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    Highlights—February 10, 2007

  • Information Week: IBM Head Count In India Tops 50,000. If the current growth rate continues, IBM will have more than 70,000 workers in India this year. By Paul McDougall. Excerpts: In an aggressive effort to tap the country's low-cost, highly skilled tech workforce, IBM has more than doubled its head count in India in the past two years, the company acknowledged Wednesday. The technology company's Indian workforce now stands at 53,000, up from 39,000 a year ago and 23,000 two years ago. If the current growth rate continues, IBM will have more than 70,000 workers in India in 2007—almost 25% of its current worldwide workforce of 300,000 or more than 50% of its U.S. employee head count of 130,000.
    IBM workers in India are engaged in everything from routine coding to high-end system design. A year ago, the company made the decision to consolidate all development of software for service-oriented architectures in the Indian tech hub of Bangalore.
  • Information Week: As Hiring Soars In India, Good Managers Are Hard To Find. Tech vendors plan to hire tens of thousands of employees in India in early 2007. But lack of leadership is forcing some to put staffers on the fast track to management and recruit U.S. talent. By Mary Hayes Weier. Excerpts: Accenture plans to increase its India staff this year by 8,000 people to 35,000, surpassing its U.S. employee base. IBM's India staff has jumped from 43,000 to 53,000 in six months, and it expects to maintain a similar growth clip. Both Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services are hiring about 2,000 people a month. At that pace, that's more than 35,000 new hires for these four companies alone the next six months, and dozens of other tech companies are rushing to add staff in India. So where will all this talent come from? [...]
    "We're not a body shop," says Amitabh Ray, IBM's VP of consulting and application services in its India-based Global Business Services unit. "We need the right kind of people." That means staffers skilled in a variety of enterprise applications, including SAP, PeopleSoft, and Siebel; database administrators; high-end IT architects and database administrators; and project managers and other leaders. Based on current growth rate, IBM will employ 100,000 people in India by 2010, projects AMR Research. It employs about 300,000 worldwide, with about 130,000 in the United States.
    IT employers' biggest problem in India, though, is leadership. "We're not finding a lot of seasoned managers," says Mary Jo Morris, president of Global Transformation Services at Computer Sciences Corp., which employs 7,200 in India. CSC tackled that problem by bringing in expatriates or training existing employees. IBM puts good project managers on the fast track. How fast? A good candidate, says Ray, can move from senior program manager to exec in three to four years. With that kind of opportunity, look for more U.S. IT managers to jump on that fast track.
  • Reuters: I.B.M. Details Its Chief Executive's Pay. Excerpts: International Business Machines Corp., whose stock rose 16 percent last year as it expanded in software, said on Monday that Chief Executive Samuel Palmisano will be paid a $1.8 million salary in 2007 and stands to receive another $5 million in incentive pay, the same as last year.
    He also receives restricted stock units worth $3 million vesting in 2011, and performance share units worth $7 million, payable in 2010, according to spokesman John Bukovinksy and an IBM filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • CNN Money: Pensions: Annuity or lump sum? A retired reader asks if money left over for heirs makes the lump sum preferable. By Walter Updegrave. Excerpts: Question: When I retired, I chose a lump-sum from my company's pension plan and rolled the money into an IRA instead of taking an annuity. I did this because it's my understanding that if my wife and I were to die after receiving just a couple of months of annuity payments, none of the annuity's value would be passed on to our children or other heirs. By taking the lump sum and moving it to the IRA, on the other hand, our heirs will receive the IRA balance when we die. Do you agree with my reasoning on this issue?
  • USA Today: Too young to retire. By Sheryl McCarthy. Excerpts: One of my heroes is Dennis Duggan, a former colleague who worked full-time as a journalist until he died at age 78. He never lost his love for the daily engagement with people and events that being a working journalist entails. Duggan survived the collapse of three newspapers and continued working until he was forced to take a buyout. Soon after, he succumbed to a terminal illness.
    His work record is one that few in my generation are likely to achieve. Though the news is full of stories about baby boomers who reject the notion of total retirement and who in their 50s and later are pursuing second and third careers, the reality is that being 50 or older and looking for work is tough.
