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6, 2000 April, 2000

Highlights—August 9, 2014

  • ZD-Net:

    The Decline and Fall of IBM, book review: How Big Blue lost its direction. A new book by Robert X Cringely raises an intriguing question about IBM today: are we witnessing the end of the American IT icon? By Colin Barker. Excerpts: This is not so much a book for the competitive world of IT publishing, but more of a labour of love. It turns out that Cringely, the man who in Accidental Empires revealed himself to be the arch-cynic of the IT revolution, actually likes IBM. In fact, he does not so much like Big Blue as love it.

    The Decline and Fall of IBM appears to have two main goals. The first is to give a resumé of IBM's formation and early history, plus a detailed assessment of the past three decades. The second is a call to arms — a call to get rid of IBM's current level of failed management and go forward with a new one. ...

    Much of The Decline and Fall of IBM is taken up with the words of people working at IBM. It seems that they were more than willing to talk to Cringely in a series of what, at times, sound like confessionals. You get a genuine sense that these people really, really like IBM. They like working for the company. They want to carry on working for it and they want those in charge — be it Ginni Rometty or somebody else — to keep the company in business so they can do just that.

    But along with that warm feeling, Cringely is also telling a much bleaker story — the story of The Deadline. Since the days of Sam Palmisano as CEO (he came after Lou 'The Man Who Saved IBM' Gerstner), the company has had an internal target to grow its earnings per share (EPS) to $20 by 2015. That's next year, and more than a few people are wondering if the company can achieve that.

  • Bloomberg:

    IBM Said to Have Offered GF Cash to Take Over Chip Unit. By Alex Barinka and Ian King. Excerpts: IBM was offering about $1 billion to persuade Globalfoundries to take the unit, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the negotiations were private. Globalfoundries wanted to be paid about $2 billion, enough to offset the division’s losses, the person said.

    IBM’s willingness to pay underscores the urgency for Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty to get less profitable businesses off the books. Even so, letting the deal unravel shows Rometty wasn’t willing to exit at any cost. ...

    Bloomberg News reported in June that Globalfoundries was primarily interested in acquiring IBM’s engineers and intellectual property rather than manufacturing facilities, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Globalfoundries would have acted as a supplier for IBM’s microprocessors, the people said at the time.

    Globalfoundries, owned by an investment arm of the government of Abu Dhabi, had placed little or no value on IBM’s factories because they are too old, a person said two weeks ago.

    To stay competitive in manufacturing, IBM may have to invest billions of dollars to keep its plants up to date with newer chip technology. IBM’s East Fishkill location cost $2.5 billion to build.

  • Bloomberg:

    IBM Said to Reassign Emerging-Markets Head After Sales Slump. By Sarah Frier. Excerpt: International Business Machines Corp. is reassigning James Bramante, who had overseen its emerging-markets business, after a drop in the unit’s sales, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

    Bruno Di Leo, who formerly ran IBM’s growth markets and is now head of sales, will be in charge of setting up a new team to oversee the unit, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Bramante’s new position has yet to be announced.

    Revenue in the division fell 9 percent in the third quarter from a year earlier, dragged down by a 22 percent decline in China, where the government was revamping its economic policy, Armonk, New York-based IBM said yesterday. The performance helped contribute to the sixth straight quarterly decline in total sales for the world’s biggest computer-services company.

  • ZD-Net:

    IBM ANZ managing director Andrew Stevens retires. By Aimee Chanthadavong. Excerpts: IBM has confirmed the company's Australia and New Zealand managing director, Andrew Stevens, is retiring from his role, after 33 years in the industry.

    While no details of a replacement have been confirmed, or when exactly Stevens will finish up, an IBM spokesperson told ZDNet: "He will use his significant leadership experience to advance the causes he is passionate about. We congratulate and thank Andrew for his contribution during his 33 years of service with IBM and PricewaterhouseCoopers and wish him the very best of success." ...

    During Stevens' tenure, IBM Australia has watched its profits plummet. The company reported total revenue for the 2013 financial year tumbled by a third, and net profit for the year went down to AU$233 million from the AU$355 million profit recorded during the previous financial year.

    The company also made recent cuts to its local workforce, where 500 jobs were expected to be slashed in March, in addition to the 1,500 jobs culled during June 2013, as part of a global restructure plan.

    Prior to that, IBM was dragged to court by the Queensland government after it allegedly failed to deliver as expected on the state's health payroll system.

  • The Register:

    IBM can't give away its chip business: report. Dangled $1bn before GlobalFoundries, which asked for more. By Simon Sharwood. Excerpts: IBM's attempt to offload its chipmaking business to GlobalFoundries saw it dangle a billion dollars in front of the putative purchaser, but that offer was rejected as inadequate.

    So says Bloomberg, quoting a “person familiar” with the failed deal.

    IBM's chippery chaps make fine product, but not so fine or in sufficient volumes to turn a profit. Big Blue is believed to leak a billion or two dollars each year.

    Red ink is obviously unacceptable, but IBM has also given itself an ambitious earnings-per-share target that makes getting out of under performing businesses a very fine idea.

  • ZD-Net:

    IBM: Can it make consulting engagements as easy as one-click shopping? For Big Blue, the effort, dubbed IBM Global Business Services Online, gives it a shot to add new clients and ultimately up sell them to larger engagements. By Larry Dignan. Excerpts: IBM is aiming to make its consulting services easier to consume with bundles of analytics assessments and recommendations that can be bought online.

