According to the agency's website, work on the IBM project began in early November 2004, and was expected to be operational by January 1, 2006. This is not the first time IBM has messed up Texas. In 2008, governor Perry suspended the transfer of state files to IBM systems and fined the company $900,000 for data lost through back-up failures under the same government contract. ...
Right now, no one is happy with the effort to merge the data center operations of 27 state agencies into two updated and streamlined facilities. The agencies have been frustrated with equipment failures, poor service and higher costs. Meanwhile, IBM has endured a public flogging for many problems it attributes to poor conditions inherited from the state. Morale is low. Turnover is high. And the relationship was dysfunctional from the start, the consultant found. ...
Davidson, whose firm vied for the job of negotiating Texas’ contract with IBM, was among the critics. He told Governing magazine earlier this year that “IBM really got squeezed on pricing, the solution and the time frame.” “They were all too aggressive,” Davidson said in the magazine, adding that IBM might have been willing to accept those terms to get a toe in the door.
IBM misjudged the scope of services for this contract when they bid in 2006. IBM applied their standard commercial cost model to the scope and were completely wrong in their estimates.
IBM had been beaten twice in 2005 and 2006 by another firm for mega-million dollar contracts for state and county government and they were determined to win the Texas contract. If you make a FOIA request, you will see the other bidder’s price was significantly higher than IBM’s bid price.
However, the former CTO of the State of Texas was adamant about the amount of money the State had to spend and IBM fell into his trap. Now the citizens of the State and the State employees that are stuck with IBM are paying for those mistakes.
Is it time for real lawyers to get into the mix and force IBM to perform at any cost? I believe it is that time. No more studies are needed; no more “new approaches” are needed. The State of Texas has bent over backwards trying to make IBM a success and nothing has been accomplished. Get tough with them — that’s the last stand.
But the Secretary of State office tells the the Austin American-Statesman it received a "wake-up call" in August after a major server crash resulted in a 13-day outage of its business records filing system. It infers that if a similar incident occurred during an election, the agency wouldn't be able to verify new voters in Texas. The state agency received permission to withdrawal from the IBM program and set up a data center of its own with two separate backup locations. ...
It turns out that GSIS isn’t alone in its troubles with its data processing software provider. In the space of only a month, IBM has encountered similar complaints in the London borough of Southwark and the state of Indiana in the US—developments that lend credence to GSIS’ complaint against its database system provider.
Once hailed the world over for its industry-leading IT solutions expertise and emphasis on customer service, IBM now seems to be the target of complaints from people and organizations who have been sold less than satisfactory products. Even former IBM officials and employees, in various Internet message boards, have accused their ex-employer of sacrificing long-term relationships with its customers for short-term profit—particularly by firing up to 90,000 experienced personnel and outsourcing most of its work to India and China.
Last week, the Southwark Council filed a £717,061 damage suit against IBM in a dispute over a new computer system that the borough has decided was defective. The council said it has lost confidence in IBM’s credibility and integrity, and does not believe it will ever be able to have a workable business relationship in future, according to the Computing Web site (www.computing.co.uk). ...
Much like GSIS here, the council said IBM’s system was unfit for use and of unsatisfactory quality, adding that IBM failed to use reasonable skill and care when designing and testing the system. IBM also claimed during negotiations that its system would meet the council’s requirements, but these claims were false because the system could not do so, the complaint read.
Like GSIS, the borough also claimed that IBM failed to resolve the problems when told about them. Instead, the council said that when it tried to find a solution with IBM that would make the system work, IBM tried to absolve itself from any responsibility for the software even though the contract for ArcIndex was an essential part of the system. ...
How did Big Blue react to the state government’s decision? Company representative John Buscemi told AP that “’IBM rejects the state’s claims and believes the state’s actions are unjustified.” Asked whether the company was considering suing the state, he said, “IBM will take action as appropriate to protect its rights under its contract.”
For a company that used to be as proud of both its expertise and customer support as IBM, these reports are indeed distressing. But mistakes do happen in the IT industry, even to most reputable and expensive of them like IBM. But it’s how an IT provider like IBM responds to the needs of its high-paying institutional customers that should make it different from anyone else—especially customers like Southwark Borough, Indiana and, yes, GSIS, who provide critical services to their own clients. As one message writer said, commenting on the complaints against Big Blue, “IBM cannot continue to charge Ferrari prices for Hyundai performance.”
