India is, of course, the hot spot for outsourcing in the IT sector these days. IBM already has 55,000 employees in India, having added 10,000 new jobs this year in that country, and Sam Palmisano, IBM's chairman and chief executive officer, is very much enamored of India because of the cost savings it brings to Big Blue's own operations as well as those for the services engagements it does for other customers in their IT operations. Westchester County, as the News Journal points out, is where IBM's own headquarters is located and many of its facilities are scattered around the county, which is north of New York City. Those IBM facilities have around 7,500 employees today--far fewer than IBM has in India, which had only a little over 9,000 IBMers four years ago. IBM has over 355,000 employees worldwide, and its presence in India is significant. These kinds of statistics make some people, who think IBM should do more employing back here in the States or in Europe, a bit crazy. [...]
So now we can all figure out how to outsource our own jobs with a rigorous and professional methodology--and do so for free. I feel much better now. At least there is one less stupid patent in the world, and IBM deserves some credit for that.
The application was noticed at the weekend by Slashdotters, who lambasted the move by the world's most prolific patenter.
Mansions and yachts are out. The mMillionaires who want to retire before age 65 or 72, find they must live in three- and four-bedroom homes and drive mid-priced four-door sedans and mini-vans. [...]
Just a generation ago, a person with $2 million or more in liquid assets would have had enough for a secure retirement. But not today. Combine longer life expectancies and the rising costs of health care, food, transportation and property, and you have financial challenges ahead for the mMillionaire. [...]
Even with no mortgage or tuition payments, many mMillionaires underestimate the effects of inflation, especially on the cost of health care services for the aging.
Yes, those silly Democrats. They’ll raise taxes for anything, even — get this — to pay for a war!
Friends, we are through the looking glass. It is now “fiscally irresponsible” to want to pay for a war with a tax. These democrats just don’t understand: the tooth fairy pays for wars. Of course she does — the tooth fairy leaves the money at the end of every month under Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson’s pillow. And what a big pillow it is! My God, what will the Democrats come up with next? Taxes to rebuild bridges or schools or high-speed rail or our lagging broadband networks? No, no, the tooth fairy covers all that. She borrows the money from China and leaves it under Paulson’s pillow.
Of course, we can pay for the Iraq war without a tax increase. The question is, can we pay for it and be making the investments in infrastructure, science and education needed to propel our country into the 21st century? Visit Singapore, Japan, Korea, China or parts of Europe today and you’ll discover that the infrastructure in our country is not keeping pace with our peers’. [...]
Excuse me, Ms. Perino, but I wish Republicans would revert to type. I thought they were, well, conservatives — the kind of people who saved for rainy days, who invested in tomorrow for their kids, folks who didn’t believe in free lunches or free wars. [...]
“In every major war we have fought in the 19th and 20th centuries,” said Mr. Hormats, “Americans have been asked to pay higher taxes — and nonessential programs have been cut — to support the military effort. Yet during this Iraq war, taxes have been lowered and domestic spending has climbed. In contrast to World War I, World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam, for most Americans this conflict has entailed no economic sacrifice. The only people really sacrificing for this war are the troops and their families.”
The Washington Post reported this week that the Senate will not advance a proposal this year to raise taxes on private equity partners, the deal makers who have become multimillionaires and billionaires mainly via debt-driven buyouts of public companies. The partners pay a flat tax rate of 15 percent on most of their earnings, compared with rates as high as 35 percent for most everyone else — say, firefighters, nurses, doctors, teachers and soldiers. A spokesman for the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, told The Post that time appeared to have run out to act this year and that, in any event, the issue needs more study.
That decision has all the signs of a delaying tactic to avoid raising taxes on an industry that is a heavy campaign contributor. Mr. Reid controls the Senate calendar, so he could make time if he wanted. And several Congressional hearings have made it clear that there is no justification for private equity’s low tax rate. Its legality rests on outdated provisions of the tax code that should be changed. It is morally indefensible. And it is illogical from a tax perspective.
