However, while the Greater Dubuque Development Corp.'s president gushed in the article about the volume of applications IBM had received—more than 8,000—he admitted he does not have specific figures on how many positions have been filled at the new global service center. Even more odd is that the state's Economic Development Department, which played a big hand in structuring and doling out the $52 million incentive package, has also not received specific job figures from IBM, according to the article:
Iowa Economic Development Department spokeswoman Kay Snyder said IBM's annual reporting date is June 30. At the reporting date last year, she said the contract was still in negotiation and was not signed. "We definitely are in communication with IBM and we do understand ... they are on schedule, if not ahead of schedule, and we're pleased with that," she said. Snyder said the department has project managers who keep in touch with companies throughout the year to monitor staffing levels.
So let's see what we've got here: the head of the Greater Dubuque Development Corp., who lavishes praise on IBM and its efforts as if he gets paid per compliment, doesn't have any details on hiring levels, and he's got a whole lotta skin in this game. The state agency overseeing economic development says it doesn't have any concrete details from IBM but is nevertheless "pleased" with "communication" indicating that IBM is on or even ahead of schedule. That's quite a trick—must be something they teach only in economic-development classes. ...
You've set extremely high standards for yourself and your dealings with customers and partners, IBM, and you have enlisted the people of Iowa in general and Dubuque in particular as very close partners and, in some cases, employees. So now, with the public having put up not only $52 million in incentives but also considerable trust in you as a strategic partner, it's time for you to disclose the Dubuque hiring figures. Because transparency is more than a concept.
In 2006 more changes were made which were grudgingly accepted with the promise that funding would be in place until 2014. But in 2009 IBM made more changes. Gidley criticised IBM's decision to run the feedback period during summer holidays when many staff were away. She said: "People will think twice about whether they want to work for a company that treats its employees so shoddily." Christopher Huhne, MP for Eastleigh, noted that IBM made record profits in 2008 and there was no underlying reason for it to treat its staff in such a way.
Through layoffs, attrition, retirements and firings, IBM eliminated more than 1,000 positions in Dutchess and Orange counties in 2009. That brought the company's mid-Hudson payroll below 10,000 workers for the first time in a decade. With the bulk of its growth coming from overseas, IBM has shifted jobs to those markets. Loughridge called cost-cutting an "ongoing part of our overall business model." He said reductions will continue in 2010, although not at the same levels as last year. "We're going to have good expense takeout," he said.
Thanks to share buybacks and cost cutting, IBM was able to post earnings per share of $10.01 for the full year, and according to Mark Loughridge, Big Blue's chief financial officer, that's at the low end of the EPS target the company set for 2010 way back in 2007. Apparently, this is what matters most - at least if your bonus at IBM or on Wall Street is pegged to IBM's EPS figures.
I call him Mr. since I read many of his memos in my first years at IBM and he was brilliant. Good to his people, his customers, and ruthless to his competitors. He built the IBM Brand, and he made it special to be an IBMer. His Son carried that on and built the IBM empire to the 5th largest, and most profitable Corporation in the World. I doubt any IBM CEO could match their success. It may not be possible at this point in time. They were the right men, with the right vision, in the right place at the right time.
I started at IBM in 1997, so I had only heard about the "good ole days". However, seeing what is happening to this company now, makes me think about the "good ole days" in the late 1990's, and early 2000's.
IBM is a company that is in this game for the long run, so they need to stop playing the game quarter by quarter, and show Wall Street that we are an innovative company that is willing to take informed risks, and continue with investments on both the internal and external sides of the company.
IBM clearly has global presence now, but they still need to be careful when rebalancing workloads across the globe. Cheaper is not always better, and sometimes you simply get what you pay for. As consumers ourselves, we know what we are willing to pay for quality products and services, and when it is time to terminate the contracts. If the "Show and Tell" doesn't work, then I guess the "Happy Hour" is over. :)
Whew, had to air that dirty laundry... Sorry to the forum readers, but I've had this eating away at me since Nov. 1991. Sam, Good luck, and whatever you do... please don't forget where you came from... Tom Watson Jr. never forgot the little guy, because that's how he started in the company. Ciao, Stephen Vaughan IBM'er Feb 1970 - Nov 1991
What also greatly hurts service/support is the MATRIX organization coupled with these low-skill/low-wage global delivery centers. I was on a 5+ hour crit-sit the other day where we spent 90% of the time paging out different global teams to join our conference, and we had several delays in people joining and remaining due to their "shift changes" !!
