The approach, which involves routing almost all sales in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and some of the Americas through the Netherlands unit, helped IBM as it gradually reduced its tax rate over 20 years at the same time pretax income quadrupled. Then last year, the rate slid to the lowest level since at least 1994, lifting earnings above analysts’ estimates.
IBM is aiming for $20 a share in adjusted earnings by 2015, up from $11.67 in 2010 -- a goal made more difficult as the company posted seven straight quarters of declining revenue. To stay on target, IBM has bought back shares, sold assets, and fired and furloughed workers. A less prominent though vital role is played by its subsidiary in the Netherlands, one of the most important havens for multinational companies looking for ways to legally reduce their tax rates.
“They’ve got a lot of ways to beat earnings and they definitely take advantage of it,” said Josh Olson, an analyst at Edward Jones & Co. “It’s part of how IBM operates.” ...
Offshore tax strategies like the one used by IBM are coming under increased scrutiny. In the past year, the tax-avoidance techniques of companies including Apple Inc., Google and Amazon.com Inc. have been the subject of U.S. Senate and U.K. Parliament hearings. Meanwhile, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a government-funded think tank, is developing a plan to fight so-called profit-shifting at the direction of the Group of 20 nations. ...
IBM has stumbled during the technology industry’s transition to the cloud, where information is stored online instead of onsite. While the company’s sales from cloud services are growing, the trend has spawned a new crop of competitors and eroded demand for traditional hardware and services.
Even as that technological shift affects the business, Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty has stuck with IBM’s profit goals. To stay on track for her $20-a-share earnings target, the company spent $1 billion last year to restructure its workforce -- shedding 3,300 employees in the U.S. and Canada, according to employee group Alliance@IBM. It also sold businesses, getting $505 million for a customer-service unit last month and agreeing to let Lenovo Group Ltd. buy its low-end server business this year for $2.3 billion. ...
Even with the cost cuts, IBM hasn’t been able to convince some investors to hold onto its shares. The stock was the only member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average to decline in 2013, and it trailed the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index by 32 percentage points. ...
It’s becoming more difficult to find other areas where IBM can cut costs, making it hard to see how IBM can meet its earnings targets, Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., said in a note to investors.
“The model is increasingly strained,” he said. “IBM risks being tethered to its road map to the detriment of its longer-term financial health.”
Selected reader comments follow:
IBM always wanted the cloud and due to lack of investment and laying off all their experienced employees, missed the boat. The old days of big data centers is back and IBM wasn't prepared. AWS has them beat by a mile. IBM no longer has distinguished engineers, it has distinguished financial advisors and tax lawyers. Wonder if they are going to write patents on all their antics or keep them trade secrets. What IBM has done is all one time gains, after all you can only fire the employee once. Re hiring the same employee and then firing again doesn't count and it cost to do that.
You can only sell the PC servers once. Those one time gains are all exhausted. There are no big countries with cheap labor anymore, China and India were the last two. Yes there is Viet Nam and Indonesia and others but its only a matter of time til their wages catch up plus they don't have big work forces like China and India. Whats left in the hardware business, System P, System I and System Z and the new Watsons division. P and I have been loosing money for a lot longer than 7 quarters. I know, they will sell more of them at below cost to make up for it.
By selling the PC Servers to Lenovo, IBM can no longer stop the x86 servers from chewing up the power systems (System P and I). How many System Z's, Watsons and Bluegenes can they sell, its finite but the PC servers are effectively infinite. Look at the TOP500.org and see how many systems are just big cluster of x86 system, and they are growing. They are a lot cheaper than one big Watson. The board should re visit their strategy, cause they are approaching the event horizon and it won't be long before they are spaghettized due to gravitational forces beyond their control.
Unfortunately for the workers, the deal won't close for months - if at all. Government regulators must still approve the deal, so 2,000 Big Blue workers in the Triangle won't know for a good while yet if a transfer for Lenovo is certain. ...
Now a Wall Street analyst has run the numbers and sees Big Blue cutting 13,000 jobs. A $1 billion plan a year ago cut more than 3,500 jobs in North America alone, including several hundred in North Carolina where the company has cut jobs by 30 percent in recent years.
