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6, 2000 April, 2000

Highlights—March 29, 2014

  • TechCrunch:

    IBM India Battles Fraud Amid Scramble To Save Its $2.5B Airtel Contract. By Pankaj Mishra. Excerpts: Over the past few weeks, IBM India has fired at least half a dozen top- to mid-level executives, as well as several others accused of fraud. The fraud led to a portion of the over $2 billion outsourcing contract, with Bharti Airtel being subcontracted to a company founded by former IBM-ers.

    The original contract signed was in 2004 and was for managing telecom networks, desktops and other software applications at Bharti Airtel. It was worth around $300 million annually and over $2 billion overall for IBM India. It was also one of the most showcased engagements globally for Big Blue.

    Now, as Airtel prepares to announce renewal of this 10-year-old contract, IBM’s share of the business is set to be reduced to around $100 million annually, at least three people familiar with the discussion said. ...

    For IBM, a lot is riding on this contract beyond just the commercial value. IBM’s current CEO Ginni Rometty made a quiet visit to India last year to meet Airtel’s Mittal, underscoring how crucial it is for IBM to ensure that the contract renewal happens without too much reputational damage.

    I have been tracking the internal fraud at IBM India and even the negotiations that could see its biggest outsourcing contract in the country reduced by over half. Now, sources at IBM and those in the industry are telling us there’s much more to the recent firing of dozens of senior and mid-level staff than just a cost-cutting move being executed globally.

    And it’s not just internal process violations forcing IBM to let its staff in India go. IBM’s revenues have been declining for the past seven quarters, causing a rethink of its top-heavy management structure. ...

    “It’s a bloodbath for those making anywhere between half a million to $1 million and above annually,” an executive told me two weeks ago. In India, there are at least a dozen such highly paid executives who have been either asked to take a pay cut or move a rank below.

    The pressure to cut costs and rationalize is not just for the top positions — many low-level programmers and even mid-level operational staff are facing the whip, too. Earlier this month, IBM started the process of laying off around 2,600 staff in India. ...

    After dominating India’s over $70 billion domestic software industry for over a decade, IBM’s revenues and profits from the country have been shrinking recently. According a regulatory filing with India’s ministry of corporate affairs, IBM’s profits for the financial year ended March 2013 fell by 20 percent.

  • eWeek:

    IBM Master the Mainframe Contest Commemorates 50 Years of Big Iron. By Darryl K. Taft. Excerpt: IBM this year expanded its Master the Mainframe Contest to include a new IBM Master the Mainframe World Championship competition. The competition is designed to assemble the best university students from around the globe, ones who have demonstrated superior technical skills through participation in their regional IBM Master the Mainframe contests. As part of IBM's commitment to develop the skills of a new generation of mainframe experts, the competition will highlight the modern capabilities of the mainframe, designed to handle the big data, cloud, security and mobile computing workloads that are prevalent in today's enterprises.
  • InformationWeek:

    H-1B Visa Demand Spike Predicted. When the window for new H-1B applications opens on April 1, three IT job categories will lead the charge: software engineering, information security, and big data. By Kevin Casey. Excerpts: The application window for new H-1B visas opens on April 1, and strong demand will likely exceed the federally mandated cap -- 65,000 new visas for foreign workers, plus an additional 20,000 visas reserved for people with advanced degrees -- on the same day, according to labor lawyer Shanon Stevenson. ...

    "The main one is the overwhelming demand for technology workers," Stevenson said. (H-1B visas aren't reserved solely for technology jobs, though they typically drive much of the demand.) She pointed to the White House's emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, for instance, as a sign of poor IT skills development in the US. Stevenson said that some of her firm's clients struggle to find even qualified entry-level talent for certain tech jobs. "We're just not having enough of our US students enrolling in STEM degree programs," Stevenson said. "Not having enough US workers who are trained in the STEM fields, that's where the main demand is coming from."

    Selected reader comments follow:

    • Left and Right Agree. Conservative Nobel winning economist Milton Friedman said "There is no doubt, that the [H-1B] program is a benefit to their employers, enabling them to get workers at a lower wage, and to that extent, it is a subsidy." Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) says "What many of us have come to understand is that these H-1B visas are not being used to supplement the American workforce where we have shortages but, rather, H-1B visas are being used to replace American workers with lower cost foreign workers."
    • Re: Talent shortage? Absolutely correct. The companies that seek H1-B visas have no desire to hire American workers. They have no desire to provide training for Americans to acquire these skills. Industry wants IT workers to come ready made and to have born the cost of training out of the workers pockets. Industry prefers younger immigrants who are willing to put in hundreds of hours of unpaid overtime.

      How can American I.T. applicants compete against Indian workers that have had training subsidized by the Indian government? Workers that do not have family obligations. Workers that are young and come without any healthcare needs. Workers that are here for a few years and then take the money and go back home to India.

      It is disgraceful that our legislators are selling American jobs to oversees workers.

      Let's also add that this is huge contributor to the income gap that we see in America. These are the middle class jobs that are being offshored. Of course we now have a widening gap between the haves and the have nots. Congress is seeing to it that we do by using H1-B's.