    A report by the management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. found that 40% of those who described themselves as retired had stopped working earlier than they had planned. Of that group, 47% stopped working for health reasons, but 44% did so because of job loss or downsizing. Pre-retirees expect, on average, to work until age 67, the study found, but the average age of retirement is only 59. And average baby boomers can expect to live until their 80s. [...]
    My own experience is that employers primarily want to hire older workers part-time, for low wages and no benefits, and prefer younger workers who are cheap and are perceived, rightly or wrongly, to be more flexible and energetic.
    A study on age discrimination published last year by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College confirmed that these stereotypes persist. Researchers sent 4,000 résumés for entry-level jobs for applicants between 35 and 62 to firms in Massachusetts and Florida, and found that a younger worker was more than 40% more likely to be called for an interview than someone 50 or older.
    Part-time work is fine if you don't need a full-time salary or health benefits. But plenty of us have years to go on our mortgages, medical insurance premiums to pay and eventual retirements to save for. There's a growing gap between mature workers' need to work and their opportunities to do so.
    A year ago, at 58, I was part of a wave of pushouts at the newspaper where I had worked for 17 years. I've been shocked by the growing number of my peers in all fields who've been forced out due to corporate downsizing. These are some of the most talented people I know, and virtually all of us have the same complaint: The business world isn't kind to older workers. [...]
    At a time when people are living longer, pensions are disappearing, medical costs are rising and Social Security benefits are being pushed further into the future, it's a moral imperative that U.S. companies stop discriminating against willing and qualified older workers for the jobs that are available. I feel, as do my peers, that we're being prematurely marginalized, even though we have skills that are useful to the economy. This threatens to create an underclass of citizens who, after years of productivity, are being forced into just getting by.
  • Non-Sequitur comic, courtesy of Yahoo!. (Note: If you are reading the e-mail version of these highlights you may not be able to view the following comic.
  • Yahoo! message board post by "abouthadit". Full excerpt: IBM, like most corps, takes ownership of product developed on it's time and with it's resources. It's the same as with research done at universities by students and professors.
    I know of an incident or two that may help you a bit.
    If you have an idea that is patentable, IBM requires that you show it to them and they will make a determination as to whether they have a right to it. That's why you need your own attorney; the attorney would advise you of ALL your specific rights in the matter.
    If they don't have a right to it, they may require that they market the idea for you. That's another reason why you would need your own attorney; the attorney would protect your interests in any contract they offered.
    Else, they may tell you that they have no interest and that you are free to do with it as you please. That's why you would need an attorney; the attorney would review the release for those "we reserve the right to rescind this release at any time and for whatever reason we choose" type clauses.
    Back when, there was a two year limitation after you left IBM after which you were free to do what you wanted with whatever idea you had in your head. I don't know if that is still the case. That's another reason you need to talk to an attorney.
    A fellow I once worked with developed an invention that had nothing to do with IBM products. IBM reviewed the invention and gave him it's release. They later changed their mind when he patented and tried to market it. The cost of litigation would have sunk him so he gave it up for a few dollars of royalty.
    Talk to an attorney. The cost might be less than you think and the advice might be priceless.
    Rule of Thumb: If it's good for you, IBM won't do it. EOS
  • Center for Retirement Research at Boston College: What Happens to Health Benefits after Retirement? By Richard W. Johnson. Introduction: Because most workers receive health benefits from their employers, retirement often disrupts health insurance coverage. Some employers offer health insurance to retirees, but many firms are cutting retiree health benefits by passing more costs to retirees or eliminating benefits altogether. Few alternatives exist. Private nongroup coverage is generally quite expensive, and few people in their 50s and early 60s qualify for publicly financed benefits. Many workers who cannot obtain retiree benefits from their own employers or their spouses’ employers delay retirement to age 65, when Medicare coverage begins.
    This brief examines the availability and cost of health insurance coverage at ages 55 to 64 and changes in coverage after retirement. Today most workers with employer health benefits retain their coverage when they retire early, although their required premium contributions have increased sharply over the past ten years. In the future, however, steady declines in the share of younger workers with access to retiree health benefits may jeopardize income security for the next generations of retirees.