An interesting story from Bloomberg news on Tuesday showed another way IBM is driving up earnings despite declining revenues: Manipulation of income through a Dutch tax haven to cut its tax bill in dramatic fashion. (Read the full story at WRALTechWire.) ...
Meanwhile, unions seeking to represent IBMers in the U.S. and around the world say they believe IBM will cut 15,000.
For the past 20 years, IBM has been an avid, methodical buyer of its own stock. In 1993, it had 2.3 billion shares outstanding. Today it has 1.1 billion, shrinking at more than 1% per quarter over the past few years. At that pace, there will be no more publicly traded IBM shares left by 2034.
Rejoice! You might regard all this buying as good news for shareholders. Buybacks push up earnings per share. They flaunt management's confidence in the future. And they are a reason why retail investors have held on so lovingly to IBM stock.
Look deeper at IBM and dozens of mature U.S. companies, and you can sketch a different, more ominous, story: That CEOs are in fact stuck, reluctant to build new plants, launch products or pursue an acquisition.
By rote and by fear, they are pitching their billions into buybacks, nearly $1 trillion from the 100 largest companies in the S&P since 2008. In the 12 months ending in September, the total dollar amount of all corporate buybacks increased by 15% from a year earlier, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. ...
IBM competitor Amazon.com Inc., meanwhile, continues to pour in big dollars into actual technology. It grew its capital spending 14-fold since 2008, and R&D spending fivefold.
Investor Jim Chanos is starting to worry about just this problem. As one of Wall Street's best-known short sellers, he's quietly been building an investment thesis around the idea that buybacks are a sign of corporate weakness, not strength. ...
"Corporate CEOs, with their massive share-buyback programs are in effect investing in the stock market rather than in expanding business opportunities at their companies," said Mr. Chanos. "Either they expect higher returns from the market, or lower returns in their business, or some combination of both. Given their questionable track record in timing the market, this may be a cause for concern." ...
Many on Wall Street are now beginning to regard IBM as a company more focused on its stock price than its long-term path. "Only IBM knows what it might be forgoing," says Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes. But "one can make an argument for organic investments," especially with revenues shrinking 3% and fresh competition from cloud-computing competitors.
We expect IBM to repurchase $15B or more of its shares this year, and rebalance its workforce by at least 13,000 heads. Many investors believe IBM should be investing in its future by buying new technologies and investing in building capability, rather than rightsizing the organization. So why is IBM steadfastly driving to its roadmap? It is hard to say. Perhaps IBM genuinely believes it can invest and do what’s right for the business while simultaneously achieving its roadmap. Perhaps it is worried about disappointing Wall Street (though some believe the stock might go up if IBM reduced or eliminated its 2015 target in a constructive manner). Another possible explanation is that the roadmap/prevailing financial model is the way executives have always run the company, and changing it is uncomfortable and/or requires a different skill set and risk appetite. A final theory is that IBM’s financial incentives (senior executives’ incentive programs are based 60% on operating net income near-term and 80% of operating EPS long term) make the choice simple.
Since I left IBM less than a year ago, my inbox has been littered with emails from LinkedIn announcing more and more of my former colleagues, quality people, leaving IBM like myself. What is the saying? The loss from one bad project outweighs the profit from 10 good ones and without good quality people how will IBM continue to deliver good projects? How will they win good business and how will they deliver good projects in the future without the skills, knowledge, experience and loyalty that was built up over decades and squandered over months through a truly short sighted pursuit or an unrealistic EPS.
When I left the share price was around $215 per share. It is around $177 today. Is this 20% not just another metric or number? As a shareholder I'd be much more worried about this number than EPS. Very fortunately I had to sell all my ESPP and ESPP* shares when I left IBM. And, my increase in salary from a rival was larger than all the wage rises I got from IBM in the last 11 years.
I should have left years ago, shortly after IBM stopped being a great company to work for and decided to became a company that treated its staff like a resource (Human Resources) rather than like family. Who remembers family dinners and a one for all—all for one team spirit in the good old days?
In October 2011 the former IBM chairman said he would turn the reins over to Virginia Rometty. At the time, it looked like Palmisano was doing his successor a solid. (Bloomberg LP, the owner of Bloomberg Businessweek, hired Palmisano as a policy adviser last May.) IBM’s share price had been rising and would continue to rise even higher in the months following this leadership announcement. To all appearances, Palmisano had shaped IBM into a steady, profit-making machine, and Rometty just needed to keep executing his plan—shifting toward software and services while expanding the company’s presence in growing overseas markets.