    • You mention 'Big Data' How many of these H1Bs know it? maybe they get a 1 day course in India. And employers are looking for people with these skills? So they want H1Bs who DON'T HAVE THE SKILL. Why is that?

      Why because if they have to allow ramp up on the skill set they'd rather do it at a cheaper rate. Where does that leave Americans and green card holders who are seeking jobs with that skill set, or recent college graduates? Where does it leave America's future in IT? We've been losing that edge for decades.

      The H1B program should be eliminated, period. It's a disgrace isn't it' all because of the myths spread by greedy corporations who are just here for the NYSE listing.

      US citizens and Green card holders have houses, mortgages, families; when they are replaced by H1Bs who pays for the loss in taxes (income and otherwise) and unemployment benefits.

      H1Bs like to talk about how they pay SS taxes; OK I'd say put it down to a cost of being here and burnishing the resume. US banks. telecoms and even state governments (and the federal government too) offshore (and inshore via H1B and L1 visas), It's part of the bean counter tools and what it does is cause MISERY for US families.

  • InsuranceNewsNet:

    U.S. Ranks 19th On Retirement System. A new survey provides some idea of where the United States ranks relative to other nations with regard to meeting retirement needs through its retirement system. By Cyril Tuohy. Excerpts: Nations best equipped to meet the needs of future retirees emphasize simplicity of retirement plan design, according to a global retirement index issued by Natixis Global Asset Management.

    The Global Retirement Index survey provides some idea of where the United States ranks relative to other nations with regard to meeting retirement needs through its retirement system.

    This year, the U.S. – sixth highest in per capita income – finished a relatively low 19th, behind several European nations, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Korea. The U.S. was ahead of Israel. The survey also found New Zealand, Iceland and South Korea improved the most in the last year.

    Retirees in countries that enjoy the greatest financial security in retirement live in Switzerland, Norway, Austria, Sweden, Australia, Denmark, Germany, Finland and New Zealand.

  • Glassdoor IBM reviews. Selected reviews follow:
    • “Not the kind of IBM I know”

      Anonymous Employee (Former Employee).


      • Good name to your resume
      • Pays 75% of your Masteral degree (one of the benefits)
      • Work from home (depending to your manager.) If your manager is the type who plays according to the book and will do anything for him/her to get a high (PBC) rating, good luck on having this. Luckily for me, my manager sees that giving us 1 work-from-home per week makes us more productive.

      Cons: Where should I start...

      • Too many kiss-a$$ employees. Maybe this is how they play the game.
      • The yearly performance rating is not available to all. There are only a number of people who get the good points. They don't even consider how complicated or difficult one's job over the other.
      • So many unnecessary projects. To get a higher rating (or the biggest salary increase the next year), employees are required to finish a project. If your project is not favored more by the bosses, you get nothing.
      • Work-life balance is more like work-life integration. I see a lot of people staying and working for 15 hours. No overtime pay.
      • Leave management. I'm not sure about other companies but here, you should forecast your leaves ONE YEAR ahead. I think this is a kind of discrimination against spontaneous people.
      • Lower than other companies salary/compensation.
    • “Not bad. Not great.”

      Managing Consultant (Current Employee), Pittsburgh, PA. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 3 years.

      Pros: The brand is recognizable on a resume. Health benefits are pretty good. There are tons of different types of positions inside the big blue machine. Exposure to many different technologies. They allow some positions to work remotely which greatly helps with "work life balance".

      Cons: Pay well below market rate. I'm actually below the bottom range Glassdoor shows for my position in my city with 8 years of experience. IBM will always try to pay as little as possible. The only real way to get a nice salary increase is to come to IBM with a competing offer and threaten to leave. I've done this twice.

      The company is a huge, highly inefficient, mess of bureaucracy but comparable to other mega corps I've worked for. There seems to be very little loyalty towards employees which give little incentive for employees to be loyal.

      They will attempt to lock you into their proprietary systems. If you don't take time to learn industry standards (outside of IBM standards) you risk being stuck with only company specific knowledge.

      They decided to hold the 401k match for the entire year. If you are fired, part of a lay off, or you leave you lose this match. The company also gets to earn the interest on that match that the employee should be earning.

      Advice to Senior Management: A $20 EPS goal at the risk of employee burn out and just flat out canning entire divisions cannot be sustained. Show some more loyalty to employees, pay them what they are worth, and maybe the will return the favor.

    • "Good Company—Great People - Too many middle managers”

      Field Sales Support for IBM HW (Current Employee). I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years. Pros: Good company, good benefits, working from home, great people to work with. Cons: Increasing workloads due to massive layoffs. Too many managers (when I started in 6 levels of managers to CEO now 10+). Muddled messaging about future of IBM HW. Odd bonus structure—too subjective. Advice to Senior Management: Flatten management to get consistent message
    • “Pockets of innovation but bureaucratic”

      Manager Partner Solutions (Former Employee), Boston, MA. I worked at IBM full-time for more than 8 years.