We'd also like to think our own government would do due diligence before hiring IBM on any major projects. Unfortunately, it appears as if Sam Palmisano has greased the skids with Obama for many upcoming contracts that will take taxpayer dollars and send them overseas.
My hope is that IBM has to deal with the cost of poor quality, not the US taxpayers.
We have learned from a UK writer that these same draconian strategies are going on in the UK as well. That writer said that he must at a minimum rate 15% of his people unsatisfactory every year- who then go on a performance improvement plans that they never get well from and eventually let go. According to this UK commentary in the previously mentioned article- 50 UK Parliament representatives are trying to intercede on the practice to destroy these people’s pension plans as a result of these premature layoffs.
What’s concerning is that IBM’s mentally abusive and destructive strategies go on even though people are well aware of how it has destroyed lives and killed many. That is no exaggeration. We are aware of people whose lives and health were so destroyed by their IBM abuse that they have been devastated by both mental and physical health problems(high blood pressure,heart disease, diabetes) as a result of what happened to them there. Its is almost impossible to stop as the legal system allows this to go on. In the US there are no laws that are enforced to stop the mistreatment of employees. There are a few weak EEOC laws but they are not enforced, even when people get attorneys and try to get their rights enforced. ...
The economy makes it tough to just pack up and find another job and for those in their 50s it is a particularly brutal thing. They are too old in the US economy to find other employment, they have a pension to protect and they have kids in college. Yet these poor weak mice are the ones that Sam Palmisano and other executives set their trap for as they can be replaced by less well paid employees either in the China or India. Its comforting to know that a few of IBM’s worst executive offenders like Debra Thompson who mistreated employees for years were finally let go, and that selfish and self centered executive VP Mark Oulette who let his all male staff torture women staff out while he played his fiddle like Nero was finally terminated. Reports suggest he was walked out the door. None of it helps their victims but it is at least a small amount of justice.
After months of not working for the company, I can see there is/was a defined class system, kind of like in the movie Titanic. The CEO to the first line managers are in First Class. Any non manager is in Steerage, whether a plant worker earning a modest income or a high flying sales person with high earnings years. This dividing line was crystal clear at separation. The company's management can stroke your ego and pay you to think you are in First Class but never forget you are not an officer of the company so you are in Steerage.
I wonder what IBM's clients impression of the company's "stellar" reputation would be if they realized the experienced, professionals they work with will have to wait to age 67 for Medicare coverage? Or save an extra $200K to pay for premiums until age 67 or continue to work (at a menial or real job) until age 67? It doesn't depict the company as the Cadillac it was always know for. This is one of the reasons I'm behind the Health Care Reform.
I bet Moffat left with retiree health care coverage or $200K to pay for it for his family. I bet Moffat won't be primary Medicare insurance at age 67.
You also learn that things like this should be planned heavily and executed quickly. Leaving people with no future intermixed with people who will have jobs creates lots of workplace tension, and there is little reason for the folks who know they have no more future to perform. You also learn to announce a higher number than you execute so you can appear to save jobs -- not execute a higher number than you announce, because that looks like you are putting your measurements ahead of your people. Beating expectations on layoff numbers destroys employee loyalty. ...
Employees are the lifeblood of a company. Layoffs should be the last resort, and if they have to be done, the emphasis should be on the quality of the effort, the security of the company and employees -- and not just making the financial community happy. One final thought: Layoffs make getting rid of employees easy, but it should never be "easy" to get rid of employees.
Of those FHA eligible and still active at the end of 2004, the following is true:
Now acknowledging that all 135,000 US employees were eligible layoffs and thus "screwable", let's concede that some are more so than others. How about these 3000 above? Well given that if all of them were to be laid off in 2005, none of the 2nd Choicer's would lose their retirement eligibility since they would all be given a bridge. All the CB converts would be able to keep all their CB. Everyone of them however that is laid off in 2005 before their 55th birthday or not attaining 30yrs of service would lose their FHA. That leaves a max of 3000 FHA screw candidates. Of these we can probably assume half would attain their 55th birthday or 30 yrs of service and half would not. Cuts the candidate pool to 1500 for 2005.
