals, no matter what background they are from, and tie their huge compensation to financial performance, you could be the janitor and still learn very quickly how to maximize your and shareholders returns ahead of good long term investment decisions. That is what you are seeing now. Who in their right mind would make this kind of decision. I would at a minimum certainly never couple a salary reduction with the statement that they must do more training...because you know their workload won't go down to compensate for the one day per week of training.
    • Until Ginny Rommetti became CEO the executive management has been dominated by finance and sales people.
    • Ask yourself why Ginni and her top execs are cashing in their stock options.
    • You're so wrong on many levels. No one in Armonk is technical.
    • Staff training is an investment for the corporations. I think IBM is trying to cut expenses instead of improving staff skills,as a HHRR strategy.
    • Cynical me, I'd love to see the age demographics of the affected employees vs non-affected ones.
    • Can you say age discrimination? I remember when we had to sign a contract NOT to leave a company for a year if you were sent to training.
    • A very good point and one that the accountable governmental agencies should be on top of as a matter of routine. Also gender and ethnicity.
    • IBM has lobbied our government and has them in their pocket. Why is it whenever IBM says it can't get skilled Americans, the government ups the number of H1B visas they can have?
    • IBM is careful, but it's obvious. They may have a good mix of ages on the list so the overall average is acceptable, but it's no secret that they've been trying to get rid of seasoned (higher paid) professionals through many different programs over the last 5-6 years. They have plausible deniability on their side.
  • LinkedIn's IBM co/ex workers independent group:

    IBM has initiated a new training program that will cut the pay of participating employees by 10%. Selected posts follow:
    • "...IBM continues to drive morale and employee loyalty down with each new slap in the face like this..."
    • WOW! Yet another 'bullet in the foot'!! It is a way for IBM to fund the training it has failed to do during the last decade+!!! And, at 110% utilisation how does IBM expect EEs to find the time to complete incremental training? (Assume 4 hours sleep/day is sufficient? Right??) Sad, sad, sad. It is unbelievable what IBM as become!
    • Just another way to reduce cost and destroy morale. I'll bet their workload will stay the same and management will find a way to use this to ding them for poor utilization.
    • Unbelievable change in employee respect. In the late 80s I was part of a redeployment program to get more people into technical work. We were sent to school full time and received our full salary. Since I had a 6-month old baby at the time, they also provided me with an old IBM luggable, so I could do my assignments at home, not downtown at the university. If anyone didn't like programming or couldn't do it, they would get their old jobs back, so there was nothing to lose. It was a wonderful opportunity that was a win/win for company and employee. What they want to do above, doesn't seem like a win/win at all to me.
    • Why am I not surprised?
    • Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse...
  • Poughkeepsie Journal:

    IBM, Global reportedly working toward new chip deal. By Joseph Spector. Excerpts: IBM Corp. and GlobalFoundries are said to be headed to arbitration as early as next week in the latest effort to strike a deal for IBM to sell its semiconductor manufacturing operations.

    A source involved in the discussions between the companies told the Journal's Albany Bureau on Thursday that the sides are optimistic that an arbitrator can iron out the details. An agreement has stalled in recent months, including failed negotiations in the past few days, the source said.

    The move toward arbitration is the latest sign that the Armonk, Westchester County-based IBM and GlobalFoundries haven't given up on a deal. IBM reportedly wants to sell its chip manufacturing assets in East Fishkill and Burlington, Vermont, to GlobalFoundries — which has a growing chip factory in Saratoga County. It has said it plans to keep research and design functions. ...

    Also, as part of any sale to GlobalFoundries, state officials are pressing IBM to expand its job-retention commitment past 2016 and to expand it to nearly all of the roughly 14,000 IBM employees in the state. IBM has facilities in Endicott, Broome County, with about 700 workers, along with its offices and facilities in Westchester and Dutchess counties, including its mainframe plant in Poughkeepsie. Nearly 7,000 IBMers work in Dutchess. ...

    Between 2000 and 2013, IBM received $880 million in tax breaks in New York, a report earlier this year said. GlobalFoundries, meanwhile, received more than $1 billion in incentives from the state for its massive manufacturing plant in Malta, Saratoga County.