Except, well, things haven’t exactly worked out so neatly. ...
The wrapper IBM is putting around the Lenovo deal is familiar. It’s selling off a low-profit business while maintaining its higher-profit Unix and mainframe hardware. Just as it did when it sold off networking, hard-disk, and PC businesses, IBM is moving away from making physical things and toward selling the software and services that make physical things work. For a long time the company argued that hardware tie-ins would help it sell more software and services. Now, though, IBM clearly thinks it doesn’t need the hardware, and some market researchers agree. “While IBM does generate significant revenues from Linux and Windows software sales, there is limited tie-in to hardware (in contrast to UNIX and Mainframe servers) and accordingly we expect limited impact on other parts of IBM’s business,” Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein (AB), wrote in a research note.
Still, the underlying context behind this deal is more troubling for IBM’s long-term business. Its hardware sales have plummeted as the cloud computing business of Amazon.com has soared. By the thousands, customers have shifted to renting much or all of their computing capacity from Amazon—and Google and Microsoft —rather than purchasing equipment. This trend helped push Dell private, and it led Hewlett-Packard and IBM to make much larger investments in the cloud. IBM, for example, acquired the cloud specialist SoftLayer Technologies last July for $2 billion, then pledged to spend more than $1 billion advancing its cloud technology.
Did Palmisano see all this coming? Did Rometty?
It feels in a lot of ways like Palmisano set Rometty up. IBM downplayed the threat of Amazon and the whole “renting a data center with your credit card” movement. Its executives resorted to rhetoric, ignored by customers, about the insecurity of Amazon’s approach. It’s only within the last few months that IBM has really swung into action. (This is not good form for a company that prides itself on forecasting the future and advises customers on what to anticipate.) With the sale of its server business to Lenovo, IBM looks like it’s scrambling to deal with the unexpected. Rometty, who inherited an IBM that recently set an all-time trading high, suddenly has a sagging share price, chaotic financials, and a fixer-upper on her hands.
Selected reader comments follow:
The consequences are only now beginning to rear their ugly head. It's hard to blame anyone though. I can only imagine trying to steer a death star sized company like IBM in a technology landscape that demands continuous change at internet speed, with prices for commodities and services falling due to innovation and competition. It must be a monumental task. It may just be that the days of technology companies the size of IBM are relics of a bygone era and are no longer viable in the world today. It's ironic that technology itself is the thorn in the side of the technology giants.
Even the brain behind WATSON could not take the toxic atmosphere and resigned from IBM recently. All of the above executives retired within the last 18 mos (but still on the payroll save for Daniels) with hefty payouts and not a care in the world or for the mess left behind. Of course as a top lieutenant, Ginni had a hand in this and must have seen what she was inheriting but it's hard to turn down the top slot when you are drunk with compensation.
Even if this does not work out, all the architects of this company's demise will enjoy many years to come relaxing in their respective Nantucket/Greenwich/Palm Beach manse that IBM built and maybe the only tangible thing IBM has built in the last 5 years.
"Understanding the quality of earnings is an essential part of processing and interpreting information. A high-quality earnings number will (1) reflect current operating performance, (2) be a good indicator of future operating performance, (3) and fairly annuitize the intrinsic value of the company." ...
IBM's fourth-quarter revenue dropped 5.5%, a pace that exceeded that of the 4.6% drop for the year, indicating an acceleration of the revenue decline. We're viewing this as a sign that the worst may still be ahead of Big Blue as it tries to steer the company back to growth. Without a solid backdrop of revenue growth, earnings-per-share expansion will have to come either from lower quality cost-cutting, one-time items, or share buybacks. Interestingly, IBM didn't cut operating costs faster than the revenue declines in the period, as SG&A and RD&E as a percentage of revenue expanded, to 21.6% (up 140 basis points) and 5.7% (up 30 basis points), respectively. Clearly, revenue and costs are moving in the wrong direction at IBM. ...