The law rewards investors for taking risks with their money by allowing them to pay taxes on their profits at a special low rate of 15 percent. But private equity partners are, by and large, managing other people’s money. As money managers earning performance fees, they don’t deserve an investor’s low tax rate.
That is up from 19% from 2004, and it also beats the previous high of 20.8% in 2000. [...]
The stats reveal a widening wealth gap, as the bottom 50% of earners brought in just 12.83%of the adjusted gross income share in 2005, a new low. That’s down slightly from 13.42% in 2004.
The problems, described in 91 audit reports reviewed by The New York Times, include the improper termination of coverage for people with H.I.V. and AIDS, huge backlogs of claims and complaints, and a failure to answer telephone calls from consumers, doctors and drugstores. [...]
The companies include three of the largest participants in the Medicare market, UnitedHealth, Humana and WellPoint.
The audits document widespread violations of patients’ rights and consumer protection standards. Some violations could directly affect the health of patients — for example, by delaying access to urgently needed medications. In July, Medicare terminated its contract with a private plan in Florida after finding that it posed an “imminent and serious threat” to its 11,000 members.
Unfortunately, this deal does nothing to restrain the underlying escalation of medical costs driving the problem. It simply shifts responsibility for administering insurance coverage from the company to the trust. Some experts hope that the union, once it is in charge of health coverage, will eventually restructure its benefit package to give retirees an incentive to economize on care. The trick would be to reduce waste and overuse without curtailing needed services.
The possibility, after the 2008 elections, of a Democratic-controlled Congress which could pass Medicare For All (a/k/a Universal Single Payer Health Insurance) and a Democratic President who would sign it, could bring about the best chance to enact Medicare For All since Harry Truman first proposed it in 1948.
Yet without firing a shot and with no debate, the leading Democratic Presidential Contenders—Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama—as well as a good part of the Washington progressive infrastructure of think tanks and lobbying groups—have given up the fight for Medicare For All. Instead they propose variations of an Individual Mandate plan developed over the past 15 years by the “moderate” corporate wing of the Republican Party, a version of which Mitt Romney enacted in Massachusetts and which Arnold Schwarzenegger is proposing in California as an alternative to the single payer plan which the Democratic California legislature passed last year that he vetoed. [...]
Or is it because they think that the insurance companies and drug companies are just too politically powerful to take on: Therefore the only way to insure most Americans is to make a deal with the devil that requires profit-making insurance companies to waive pre-existing conditions and charge everyone similar premiums regardless of age or health, in exchange for Congress delivering them 50 million guaranteed new profit-making customers, partly subsidized by the government?
I'm encouraging all my teammates to use this year's Manager F/B survey to emphasize the fact that individual contributors have no insight into the final rating, nor do they have fair representation during calibration. If the actual 1 PBC performers aren't known, then how is it fair to compare results across those in the same band? Why isn't there a means for advertising the highest results in an organization, and in that way identifying somebody who can teach others something, and at the same time removing doubt and ignorance as to where the high achievers are? -Currently employed-
Now working for big blue, bringing up a grievance is like spitting into the wind - it's futile & often comes back on you (sorry for the visual).
I'm tired of how they treat the employees here in the Finance & Accounting outsourcing. It's crazy. We work our fingers to the bone to make the client happy but then we're told that the pay increase package this year doesn't include PBC 2's (never mind IBM had $9 bil. in net income).
I'd like to encourage other readers to get off the sidelines, commit their energies & $10 per month to make a difference - especially if you're in the Tulsa, OK office. IBM executives need to hear us as we bring up our reasonable concerns. -new tulsa member-
They can decide to pay it in a different form, and the so-called Pension Protection Act of last year gives them some accounting tools that could make a cash-balance conversion an even worse deal going forward. If that's not enough to concern folks, though, there's this: over 50% of federal judges are now of the political persuasion that would not be expected to support employee rights versus interests of corporations. So choose wisely when you vote for legislators, since there is no longer a backstop in the courts. -alreadyGone-
In my case, I needed to not have worked 30 years to collect a "full IBM pension amount under the old defined benefit plan" as a cash balance pension "non-choicer", but needed to work at least 37 years to get close to what I would have gotten under the defined benefit plan if I was not "forced converted" by a callous unfair, and age discriminatory IBM.