  • Seeking Alpha

    : IBM And Intel: The End Game For IBM Semiconductor. By Russ Fischer. Excerpts: Recently, there has been a great deal of chatter about IBM Corp. "selling" its money-losing semiconductor operation. The buyer mentioned is GlobalFoundries. Selling, in this case, is an interesting term, since the discussion is IBM is offering "inducement" money to GlobalFoundries to take the "steaming pile" that is IBM semiconductor away from the rest of IBM. This is pretty much in the same category as paying Waste Management to remove your garbage.

    At one time, IBM manufactured more semiconductors than the entire merchant producers combined. The decline of IBM semiconductor has taken 35 years. In this same time frame, Intel has grown from a small, struggling company to a $55 billion world-leading powerhouse of semiconductor technology. In the same time, TSMC has gone from a dead stop to over $20 billion in the semiconductor foundry business. ...

    I think IBM is in a secular decline. Sales have declined for three years. For IBM to give up a defining technology like semiconductors smacks of Kodak and Control Data. From here, any financial engineering at IBM to prop up earnings is at its limit. Short IBM outright, or buy 20% out of the money put LEAPs. I will be playing IBM puts during earnings, since I think it will become a serial disappointer.

  • Glassdoor IBM reviews. Selected reviews follow:
    • “Tough company to work for”

      Former Employee - Anonymous Employee. Pros: Great health benefits, 401k plan and loyal employees. Cons: Upper management was under so much pressure to cut the bottom line that no one was happy, every one was over worked and when jobs were sent offshore, quality no longer mattered. Advice: Worry about your employees. Treat them like people, not just numbers.
    • “Large Company, however starting to lose their way”

      Current Employee - Program Manager in Boulder, CO. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years. Pros: Amazing. talented people working in service delivery. Cons: Focusing on reducing cost opposed to adding value to the customer. Advice: Think about the intent of programs like "client first" and ask how it adds value to the client relationship (which will result in add-on business); opposed to how it rings hollow if the client sees no material benefit.
    • “Internship”

      Former Employee - GBS FSS. I worked at IBM as an intern for less than a year. Pros: Good experience, with friendly coworkers. The internship had a lot of first-hand experience which helped a lot in understanding what IBM expects from you. Cons: Unfortunately, the internship was unpaid; at the last minute as IBM had to cut their cots down. However, the experience was good enough to not care that much.
    • “It's what you make it, and it's a fight to make it.”

      Current Employee - Senior Managing Consultant in Washington, DC.

      Pros: Compared to other IT consulting companies, the culture is pragmatic and focused on delivering the right thing for the client. IBM is obviously huge, so it is what you make it. You'll work with very diverse teams. Some teams will be great, others will be poor. If you are willing to put in 60-70 hour weeks doing 40+ of client delivery and 20+ of business development and figuring out how to navigate the internal processes, you'll do great and get promotions and advance. If you want to work 40-44 hours a week just doing client work, you'll have a secure job, but don't expect a raise no matter how stellar your performance is at the client site.


      • Business development and proposal process is a mess, and you seemingly reinvent the wheel every time.
      • It's easier to get a new job than get on a new project (this is really just for Public Sector GBS).
      • You have to fight to make your own career happen, no one else is actually looking out for you.
      • It's your job to write your own project performance evaluations, write the case to apply for a promotion and at the end of the day there are really just two numbers that matter most: billable utilization %, and dollars of sales wins.

      Advice: The bottom few layers of managers are being consistently stripped of any power to actually make changes or make their own decisions in the interest of helping out their employees.

    • “The Technology sucks!”

      Current Employee - Client Facing Consultant. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 8 years. Pros: I truly can think of of none right now. Cons: If you have an IT issue, a daily occurrence, they won't let you call someone. You have to do a web chat. NONE OF THOSE IDIOTS KNOW ANYTHING. So they tell you to put in a work ticket. That takes 3-6 days. I do not have three to six days to not be able to read my email. Advice: You will continue to lose talent because you care NOTHING about us. We are cogs in your giant machine.
    • “Interesting projects sometimes managed by incapable leaders or contradictory upper-management decisions”

      Current Employee - Systems Administrator in Bucharest (Romania). I have been working at IBM full-time for more than a year.