The quality of earnings expansion, however, was muddied even further. IBM bought back more than 50 million shares of stock (1,072.5 million versus 1,124.7 million), which further boosted headline earnings per share. On a diluted basis, IBM recorded 11% earnings-per-share growth, but there wasn't anything fundamental in the quarter that should have driven such strong bottom-line expansion. Said differently, the buybacks acted as an artificial means to hide weakening underlying fundamentals.
The quarterly earnings calls are curiously synthetic, almost antiseptic affairs, run by the CFO and focused strictly on the numbers: on the revenue number, on the cash flow number, on the share buyback number, and on the earnings number. In particular, the per share earnings number.
The CEO never graces the call, and no actual business operators discuss their business. No success stories are told, no customers highlighted. It is all about margins and currencies and so-called one-time charges and so-called one-time gains, and tax rates, and how all those things added up to the earnings per share that quarter.
Schroeter, who stepped into the CFO job Jan. 1, didn't specify where Big Blue's axe would fall, and suggested the layoffs would happen in March. But, he said that the financial effect of the layoffs on the company would be roughly the same as last year's round. IBM's layoffs in the second quarter of 2013 cost it about $1 billion.
The layoffs are intended to help IBM's long-term financial performance. Because this year's layoffs will happen in the first quarter, they'll have a greater effect over the course of 2014, Schroeter said in the call, which covered the company's results in the fourth quarter of 2013.
"We'll get the payback within the year," he said. ...
Schroeter said there would be "rightsizing" in some of IBM's hardware divisions. Fourth-quarter revenue from the systems and technology division, which has operations in Dutchess County, fell 26 percent from the same time last year. Revenue from System z mainframe server products, which are made in Poughkeepsie, fell by 37 percent from last year, but Schroeter said that was mainly due to the cyclical nature of the business.
He mentioned IBM Corp.'s announced workforce reduction plans and said, "We certainly are uncertain whether IBM will remain in the hardware business at all."
IBM's two plants in Poughkeepsie and East Fishkill are predominantly in hardware and remain the county's largest employer.
IBM has said it will have a major "resource action" in the first quarter. The last one eliminated 697 jobs from Dutchess County IBM payrolls last September.
Molinaro addressed the board of directors of the economic development group, which the county funds in order to attract jobs and investment to the county.
Coupled with the dismal earnings report today, the future continues to look bad for employees. CEO Rometty, in response to the earnings report said this, "in view of the company's overall results, my senior team and I have recommended that we forgo our personal annual incentive payment for 2013".
Big deal. They are rich enough to withstand that. They should forgo their jobs.
As we go through another critical time for employees we need now more than ever for people to say no to Roadmap 2015.
The Alliance is here to help organize and fight back.
Information is also key. Send RA packs to the Alliance at ibmunionalliance@... so we can track and notify the media of the number of job cuts.
Post job cut information here: www.endicottalliance.org/jobcutsreports.phb
Good luck to all. Your co-workers in the Alliance.
But things have changed in IBM since the company published its Road Maps for 2010 and 2015. Instead of focusing on the people that made the company great, IBM is now transfixed by numbers and Earnings per Share (EPS).
In 2013, IBM spent 1 billion USD on what it called “workforce rebalancing”, which means nothing else than a giant job cut. In 2014, the company is set to spend another 1 billion USD to eliminate an estimated 15,000 jobs worldwide. This comes at a time when the company continues to make hefty profits.
UNI Global Union and the UNI IBM Alliance denounce the company’s move to lay off its employees en masse. IBMers remain the company’s biggest asset, and should be in the forefront of any change. Alternatives to layoffs exist for companies looking to cut costs. Retraining programs can yield positive results for both employees and the company, and have been implemented successfully in numerous companies.
Lee Conrad, from Alliance@IBM CWA and UNI IBM Alliance Coordinator said “The hits just keep coming. Following the news that job cuts will happen this quarter, the latest is that IBM will sell one of its server units to Chinese company Lenovo. 7500 workers worldwide will be impacted and moved out of IBM”.
Said Alan Tate, Head of UNI ICTS: “IBM needs to go back to its roots and focus on what made the company successful for over 100 years. It needs to invests in its employees and ensure decent work. Innovation is what made IBM a great company not greed.”