Next we have to acknowledge that not all 1500 of these will be laid off. So if we assume that IBM lays off 4% of employees as a yearly average but that that this affects older employees 2.5:1, that would mean that in 2005 IBM could screw 150 of these out of FHA. Of these, 50 would have obtained a bridge to 30 years. They could rightfully assert that they attained the 30 year retirement milestone but were screwed out of FHA nevertheless.
That gets us close to answering nyjints5's original question which he actually didn't ask but should have based on the context of his original post, namely "How many IBM retirees attain the full 30 years of service and are screwed out of FHA? The answer to that seems to be the same number that are bridged to 30 years each year. And that could be as high as 50/year. Over the last 10 years of the FHA, the cumulative total could be as high as 500.
That still leaves 250/year that were bridged to 55 or 15 years or both. All this leaves out countless others who were laid off w/o a bridge. Many of those had a lot more than 15 years service. But every one who is laid off and is eligible for the FHA is screwed out of it as well...just not as severely as those accounted for above.
I retired 15 years ago, and don't expect to see any COLA in the future. My retirement income is going down every year because of my increases in Medical Insurance costs.
When I first retired, my medical insurance co-pay was close to zero. Now it is about $600 a month (for the IBM portion), which lowers my net pension by $7,200 a year. When I add up what I pay IBM for their insurance, the Medicare Part B payments, and all the co-pays after the deductibles, my net cost for medical care is about $12,000 a year, for myself and spouse.
If one of us should get something bad like cancer, the $12,000 will look like pocket change. That is quite a change from the "Paid medical for life" differed compensation I was told I would get.
Under WARN, employers with 100 or more employees generally must give 60 days’ notice to their workers they intend to lay them off, if the business cuts 50 or more employees at a single work site. The statute also requires employers to notify their states of such layoffs, with the notices typically going to Dislocated Worker units. However, the real story: Only about 25 percent of all mass layoff and work site closures covered by the WARN Act are resulting in timely notice to workers, according to federal studies. ...
In some cases, you can’t tell from the public record – or lack of it – where a company stands with its layoff activity. Martin Keech, a 30-year IBM veteran lost his job at the company’s Rochester plant in February. He knew from having attended an employee meeting that at least 80 other people were getting pink slips. Later, a Minnesota official estimated the number of IBM layoffs in Rochester at closer to 250 people. “People suspected they [IBM] kept the layoffs under 500 [last winter] at each site to avoid the WARN Act,” Keech says. (Under WARN, employers must give 60 days’ notice when they layoff 500 or more workers, even if that reduction doesn’t equal one-third of a site’s work force.)
IBM spokesman Doug Shelton denies the accusation, then notes IBM isn’t publicizing all of its work force reductions anymore because the company considers them “ongoing adjustments to business.” However, IBM did provide official layoff notification in California, New York and Vermont when work force cutbacks in those states triggered their individual WARN acts, according to Shelton. Despite IBM’s secrecy, Alliance@IBM, a website of Communications Workers of America Local 1701, has estimated Big Blue’s total U.S. work force cuts in 2009 could top 16,000 employees.
That includes about 1,200 U.S. employees who worked at IBM’s systems technology group in Rochester and a handful of other locations and were let go this past winter, according to union sources.
But my work partner will only have 16 years with IBM when we get separated. He's in the "new" pension plan with the FHA. He checked on NetBenefits and found out that his pension will be $1200/month and his IBM medical benefits, for himself and his spouse, will be (depending on which plan he chooses) $1100-1500/month! And still 7 years to go before he is eligible for Medicare! That kinda cost will sure use up your FHA dollars fast! And he has a wife with a lot of health issues, so plenty of "pre-existing conditions".
But he *has* to find another job! He's also fixing up his house to put on the market - but then where when you have no income? And certainly no job at our current pay scale. He was asking me this morning, and I didn't know the answer so I'll toss it out here...Does he HAVE to start using the IBM FHA money and plan right away? If he does find another job with health benefits can he hold off on using the IBM plans and money, and then maybe come back to them later?
One thing he needs to be aware of is that there are no guarantees that IBM will not discontinue the FHA sometime in the future. But that goes for the old retiree medical plan, too. Everyone who depends on IBM medical coverage is at risk, no matter which plan you are in.