It all sounds great in theory until "Customer Satisfaction" takes a dive, and contracts are not renewed, revenues lost, and the treadmill starts up again with even more focus on lowering costs through increased lay offs, and offshoring. I'm sure there are many other companies doing similar things, but I do not see this as a long term successful business strategy.
As a result of Thursday’s ruling, corporations have been unleashed from the longstanding ban against their spending directly on political campaigns and will be free to spend as much money as they want to elect and defeat candidates. If a member of Congress tries to stand up to a wealthy special interest, its lobbyists can credibly threaten: We’ll spend whatever it takes to defeat you.
The ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission radically reverses well-established law and erodes a wall that has stood for a century between corporations and electoral politics. (The ruling also frees up labor unions to spend, though they have far less money at their disposal.) The founders of this nation warned about the dangers of corporate influence. The Constitution they wrote mentions many things and assigns them rights and protections — the people, militias, the press, religions. But it does not mention corporations.
The majority also makes the nonsensical claim that, unlike campaign contributions, which are still prohibited, independent expenditures by corporations “do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption.” If Wall Street bankers told members of Congress that they would spend millions of dollars to defeat anyone who opposed their bailout, and then did so, it would certainly look corrupt. After the court heard the case, Senator John McCain told reporters that he was troubled by the “extreme naïveté” some of the justices showed about the role of special-interest money in Congressional lawmaking.
The real key, however, to Southwest's success is the "E" word I mentioned earlier. The company's founder, Herb Kelleher, understood right from the beginning that if he could make his employees feel like partners in the business, he would gain an advantage on competitors like AMR's American Airlines, UAL's United subsidiary, and US Airways. The value of this approach, which is still a radical concept even today, cannot be underestimated.
How does this culture translate into a successful business? It's common sense. A happy employee, who feels they are a partner in the company, is more likely to perform above and beyond expectations. That translates into a better experience for fliers -- it's no coincidence the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) consistently recognizes Southwest Airlines as leading the industry in customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction creates brand loyalty. It encourages positive word-of-mouth which causes more people to fly Southwest, potentially making the airline a preferred choice even when given equivalent options. So begins a virtuous spiral.
I asked Intel for more detail today. While the company wouldn't tell me how much Oregon employees will get total, it said these two bonuses are the highest it's paid out since early 2001 (following strong results in 2000). The first bonus is worth about 12.4 days of pay, 4.8 percent of annual pay, according to Intel. The second starts at about 4 percent of annual pay, the company said, and rises depending on each employee's "bonus target." That works out to the equivalent of 23 extra days of pay, if I do my math right. Intel pays the bonuses at the end of this month and the beginning of February. They are on top of the $1,000 "Thank You Bonus" that Intel paid at the end of last year. The company has over 15,000 Oregon employees, more than any other business.
According to media sources, the key players in giving IBM the money do not know. State, local and economic development officials all repeat the IBM line that hiring is “on track”. So how many employees does “on track” mean? How is it possible that those responsible for handing out the money do not know the number of employees hired? Where is the accountability to Iowa taxpayers? Why isn’t IBM disclosing the employee number?
While there certainly are positive aspects of IBM establishing a facility in Dubuque, it must be remembered that IBM is notorious for not being transparent and open on hiring and job cut numbers. IBM’s stonewalling of information must end.
The Alliance@IBM is calling on IBM to disclose the following:
IBM must immediately disclose the true number of employees in the Dubuque facility. The citizens of Iowa deserve transparency and accountability for their money.
IBM KNOWS they are wrong and still uses the controlling FEAR to get away with it all. Oh, BTW, IBM is in the Poughkeepsie Journal today. Front Page. They made a record quarterly profit. Even though revenues are down, down again. Surprise, Surprise. I wouldn't rush out to buy the newspaper today. Better use of the $.75 for it is a cup of cheap coffee!
