I don't believe this is a joke - it's for real. Whether IBM will survive such a plan is doubtful, simply because greedy IBM executives will cut too deeply, far too fast and will offshore work before the low cost countries can effectively handle the work. We are actually seeing this now with India and IT support, but the execs won't admit the problems.
From my vantage point, IBM execs are offshoring everything they think can be offshored - that INCLUDES ALL FUNCTIONS of the business, EXCEPT executives and their staff.
Granted, while the low cost countries' do not have people with skills, people with experience or even the stable infrastructure to do the more sophisticated and higher skill jobs, IBM is counting on them to develop those skills over time to do the higher skill work. In my opinion, the 100,000 cuts will be over a five year timeframe.
"Maybe the number WAS too high," Cringely writes. "Instead of 150,000, maybe the true number is only 100,000 or 75,000 or even 50,000. Would 50,000 layoffs from IBM Global Services be significantly less catastrophic for the workforce than 150,000? "And while the number of layoffs to come may indeed be less than 150,000, I'd prefer to stick with that larger number, which I feel is not far off. . ." [...]
Much of Cringely's criticism for IBM centers around a program dubbed "LEAN." The reporter makes it sound like he met with IBMers in a dark alley to obtain this acronym, which portends great change at Big Blue. [...]
The IBM I'm experiencing does not seem like a company ready to collapse its US workforce. Rather, it seems like a company making gradual cuts to deal with a changing business while at the same time researching ways to pursue services in a more sophisticated fashion. No major vendor can afford the reputation of being a cash cancer on its clients. IBM seems to know this and appears to be trying to fix its past ways.
Cringely argues that IBM's public face is all show. He urges readers to delve into the 1,000+ comments left in response to his first story as proof of IBM's woes.
I joined IBM as part of a large outsourcing contract. In my year and a half at IBM I have been given more responsibility, more work and was told our salaries might be cut. After a year of wondering what might happen with our salaries we were told they wouldn't get cut, but no increases. Also we were told that our bonuses would be equivalent to what we received with our former employer, but turned out to ¼ the amount. After a year of struggling to get our numbers into the green IBM decided to cut the staff.
IBM has completely destroyed, in the most efficient manner, the work ethic of the employees they obtained in this contract.
The message I get from IBM is "Work harder for less money." "The harder you work, the more work you'll get and the more we'll cut the staff."
Management changed the original LEAN model that was implemented in prior weeks. They realized that the original model would not work. There will now be 4 groups instead of the original 1 group. Each group will be organized into 3 skill levels: excellence, blues and rhythm. The work is supposed to flow from basic requests up thru highly complex problems.
Also, they are working on automating as many of the tasks as possible.
My opinion of the basic LEAN model is that it would work well when implemented. However, right now, since no one is cross-trained on the other accounts, people are just working on the accounts they know best.
The LEAN model has also taken away all project work from our group.
Our project work probably compromised about 60% of our workload prior to lean. It is VERY apparent that there is not enough work to go around. Mgmt has reported that they will be reviewing metrics regarding the number of tickets vs employees. I can only assume that this will occur within the month, and then the hatchet will begin to fall once again. The cross training will enable mgmt to further thin down the ranks. It's only a matter of time before we're all axed. The remainder of the work is destined for off-shore.
IBM certainly is doing the hiring overseas, especially in India. Indian media reported on Tuesday that IBM now employs 53,000 people in that huge country. That’s one sixth of IBM’s workforce and the largest concentration of Big Blue workers outside of the 125,000 or so in the U.S.
Don’t forget, either, that the largest concentration of IBM employees in the U.S., is right here in the Triangle – some 11,000. But that number could take a hit later this month. Rumors circulating inside IBM have pegged May 29 as the day on which the company will launch a new round of layoffs. Alliance@IBM, a fledgling union seeking to represent IBM workers, is predicting 12,000 layoffs with most coming in May and June. Those cuts will follow 1,300 announced last week. [...]
The question many IBM workers in the U.S. and Europe (which are said to be on the job chopping block, too) are asking: “Is my job among those being offshored to the land of Darjeeling?”
Indeed, requesting your Social Security benefits might seem like the first order of business as soon as the going-away party is over. But you might be a lot better off waiting a bit longer, until age 66 or even 70 before tapping into the government retirement fund. Relying at first on other savings like individual retirement accounts or the 401(k) from work could raise your living standard in retirement as much as 10 percent, according to calculations made by Laurence J. Kotlikoff, an economics professor at Boston University.
Blame IBM. Deep Blue was just the latest in a line of three supercomputers developed by Big Blue’s research scientists over the decade before its triumph in New York on May 11, 1997.
Peter Edelman, a Georgetown law professor who was a co-chairman of the task force, said, “An astonishing number of people are working as hard as they possibly can but are still in poverty or have incomes that are not much above the poverty line.”
And here, ironically, is where Congress can help. A bipartisan group of federal lawmakers are capitalizing on this trend by supporting and encouraging state innovation. One unlikely pair, Sens. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have joined together to introduce the State-Based Health Reform Act.
Having already relaxed requirements on the insurance giants who stand to gain tens of millions in additional profits under the plan, now we learn that the obligations on employers have been effectively eliminated in Massachusetts.