After about six months, I told my director, that I didn't want to be in management anymore, that I was tired of what was happening to people and messing with people and that I wanted a non-management job that could take good use of my skills. Thanks to some "old style" executives with integrity that knew me, I worked another 12 years as a regular employee, and was very successful managing myself before retiring.
Executives give organizations a number to cut and we must chose from our own staff. Performance is a factor but there are others things we consider — retirement eligibility, customer reaction, location of the employee, teamwork, etc. More often than not employees selected for layoffs are high performers so we make a "Sophie's Choice". Laying off employees is heart-wrenching. My first-line managers who had the highest numbers to cut are often cut themselves and/or end up basket-cases at the end of the process.
Not trying to make you feel sorry for managers but your focus should be on the executives who are responsible for these layoffs.
Pros: Great people here, some great managers, opportunities for advancement if you are in the NY area (where the decision making takes place), commitment to diversity initiatives, flexibility and ability to work from home when needed (but this is largely manager dependent). Base pay is pretty competitive.
Cons: Bureaucratic, too process-driven, pervasive risk-aversion and managers are uncomfortable making decisions, slow to adopt change, innovation and new business models, bonuses are non-existent for non-executives, way too focused on pleasing Wall Street.
Advice to Senior Management: The shell game is up. Wall Street is onto the financial engineering and sooner or later investors are going to demand real revenue growth. Get away from the poisonous EPS roadmap and get back to investing for growth. You have to spend money to make money. Lastly, recognize that your employees really are your greatest asset. No, I would not recommend this company to a friend. I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company.
Cons: The corporate culture is stifling. For many years now, the strategy that IBM has apparently been following is reducing the size of the US workforce, through attrition and resource action, while keeping new hiring to very low levels. This has resulted in a US workforce that is decidedly older and shrinking. There's an acute shortage of fresh young blood and the exuberance that comes with it. The idea was to replace lost talent in US with cheaper labor in other markets, but that has been a spectacular failure, because IBM plays hard low ball in those markets, and doesn't even come close to capturing and retaining top talent.
IBM is not poor, in fact it makes a lot of money every quarter, but the strategy has been to use this money to prop up the stock price through share buybacks and dividends rather than reinvest in development.
Relative to nimbler competition, IBM has not been investing in R&D at the level needed to stay apace with the evolution of the tech universe. In many parts of IBM, there's a culture of poverty: shrinking budgets, steady exodus of people, and no relief in sight. The company overall is not poor, but it certainly feels this way. Between the brain drain due to workforce management practices, and the lack of R&D investment, IBM is no longer competitive on many (most) fronts, and has to prop itself up by regular acquisitions.
This doesn't work too well either, because ambitious people from acquired companies usually leave as soon as their contact terms allow. Few startup-minded bright individuals can tolerate the "permanent cost-cutting" culture, heavy bureaucracy, and highly diluted level of talent that's endemic in most of IBM.
Advice to Senior Management: Cost cutting makes short-term financials look better, but it won't bring the growth that's sorely needed. If you want to grow, use the power of the purse while you still can. Invest heavily in R&D. Let managers hire top people in all markets, and pay them enough to retain them. No, I would not recommend this company to a friend. I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company.
Pros: 1. Very professional. This applied to in terms of approach to tasks, assignment of correct persons to tasks, planning of timelines in respect of resources and workloads and in monitoring of execution. All around there was a clear understanding of what was involved and what needed to be done. The work accordingly proceeded smoothly and all knew what slippages were acceptable and which were not. 2. High standards of work. The quality of work expected was high and it was achieved. 3. Stress free. There was a refreshing lack of office politics and no undue pressure as all involved had a clear understanding of the processes and what should be done and what could not.
Cons: None experienced during my time at IBM. Advice to Senior Management: 1. More focus on immediate returns to justify projects. 2. Tighter control of project creep. Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend. I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company.
Cons: My department was disorganised and unmotivated. The staff seemed in no hurry to change or improve and were perfectly happy to do their 9-5 and keep their head under the radar.
Few people showed initiative or took innovative risks. It seemed like the day job was a competition to see who could be noticed least.
Morale was rock-bottom. The US management were threatening to lay people off because sales weren't good enough. Well, of course they weren't! Not with that attitude and lack of enthusiasm.