News and Opinion Concerning Health Savings Accounts, Medical Costs and Health Care Reform
  • USA Today: People left holding bag when policies revoked. Make a mistake on your application? You may pay for that surgery yourself. By Julie Appleby. Excerpts: Denise Wheeler, an artist in Laguna Beach, Calif., thought she and her family had health insurance. So did Tony Seals, a self-employed businessman in nearby Riverside. Across the country in Connecticut, Maria Locker and Linda Gaskill each bought short-term insurance policies to protect themselves against catastrophic costs. But each was left with tens of thousands in unpaid medical bills when their insurers — all major companies — retroactively canceled their policies after they faced expensive health problems. "It's the most devastating thing that's ever happened to us," says Seals, 43.
    Their stories illustrate a little-recognized fact about insurance purchased by individuals: Even after being approved, policyholders can see their coverage amended to exclude certain medical conditions or revoked entirely, sometimes long after the policies are issued.
    "Insurers love to market the promise, 'We'll take care of you. Just sign here,' " says Karen Pollitz of the Institute for Health Care Research and Policy at Georgetown University. "Then there is all this opportunity for the insurer not to keep the promise, and you don't find out until it's too late."
  • Marin Independent Journal, courtesy of Physicians for a National Health Program: A vote for single-payer health. By Dr. Ann Troy. Excerpts: Last year, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill that would have established a single-payer system to provide health care for all Californians. Under SB840, patients would choose their own doctors; doctors would remain private, able to practice the way they want and be paid fairly and simply on a fee for service basis; and California would save billions of dollars.
    Instead, the governor has come up with a plan that would keep the insurance industry in health care - to the detriment of us all.
    The United States is the only developed nation without a national health program. We spend double per capita what any other nation spends on health care, yet we have 50 million people, including 11 million children, without health insurance and the worst health-care statistics in the developed world.
    How can this be? About 50 percent of every health-care dollar is spent on something other than health care. Insurance companies admit they spend about 30 percent of the money we pay in premiums on something other than health care - multimillion dollar salaries for their top executives, profits for their shareholders, advertising and sales, screening applicants and claims, and generating mountains of paperwork and endless hassles for doctors and patients alike. There also is the money we have to spend dealing with them - in the creation of intermediary bodies and in hiring staff to do our billing and to deal with authorizations.
    In the 1960s, Canada and the United States spent about the same amount per capita on health care and had similar health-care statistics. By 1971, all of Canada had single-payer. Thirty-five years later, Canada spends less than half of what we spend per capita, and provides health care for all its citizens. On almost every measure, their health-care statistics are better than ours. Our infant mortality rate is 50 percent higher than theirs and our overall mortality rate is 30 percent higher. The World Health Organization ranks the U.S. 37th, at the bottom of the developed world.
  • Washington Post: Health Coverage's Momentum. By David S. Broder. Excerpts: Piece by piece, the stage is being set for the long-overdue effort to rebuild America's creaky health-care system into one that can meet the needs of the 21st century. It probably won't happen until 2009, but the outlines of the big change are starting to become clear. [...]
    Last October, health-care experts Drew Altman and Robert Blendon wrote in the journal Health Affairs that "the presidential candidates' level of attention will be decisive to where health ranks on the national agenda going into the 2008 election and the 2009 Congress. If they do play a leadership role on health, the media will follow, and the agenda-setting power of a debate driven from the top will meet the public's concern rising up from the bottom like two weather fronts colliding."
    Exactly that is happening. As he seeks the GOP nomination, Romney is touting his plan for universal coverage, and last month Democratic Sen. Barack Obama committed to the same goal -- without saying how to get there. On her first trip to Iowa, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton showed her mastery of the subject, explaining what had gone wrong in 1994 and the lessons learned.
  • Bloomberg: Bush's Health Plan Would Do More Harm Than Good. By John M. Berry. Excerpts: President George W. Bush's latest attempt to deal with the nation's health-care problems is based on misconceptions about what causes people to seek care and, if enacted, might do more harm than good. The president and his advisers seem to think that if you have what they call a "generous" health-insurance plan through your employer, you routinely take advantage of every provision even if not needed.