Also, no reaction sought from Craig Wolf from the Alliance. I wonder if Wolf asked for an Alliance reaction as he has done in the past? Or is IBM now using FEAR to control Mr. Wolf now by requesting a gag order on him? Maybe if he mentions the Alliance now in his articles IBM will pull advertisement money out? http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/article/20100120/BUSINESS01/1200332/IBM-sets-profit-record-but-hints-at-job-cu -MHVbeamer-
The current versions of health reform are the product of decades of debate between Republicans and Democrats. The bills are more conservative than Bill Clinton’s 1993 proposal. For that matter, they’re more conservative than Richard Nixon’s 1971 plan, which would have had the federal government provide insurance to people who didn’t get it through their job.
Opponents instead called for expanding the private insurance system. Nixon, then a young California representative, and others suggested government subsidies for people who couldn’t afford insurance, as Paul Starr explains in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “The Social Transformation of American Medicine.” But the socialism critique was strong enough to defeat Truman’s plan without need for compromise.
The next push came from John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, who tried to cover only the elderly. Critics cried socialism about Medicare, too. “Behind it will come other federal programs that will invade every area of freedom as we have known it in this country,” as Reagan, who was then working as the American Medical Association’s spokesman, said in a widely circulated speech. This time, though, big Congressional majorities and sympathy for the elderly let the Democrats prevail.
Once Nixon was president, the focus switched from expanding access to controlling costs, as you might expect with a Republican. He favored giving doctors incentives to set up prepaid group practices, which had the potential to provide better, cheaper care than the fee-for-service system. Ted Kennedy often said he regretted not making a deal with Nixon on health reform.
The current bills, for better and worse, are akin to a negotiated settlement to this six-decade debate. It would try to end our status as the only rich country with tens of millions of uninsured people, as liberals have long urged. And it would do so using private insurers and government subsidies, as conservatives prefer. (I realize that some liberals argue that a more liberal bill would have fared better, but the history of the health reform — not to mention this country’s conservative instincts — offers reason for doubt.)
All you need to do is to enter the world of Washington Conventional Wisdom, where we have become so used to the notion that 60 votes are needed to pass something in the 100-person Senate, that we are now told that passing a health care bill with a simple majority involves "jamming it through." ...
But to hear some the Republicans, a few conservative Democrats, and portions of the media, you'd think that the idea of passing something with a majority in the Senate is a grave perversion of the Rule of Law -- and would involve "jamming" the legislation through Congress. That formulation could well have come from the Mad Hatter. In democracies, the majorities get to make laws. In a democracy, the Minority tail should not be allowed to wag the Majority dog.
What is undemocratic is the idea that a minority -- that also happens to represent the insurance industry and other wealthy, vested interests -- can block the will of the majority. During the last few years we've gotten so used to the idea that all major legislation requires 60 votes to pass the Senate that it now sounds "natural." Some people even believe it is in the Constitution. But of course that's not true. The Constitution assumes that both the House and Senate require a majority to conduct business and pass laws.
Scott Brown was not elected to be the 51st Republican in the Senate. He was elected to be the 41st Republican. That should not entitle Republicans to block every significant piece of legislation -- to block fundamental change. If we allow them to, shame on us.
Some are urging Democrats to scale back their proposals in the hope of gaining Republican support. But anyone who thinks that would work must have spent the past year living on another planet. The fact is that the Senate bill is a centrist document, which moderate Republicans should find entirely acceptable. In fact, it’s very similar to the plan Mitt Romney introduced in Massachusetts just a few years ago. Yet it has faced lock-step opposition from the G.O.P., which is determined to prevent Democrats from achieving any successes. Why would this change now that Republicans think they’re on a roll? ...
Bear in mind that the horrors of health insurance — outrageous premiums, coverage denied to those who need it most and dropped when you actually get sick — will get only worse if reform fails, and insurance companies know that they’re off the hook. And voters will blame politicians who, when they had a chance to do something, made excuses instead. Ladies and gentlemen, the nation is waiting. Stop whining, and do what needs to be done.