      Pros: The company provides many opportunities in diverse businesses with smart people. The company thrives on interconnected work forces around the US and internationally. So you will be part of larger teams on a regular basis. The company focuses on its customers and has a strong flavor of business ethics.

      Cons: There are lots of layers of management for approvals and budgets (not unusual in a very large company). The company really does not develop many cutting edge software products but it does do its best to partner with other companies to offer solid solutions to its customers. Because teams are spread out geographically you have to not mind to be on conference calls on a very regular basis.

    • “I've been moved”

      Staff Software Engineer (Current Employee), Austin, TX. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      Pros: Professional colleagues who are usually willing to help. Easy to move around US while staying in the same position. A sense of stability, depending which group you are in ( I am in SWG). Salary seems to be competitive no matter of race or sex.

      Cons: Management does not provide what is needed to be excellent only enough to get by. Hard to be a top performer without sucking up to management. Very hard to move up without being a consecutive top performer.

      Advice to Senior Management: Listen to staff and give us what we need to be successful. If you told a employee they have a good idea help them implement it or at least get it started.

    • “Great opportunities marred by internal politics.”

      Anonymous Employee (Former Employee), Boulder, CO. I worked at IBM full-time for more than 3 years. Pros: Great technology and great coworkers. Cons: Consistently lied to regarding raise six months after promotion—eventually fired when I got too vocal. Advice to Senior Management: Keep a better eye on middle management; don't let them force out the up-and-comers.
    • “It's corporate”

      Software Engineer (Current Employee), Tel Aviv-Yafo (Israel). I have been working at IBM full-time for more than a year.

      Pros: The salary is very competitive; the work is challenging and interesting. It's a big name in the industry and has practically unlimited resources. Push for success and employee promotion on the personal and professional levels.

      Cons: Bureaucracy. So much of it. Ridiculous new employee tests. Filling in forms. Ridiculous email client everyone has to use. So many company-wide spam emails. It's as if they don't really want you to be working.

      Advice to Senior Management: Stop the silly acts, drop the tests, let people do what they're there to do. A teaser for extra knowledge and such could go a long way—if it came once every 2-3 months not every other day.

    • “Not perfect, but a great place to work with some really talented people.”

      Software Sales Representative (Current Employee), Detroit, MI. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      Pros: I've been at IBM for 14 years. For the most part, it has been a great place to work. We have market leading products in almost every segment we compete in. There are a lot of great people at IBM. I've had many bosses over the years, and the vast majority have been good people to work for.

      Cons: Our products are generally among the highest priced in the industry so we are often beaten by lower cost competitors. We are a technically focused company rather than a marketing focus, so sometimes our product is the superior product technically, but we lose because we don't market well. As a salesman, I often struggle to boil down our value prop to a digestible story that customers understand.

      Advice to Senior Management: More formalized and regular employee feedback. The annual review process is perfunctory at best.

    • “Lost the direction”

      Advisory Software Engineer (Current Employee), Poughkeepsie, NY. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      Pros: Company is big, working hour is flexible as a developer.

      Cons: Most of the management doesn't care about its employees. Spending cut for more than 10 years; lay off round after round; rumors all over. High level management lost directions; reply on buying other tech companies for growth. Almost zero salary increase and bonus; benefits was cut year after year.

      Advice to Senior Management: Management should spend more time help employee grow in their career path, understand employee's concerns.

    • “The honeymoon is over”

      Software Sales (Current Employee).

      Pros: Pockets of highly intelligent people who have spent years mastering their field are an excellent resource. Many IBMers willing to be mentors and help you. Team work is strong and technical resources are great. Some of the kindest people I have ever worked with. Work from home. Flexibility is probably unparalleled.

      Cons: Acquisition mash-up. Execs are put in charge who know little about the technology or the new buyer. Knowledge base is dwindling with turnover which is a constant, and customers are not pleased. With the knowledge base goes the innovation. Morale is in the can and no strategy to retain top talent. Good reps are looking elsewhere. No salary increase, even if you are a top performer. Opportunity to advance is slow and painful. Sales tools are process-heavy, out of date, and not integrated. Spend more time reporting than selling. You are a serial number that delivers a quota. Pay is not industry standard.

      Advice to Senior Management: Wake up. Top talent is leaving and customers are losing faith in IBM.

    • “Keep Busy and don't mind your compensation”

      IT Security Analyst (Current Employee), Dubuque, IA. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than a year.

      Pros: It pays the bills (mostly); never bored at work (for better or worse); your peers are in the same boat and they are good to work with.

      Cons: It's impossible to get your pay to reflect the work. They will overwork you and expect everything to just work as if it did before. The company is driven by metrics and these metrics are now getting in the way of people doing their jobs or finding more efficient ways of doing things because it does not fall with the current processes. They will hire any idiot with some type of degree, even if they have no technical skill or they prove that they are a greater hindrance to the team then an asset.

      Advice to Senior Management: Get the business back on track, customer first metrics second. And pay people for the work that they do; do not leave them at entry level pay for several months when they are performing at a level 2 or 3 steps above what they are getting paid.

