But late last week, the state sent IBM a lengthy "Notice to Cure" that gave the vendor a 30-day window to fix a long list of problems, little time for what seemed to include some complex problems. The notice didn't threaten an immediate termination of the pact. ...
Among the claims the state is making against IBM is a shortage of qualified personnel. In the notice to IBM, the state said the company has failed "to reduce the rate of turnover of assigned personnel below the contractual threshold of 15%." The annualized 12-month turnover rate has been 20% to 45% since the contract commencement, the state alleges.
The counter charges are included in filings rebutting and denying claims in the former partners' lawsuits against each other in Marion Superior Court in Indianapolis. The state agency is suing IBM for more than $1.3 billion, claiming the Armonk, N.Y.-based company breached one of the biggest outsourcing deals in state history. IBM wants the state to pay $52.8 million it says it's owed in deferred payments and equipment costs. The two sides sued each other May 13 over IBM's canceled $1.37 billion contract to automate intake for Medicaid, food stamps and other benefits received by more than a million Indiana children, seniors, elderly and disabled residents.
In the executive changes, Senior Vice President Michael E. Daniels, who formerly ran half of IBM Global Services, has been promoted to run the entire group. Mr. Loughridge will keep his CFO job and add IBM's Global Financing business and "Enterprise Transformation" responsibilities, which include running IBM's internal technology systems. Steven A. Mills, who has run IBM's software business for many years, is now also responsible for IBM's Systems and Technology Group, which includes its computer server and chips business. And Virginia M. Rometty, a senior vice president who runs Global Sales and Distribution, is now also in charge of Marketing and Strategy. "All of them have had successful track records," Mr. Gens said.
Michael E. Daniels, 56, who also ran part of IBM's big services business, is considered the other leading candidate for the top job. Promoted this week to run the entire Global Services Group, he is seen as an executive with a broad range of operating experience who has held top sales jobs. "He's very smart, and he's a street fighter," said Bill Hughes, a former IBM vice president and now senior vice president at software maker CA Technologies. ...
Steven A. Mills, who picked up responsibility for IBM's hardware group in addition to its software division, is also being encouraged to broaden his experience through an outside board seat. However, most analysts say the 59-year-old Mr. Mills, while highly regarded, is probably too old to succeed Mr. Palmisano, who turns 59 this month.
One reason for those relatively healthy numbers may be the long-awaited--if still incomplete--recovery of IBM's services division. Because that division's revenue is based largely on long-term contracts and trails software and hardware sales, IBM's services division only experienced 2% growth last quarter even as other pieces of the business returned to double-digit gains.
But IBM's consulting and outsourcing may have finally caught up, says Forrester analyst Andrew Bartels. He predicts that services will grow 6% to 8% this quarter, and could generate $14 billion in sales--the low end of the $14 billion to $15 billion in revenue that the division was generating before the recession began. Bartels also expects the company to announce a 10% to 15% gain in new services contracts, a leading indicator of services revenue. "They're getting back there," says Bartels. "This is much more solid services growth than what we've been seeing."
Investors were unnerved partly by a 12 per cent decline in the value of new contract signings in IBM's services division, which accounts for nearly 60 per cent of its revenues. ...
Despite the unease over revenues, IBM more than matched profit expectations in the second quarter as it continued to hold down costs and improve profit margins.
Doris Lee Middleton, human resources and travel services manager at Energizer, told the Times that if an employee who would otherwise be eligible to fly business class chooses coach instead, the company will split the savings in airfare up to $2,000 for all parts of the globe except Asia. For flights to the Asia-Pacific region, she said, the reward cap is $3,000. Middleton confirmed to Thompson Publishing Group editors by phone that the company has reaped "substantial" savings on travel expenses from the incentive, which it calls the "rebate" program. She said that it is popular with the employees who travel, which comprise about two-thirds of the Energizer's 5,000 to 6,000 employees. "During 2009," she said, "nearly 60 percent of Energizer's international trips were booked in economy class resulting in rebates to its colleagues and savings to the company."
Editor's note: IBM took a different approach than Energizer did to save costs on international travel. Instead of sharing the cost savings of flying economy with employees, IBM simply banned the use of business class for any travel, regardless of trip length. Even for 18 hour trips to India, economy class is the IBM standard. Furthermore, IBM forbids the purchase of higher-fare but upgradeable economy class tickets for employees who may wish to use their own frequent flyer miles to upgrade.
The solution is in the form of a system that can deliver talent on demand as contract needs arise, informs the author. He explains how, to enable this agile supply of talent, IBM leaders draw from workforce inventories that include not only employees but also contractors.
Expertise taxonomy: "To provide a common language allowing every business in the world to describe its talent supply and demand using the same language, IBM has developed an expertise taxonomy, essentially making every country and job a searchable talent inventory. 'Talent on demand' is a term IBM uses to capture the idea of reframing the question from filling vacancies to optimising talent availability."