"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.
Here’s what’s happening: By lowering the short-term interest rate it controls to virtually zero and creating lending programs, the Federal Reserve has enabled banks to borrow cheaply. The banks re-lend that cheap money, but not necessarily to consumers and businesses. They can, for example, lend it to back to the federal government by buying Treasury securities, and earn a nice spread between their cost of funds and Treasury yields. At the same time, banks are awash in deposits, much of it from investors who have pulled their money out of riskier investments. With money rolling in, big banks don’t need to compete with one another for savers, which further depresses the interest on offer.
In happier times, Wall Street could explain away its obscene compensation levels by saying it needed to pay whatever it took to keep the best and brightest onboard. But that doesn't resonate these days, given that Wall Street's meltdown touched off the Great Recession, the effects of which linger almost everywhere but the Street.
The fact is that even sound, well-run outfits such as Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Chase were saved by taxpayer money after the Great Credit Crunch in mid-2007. Had the Federal Reserve and other central bankers not flooded the world with cheap cash, Goldman and J.P. Morgan's counterparties -- the ones on the other side of their market bets -- would have failed. That would have wiped out Goldman and J.P. Morgan. The $240 billion of TARP money that was lent to banks (most since repaid) was a relatively trivial amount.
In an ideal world, this year the Street would acknowledge the public largess by having the sense not to pay bonuses of more than six digits -- hey, worker bees need money in order to survive in the high-cost New York City area -- and they would make a nice, voluntary contribution to the government that saved it. But the Street isn't in the gratitude business; it's in the making-money business.
Mr. Obama has done many important things on the environment, and in foreign affairs, and in preventing the nation’s banking system from collapsing in the face of a financial crisis he inherited. But he seems to have lost touch with two core issues for Americans: their jobs and their homes.
Mr. Obama’s challenge is that most Americans are not seeing a recovery. They are seeing 10 percent unemployment and a continuing crisis in the housing market. They have watched as the federal government rescued banks, financial firms and auto companies, but they themselves feel adrift, still awaiting the kind of decisive leadership on jobs and housing — in terms of both style and substance — that Mr. Obama promised in 2008.
Mr. Obama was right to press for health care reform. But he spent too much time talking to reluctant Democrats and Republicans who never had the slightest intention of supporting him. He sat on the sidelines while the Republicans bombarded Americans with false but effective talk of death panels and a government takeover of their doctors’ offices. And he did not make the case strongly enough that the health care system and the economy are deeply interconnected or explain why Americans should care about this huge issue in the midst of a recession: If they lose their jobs, they lose their health insurance.
Mr. Obama has not said or done the right thing often enough when it comes to job creation and housing. He appointed an economics team that was entwined with the people and policies that nearly destroyed the economy. He made compromises that resulted in a stimulus bill that wasn’t big enough or properly targeted. Even now, despite a new, rather awkward populist tone, serious relief for homeowners is lacking and financial regulatory reform is in danger of being hijacked by banking lobbyists and partisan politics.
Despite this public generosity to save them, these too-big-to-fail giants still are not meeting their obligations to us. Instead of making loans that America's cash-starved businesses must have so they can start generating jobs again, the Wall Streeters have gone right back to the same sort of high-risk investment gimmicks that caused our country's economic mess. They've also used our money to take over some smaller banks in order to make themselves even bigger. And – of course! – they've returned to the charming practice of lining their own executive pockets with multimillion-dollar bonuses.
Meanwhile, we taxpayers are still owed about $120 billion that we doled out to save the financial system – money that should now be going to other budget needs. To get it back, the White House has proposed a new Wall Street tax on the 50 largest banks – most of which are now raking in huge profits from speculative investment schemes that bankers developed by using dirt cheap federal funds.
Yes, a proper way to thank Blankfein, Dimon, Mack, Moynihan, and others for the way they're treating us is with this tax. But it will be paid by the banks, not by the bankers who did the damage. So, let's also show a little personal gratitude to the greedheaded bank barons by assessing a windfall tax on the absurd bonuses they plan to pay themselves.
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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