      • The team is made mostly out of interesting and smart individuals that are pleasant as colleagues
      • The projects allow for individual growth since there are involved specific technologies and resources otherwise unavailable
      • Since most of the technologies used in day-to-day activities are internally developed software, the documentation resources is plentiful
      • If you want to grow there is a lot of place for growth since the company is very large and is working in most of the areas of today IT market there is a place where you can learn and a place where you can find your professional goals
      • Nobody is willing to commit to a decision and all of them are throwing the much needed decisions or, at least, postponing them
      • The teams are made of people across continents and timezones and keeping in touch with them turns out to be difficult at times
      • The company doesn't employ all of the team members directly and uses contractors that actually employ the men and keep a part of the money that the company is paying. Therefore the income is not as high as the amount spent for each team member. The ones employed directly by the company have extra rights (such as the choice for home office) as opposed their colleagues and this brings frustration to the workplace that is not generated by the direct actions of the individuals but by the not so wise upper-management decisions
      • Periodically brainwashing courses need to be attended online, courses that have a tendency of saying how wonderful everything is at our beloved corporation and how the sun is an internally developed application that altruistically gives so much to the world just out of the goodness of the corporation upper-management's hearts
      • Between the US teams and the rest of the world is an invisible glass wall that has the warning that everything the US team touches is correct and the rest of the world is lucky to just be allowed to look at all the miracles they do
      • More than in a single situation it has been seen that if someone chooses to have a more "close" relationship with somebody that has decision privileges that person's career will see a rapid evolution towards a better position or an monetary increase (or, why not, both).

      Advice: There is no advice available since the single role of the third world (or maybe second-and-a-half world) branches is to obtain decent results with reduced costs. The anarchy within this location ensures that the people that make more money the salary do their best to keep delivering just to make sure that the cash-cow will keep going as it does. (The contractors that have good "friends" in the company with whom share some of the profits, etc.)

    • “Not innovating within the software divisions.”

      Former Employee - Program Director in San Jose, CA. I worked at IBM full-time for more than a year. Pros: Work/life balance was manageable. Cons: Job was highly political. There was more work internally selling than actually executing. Advice: Fire some lawyers and eliminate a layer or two of management.
    • “Great Company to work for”

      Current Employee - Supply Chain Management in Atlanta, GA. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 8 years. Pros: Opportunity to work from home. Cons: No salary increases or bonuses. Advice: Need to understand the impact of layoff. A lot of knowledge leaves with the employee.
    • “Leading With Fear”

      Current Employee - Senior Project Manager in London, England (UK). I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      Pros: Flexible working with the right leadership team. Great opportunity to learn via online education, finding the time to do it is a different thing.

      Cons: Pay rises stopped some time in the 90's. Everyone is too frightened to ask in case they get put on the twice yearly redundancy list. No perks. Staff canteens are more expensive than Marks and Spencer yet worse than a Little Chef.

      Advice: They know what they need to do—look after their staff. They choose not to.

    • “Work you hard and employees are just a number”

      Former Employee - Anonymous Employee. I worked at IBM as a contractor for more than a year. Pros: Some teams are more lenient about working from home than others. Cons: Company is run by accountants who only care about the dollars and not the people. They treat you just like a number. In fact you are identified by a serial number. Management can be ruthless. Company is unethical. Advice: Stop the hire and fire policy. You are messing with peoples lives.
    • “past its prime”

      Current Employee - Exec in Fishkill, NY. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years. Pros: great people, great ideal values. Cons: bureaucracy, way too slow, does not value innovation anymore. Advice: do away with 2015 roadmap.
    • “Used to be great”

      Current Employee - Anonymous Employee. I have been working at IBM for more than 5 years.

      Pros: Great benefits. Great colleagues, for the most part. Great brand and history of innovation. Flexible work schedule.

      Cons: Layoffs are constant. Everyone is constantly concerned about job security. Most people are afraid and stressed. Many people have one foot out the door and are evaluating other opportunities. This does not lead to innovation or effective work product.