I am of the opinion that if you are using the FHA coverage, it is better to spend down the money in the FHA account in as little time as possible, as you never know when IBM might take it away. And as the premiums go up year after year, that money will buy you fewer years of coverage. But, you should leave some minimal amount of money in the account to allow you to rejoin the FHA plan should you ever drop out (because of coverage from another employer) and then want to come back later.
What makes layoffs attractive is that they are relatively easy. Unless you have a lot of employment contracts or a strong union, it is vastly easier to tell people to go home than to close plant sites, get rid of equipment or eliminate perks (particularly executive perks). And going to the heart of the problem, which is typically poor revenue performance, that is really difficult.
The other thing that makes layoffs easy is you don’t have to feel for the people. Getting rid of one person is tough, particularly if you know him or her, but with a layoff, you can numb yourself. It isn’t your fault as a manager; you are simply following orders and the top executive just sees numbers and will protect the people he or she knows and likes. It’s comparatively painless against actually doing the hard work of individual people management. But it's still hard not to look at a layoff as a betrayal. ...
Wrapping Up: Layoffs Are Slow Company Killers. I used to call them the last resort of incompetent executives, but that’s not really true is it? There is a reason to use layoffs effectively and that is by a new turnaround CEO in order to get the firm’s attention and to build a team that is loyal and a company that can be managed. Otherwise, it is simply an executive going for short-term benefits by making a decision that has severe and largely unknown costs. Perhaps the best argument against layoffs is they are a betrayal of the trust between employees and management. Trust is so hard to build and shouldn't be sacrificed so easily. ...
Granted top executives can spike their income by doing them. We just saw an entire industry (banking) make decisions designed to spike executive income and look how wonderfully that turned out.
They sense a disquieting psychological mood among the hoi polloi – an anger at what Wall Street has done, a feeling that the rich are greedy and get unfair advantages. To think such thoughts, they say, is unhealthy for you emotionally. After all, says a wealth management advisor for high-dollar bankers, "To revile the rich is to revile the American dream." So, turn your anger into appreciation and view the rich as your role models.
Besides, your negative vibe is upsetting the extremely well off. "They feel mischaracterized," says a Merrill Lynch wealth manager. Many give to charity, and some even get buildings named after them, making donations to universities and cultural centers. As the Merrill Lynch advisor put it, "Then to be characterized as not doing their fair share begins to wear on them." See, you've made them sad.
So lighten up on the rich, and just be happy. Otherwise, explains a financial psychologist, we'll create "a generation that distrusts investing and associates wealth with greed." Oh? And how irrational is that? Well, says the financial shrink, young people "have watched their parents lose their money, and now they think, 'you can't trust banks.' We need to do work around that,"
Get real! It's not hard-hit, workaday folks who need to be stretched out on the psychiatrist's couch – it's the wealthy elites who've made a mess of our economy and now want to feel better about themselves by blaming us for being a wee bit angry at their narcissism.
The folks managing the accounts are often the last ones to find out about layoffs & IBM leaves them holding the bag, trying to figure out what to say to the customer to make it not sound as bad. The customer has started asking for onshore people to do certain parts of the work, but IBM doesn't have the people to do it anymore because they've either fired them or moved them to other accounts. And just a few days after telling me that they're getting rid of me, I was asked to work for 2 days straight 24x7 over a weekend. Sorry, but I am not available. You can't have your cake & eat it, too.
You don't get to continue to treat people like poo & then expect them to continue to bend over & say "thank you may I have another!" IBM must be desperate to fill open positions in Dubuque, IA because I got an email yesterday asking if I wanted to apply for a SAN administrator job there. Um, I don't think I'm remotely qualified for that...I do project management! -disgusted-
Bold II? That's more about operating unit divestitures and spin-offs, with a minor "permanent" component of continuous layoffs, cloaked under the mantra of performance trimming. Now that they've closed the pension and employees are now contained financial expense units with their 401(k)'s, they can be sold off or divested without any remnant financial issues.