    • "High stress, high pressure, low reward”

      Senior Engineer (Former Employee), East Fishkill, NY. I worked at IBM full-time for more than 3 years.

      Pros: Good technology, interesting problems to work on.

      Cons: Ratio of demands to rewards is high. Either minimal or zero raises, minimal bonus at best, no profit sharing. Generally high pressure atmosphere at all levels of management. Typical expectation of being online and available at all hours of the day and weekends.

      Advice to Senior Management: If you're going to expect so much out of people at least compensate them fairly.

    • “Used to be a great company but gradually losing its heart”

      Senior Consultant (Former Employee). I worked at IBM full-time for more than 5 years.

      Pros: Flexible work, work from home, work life balance. IBM offers a flexible work arrangement that is great if you have a family and your kids are little.

      Cons: IBM does not pay the market rate. They lay off employees anyhow without any consideration to performance. The only focus is on the bottom line and earnings per share. No training or development of employees.

      Advice to Senior Management: People are your best asset, stop wasting them.

    • “IBM”

      Project Executive (Former Employee), Southbury, CT. I worked at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      Pros: A great company with opportunities that span the globe. You can start at the bottom—mail room and become Chairperson as one of the past CEOs did. They have excellent benefits and pay better than average. You can progress based on merit and are given opportunities based on skills and accomplishments.

      Cons: Extremely competitive as you are working with the best. IBM hires from the top tier of candidate so your peers are all above average. If this is intimidating for you, this is not the place for you.

    • “Not your father's IBM”

      Program Manager (Current Employee), Austin, TX. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      Pros: Can typically work from home if you're an office worker. Casual work environment. Good benefits, though there have been several negative changes recently in them.

      Cons: No longer interested in supporting the workers. Raises are rare and small and compensation is deliberately targeted to be at best industry average. Education, once a strong point, is mostly on-line, on-demand even when that's not a good way to learn the material.

      Advice to Senior Management: You can't build the best company out there if all you're investing in is buying small companies in the hopes you can sell their good stuff to a larger audience.

    • “Very focused on individual performance vs team performance”

      Partner (Former Employee) Miami, FL. I worked at IBM full-time for more than 3 years.

      Pros: If someone has done it before they will be at IBM. The trick is to find them.

      Cons: Very cheap on travel options. Only focused on employee utilization. Red tape is unbelievable.

      Advice to Senior Management: Consider the comfort of employees who travel 100%. Stop focusing on internal issues and focus on the clients.

    • “Used to be a great company”

      Senior Software Engineer (Former Employee), Durham, NC. I worked at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      Pros: You get to work with some very smart and dedicated people.

      Cons: This company has lost any respect for the people it employs. The company constantly takes away from the employees in search of achieving its stated 2015 target for EPS. In 2013 there were no raises given and in 2014 they did away with any bonuses to the employees that typically work 60 to 80 hours per week. They will lay anybody off no no matter what their performance might be to save money. The morale in this company is very low and everybody is just collecting a paycheck until they get laid off.

      Advice to Senior Management: Get back to TJ Watson's vision of what is important in IBM. Take care of your customers. Become innovative again by developing something in-house instead of constantly through acquisitions. Reward your employees and provide some stability in the workplace. Get rid of unneeded processes and time wasters.

    • “IBM 2014”

      Management Consultant (Current Employee), Southfield, MI. I have been working at IBM full-time.

      Pros: It is a job with a decent salary. Good learning facilities. Diverse industry experiences.

      Cons: You are a number, not a person. You get no coaching, mentorship, or help. Unrealistic promotion process. It is a typical who you know, not what you have accomplished.

      Advice to Senior Management: No advice, the culture drives the behavior.

    • “Good company however only cares about bottom line. No interest in employee career progression.”

      Problem Manager (Former Employee), Melbourne (Australia). I worked at IBM full-time for more than 5 years.

      Pros: Great company to work for, however experience can be drastically different depending on the management. Big brands are usually good to have on resume, helps later in life. If you are keeping in contact with people around you, opportunity to grow internally is pretty good.

      Cons: Ever since the new CEO (Ginni) joined the company has gone downhill. Employee benefits are close to nill now; there used to be a lot more. Cost cutting has ruined the culture. IBM is known globally for cheap labour; they don't like to pay any more than the minimum rate. Difficult to survive if you are not part of the bureaucratic system Lots of politics and internal jobs are given based on internal links/boys club If you are not keeping up with the politics redundancies can come knocking at your door any minute.

      Advice to Senior Management: Please invest towards future and not just focus on meeting target line today. If the company keeps going this way there will be no business left in future. Provide training to your employees when they have been asking for it for over 2 years.

    • “Corporate Politics, but large network”

      Manager (Current Employee), Beaverton, OR. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 3 years.

      Pros: Like may large corporations IBM is no different it is very easy to either get lost in the crowd and be paid for the 40 hours you expect to commit, or you can work hard and quickly be recognized for your contributions. The time off is great overall, you essentially have 3 weeks of paid time off, and have the option to choose which holidays you take off.