    You do that because the care doesn't cost you very much, they argue, adding that in the process you are unnecessarily driving up the cost of health care for the whole country. [...]
    Based on my family's consumption of health care over the years, all those arguments strike me as wishful thinking at best. Whether for me, my wife or my two children, who are now adults, our decisions to seek care have been driven entirely by need, not whether we happened to have a gold-plated insurance policy.
    The only way in which having high co-pays or otherwise limited coverage is likely to deter someone seeking care is, if in the absence of better insurance, one simply can't afford the cost.
  • CFO.com: Did Bush Set Employee Health-Benefit Ceiling? Employers might find the Bush tax plan provides a useful benchmark for capping health-benefit spending. By David M. Katz. Excerpts: Regardless of the political fate of President Bush's proposal to revamp the tax code to steer employees away from choosing "expensive, gold-plated" benefit plans, the proposal supplies employers with a benchmark for gauging how much spending on health benefits is too much, experts say. [...]
    To be sure, previous plans to tax employer-provided benefits have failed to gain transaction. Further, President Bush's plan has received a "frosty reception" on Capitol Hill, according to the Washington Post. Nevertheless, the proposed deduction limits of $15,000 and $7,500 "could be useful, even if it doesn’t pass" as a benchmark for employers, says Ed Pudlowski, a principle for health and welfare programs at Ernst & Young in Dallas. [...]
    While $15,000 might provide for a fairly rich plan for young family in Kansas, it wouldn't do nearly as well for an older family in New York City, says Ed Kaplan, senior vice president and head of the national health practice of The Segal Company in New York. If he suggested to one such employer client a plan benchmark of $12,000 for family coverage, he added, "they would beat me up."
  • Health Insurance Law Weekly, courtesy of The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights. Foundation suggests Schwarzenegger health plan's success depends on affordability. Excerpts: The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) said that the outlines of Gov. Schwarzenegger's health insurance reform plan address some of the most pernicious insurance industry practices but fail to guarantee that health insurance policies will be truly affordable and that the policies' benefits will be protective enough. [...]
    Fixing this discrimination is an important step, but consumers must also be able to afford the coverage offered. "Insurance companies and HMOs will do all they can to undermine the governor's healthcare plan, and fight to retain their right to make unlimited profit. Instead, the governors' proposals must be strengthened, not undermined, in the legislative process," said Jerry Flanagan, research director of FTCR. "The governor's acknowledgment that insurers are abusing those who seek coverage does offer hope that this broken market will be fixed, regardless of the outcome of the debate on universal coverage."
  • Wall Street Journal: Wal-Mart Joins Health-Care Call. Unlikely Coalition Of Labor, Business Pushes for Overhaul. By Kris Maher. Excerpts: An unlikely coalition of business and labor, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and the nation's biggest union, which has persistently criticized the retailer, called for affordable health coverage for all Americans by 2012, but offered no specifics on how to achieve the goal.
    Yesterday's announcement in Washington united Wal-Mart Chief Executive H. Lee Scott and Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, who has criticized the Bentonville, Ark., retailer's pay and benefit policies. The inclusion of Wal-Mart, the nation's largest private employer and an industry bellwether, in any push to overhaul health care is significant.
    "Our current system hurts America's competitiveness and leaves too many people uninsured," said Mr. Scott, who responded to Mr. Stern's invitation last year in letters to CEOs of every Fortune 500 company to revamp health care. "We put aside disagreements to drive this debate forward."
  • Washington Post: Beyond Health-Care Band-Aids. By Ezekiel J. Emanuel and Victor R. Fuchs. Excerpts: At $2 trillion per year, the U.S. health-care system suffers much more from inefficiency than lack of funds. The system wastes money on administration, unnecessary tests and marginal medicines that cost a lot for little health benefit. It also provides strong financial incentives to preserve such inefficiency. By building on the existing health-care system, these reform proposals entrench the perverse incentives. [...]