Advice to Senior Management: Get to know your staff better so you can exploit their talents. Otherwise they just get bored No, I would not recommend this company to a friend. I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company.
As for the area in IBM making money, it is because IBM has no real structure for business. They leave the high profit service area out of the low margin hardware business. Why should one organization see 100-200% profit while the other doing the real work gets beat to death for an industry of single digit profit? If IBM thinks they can compete, let them. This is the Titanic that is already going down. Services - good luck competing with Accenture. Cloud - Amazon, Google, and others have you bent over already. Software - anyone can write code. -Anonymous-
This deal was on the table (to Lenovo) for 4-to-6 billion last year; one can't help but see the China-delays-buying-x86, China-boycotts-IBM-post-Snowden, IBM-revenue-plummets, China-buys-x86-at-a-discount progression as cruelly strategic. To link this to "job cuts" and stay on-topic, Services (GBS/GTS) will be the next area hit -- their results have been poor (though rosy compared to STG), and there won't be much left to cut (or hide behind) in Hardware anymore. -SimpleMath-
I don't believe Lenovo will keep half of the 7500+ IBMers moving over, especially the Presale / some sales reps and remote support staff not part of Atlanta Help Desk. Lenovo is all about streamlining their business and heard from current Lenovo employees, they will use the channel partners and their current PC sales reps to drive their server sales once the dust is settled -Sammy-
Where is the T in Teamwork Ginni? So PBC 2+ employees are not adequate contributors anymore in your myopic eyes? So PBC 2 is the "new" PBC 3? If IBM is only investing in PBC 1s then that shows utter contempt for the vast majority of it's workers. Can we assume Ginni you are a PBC 3 and no one on your team is greater than a PBC 2? LOL. Old MacDonald mentioned IBM's most important resource was its resources (ahem, employees) so I guess that retired to the farm with him. LIFE@IBM IS ____ (you THINK TWICE and fill it in!) -trexibmer-
IBM denied Mr Ringo's comments, said he had no authority to speak for the company, and mysteriously Timmy disappeared from bluepages 2 weeks later.
Outsourcing experts said employers from both the private and public sector were increasingly using the model as they looked to squeeze people costs post-recession. Ringo also stated that IBM's global workforce of 399,000 permanent employees could reduce to 100,000 by 2017, the date by which IBM is due to complete its HR transformation program. If you want any chance at all to derail this transformation and keep your job, you need to join the Alliance today. What more proof do you need? -YouCanMakeADifference-
Cringely was wrong? Still believe IBM when they tell you anything? Imagine a company actually coming out stating the information was incorrect, all the while KNOWING it was the truth? Still believe you are safe from an RA if you keep your nose to the grindstone, don't cause any trouble and work 24x7. THINK TWICE and prepare. An RA is headed your way. Just a matter of time. Unionize or accept your fate. What more can I say. Cringely's article from 2007: http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/2007/pulpit_20070504_002027.html -miss_understanding-
The reality is and always has been that the system is a sham regardless if you got a 1, 2+, 2, 3 ,4 or 99. How many employees know what being a 1 really requires? From what I remember, before being RA'd, a 1 requires going way above and beyond the job description. It also requires some incredible effort or input that saved the company buckets of $. The 1's I knew didn't come close to that requirement.
I worked with someone who complained to our manager that he deserved to be a 1. His argument was that he was with the company for 30 years. He felt for that reason he was a 1. Never mind pushing off his work on others, disappearing for the day at noon without notice and being the most negative force on the team. He was a 1 in his mind. He got the 1 just to shut him up.
I knew someone who got a 3 for no reason other than volunteering for a special project, performing well and getting a 3 because, "He didn't have the day to day #'s as his counterparts." Of course he didn't. He was working on a SPECIAL PROJECT he volunteered for when our team was ASKED IF THERE WERE ANY VOLUNTEERS!