Some of the biggest names on the Fortune 500 say they want market forces to fix the problem of high health care costs. So they support the government making every American buy health insurance. The irony is that if insurers had made health insurance affordable and available, we wouldn't need the heavy hand of government to force individuals to buy policies. The likes of Safeway, PepsiCo, General Mills and Pacific Gas and Electric don't have a plan to effectively rein in health care costs. They don't do anything about the inefficiency and profiteering of drug makers or health insurers whose premiums have risen 250 percent more quickly than the rate of medical inflation.
That's probably because insurers Aetna, Cigna, Healthcare, PacifiCare and drug maker Eli Lilly are part of the Safeway coalition, too. If the employers don't wanna pay premiums, fine. They should just admit the market doesn't work and turn the job over to the government by expanding Medicare. That's how it's done in the rest of the industrialized world, where there's far more efficiency. The World Health Organization ranked the USA 37th of 191 countries for overall health system performance, 72nd for level of health, and first for health expenditures per capita.
And there's no way that mandatory health insurance is gonna help those numbers. Real universal health care means getting every patient access to doctors, hospitals and prescription drugs whenever they need it, so that sick patients don't get sicker. And that saves money. Instead, these companies back turning government into a collections agent for private insurers. That leaves American citizens bearing the burden of big costs and high-deductible insurance policies that discourage early treatment. That's not reform. It's a bailout for insurers and drug companies that refuse to be accountable for the high prices they charge and the paltry health care they provide.
"If a politician declares that the United States has the best health care system in the world today, he or she looks clueless rather than patriotic or authoritative," Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel wrote in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association.
Emanuel, who supports sweeping health care reform, said the U.S. spends $6,000 per person per year on health care, an amount that is more than 16 percent of the nation's gross domestic product and more than any other country.
He also said Americans' average life expectancy of 78 ranks 45th in the world, behind Bosnia and Jordan. And the U.S. infant death rate is 6.37 per 1,000 live births, higher than that of most developed nations.
What also matters is that the executives are doing this to "cut costs" (actually to increase their compensation) without make any sacrifices themselves. There are no Lee Iacoccas ("equality of sacrifice") within IBM. What also matters is that the executives are doing this through the misuse and misapplication of LEAN. What matters is that this cost cutting strategy indicates the total failure of IBM executive leadership to grow the company.
While Cringely implies 100K+ cuts in a year, we all know that the USA cuts have been occurring for at least two years and that the "cut USA jobs" strategy will continue for the foreseeable future. We also know that the services business has become a hellhole to work in and that working conditions continue to deteriorate in the services business.None of this can be denied. Demand regime change - now! -FrankReality-
The result would likely be the death of the services business. You would think that executives would retain US employees to assist until the GRs can actually provide adequate support, but no. This situation can't be fixed - because telling the truth to the executives who ordered this global resourcing disaster is a career ending event. It's difficult for the technical staff to be told to "shut up and make it work". Funny, that's also how the execs are handling LEAN. Executives neither want to hear the truth, nor do they care about what it is doing to the services business, thus the service quality from the GRs will continue to suck. When the execs choose to cut the remaining US services staff to the point where they can no longer cover for the incompetence of global resources, things will break and they break badly - very badly. That is not a threat, that is reality and that's the course the services business is heading. -Global Headache-
There is a misconception among you working class people in IBM. I need to correct this at this time. Some of you erroneously believe that a long term, healthy corporation is in your best interest. It would allow you to work a complete, challenging, and satisfying career with IBM and retire with a modest amount of security in you twilight years. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is in the best interest of IBM for the stock price to be as high as possible so that those of us in the "C" suite can cash out and live happily ever after, perhaps in the South of France. It is really irrelevant if IBM even continues to exist since we will have secured enough money to fund the next 5 generations of our family. So, I would greatly appreciate it if you would quit your whining and get back to work. I am working on my plans to acquire a yacht that will have Monte Carlo as my port of call. Kindest regards, Sammy
Have you voted for an outstanding SWG Manager yet? Now is your chance to nominate SWG's best managers for recognition. The software Group Management Excellence Award program recognizes excellence in all aspects of management, with an emphasis on people leadership. No one is better suited than you to identify the best SWG managers, whose efforts truly make a difference in people's work life, and our business results. IBM demands outstanding leadership from its managers and executives, and so do its employees. This nomination is your chance to have an outstanding leader considered for recognition. I'll nominate my manager for quite a few things, but it sure as heck won't be for excellence. -Anonymous-
While we got along fine, and he never indicated that there was a problem with my performance, at PBC time I still only got a 2, under the rationale that I needed to be a team lead of a process group outside of my normal job. No one ever mentioned such a rule before, to give me time to prepare or look at opportunities in that area.
Since then, we've had yet another reorg with a new boss, and the current manager is focusing on "innovation". With rapidly changing managers and corporate directions, it's difficult to get an idea what the company is really looking for in a top performer.
You're also at a disadvantage if you happen to work on a team with mostly very solid people, as ratings get skewed downward for some if they're not in a leadership role. If on the other hand, you're on a team with lots of inexperienced people, you can look really good, even though you might not be as skilled as the lowest person in a really solid department of mostly veteran employees. My complaint was not so much with the 2 as with the fact the the rules changed midstream, so what I first agreed to was no longer in effect. -Anonymous-
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