Since the costs of talent shortages could be very high, perhaps even the loss of million-dollar contracts, IBM invested heavily in accurate predictions – and in a global workforce taxonomy that cost perhaps $100 million – to make its internal talent inventories as transparent and accessible as possible, reasons Boudreau.
Cons: You are only as good as your last quarter's performance. Having been a manager, I know that there are times when decisions are made purely on the basis of a quota, whether PBC rating, promotion, salary increases. What ever happened to career development? There isn't any anymore. Really BAD choices in promoting people to exec positions...I had to EARN my stripes.
Advice to Senior Management: Honesty is really an excellent approach to people and clients. Way too many people get paid on a single dollar's worth of software sold. Go back to the three original basic beliefs - They worked for the Watson's. They'll work again. Stock ownership is a great way for employees to feel a deeper part of the company. 5% off isn't much of an incentive, especially when you can buy stock for $7 a trade in the US. Remember this work...? It used to be on everyone's desk. THINK
Cons: Benefits are solid but very expensive, Pay increases have dropped off and salaries lag behind competitors, over demanding on billable hours, Long time employees seem to be neglected, few rewards for hard work and effort. A lot depends on what assignment you are on, long term customer sites can be different than the greater IBM. My view of the greater IBM is a bunch of inexperienced or incompetent people, while our local site is full of underrated and undervalued people that are far better than those we work with outside the account. It seems every year they find a way to take something away from us. We're treated like interchangeable cogs that are lucky to just have a job. IBM doesn't feel like a special place to work anymore.
Advice to Senior Management: Sam Palmisano has lead IBM through a much more difficult time, but he is not the leader that Lou Gerstner was. Quality programmers are hard to find, there are duds in the US, but over time they have been weeded out. Global resources are cheaper, but there are a lot more duds, weeding them out is expensive, and in the end, you will have to pay very similar amounts to keep the very best no matter what country they are from. IBM used to feel like a special place to work, but now it feels like a sweat shop. If you make people feel special, they will return the favor with loyalty and effort.
Cons: IBM is a big brand ONLY for its clients/partners. Based on its brand value it would be foolish to judge IBM as Best Employer. It is in fact a very average employer. Employees (I can speak of Indian counterparts) are poorly paid, no hikes, sham appraisals, minimal career growth, minimal career opportunities, poor onsites. Most of the Indian projects are maintenance based. Even though they hire a lot, they fire a lot too. Also the attrition is high. But their business model still works for them. Because their business doesn't get affected at all if an employee leaves the org - IBM replaces him with another "bakra". For IBM employee in a project just adds up to the headcount that can be billed to the client. His knowledge is never a critical factor for the project. However, there are few employees I know who have got lucky here and are getting good benefits. Overall, if you are NOT amongst the few lucky ones, you will end up in a big account with horrid time ahead!
Advice to Senior Management Management: should also take care of the employee needs other than work flexibility. However, this would be the last thing on its list. The management is running the projects successfully and keeping the clients happy. It gets good revenue. For them an employee is just another headcount that can be billed to the client.
Ultimately, years of Wall Street gambling and corporate greed in general have destroyed the U.S. economy, sending jobs overseas to exploit slave wages with the inevitable result of slave wages coming to the U.S. Decades of tax-cuts for the rich combined with overseas wars for profit have undermined the foundation of economic stability — and U.S. workers are being asked to foot the bill. In the long-term, the U.S. economy will need to be re-structured, meaning that giant corporations cannot continue to dominate the economy for their personal profits. In the short term, U.S. workers will need to organize themselves to fight back. Alliances with Democratic politicians are no longer an option to stave off attacks from corporations, since the attacks are now coming from both sides of the two-party system.
It's also after the company raked in about $100 Billion in annual revenue. They called it 'forfeiture' in the system; I call it theft. What level of greed, incompetence, and ethical bankruptcy can explain this? It's a crooked system that will shaft any older worker after a full career, approaching what they've worked some of the best years of their lives for. It's now so rigged that they block virtually any chance of an extension once you're on the 'list.' It's almost beyond belief that a company that was once the epitome of ethical behavior could line its coffers on the backs of its long-time workers like this. There needs to be a full investigation into this type of practice. This is what companies like IBM once took the lead in, but with this serious vacuum in ethics, ad infinitum, what the government is now trying to do to ensure people are covered from a health insurance standpoint.