      Cons: First and foremost when being offered a salary consider the fact that at most you will receive on an annual basis is a 4% increase, and that is if you are part of the top 1%-5% of employees. I suggest you ask for a salary you will be comfortable with for the next 3 years. It is also extremely political, and will overwork and undervalue their hardest working employees. I was essentially promised a role when I first moved into management, leading other departmental managers. However, I have been placed in the same role for nearly 2 years with the same responsibilities I was promised and then some. I not only have ~20 people reporting directly to me, but I also manage 2 other team leaders.

      Advice to Senior Management: Layoffs happen, that's the nature of the business; however, be methodical about who is released, and not what their role is. I have seen a number of great employees leave, and a number of employees who will be with the company until they retire who should've been let go years ago.

    • “Huge company, expect it to be run like one”

      Client Technical Specialist (Current Employee), Denver, CO. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 5 years.

      Pros: Good product offering and customers usually want to hear from you. Working from home is becoming pretty standard for most jobs.

      Cons: This is a huge company and the disconnect between upper management and everyone else is impressive at times. I think I'd have a better chance of seeing the Pope in person than our CEO. Big changes (base pay reductions, org changes) can be pushed down in an arbitrary fashion with sometimes little rationale. Even managers 3 or 4 levels up don't seem to know what is going on at times. Politics is just as important as the quality of your work, so know that going in.

      Advice to Senior Management: Take the time to meet with employees occasionally. Attend more big customer or internal conferences just so people know you are a real people.

    • “Leadership heavy; very little support when needed - at least with my manager.”

      Managing Consultant (Current Employee), Hartford, CT. I have been working at IBM full-time for less than a year. Pros: Fantastic group of fellow IBMers! My colleagues are brilliant, fun, supportive and more! Cons: Leadership, high travel demands, internal processes need improvement. Advice to Senior Management: Develop an anonymous process to report poor quality managers!
    • “Very good 14 years then forced into downward spiral”

      Technical Team Lead (Current Employee), Durham, NC. I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      Pros: Good benefits, good time off and work life balancing. Decent salaries but they will plateau. Non-management personnel have some exceptional people to work with.

      Cons: Hit a glass ceiling; difficult management for technical people to work with. Work continually increasing and fewer people to handle it. Constant push to do more than be excellent at the job you are assigned. Enough is never enough. Lack of education and new opportunities.

      Advice to Senior Management: Come to understand the technical resources needed for major initiatives. The employees are dedicated to doing their best but they are not magicians.

    • “Nice technical people, clueless non-technical people (management)”

      Anonymous Employee (Current Employee). I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 3 years. Pros: For the most part the technical people you work with are talented. Cons: Management does not appreciate talented engineers. Advice to Senior Management: Stop instilling fear in the hearts of the technical people in order to suppress them.
    • “Management truly in the "Clouds". Consults through Smoke & Mirror tactics. Exploits clients and employees”

      Senior Managing Consultant (Former Employee), New York, NY. I worked at IBM full-time for more than 3 years.

      Pros: None, absolutely none!. Formal shell of a once true industry leader (1983-1997). Today driven by politics and mid-level management incompetence. Culture seeded with just bill the client through fake workstreams resourced by arrogance and poor people skilled workforce. Hires based upon a smile.

      Cons: Pay is not competitive with todays IT market. To upcoming graduates you can grow your careers with non-toxic seed. Management does not value the human factor of work-life balance. "Double, triple and quadruple duplicitous culture constantly creates poor customer satisfaction and senseless confusion. Stay away!

      Advice to Senior Management: Find the old core and bring to the market. Your customers will view you as a true valued business partner!

    • “Uniquely capable of solving some of world's, customer's, enterprise's biggest problems”

      Anonymous Employee (Former Employee). I worked at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      Pros: IBM still has global-scale, uniquely deep, broad, powerful technology solutions to sell, capable of solving some world's biggest business problems. As of March 2014, no other IT company that I'm aware of has the combination of right-on multi-year depth of vision (built by IBM Research), breadth of portfolio (software, services, Softlayer cloud delivery model), and senior management willingness to pivot to "IBM-as-a-Service" cloud delivery business model, while quickly leaving behind IBM businesses that aren't going to perform with high margins as the world + technology changes. There are very very bright people that are working very hard to pull this off.

      Cons: The trick is to find, understand, get in tune with, embed oneself in the right projects with the right people, that are in the forefront of where IBM is headed. That can't be done by oneself - you have to know (or be taught be those who do know) where to look. IBM is a huge machine, without this insight / help from IBMers who know, it's easy for one to become lost as just one cog in huge wheel. IBM doesn't often / always move quickly enough in all areas...but if you're in the right place / technology / team, IBM's huge resources / global scale / market presence can make up for it.

    • “Mediocre”

      Managing Consultant (Former Employee). I worked at IBM full-time for more than 5 years. Pros: Plenty of work to keep busy. Cons: Not enough learning opportunity for experienced professionals. Advice to Senior Management: Invest a little with experienced employees.
    • “Once proud, but not now”

      Project Manager (Current Employee). I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      Pros: Working with talented and dedicated people that do whatever it takes to get the job done. Working on client sites and getting experience in different industries.