      You cannot move within IBM...even laterally. It was always difficult, but it has become nearly impossible. This is especially true across divisions. Everything is currently frozen. Transfers are blocked.

      Salary is generally below market rate. You may start at market rate, but salaries rarely go up.

      Financial model and EPS goals are preventing sufficient investment in future innovations.

      Advice: IBM used to be a great place to work in which people were pleased to go the extra mile. Restore employee confidence. Respect the individual. How your employees feel will eventually be how your customers feel...how your customers feel will eventually be how your investors feel.

    • “IBM Overview”

      Current Employee - Anonymous Employee. Pros: IBM provides good pay and decent benefits. The employees are generally good to work with. Cons: Like many companies, IBM does not seem to be investing in its employees as much as it used to. Especially in the US. There is an expectation to make up vacation days with overtime. Advice: Engage all of your employees. Don't play lip service to employee development.

      “Great company to work for”

      Former Employee - Anonymous Employee. Pros: Good management. Intelligent and friendly coworkers. Cons: Nothing that jumps out right now. Advice: None
    • “Field Engineer” Former Employee - Field Engineer.

      I worked at IBM full-time for more than a year.

      Pros: Great company as a whole, really invested in the new hires to learn the material. Really appreciate all the training they provided.

      Cons: As an excited, motivated new hire into IBM, I found that I was doing nothing and in a large company with so many people, it's easy to get forgotten. That's why I left the company.

      Advice: Need to not only nurture the young talent, but need to give them challenging projects with upper level visibility that will make them want to stay at a company. With so many startups offering so many more perks and better salary, IBM will need to re-evaluate how they hire new fresh graduates.

    • “Reached a peak of job satisfaction 5-7 years ago, downhill since then”

      Current Employee - IT Architect in Houston, TX. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      Pros: Work from home arrangements, name recognition, dealing with a global team...you will meet everyone from everywhere, but only if you travel on business. Benefits are still good, compared to other places, but being reduced each year.

      Cons: IBM has a huge work from home culture, however I wouldn't necessarily call it work-life balance, as you are always expected to drop what you are doing 24/7 for conference calls. Your manager may be in another country and from a culture which is not similar to your own...but you will change managers every year and the only thing the new manager will know about you is what your previous manager tells them in the turn-over meeting. I probably had 8 managers in the last decade while staying in the same job role. I only ever met 2 of them in person.

      Advice: Not really worth the time; the band 9 and 10 managers have no power to influence or change anything, and the people above them do not listen to anything from "the ranks"

    • “It's getting better all the time”

      Current Employee - Anonymous Employee. Pros: Work/life flexibility. Challenging assignments. Continued education highly encourage. Mobility. Always new projects and technologies to work with. Ability to find intellectually stimulating challenges. Cons: Always told next year will be better; 10 years and still haven't seen an improvement in the company's outlook or compensation practices. Compensation is not competitive. Not a driven workforce. Bonus and raises linked to division expectations, that are rarely met. Aging workforce, awaiting retirement.
    • “Great training and experience, but the culture is nonexistent.”

      Current Employee - Sales Specialist in Atlanta, GA. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 5 years. Pros: Decent pay, amazing benefits, strong foundation to base a sales careers and countless resources at your disposable. Cons: Ridiculously high quotas, zero corporate culture or motivation; you are definitely treated as a number and never really rewarded for your successes. Advice: Don't forget to make sure your employees are happy, or all your talent will leave.
    • “IBM Doesn't Value Their Employees—Poor Benefits and Bean-Counter Mentality”

      Current Employee - OUTSIDE SALES in Atlanta, GA. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than a year.

      Pros: People recognize IBM as a leader in the world of high tech. Co-workers are overall great to work with—quality. Expenses are paid promptly and the online expense tool is easy to use. "LOVE MY JOB but HATE THE COMPANY"


      • CHEAPSKATES on 401k reimbursement and matching contributions.
      • Health care benefits are extremely poor compared to similar companies like Dell and Brocade.
      • IBM recognizes same-sex domestic partnerships but NOT opposite-sex domestic partnerships.
      • IBM has the WORST INTERNAL WEB SITE of any company I've ever worked for. Need multiple browsers to get work done.
      • On-boarding of new employees is EXTREMELY POOR.
      • The company comes off as not caring about their employees in a million tiny and large ways over time.
      • The company is penny-wise and pound foolish.
    • Advice: Fix your restrictive 401k matching for new employees or employees who leave prior to Dec 31st. Fix the bean-counter mentality. With 400,000 employees FIX THE USABILITY of your (extremely poor) internal web site.