Now with being an IBM employee for 23.5 years I have no chance with a frozen pension on 1/1/2008 to ever dream of getting my "full IBM pension" by working at least 37 years since the pension will be frozen well before this time! -Anonymous-
Vault's IBM Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC.
Very informal and conversational, there were some canned questions. Overall went very well, some of the other candidates (my peers) kind of got rejected before they even finished the interview. Pretty much because they didn't have a supply chain or procurement background (don't know why the recruiters selected them in t he first place to interview.)
Will know the results by next friday.
You are indeed destined to join IBM with all of your wide-eyed and bushy tailed eagerness and naivety, wrapped up in what is no doubt some decent academic credentials. “IBM wants me and not my peers. Poor peers! What was IBM thinking? But then again, they were smart enough to recognize how smart and talented I am!”
I do have some good news for you. I believe that you are someone that is perceptive enough to notice when you are being screwed if you experience it and see it with your own eyes. I have no doubt that we will see you back here in thirteen months, singing a very different tune, and you will only have wasted around 3% of your working life.
Look on the bright side – I could have used my “Momento de la verdad” bull-fighting analogy. Unlike some of the others that have been through here, you will likely live to fight another day. You just have some growing up to do. Good luck whatever you decide.
Assuming you and your peers are entry level, why would your peers be rejected right away because of lack of supply chain or procurement experience? Doesn't make sense for entry level roles. They focus more on total person than specific experience because most college grads don't know sh!t from shinola when it comes to supply chain, six sigma, procurement etc. No offense to you at all. Without extensive client experience, I can't see any entry level candidate being 'qualified' in those areas.
In IBM there is only room for a single 1 performer on every team of 10+ people. In your job you will be constantly evaluated by your management team and throughout the year you will be graded against all others in your group, not just your team. The highest 5% will probably get 1's. The lowest 20% will get 3's.
Since you obviously think 6sigma is your calling card, why do you want to be at IBM? IBM's interpretation of 6 sigma is like the Mormon interpretation of Jesus Christ and Christianity. It is not 6 sigma. It is LEAN which means measure the unmeasurable to justify Laying off Every American Now. It is a joke among 6 sigma professionals that IBM even chooses to apply it to IT/Consulting work.
However IBM butchered and botched the true philosophy of LEAN (using teamwork, empowerment and creativity to reduce cost through innovation and partnership) and implemented IBM LEAN which first cut labor to the bone, then added another layer of clueless bureaucracy, then blocked empowerment, then quit doing things the client isn't paying for (deliver mediocrity), then expected the overworked survivors to drive innovation.
The difference is that in the Toyota system, innovation and empowered teamwork results in cost savings. IBM has it backwards - they cut cost (resource), thinking the overwork pressures would force a large reduction in unnecessary work.
Unfortunately, the survivors are now stretched too thin to deliver on our contracts and certainly have no time to innovate.
I do have ex-colleagues who were IBM employees, not PWCC. One in particular had primarily positive experiences. But there is a difference:
He was fortunate his hard work actually built for him a solid reputation within and outside the company. Being a good employee these days gives no such guarantee, in fact, perversely it appears to work in reverse (just look at the executive and the silly decisions they make - I wouldn't have introduced LEAN, for example).
If in doubt consult the bulletin board of disgruntled IBM employees, www.allianceibm.org.
In the meantime, those in the huge S&D force (Sales and Delivery - delivery like roll a box off a truck) who had been doing free consulting for all those years were not able (or willing?) to sell consulting.
Especially at the 10 level, chargability dropped to unsustainable lows, while I guess coders were still in demand. People were not measured by their skills or how well they delivered to client needs but by chargability numbers alone.
Make change happen? Get real. The PwCC partners couldn't make change happen and the next levels down followed most of them out the door.
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