      • Morale is at its lowest with ever increasing workload and no pay increases.
      • Utilization targets that are set that basically make you make up any time taken on vacation or holidays.
      • Personal Business Commitments are set to deny pay increases, not to foster engagement and development of the employees.
      • Match of 401K now requires that you reach Dec 15 of each year to receive the match.

      Advice to Senior Management: Start treating employees as you would want yourself treated...with respect.

    • “Not your daddy's IBM”

      Anonymous Employee (Current Employee). I have been working at IBM full-time for more than 10 years.

      Pros: Decent salaries, decent benefits, great co-workers and everyone takes care of business.

      Cons: Executive management seems to have no clue. Blindly cutting folks that are needed just to make their numbers look good.

      Advice to Senior Management: Get a clue. Employees are not working to kill time, they are working to make a living. You need to motivate. We are self motivated to a point, but you can surely help. Motivation does not come from job cuts and taking away benefits (pensions and more) and earned bonuses. You should take the cuts. You are the reason for the results. You cannot grow revenue when selling off parts of the business. I won't make in a lifetime what you make in a year.

  • Glassdoor IBM Canada reviews
  • Wall Street Journal:

    Why Everyone Wants to Work for Google. By Melissa Korn. Excerpts: Who doesn’t want to work at Google? Pretty much no one, according to a new survey of 46,554 undergraduates conducted by Universum, an employer-branding consultancy.

    The tech company ranked as the No. 1 ideal employer for undergraduates pursuing degrees in business or computer science and IT, No. 2 for humanities and liberal arts students and No. 3 for engineers (behind Boeing and NASA). It even snagged the No. 6 spot for natural-science students, behind the obvious picks of the National Institutes of Health, Mayo Clinic, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Cancer Society and Environmental Protection Agency. (See the full rankings here.)

    Editor's note: IBM's ranking are as follows:

    • Business students: #45
    • Engineering students: #16
    • Computer Science students: #8
    • Natural Science students: #76
    • Humanities students: #81
  • New York Times:

    Names of Health Plans Sow Customer Confusion. By Robert Pear. Excerpts: As Americans race to sign up for health insurance in the final days of open enrollment, many consumers and consumer advocates say the names of plans are unhelpful, confusing and in some cases misleading.

    A number of insurers sell their plans under names like Select, Preferred, Premier, Exclusive, Enhanced, Essential, Essential Plus, Prime, Ultimate and Deluxe. Multiple offerings from one company may have the same benefits and cover the same share of a consumer’s costs, but go by different names.

    “Sometimes the names are downright deceptive,” said Betsy M. Imholz, a lawyer at Consumers Union. “Calling a plan ‘exclusive’ makes it sound super-duper, but it may mean that you have a very limited choice of doctors or hospitals.”

    Hubert B. Gesenhues of Las Vegas, a computer technician who has been researching his insurance options, said the names were, for the most part, “marketing gibberish.” They obscure the fact that many plans do not pay for treatments until consumers have spent thousands of dollars of their own money, he said.

  • Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert. This week's topics include:
    • Doc Fix Prevents Cuts to Medicare Providers for a Year
    • Kellogg’s: Frosted Flakes®, Froot Loops®, and a Worker Lockout
    • See Hidden Camera Footage of American Legislative Exchange Council in Action
    • NAFTA at 20: AFL-CIO Reports on Legacy of the Trade Deal
    • Insurers Benefit More from Additional Medicare Reimbursements than Seniors do
    • Fiesta Speaks at NEA Conference
    • Alliance’s National Convention is April 28 – May 1, 2014 at Bally's Hotel Las Vegas
New on the Alliance@IBM Site

Job Cut Reports

  • Comment 03/24/14:

    A friend in Ottawa reports many farewell lunches in the weeks since the RA passed them by... presumably all people who hoped to leave with a package, but needed to leave in any case. (Ottawa was clobbered in the 2013 RA.) -15yrsandcounting-
  • Comment 03/24/14:

    Mar 31st, 2014. I am being laid off from IBM under the Broadridge Account. I believe I am being singled out by my ex-manager. Prior to working for IBM I was with ADP, never written up in 25 years; now one year/10 months with IBM, I get 2 bad PBC ratings. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 03/24/14:

    Another point for those RA'd to consider. When you turn 65, IBM forces you to Medicare for your primary health insurance. If your spouse is covered by you and younger than you, s/he will be dropped from the IBM plan along with you, but will be unable to be eligible for Medicare until s/he turns 65. -More Health Insurance Woes-
  • Comment 03/25/14:

    In response to Cassandra. It is just as well that IBM no longer offers insurance to those eligible for Medicare. Why? Because the IBM insurance is SECONDARY to Medicare.

    Example: I was RA'ed last July. I immediately continued with COBRA, with the idea of signing up for Medicare immediately before COBRA coverage ended. Wrong move! I had a medical problem for which I tried to use my COBRA, and the claim was denied three times. I called IBM and they told me that I should have used Medicare, because IBM COBRA was "secondary". I said that I have not signed up yet for Medicare. They said that IBM ASSUMES that I had signed up for Medicare. Claim denied.