    Band-aids are not enough. The country needs comprehensive reform. Here are five essential changes:
    • Get businesses out of health care. Health care is not part of their core competencies but something they use as a part of labor relations. It creates job lock and distorts employers' hiring and firing decisions.
    • Guarantee every American an essential benefits package. This package -- modeled on what members of Congress get -- should be provided by qualified plans that would receive a risk-adjusted payment for each enrollee. Americans could choose their health plans, with guaranteed enrollment and renewability; "cherry-picking" and "lemon-dropping" would be minimized.
    • The universal basic package should be financed by a dedicated tax that everyone pays, such as a value-added tax.
    • Administer the program through an independent National Health Board and regional boards modeled on the Federal Reserve System. They would oversee health plans, define the benefits packages and, through strong incentives, facilitate adoption of patient safety measures and electronic management of medical records.
    • Establish an independent Institute for Technology and Outcomes Assessment to systematically evaluate new technologies and quantify their health benefits in relation to their costs. These evaluations would be used by the National Health Board and health plans.
New on the Alliance@IBM Site:
  • From the Job Cuts Status & Comments page
    • Comments 2/03/07: I know a few folks who have received the infamous notification package and do not deserve it. I think that the ink is already on the paper at the beginning of the year, without question. Names on the list of how things will work such as how much %%% has to be cut from this team or that team. Managers probably have statements such as "---optimized team by reducing headcount by xxx percent" and are rewarded for contributing to the company's value - allowing off shoring to happen more easily. -USA employee-
    • Comments 2/06/07: IBM is at it again. Layoffs at Greenville SC site. No reason given -Anonymous-
    • Comments 2/09/07: Dear USA employee...you won't be an employee for long. The writing IS on the wall for certain people, regardless of who you are, where you work, yada, yada. They know who will be given an 'improvement plan', or who gets 30 days in the hole. You should start looking outside before it's your turn. -Anonymous-
  • From the General Visitor's Comment page:
    • Comment 2/03/07: I see a lot of dishonesty in reporting information internally. Internally this is driven by fear. Technical people keep their mouths shut about technical problems with products, allowing them to ship on time regardless. There are meetings about meetings and presentations that go through many iterations so that the executives can see things in the right context, less they guess that all is not what it seems.
      Does anyone care about the truth anymore? IBM once was the leader in quality, but now software does not work when shipped, and they just keep putting people on-site to patch things up. We lose real business to our competitors because they do things right (or at least better). Therefore, some years go by and IBM will sell off divisions after fattening them up; thus building the stock price, then the perception will be that things are turning around.
      The dirty little secret is that IBM is so good at lying both to employees and to customers and partners, that they believe their own lies and will wonder why sales are flat. Even so, those that make the big $$$ will continue to divest sections of the company just like the PC division and the printer division. The most profitable ones will go; stock prices go up, more layoffs. So what is left in 20 years? As things evolve, the net of IBM will be a small company, only 10-20 percent of the original size. Will anyone want to work for them then? -keepin' it real is hard to do-
    • Comment 2/04/07: If the real "IBM Spirit" was high then why would we have this IBM Spirit thing? If IBMers knew they were being treated well and respected and had high morale then any "spirit program" becomes superfluous, right? This "spirit" thing is some HR director or management lackey's attempt to TRY to build some employee morale. But morale is so low in IBM there really is no spirit left to improve the way IBM treats it's employees! -spirit_what_spirit?-
    • Comment 2/05/07: Amen to -keepin' it real is hard to do-, I work in software development (RTP)and we do make crappie products. Our poor customers, how pathetic. Management DOES NOT want to hear it. Just sugar coat and get your 1 or 2. Speak the truth and get a 3 and the door. Management is out of touch and yes, it starts at the top. -rtpsucks-
    • Comment 2/05/07: The "new" IBM = India, Brazil, Malaysia -Anonymous-