I always felt the system was a joke. The 2?s and 2+?s, meant nothing to me. I tried my best, did a good job and was a loyal employee. That's all that mattered to me. The PBC rating system is a political sham. Keep that in mind when you compare yourself to your colleagues, and most importantly, if IBM shows you the door. I know the stress. I was there too. I was never so proud when I got the job with IBM, and never so relieved when it was over. -anon-
There was a time when I was proud to be an IBMer, when it was a big goal for me, but that time is long past. Over the years, I've seen a lot of layoffs and pruning of benefits. Of contractors used in greater numbers and in many cases paid a pathetic slice of what they would have made as regulars. I don't know if Lenovo will treat us any better, but at least I can hope. In the meantime, I plan to eagerly watch IBM flounder and see what other whipping boys they create, once the hardware business isn't around to blame. -IBMer_no_more-
It's all about incompetent paper pushers in the administrative offices that play around with numbers and without regard to the more subtle consequences. This also ties into the whole cutting bonus this year. They think they can save their money at the expense of 2 and 2+'s, but you know what, these guys will likely not work as hard (or leave the company with their knowledge) after being treated that way. As for me, it's time to start looking for a job in a more optimistic company. -Anon-
I also had been ready to quit because of verbal abuse from IBM management. I will probably be without work for a while, since I am a long term supplemental and we receive no severance packages. I know there's a bright world beyond IBM, and am looking forward to finding another spot where I'll have a higher salary and a better work-life balance. Life is too short! Thank you, Alliance, for your work here. I will definitely be donating to the cause. -Crazy-
But IBM doesn't have the inherent mechanisms to pull off Cloud. Cloud (of all kinds) at this company is on short notice, and in a year it won't resemble anything they're thinking. Face it, IBM Exec Management could screw up a 1 car funeral. The two best days of my life:
-Cloud means you can't see where you're going-
IBM reported a net profit of $16.5 Billion for 2013 and notified employees the small percentage of "1" performers would be the only ones getting a 6% bonus, and that they would be firing over 10,000 employees, mainly from STG. You have 2 choices: you can stand in line and wait to be slaughtered and watch history pass you by, or you can take a stand and be a part of this movement and make history. The choice is yours. -Its_Your_Choice-
It doesn't matter who you are, how hard you work, who you know, how many vacation days you work or days you work sick. It doesn't matter how many times you miss your kids functions, birthdays, New Years Eve, or anything else. I doesn't matter how many nights you pull an all nighter. Believe me. I did all of that.
If you are still there, you are probably doing it too. You are being used so stop it. It won't change anything because one day your number will come up and I'M not talking p b c. You can be a 2+. I was. Didn't matter. Y'all need to get a union or get out.
I am glad I'm gone. I've been gone nearly 5 years. Nothing has changed at IBM. Plenty has changed for me. I am no longer in that abusive, threatening relationship. Sign me, GLAD I'M GONE -mbb-
IBM is sending all administration, technical support jobs etc to cheap countries by 2015 as we all know. My wage was not high and IBM was constantly finding ways to make the wage I had lower (finally non-existent).
The management handled the terms of employment appallingly. I was a subject matter expert in various areas over the last few years. I have been replaced by brand new employees who are labelled SMEs with no experience or knowledge. However, they are very cheap. IBM's customers will suffer. -Anonymous-
"Team, It is hard to believe we are at the end of January. Let me start by thanking you for your efforts in 2013. We needed to bang the Utilization drum hard in 4Q. This is probably why 2014 week 1's utilization (UTE) was much lower than planned. I would like to recover week 1 with a request to charge three more hours a week (each) for the remaining nine weeks of Q1. If we all do that we will keep the wolves off the door step.
- Look for opportunities on your current projects to place someone from our bench. We have talent available across all Bands ready and willing to be engaged. Our bench is high and they need your help to get Billable.
- Be diligent in submitting your hours each week in ILC. Follow-ups on missing labor take time and utilization reports are reviewed weekly so accurate data is important. You did a great job last year so keep it up. Work with your project Partner/PM to get to minimum of 44 hours/week if you are not already there.
- We will revisit capped projects to see if there is any flexibility on those engagements. The Americas leadership is all over this and I would like us to be best practice.
Thanks for your efforts, you make all the difference in meeting our goals. Regards, Tom Crane"
Doesn't bode well for those of us in AIS. At the end of the first month we are already way behind the forecast. High bench numbers probably mean there will be RAs in AIS. Who ever does the forecasting for this organization should be fired for incompetence. Just what I want to do after being rewarded for all of the extra hours last year with a big double zero - 0 bonus and 0 raise. Hate to think about the other "best practices"! -I Don't Think So-
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