    • “Internship Review”

      Former Employee - Computer Programmer. I worked at IBM as an intern for less than a year.

      Pros: Good salary and benefits, compared to some places. Smart people, decent work life balance. The company has name recognition.

      Cons: Company leadership isn't great. More interested in financial strategies to boost stock prices than actually innovating or being a leader in technology. Outsourcing is a big problem. When you outsource, sure you save money on labor, but you also lose a lot of good talent and replace it with inexperienced, not so good talent, and thus the quality of your products begins to suffer and you lose customers.

      Advice: The middle managers I encountered were fine, although being a bit more transparent and not so "professional" would be preferable to me.

    • “Employee focus coming back...”

      Current Employee - Anonymous Employee, I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 8 years.

      Pros: There was a time before Ginni took over as CEO, for many years, there was no focus on employees. That focus is coming back. There is lot of emphasis on employee engagement, employee education and well being. Hope this trend will continue and would make a meaningful impact for employees.

      Cons: IBM is no exception compared to other big companies. I believe, that's the curse of being part of big company. You have to deal with politics, bureaucracy, competing priorities etc. Amazon/Google of the world will have the same challenges once they get to IBM's size.

      Advice: Employees are your assets, just take care of them. Employees have lot of pride being IBMers, just give them little more to be happy in their lives.

    • “7 years of outsourcing, off-shoring, downsizing, pay decreases with increased workloads, benefit evaporations.”

      Current Employee - Anonymous Employee. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 5 years.

      Pros: Flexible hours, working from home.

      Cons: Management is top-heavy. Jobs of hard-working U.S. employees are constantly being outsourced, off-shored, downsized. Cost-cutting is the only goal. Ageism is rampant. No job security. Project Management is a joke: efficiency and hard work is ignored, old knowledge/experience has been retired, cut up and replaced by multiple foreign workers who don't know or understand how anything works together.

      Pay has decreased every year, no bonuses, OT no longer paid. No pension, 401(k) company match only at end of calendar year if one is "lucky" enough to still be employed.

      Employee morale could not be lower. Non-management employees considering unionizing.

      Employee desktop tools are last century; offshore "Help" desk not helpful as they cannot understand questions or "don't know that product."

      Advice: Why is cost-cutting the top goal of every IBM organization? And why are hard-working employees the first casualties of cost-cutting? Start appreciating the knowledge and experience of your seasoned employees. Start rewarding employees for hard work and productivity. Stop off-shoring U.S. jobs.

    • “Great environment but don't expect to make money commensurate with what your position would pull elsewhere. ”

      Current Employee - Oracle Database Administrator in Dubuque, IA. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 5 years.

      Pros: Invest in employees and benefits are nice. Paid vacation is solid and unlimited paid sick days.

      Cons: While your skills will grow your career will stagnate. Over time they try to extract just enough of each employee to keep them right at the edge of breaking.

      Advice: I really feel anything written here is irrelevant to IBM upper management. The apparent value they give to the employee is a facade. The goal is profit and it's okay to forget that actual human beings work for you. Mind slaves with no union.

    • “Could have been better”

      Former Employee - Business Analyst in Greenville, SC. I worked at IBM full-time for more than a year. Pros: Great benefits, flexible as far as vacation and sick time. Decent pay. Cons: The division I worked in was more like a sweat shop. Call center...need I say more? If a call center is your cup of tea then you'll do fine; if not, it's like living in hell! Not representative of the real IBM. Advice: Pay more attention to your employees.
    • “IBM Brno—a place where you learn and then move on FAST”

      Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Brno (Czech Republic). I worked at IBM full-time for more than 5 years. Pros: You will have the possibility to learn on the job. Home office. Good promotion opportunities. Some teams work really well together. Cons: Salary. Management. No benefits. Very bad working environment. Very expensive, bad quality food in the premises. Advice: Appreciate people at their real value, not based on your personal preferences.
    • “Management very self-serving, not looking out for the good of the company”

      Current Employee - Anonymous Employee. Pros: Friendly atmosphere among engineers. Interesting work. Cons: Management encourages engineers to deceive other managers so they look good. Advice: Reward managers who actually embrace the one team mantra, fire those who don't.
    • “No value of employees”

      Former Employee - Anonymous Employee. I worked at IBM full-time for less than a year. Pros: It is IBM and an old and respected name. Cons: Work/life balance is terrible; people with no experience and who are just good at interviewing get in the door. No chance for advancement, nor positions of interest to move into. Advice: Get rid of the old school IBM and adopt something more modern.
  • Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alerts. This weeks headlines include:
    • Rally at U.S. Capitol Fires up Seniors
    • Alliance President Emeritus George Kourpias is Honored in Iowa, Missouri
    • Alliance Launches Massachusetts Chapter
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New on the Alliance@IBM Site

Job Cut Reports

  • Comment 09/15/14:

    Many hit in Boulder (10%). Really exceptional employees. The best of the best. Same story from all. IBM, you get what you dish out. This will certainly have a heavy impact on IBM SO customer sat. What IBM did was dumb, dumb, dumb. Totally self-defeating. -Boulder Based-
  • Comment 09/16/14:

    At the end of 2008 IBM announced record profits. In January 2009 IBM fired thousands of employees. It has continued for more than five years. This is getting to be absolutely ridiculous. Wake up and do something, get a job elsewhere, or hide in the shadows until your turn comes. But don't act surprised when something happens to you when the writing has been on the wall for the past 15 years or more. -BeefSquatch-
  • Comment 09/16/14:

    Friday when I was told I was "not affected" by the SCAMS action, I was also told I would get to pick up my SCAMSed colleagues' work. And no, I'm not getting their 10% paycut added to my pay. So ALL of the U.S. GTS employees are getting the CAMSS-shaft, one way or the other. This company is screwing its employees once again, yet most of you are acting surprised and still waiting for your fairy godmother to come rescue you. Quit yer belly-aching and join the union. Then at least you will have paid for the honor of coming here to b**ch. -Suffering-in-GTS-
  • Comment 09/16/14:

    The SCAMS training is on top of Think40 hours? What proof will there be that one has learned, a surprise exam in April? Required passing "certification"? What happened to Ginni's 24-hour customer response turnaround demand from a year ago, if one is out on mandated 8-hour off work, and a customer CritSit comes up and remaining workers already overloaded can't handle?. Bet none of the board members including Gini have any real SCAMS knowledge except for buzz word -LongGone-
  • Comment 09/16/14:

    SCAMS is just another cost reduction initiative, intended to encourage attrition and avoid costly RAs. IBM wants you gone. Get the hint? -Anonymous-
  • Comment 09/16/14:

    @Lacking Skills: The only skill you are lacking is that of finding a better job. Well, yes, if you really want to leave IBM. I say the only skill is not waking up and organizing by joining the Alliance! If you want to take IBM back as your company! You do have the power under USA Section 7 Labor Law, but you have to exercise it. -IBMUnionYES-
  • Comment 09/16/14:

    For all those who were flagged as being CAMSS deficient: If your IBM manager (FLM) or IBM second line asks you a favor to help with their computer "problem" (having problem with Lotus Notes, Sametime, Excel spreadsheet, printer driver, internet question, etc.) tell him/her to join you in the cmass training classes! It's not crass or curt; it's strictly business. Your IBM management should understand. -IdiotsBecameManagement-
  • Comment 09/17/14:

    I am reminded of a Sonny and Cher song. And the beat goes on. Undeserving people have been getting fired for the sake of new profit records since 1999. Do not act surprised because the only thing surprising most of you is your affected this time. Every time a "resource action" is announced you are all told about it even if it's to say you are not affected. Did you all really drink the Kool aid and believe that everyone let go before you was a low performer and deserved it? Time to wake up and smell the coffee in the Union Hall people. -Exodus2007-
  • Comment 09/17/14:

    For those being required to acquire new skills, are they being told what skills to go after and what classes they should be taking; or are they at risk of spending six months acquiring skills only to be told they took the wrong classes? -Glad_to_be_gone-
  • Comment 09/17/14:

    I hope the folks affected by this retraining really understand what is going on. You have just been handed your 6 months notice. You are now working during your severance period. You need to start looking for work outside of IBM now. Good luck. -BeenAroundTheBlock-
  • Comment 09/18/14:

    My team took a 20% cut earlier this year, so I feel for those taking a 10% cut now. Everyone here needs to understand that this pirate ship is being looted by the captain and it is not going to turn around until the pillage and plunder is complete. Two choices: 1) mutiny, 2) get another job. My choice is get another job. I am not a sleazy pirate criminal like the bastards currently running this ship. -grateful-
  • Comment 09/18/14:

    The memo states that workers will need to dedicate one day per week to training so that they can "focus on learning and development". It sure is strange that IBM CEOs are going to cut IBM salaries because their skills are not up to date. Yet, IBM hired the cookie man Louie to be CEO who knew nothing about computers but came from Nabisco. It is just another ploy to cut salaries. IBM needs a union. -Ana-
  • Comment 09/18/14:

    To grateful, Since Lou became CEO, the IBMUS worker has lost benefits, retirement benefits, salary increases, lay offs, a greedy and corrupt group of CEOs and executives. When will the IBMUS worker wake up? These guys have their own contracts; without a union contract protecting the workers, these ba*****s can do anything they want. They and their families are well taken care, while the IBMUS employee continues to get the shaft. Join the union. -Ana-
  • Comment 09/18/14:

    Heard directly from a 2nd line manager, as soon as the smoke clears from this next bad quarterly result, that since "headcount numbers are too high" in SWG (and probably other divisions), that many folks will be "encouraged" to sign up for a new program where you join a business partner but are "still an IBM employee". Take the hint. -LowMorale-
  • Comment 09/19/14:

    If the executive team all took a 10% paycut, and took training on Leadership, Business Conduct, People Skills, and of course SCAMS, that would actually INCREASE the number of workers solving customer problems, since we wouldn't need so many people sacrificing 10% for the corporation. Can someone provide a list of classes that are required? I actually tried to take some classes on SPSS, but the classes were not existent. Ha -Who came up with that dumb idea-
  • Comment 09/19/14:

    To "Who Came Up with that Bright Idea." — IBM Education is a sham and has been for years — go to http://www-304.ibm.com/services/learning/ites.wss/zz/en?pageType=page&c=a0003096 and try finding courses outside of "Conferences" that are actually scheduled. When I advised one department of IBM to stop linking to those "impressive-looking" pages with no substance behind them and suggested that they bring this to the attention of higher-ups in IBM so that the education system in IBM could be fixed, I was reprimanded by that department's VP and by my own manager and told to stay out of it. Received a "3" at next appraisal. Moral of story: forget about trying to fix things from within; managers on the inside just try to cover up the truth. Instead, join the union who will make VPs, Directors, Armonk pay attention! From FIGHTING MAD. -Fighting Mad-
  • Comment 09/19/14:

    As a former IBM FLM let go last year I would suggest that everyone who received the note make their FLM put in writing the deficient skills and any rejections they receive regarding classes they can't take due to spending freezes. May not save you but will tie the FLMs and one LM up in knots. -Mike-
  • Comment 09/20/14:

    The 'Re-train or die' memo is so much more offensive given that IBM has effectively frozen investment in most of its employee training for the last 10 years. IBM management have created the problem and then turn around and blame the workers for not keeping their skills up. Sick. -Anon-
If you hire good people and treat them well, they will try to do a good job. They will stimulate one another by their vigor and example. They will set a fast pace for themselves. Then if they are well led and occasionally inspired, if they understand what the company is trying to do and know they will share in its sucess, they will contribute in a major way. The customer will get the superior service he is looking for. The result is profit to customers, employees, and to stcckholders. —Thomas J. Watson, Jr., from A Business and Its Beliefs: The Ideas That Helped Build IBM.

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