The big numbers of Bold II aren't about layoffs. They are about selling, closing and spinning off entire IBM operating units. There are even selected IBM executives salivating waiting to be spun off to become their own mini-dictator CEO's. IBM is essentially a financial holding company, it's technological footprint getting smaller and smaller every day. The reason they have concentrated on BI software with the Smart Planet initiative is because that's the only market they plan to keep and can still control! -Quiet Bean Counter-
Companies will put even more of a freeze to make the units more attractive. Remember IBM gets 15-20% of its EPS gains from operational productivity improvements and less than a few points from actual top line growth. As BeanCounter said, Unit acquisitions - divestments make up the rest of the EPS growth. IBM really sucks as a place to work...there is no career there at this point. Good luck!!! strap down now... -GoingDown-
I wonder how fast IBM would pull down this listing if every unjustly separated IBMer who was booted out over the past 12 months were to click on the “Apply” button and file and application that included a comment such as the following:
“I am delighted to submit this application for the HR Professional position. As someone who was involuntarily separated from IBM during the past 12 months, I have in-depth experience in IBM’s separation / resource actions process – and with my over ___ years experience as an IBM _______ I am confident I could easily identify IBMers, especially those at the senior executive level, whose narrow focus on raising the IBM stock price and whose absurdly extravagant salaries are causing IBM irreparable harm. I would consider it an honor and a privilege to aid you in preparing them for a rapid departure from IBM for the benefit of the company. I am confident my skills and abilities would greatly aid you in cleaning house where it is most sorely needed most by removing overpaid, self-centered, self-indulgent executives and replacing them with IBMers who truly care about the IBM company, who are willing to focus on those things that benefit IBM’s customers, and who value IBM’s greatest asset -- it’s loyal employees who have made IBM the success it is today. Please contact me at your earliest convenience to set up my interview, as I am truly anxious to join your team and get started on this critical initiative." -Glad2BeGone-
I understand a lot of you are Republicans and do not feel unions, a traditional bastion of Democrats are right for you. Times have changed folks. Your union is just that, your union. It is what you make it into. I am a staunch supporter of the Alliance and I am a Republican. Yes the two can easily co exist if you dismiss the stereotypes you have been fed your whole life. I do believe in less Government. I do believe in less taxes. I also believe that workers should be treated fairly and justly and deserve fair representation and labor contracts. Safe pensions and medical coverage.
I believe a company has a right and an obligation to try and maximize profits. That's what they are in business for. I do believe they have the right to do that by out selling and out performing their competition, not by taking it away from me . I believe the only way to force companies to stop using employees as slaves or disposable widgets is for the employees to join together as a union and negotiate collectively their working conditions and benefits and retirements. I believe that once a corporation gets over the anger of being forced to be fair they will realize there is a lot of benefits to having a union workforce. It can truly be a win win for all involved if you open your minds to the idea. Its really a matter of respect. No one has respect for a door mat. Get your respect. Sign up with the Alliance and make a difference in your own future. You will be glad you did. -Exodus2007-
Alliance reply: Thank you for your continued support, Exodus2007 and your profound comments. Adding to your point; Alliance@IBM has members that are widely diverse in their political, social, and religious beliefs. The one commonality is that we believe in a written employment contract; bargained for all non-management employees, between IBM and Alliance@IBM, Communications Workers of America, Local 1701.
“All industries stand to gain from this legislation,” Steven D. Findlay, senior health policy analyst with Consumers Union in Washington, said in an interview. “They’re going to continue to fight their narrow issues and get the best that they can get. But all of them are aware they stand to gain significant new business and new revenue streams as more Americans get health coverage and money flows into the system for them.”
Meanwhile, speaking to potential donors at an AIDS charity function Wednesday, Bill Clinton said that American businesses – such as General Motors – are being crushed by health care costs even without reform, Bloomberg reports. The American system for financing and delivering health services makes U.S. companies uncompetitive with counterparts abroad, he said. "One of the things that killed them was General Motors had $1,500 a car in health-care costs and Toyota had $110," he said (McCormick, 11/11).
"But dependency on government has never been bad for the rich. The pretense of the laissez-faire people is that only the poor are dependent on government, while the rich take care of themselves. This argument manages to ignore all of modern history, which shows a consistent record of laissez-faire for the poor, but enormous government intervention for the rich." From Economic Justice: The American Class System, from the book Declarations of Independence by Howard Zinn.