    • Comment 2/09/07: Fact: After a stellar year and record earnings for IBM Software Group, your variable pay (bonus payable 3/15) WILL be much less then you might think. Don't be shocked, you read it here first. Send Sam a note, he'd love to hear from you all. -SamLovesMeNot-
  • Pension Comments page
    • Comment 02/09/07: After almost 29 years of service, on 1/15/07 I was told my job has been eliminated and I have until 2/15/07 to leave, which is roughly 13 months short of my 30-yr full retirement date. I became eligible for early retirement on 10/28/2006. I didn't even receive the projected calculations of my pension benefits until 2/6/07, which is bad enough, but I see that the monthly annuity I will receive beginning 3/1/07 is 14% less than what I would have received had I reached my 30 yr full retirement date (3/28/08). Some friends who retired early from their government jobs told me their early retirement benefit was 2% lower for each year they were short of reaching their full retirement date. Does anyone have any comments or know of differences among others in my situation? -Anonymous-
  • Raise and Salary Comments
    • Comment 2/02/07: Salary = $125,000; Band Level = 10; Job Title = Senior Project Manager' Years Service = 25 Hours/Week = 45; Div Name = SWG; Location = RTP' Message = IBM has treated me well. I continue to get 1 ratings. Those on this site who complain are the under performers who drag the rest of us down. Unions protect the least common denominator and encourage mediocrity. Unions remove the incentive to excel seeing that everybody is treated the same under a contract -Anonymous-
    • Comment 2/03/07: Salary = 59k cdn' Band Level = 6' Job Title = IT Professional' Years Service = 3' Hours/Week = 40 Div Name = GBS; Location = Canada; Message = After my BS pbc review this yr and the pathetic raise last yr, i decided to do the min. amount of work in order to keep my current job...currently waiting for offer from another company...will be so happy to leave this hell hole... -Anonymous-
    • Comment 2/04/07: To: "Salary = $125,000 Band Level = 10 Job Title = Senior Project Manager" So you are the one that has no technical I/T skills and doesn't really get anything done and and just plays the political games and makes pretty project spreadsheets and pesters the real "doers" for "give me a completion date and is it done yet?" You're not the solution. You are the problem with this IBM! If you don't like UNIONS then you are prejudiced. There are plenty of IBMers making much less money who can do your job..and do it BETTER...if only given the chance! -
    • Comment 2/05/07: Salary = 122K (w/o bonus / Options); Band Level = 9; Job Title = Sr. Proj Mgr; Years Service = 29; Hours/Week = 50+; Location = RTP; Message = PBC - 2006 2+ (1 - 8 out of last 10 years). Too much work. Looking to leave. Have had my fill. Feel there is a target on my back because member of old plan. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 2/06/07: Employee variable pay is based the organization's results, rated "Exceptional" "Strong" "Solid" or "Improvement Necessary" 14 of 22 Organizations are "Improvement Necessary" including S&D, GBS, GTS, TD, and STD. 7 Are "Solid". Only 1 Is "Strong". 0 Are Exceptional. l BUT, it is announced that Sam made his objectives and gets a $5M bonus.How can this be???? -Anonymous-
    • Comment 2/06/07: Good point about Sam's bonus pay. And, by scoring us as not making our objectives, he keeps cost down to make it even easier to make his 2007 objective. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 2/06/07: For a Band 10 making $125K you are very lowly paid, and that is BS that you get 1's because avg band 9s make more than you. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 2/06/07: I am band 6 and make $50K cdn (Canadian dollars) -Anonymous-
    • Comment 2/07/07: Performance bonuses this year are gonna suck. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 2/07/07: Salary = 98,000 w/o bonus & awards; Band Level = 8; Job Title = Advisory Software Engineer; Years Service = 6; Hours/Week = 50+; Div Name = AIM; Location = RTP; Message = I was reading the postings below and can't believe IBM has band 10 bean counters. The project managers in my organization lack common sense, can't grasp the simplest of concepts, and make decisions (if they make one) that cause nothing but wasted time and extra work. It's good to know they make more than me. -RegularIBMer-