    Net result is that I paid for six months of COBRA and was never able to use it to file a claim. Best advice: if you worked for IBM sign up for Medicare as soon as you lose your job. Don't let them do it to you twice. -namecnassianer-

  • Comment 03/24/14:

    How many Persons with a disability (PWD) have been RA'd in the last couple of years or encouraged to go on disability after asking for accommodations? -Anonymous-
  • Comment 03/25/14:

    I was RA'd in 2002. Since then I have come to this site for information. There is a highly recognizable pattern prior to and following an RA. First fear and then outrage resulting. I silently endured a prior co-workers statement following their RA, "they got rid of valuable employees this time". That is the crux of the biscuit. Earlier RA's in my opinion produced more outrage, IBMers are becoming trained to accept annual or semi-annual RA's. -JoePal-
  • Comment 03/26/14:

    The only INNOVATION left in IBM is how they report RAs! Now IBM leaves out the age of those RA'd (to avoid age discrimination), position level/band (to show they are not going after eliminating specific skill sets or experienced people, see age discrimination) and numbers RA'd (so they can RA 500 or more at a site and not report it as per WARN Act). -sad'n'true-
  • Comment 03/26/14:

    To samtheman and Alliance: I was RA'd in 2013 as one of those 'distracted' workers. While I support a union you all have to understand why it's so hard to come forward and go public while working at IBM in support of a union, management does not need anymore ammunition to tag us for dismissal.

    I can only speak for IBM workers in the Hudson Valley; the IBM jobs we have provide a very generous salary that cannot be matched in many other places. We have lived here all our lives, bought homes, raised our families. This is why drawing unwelcome management attention in support of a union keeps us away—we are willing to keep taking it on the chin so we can afford to keep our homes and feed our families.

    I am in support of a union but am tired of the comments for being too 'weak' to unionize. I would have been willing to canvas the entire Poughkeepsie site to get folks to join, but can you guarantee that I won't come across that one employee who would go to my manager and blow the whistle on me? I will always put that paycheck first to support my family.

    I challenge any other older worker like myself who had 30-35+ years and was let go. How is life now? Can you survive on your pension in the Hudson Valley? Wish you still had your full-time paycheck? I was not weak but trying to survive. This is why back in the day when folks were on site handing out union fliers we were too afraid to take one for fear of being seen taking one by some snitch or manager. -anonymous-

    Alliance reply: We're sorry for your job loss. There have been many IBMers that have lost their job, anyway, whether they were organizing openly, or not. Most every member that has done organizing inside IBM has risked their job. There just isn't any other way to gather people together and fight back. We DO understand your situation. We have several members that feel the same as you do. Those members have joined Alliance and paid dues and continue to send us information about what is going on in IBM; especially during mass firings. This is a tremendous help. If you can support us with a donation or a $5.00/month associate membership, that would help too. Thank you for your support.

  • Comment 03/26/14:

    Can anyone who is affected by the x86 server sale to Lenovo reply to this question: I read that if you are offered a job with Lenovo, you must take it, else you must quit/retire and you can cannot work for Lenovo or IBM for 2 years. Is this true? And most importantly, if you transfer to Lenovo, what happens to your pension if you are on the old IBM pension plan? And what happens to your years of service, vacation days per year, etc. -x86ers-
  • Comment 03/26/14:

    I don't care about not getting a bonus (although they shouldn't be giving it to anyone). The bonus is for if we exceed the stated goals. I budget each year assuming I'll get nothing. The persistent lack of MBA or even cost of living/inflation annoys me more. The market is pretty hot, even if IBM isn't. That's why I quit for a ~20% bump in salary. -Moved on-
  • Comment 03/26/14:

    There are good sources at BTV claiming another layoff is coming soon. Good luck sounds like 300 + or - -Free@last-
  • Comment 03/26/14:

    Look at the top 50 CEOs rated by their employees, Ginny why aren't you setting our company goals to make the list? Oh, wait $20 EPS is more important. http://static.glassdoor.com/static/docs/lists/ceos/glassdoor-highest-rated-ceos-2014-large.pdf?v=ea1f91aw5p -Wrong priorities-
  • Comment 03/27/14:

    Comment 03/24/14: How many Persons with a disability(PWD) have been RA'd in the last couple of years or encouraged to go on disability after asking for accommodations? -Anonymous- I am a PwD and while I was not RA'ed, I left of my own accord in 2011. I could tell I was targeted and I believe the expense of accommodation services I was using was probably one of the factors (but of course, we will never know for sure). There were two PwD's in my department and we were both gone by 2011. In hindsight, leaving was the best move I ever made because multiple people from my old department were RA'ed this time in 2013. -Jeff-
  • Comment 03/27/14:

    Even if IBM makes their $20 EPS, no IBM resources other than IBM management will make their stated goals in their PBC since all employees are essentially "distracted resources", except maybe Watson which can cognitively keep making gourmet-flavored IBM kool-aid for the distracted resources. -da_facts-
  • Comment 03/27/14:

    I am seeing a pattern here of PBC 3 performers being told they were "distracted". Who came up with this plan to use this particular word? Those of you who received the 3, what group are you in—e.g., STG, GBS, GTS? The quota for PBC 3's appears to have gone up this year—in some organizations more than others. Why? To encourage attrition? To avoid severance costs? It is a dirty move. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 03/28/14:

    To -Afraid to take fliers-. I was one of those handing out fliers in Fishkill at the main gate and at gate 5. We watched the security cameras track us. I put fliers in the break room and sat at the table to talk. I WAS A FISHKILL EMPLOYEE at the time. I am still an IBM employee with 33 years in the company. I wear an Alliance lanyard for my badge.

    Most of the people I started with have been resourced and none of them ever went public if they were an Alliance supporter. As long as we are afraid of taking a stand we will get what we deserve. If they decide to RA me at least I can say I tried to help my fellow employees. I now mentor new hires to get their contacts in the industry, polish the resume and get out. -Still a Public member-

  • Comment 03/28/14:

    Can't get a job after being RA'd? Think you have been blacklisted? http://toadstool67.weebly.com/ -Anon-
  • Comment 03/28/14:

    Wegman's was rated top supermarket in USA again. Why? They state: "We have always believed that if you meet the needs of your employees, they will in turn take care of your customers. That has been the central philosophy of this company for many years, and it has a proven track record of working." Hear that Ginny? IBM used to believe in that. When it stopped, it started to eat itself alive. -jsb2b-
  • Comment 03/28/14:

    So for those lucky few who are getting variable pay this year it appears there is a new name to this bogus bonus and none of it goes to 401K. Which means this bonus is getting taxed at close to 40%. -screwed-again-
  • Comment 03/29/14:

    Heard today that GDP and the salary increase will be in 3/31 paycheck. Only 1 and 2+ are eligible. And of those, not all got an increase. Blamed missed numbers for the limited amount being paid out. IBM spends $Billion$ a year buying back stock—the money is there but just not for the troops who do the work. -Resume Re-tooling Time-
  • Comment 03/29/14:

    To Resume Re-tooling Time: I'm a 2+ and didn't get any increase in my 3/31 paycheck...unless it is coming as a separate payment on Monday. I think we have heard 6% for PBC 1's. What's the % for PBC 2+? -Where's my money-
  • Comment 03/29/14:

    Who is behind the data collection from toadstool67.weebly.com? Is this a management troll? -No Trolls please- Alliance reply: This is not a management troll. We know who it is and discussed this with him. It is a serious attempt to find out if workers are being blacklisted in RA's.
  • Comment 03/29/14

    : Signs of the Burlington plant of being sold are as follows:
    • Global Foundries on site touring with executives.
    • TowerJazz on site, touring with executives.
    • No mention of 2014 PBC submission due on 3/28 in Burlington MFG and engineering. None.
    • Confirmed with colleagues in EFK that all PBC submissions were due Friday 3/28.
    • The fact that all Personal Business Commitments are due by the 1Q in all divisions of IBM is very very interesting.

    Based on the ease of transition to an Israeli company, over Saudi's Global Foundries, the match of RF applications, the fact that TowerJazz will be able to corner the market, eliminate its competitor, and would be in a position to be the #1 supplier of custom RF/SiGe,and CSOI applications (and IBM could get a better price) leads to a logical conclusion TowerJazz will be part of or owning the Burlington site in the near future. In any event, IBM is selling this plant. It won't be long until we all know the new owners/partners. -JazzOrGlobal-

  • Comment 03/29/14:

    @ResumeRe-toolingTime, Seriously? It was stated two months ago that only 1's would get any GDP. 2+'s get nadda; nothing showed in pay stub received covering 3/16-3/31. @screwed-again, It is not up to IBM to decide how any GDP is allocated. As an employee, YOU, are the one who makes the percentage selection. You are given the opportunity to change allocations via NetBenefits. -Anon-
  • Comment 03/29/14:

    To -resume-re tooling-. So IBM is still giving the same BS that only one and twos are eligible for a raise. I will assure you Ginni will be getting her bonus and stock options. This farce will continue as long as there is no union. Join the union to stop this corrupt policy in reference to raises. -ANA-
  • Comment 03/30/14:

    So, are some SSR's still supposed to be getting RA'd on Monday? Someone mentioned 3/31 as the date, but nothing since. Honestly don't see how we could ever make it with any less than we currently have...at least in my group. -49R SSR-
If you hire good people and treat them well, they will try to do a good job. They will stimulate one another by their vigor and example. They will set a fast pace for themselves. Then if they are well led and occasionally inspired, if they understand what the company is trying to do and know they will share in its sucess, they will contribute in a major way. The customer will get the superior service he is looking for. The result is profit to customers, employees, and to stcckholders. —Thomas J. Watson, Jr., from A Business and Its Beliefs: The Ideas That Helped Build IBM.

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