You can't depend on or trust a company like IBM, anymore. The Alliance is the only hope to restore any kind of fairness, ethical integrity, equality, and job security here through a bona fide, undisputed employment contract, but each employee must act to take the initiative and join to make this happen. PLEASE JOIN. -Former True Blue-
But large employers, as well, are starting to show some interest, and insurers and consultants expect that, over time, businesses of all sizes will gravitate toward these plans in an effort to cut costs. The trade off, they say, is that more Americans will be asked to pay higher prices for the privilege of choosing or keeping their own doctors if they are outside the new networks.
"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.
The answer? All of the above, of course.
Call it the Great Recession paradox. Even as voters express outrage at the insider culture of big bailouts and bonuses, their search for political saviors has led them to this: a growing crowd of über-rich candidates, comfortable in boardrooms and country clubs, spending a fortune to remake themselves into populist insurgents. ...
For six weeks, Mr. Valle, 49, absorbed instruction in spreadsheets and word processing. He tinkered with his résumé. But the interviews his caseworker eventually arranged were for low-wage jobs, and they were mobbed by desperate applicants. More than a year later, Mr. Valle remains among the record 6.8 million Americans who have been officially jobless for six months or longer. He recently applied for welfare benefits.
"Training was fruitless," he said. "I'm not seeing the benefits. Training for what? No one's hiring." Hundreds of thousands of Americans have enrolled in federally financed training programs in recent years, only to remain out of work. That has intensified skepticism about training as a cure for unemployment.
It's pretty obvious we can't keep doing this forever. This pattern has brought us to the mess we are in today. The question is whether we'll find a way to pick up where consumption, money manipulation, and unproductivity left off, or whether we will restore a national economy that produces, saves, invests, makes things, and pays its way.
A jobs program? "Everyone for themselves," they shout. Health care for all? "Go to the emergency room," they scream. Social Security? "Socialism," they screech, "run away from it!" Public education? "Can't afford it," they tell us, as they turn their backs on hundreds of thousands of teachers soon to be fired. Repair America's rotting infrastructure? "Too big for us, " they wail, "leave it to the next generation."
Wagging teabags rather than picking up the tools of real recovery, the woeful voices of American failure insist that they speak for the People. Hogwash. Americans are a strong, community-minded, democratic-spirited, can-do people. Indeed, the latest Gallop poll shows that 60 percent of the public favors "additional government spending to create jobs and stimulate the economy."
"But we must balance the budget," whine the naysayers. Of course we should, and big majorities say we should do that by putting people to work, taxing the superrich to pay their fair share of Social Security and other public needs, as well as by slashing the $12 billion a month we're spending for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's time for our "leaders" to stop whining – and catch up to the people.
I don't see how their minds can put those two words together without having their heads explode! Excuse me, Einsteins, but there's no such thing. You can spin your data 'til the cows come home, but an economy that has nearly 20 percent of the workforce either unemployed or underemployed, that has no plan for replacing the 8 million jobs we lost in the last two years, that is now proceeding with mass layoffs of such essential workers as teachers and firefighters, and that is willing to accept poverty pay as the new American normal is not by any stretch of the imagination a recovery.
Au contraire, buckaroos, the reality we face is the darkening shadow of what economist Paul Krugman is frankly calling a "Long Depression." As happened in a similar decline in the 1870s, those at the top will prosper and take an even larger share of the wealth we all produce, while the majority see declining income and rising poverty.
There is, of course, a way to avert this. It's called leadership. The way out is to enlist our grassroots people in an all-out "Rebuild America" campaign. Stop talking about a green economy and put Americans to work building it. Also, let's lead the world in putting high-speed internet in every home and school. And our crucial national infrastructure, from bridges to parks, is in a sorry state – let's go to work to repair and improve these public resources.
Destiny calls, but our leaders are either self-absorbed, clueless, or cowardly. So, we must lead. One place to start is Blue Green Alliance: www.bluegreenalliance.org.
So why are we witnessing such fundamental changes? Well, the globalism and "free trade" that our politicians and business leaders insisted would be so good for us have had some rather nasty side effects. It turns out that they didn't tell us that the "global economy" would mean that middle class American workers would eventually have to directly compete for jobs with people on the other side of the world where there is no minimum wage and very few regulations. The big global corporations have greatly benefited by exploiting third world labor pools over the last several decades, but middle class American workers have increasingly found things to be very tough. Here are the statistics to prove it:
What has developed is a situation where the people at the top are doing quite well, while most Americans are finding it increasingly difficult to make it. There are now about six unemployed Americans for every new job opening in the United States, and the number of "chronically unemployed" is absolutely soaring. There simply are not nearly enough jobs for everyone. Many of those who are able to get jobs are finding that they are making less money than they used to. In fact, an increasingly large percentage of Americans are working at low wage retail and service jobs. But you can't raise a family on what you make flipping burgers at McDonald's or on what you bring in from greeting customers down at the local Wal-Mart. The truth is that the middle class in America is dying -- and once it is gone it will be incredibly difficult to rebuild.
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