    • Comment 2/07/07: Salary = 38.5k base+19.25k commission@On target earnings; Band Level = 7; Job Title = inside Brand Sales Specialist; Years Service = 2; Hours/Week = 40-50; Location = the south; Message = I had 2 years of 110% achievement of quota. I made 59k last year due to overachieving on my number. I got a 10% raise (to base salary) and a jump from band 6 to 7 after i kicked and screamed that i was making less due to inflation, the raise put me on par with what the new sales hires make where i work (which was, adjusted for inflation, what I joined IBM at). Frustrating to work for. I don't think anyone is actively trying to keep us down. I think that if you want to get ahead you just have to work the system. -Anonymous-
  • PBC Comments
    • Comment 02/03/07: Prior Yr PBC = 2+ This Yr PBC = 2 In our area, people that didn't work but spent their time doing rational certs got better ratings than people who actually worked hard to complete deliverables (clients even called to thank upper mgmt).... I guess they want all their employees to spend time studying rather than satisfying clients. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 02/03/07: Prior Yr PBC = 2+ This Yr PBC = 2
    • Comment 02/04/07: Prior Yr PBC = 2; This Yr PBC = 2; Yes, the PBC program needs to be scrapped. We should go back to the 360...then your manager will maybe think twice before he/she gives you a "low" rating. If anybody can figure out what a low rating is now that they have added the 2+ (what idiot came up with that?) I would like to comment about people who are getting their certifications instead of working. You have to be kidding, right? I have been told by my manager that in order to get the lofty 2+ I will need my certification, and oh by the way, I have to accomplish that feat on my own time. Well, after all the free overtime, now I am being required to take time away from my family to do this "paper chase" certification...God, please let me live long enough to get social security if it doesn't disappear before I am eligible, since IBM no longer offers a retirement plan. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 02/05/07: Prior Yr PBC = 2+; This Yr PBC = 2+; For "Just a suggestion to add a "last PBC rating" to the Salary Comments forum form." Good idea! Actually PBC ratings have little if any affect on your salary or chance for a raise. Yes, I know it makes know sense but this is IBM you know! I have previously been a solid "old PBC 2" and then a solid"2+" since for 10 years and I was the person who posted with a salary around $74K with over 20 years in IBM and have been a band 08 since late mid-1997(!) Why my salary is still so low for band is beyond me. If anyone knows please give me the answer. The PBC system is a faulted, beyond repair system dreamed up by that "little napoleon Gerstner" that needs to be scraped. It largely means nothing to those who get at least a PBC "2" and has nothing to do with real performance..and pay.. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 02/05/07: Prior Yr PBC = 2+; This Yr PBC = Left; Reference: "George usually pulled in the office around 9:00am or later with his breakfast, took extended lunches to get in his gym workout ..." I bet George was a brother. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 02/05/07: What a joke. You're a 2.. haha I'm a 2+. I better than you. I got the +. LOL Employees complained being a 3 when IBM had a 1,2, and 3, so they created a "2+". Now employees complain being a "2" and want to be a "2+". The next thing you know, Palmacrapo will create the "2++" to satisfy the whiners. It will then be 1, 2++, and 2+. LOL what a friggin' joke. Can't you see the stupidity of the PBC system? Fire Palmacrapo and his cronies and lets put some sanity back into the IBM corporation. -Joe Alliance-
    • Comment 02/06/07: Prior Yr PBC = 2; This Yr PBC = 2; When this will be finished. PBC...big joke again to keep us with competition between u.s..but, we must work together...I'm so tired. -Anonymous-
    • Comment 02/08/07: Prior Yr PBC = 2+; This Yr PBC = 2; Asked my manager why my ranking dropped when I worked just as hard, if not harder, than the year before. He said that he was told that too many 2+'s where given out last year. He had to skew the rankings. I told him why bother with the PBCs if they are not based on performance. -Anonymous-

Vault Message Board Posts
Vault's IBM Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC. A sample post follows:
  • "They're desperate at the moment" by "australian_client". Full excerpt: I am an ex-PwCC/ex-IBMer and have been on the client side in Australia for over a year. IBM GBS in Australia have over 600 vacant positions on sold projects right now - fact. Under-bidding and under-delivering again, no doubt. . .
    I agree that contracting to IBM is the best role there, but also recognise that you will be treated poorly - although strictly within the bounds of your contract - e.g. letting it expire before discussing an extension with you / be given notice before you take planned vacation etc. I have seen these things happen to IBM contractors again and again.

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