And they say the upside at many banks is far bigger than the downside, particularly for banks like Bank of America and Citigroup that have not yet seen their shares recover. “Right now the world is set up for these people to take big gambles,” said Kevin J. Murphy, a professor at the University of Southern California who advised the Treasury Department on pay. “The worst part of the asymmetry comes from the too-big-to-fail guarantee” that has been reinforced by the government aid. Wells Fargo was one of more than a dozen major banks to award executives stock and options since the bailout. In February, the bank gave nearly three million options and roughly 528,000 shares to 11 executives. On paper, the grants have risen in value to $57.3 million from $12.1 million, according to Equilar.
Blankfein’s trickle-down catechism isn’t working. Now we have two economies. We have recovering banks while we have 10-plus percent unemployment and 17.5 percent underemployment. The gross thing about the Wall Street of the last decade is how much its success was not shared with society. Goldmine Sachs, as it’s known, is out for Goldmine Sachs.
As many Americans continue to struggle, Goldman, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase, banks that took government bailout money after throwing the entire world into crisis, have said they will dish out $30 billion in bonuses — up 60 percent from last year. The saying used to be, whatever happens, the lawyers win. Now, it’s whatever happens, the bankers win.
Under pressure from regulators, who were trying to ensure that long-term performance was rewarded, the banks agreed to award more in stock, deferring cash payments. But as The Times reported this week, the Goldman executives who got stock options instead of bonuses last year, at market lows, got a windfall — so it had nothing to do with bank employees’ performance.
"The company gave its general counsel, for example, 104,868 stock options and 14,117 shares in December, when the bank’s stock was around $78,” Louise Story wrote for The Times. “Now the bank’s shares have more than doubled in value, making that stock and option award worth nearly $12 million.” As one former Goldman banker told Arlidge, the culture there is “completely money-obsessed. ... There’s always room — need — for more. If you are not getting a bigger house or a bigger boat, you’re falling behind. It’s an addiction.” ...
No sooner had the Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd announced his plan to overhaul financial regulation Tuesday than compensation experts declared it toothless. The banks and their lobbyists wheedled concession after concession out of Washington and knocked down proposed inhibition after inhibition. Now the banks are laughing all the way to the bank.
“Saturday Night Live” was tougher on Goldman Sachs than the government, giving the firm flak about commandeering 200 doses of the swine flu vaccine — the same amount as Lenox Hill Hospital got — while so many at-risk Americans wait. “Can you not read how mad people are at you?” demanded Amy Poehler. “When most people saw the headline ‘Goldman Sachs Gets Swine Flu Vaccine’ they were super happy until they saw the word ‘vaccine.’ ”
Seth Meyers chimed in: “Also, Centers for Disease Control, you sent the vaccine to Wall Street before schools and hospitals? Really!?! Were you worried the swine flu might spread to the Hamptons and St. Barts? These are the least contagious people in the world. They don’t even touch their own car-door handles.” And as far as doing God’s work, I think the bankers who took government money and then gave out obscene bonuses are the same self-interested sorts Jesus threw out of the temple.
Don’t you think Country A might have something to learn from Country B?
This story isn’t hypothetical. Country A is the United States, where stocks are up, G.D.P. is rising, but the terrible employment situation just keeps getting worse. Country B is Germany, which took a hit to its G.D.P. when world trade collapsed, but has been remarkably successful at avoiding mass job losses. Germany’s jobs miracle hasn’t received much attention in this country — but it’s real, it’s striking, and it raises serious questions about whether the U.S. government is doing the right things to fight unemployment.
Vault's IBM Business Consulting Services message board is a popular hangout for IBM BCS employees, including many employees acquired from PwC. Sample posts follow:
We all have to play nice-nice with our GR (global resource) peers. and when your GR team lead sends notes to IBM US mgmt that they need MORE WORK from their US counterparts, IBM mgmt. rolls over and gives them more work. Reminds me of an old CCR song: Fortunate Son.
And when you ask them, how much should we give? Ooh, they only answer more! more! more. What a sad, pathetic, f'ng company.
What's more pathetic is how India is not held accountable since they are Sam's chosen ones and how anyone who reports problems with India are considered anti-team, racist and uncooperative.
The sacred cows over in India aren't cattle, they're the "office boys" pretending to be IT professionals working for IBM. What a sad, pathetic f'ng company indeed.
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