    For Big Blue, the effort, dubbed IBM Global Business Services Online, gives it a shot to add new clients and ultimately up sell them to larger engagements. For existing clients, IBM can offer its knowhow through an easier digital delivery model.

    The consulting mart will be available to clients in the U.S. and U.K. Once a click-to-buy transaction is initiated a consultant will contact the client within one business day.

    During IBM's services peak, the company could get by with massive deals worth billions of dollars spread over a long period of time. IBM's services army could also layer in Big Blue's hardware and software as well as intellectual property. Those large deals are harder to find and IBM's consulting business remains a cash cow, but growth has also stalled.

  • EE Times:

    IBM, GF Explore New Partners. By Rick Merritt. Excerpts: Like an old married couple, IBM and Globalfoundries are still great partners, but at this stage, they just have different needs. At least, that's the theory I am brewing after a long discussion with Semiconductor Advisors market watcher Robert Maire late Friday afternoon. ...

    As noted in our recent three-part series on the company, IBM's hardware business has become a drain on its earnings. The loss leader appears to be the Power server business, which has fallen into a big slump. But the East Fishkill and Burlington fabs are not exactly the stars of the balance sheet, either. ...

    IBM has done a good job retooling the trailing-edge process technology in its older Burlington fab for relatively high-value RF parts. And, as I noted, East Fishkill is cranking out the latest Power chips. So that's all goodness -- or at least not terrible badness.

  • MIT Technology Review:

    A Room Where Executives Go to Get Help from IBM’s Watson. Researchers at IBM are testing a version of Watson designed to listen and contribute to business meetings. By Tom Simonite. Excerpts: Photocopiers, PCs, and video conferencing rooms all rose from being technological novelties to standard tools of corporate life. Researchers at IBM are experimenting with an idea for another: a room where executives can go to talk over business problems with a version of Watson, the computer system that defeated two Jeopardy! champions on TV in 2012.

    An early prototype has been made in the Cognitive Environments Lab, which opened last year at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson research center in Yorktown Heights, New York. It is intended to explore how software that can understand and participate in human interactions could “magnify human cognition,” says Dario Gil, director for symbiotic cognitive systems at IBM research.

  • Bloomberg:

    IBM-Apple App Deal for Businesses Hits Snag as China Spurns IPad. By Alex Barinka. Excerpts: IBM’s goal to dominate the business application market through a partnership with former rival Apple Inc. has hit a snag where IBM has faced challenges before: China.

    China’s government excluded Apple products such as iPads and iPad Minis from the list of products that can be bought with public money because of security concerns, according to government officials familiar with the matter. That means the business-software apps IBM is building for those tablets may face hurdles reaching the burgeoning Chinese corporate market.

    The Chinese government has been excluding U.S. technology companies from publicly-funded purchases and reviewed reliance on foreign products as tensions escalate between the countries over claims of hacking and cyberspying. The move against Apple products could deter the potential corporate customers that IBM is counting on to expand its mobile business. ...

    Lia Davis, a spokeswoman for Armonk, New York-based IBM, declined to comment on the Chinese government’s move. Kristin Huguet, a spokeswoman for Cupertino, California-based Apple, declined to comment. ...

    China’s government reviewed whether Chinese banks’ reliance on high-end servers from IBM compromises the nation’s financial security, people familiar with the matter said in May. Government agencies, including the People’s Bank of China and the Ministry of Finance, are asking banks to remove the IBM servers and replace them with a local brand as part of a trial program, the people said.

  • Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

    IBM wins $14.2 million suit against Carlson over contract cancellation. By David Phelps. Excerpts: A bitter contractual dispute between Carlson and IBM Corp. over a project to consolidate IT functions at the travel and hospitality giant has resulted in a $14.2 million judgment in IBM’s favor.

    U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen ruled that Carlson wrongly terminated a 10-year, $646 million agreement with IBM to centralize IT and finance and accounting functions after just five years.

    Ericksen, in a 54-page ruling, dismissed Carlson’s assertions that its contract with IBM was canceled for performance issues and noted that the Minnetonka-based company began experiencing financial and growth problems caused by recessionary pressures shortly after it entered into the IBM contract. ...

    The judge said that IBM was not without fault in the contractual relationship with Carlson.

    “Problems — perhaps inevitably — arose in its execution,” the judge said. “IBM bears responsibility for some of those problems, which were particularly evident early in the term of the contract as IBM took over the [IT and finance and accounting] functions from Carlson in a transition that was anything but smooth.”

  • Glassdoor IBM reviews. Selected reviews follow:
    • “The Land of Oz”

      Anonymous Employee (Current Employee).

      Pros: Learning new skills that you can take to another company. Coworkers for the most part are great to work with.

      Cons: If you are of a certain age you are treated like garbage. In Dubuque there is no way to grow your career. No raises, no bonuses, first line managers play favorites. You never know from one day to the next if you are going to have a job. The managers do not have managing experience. If you screw up you move up. No sense of following business conduct guidelines even though we are required to read them each January.

      Advice to Senior Management: Open your eyes! Just because the young chicks bat their eyes at you doesn't mean they are good enough to be moved into a higher band then those who work their butts off every day. Show some appreciation for your employees.

    • “Take, Take, Take”

      Anonymous Employee (Current Employee).

      Pros: Big company, lots of opportunities, some really good individuals who really carry the overall company much further than it deserves.

      Cons: Reward and recognition is only for the golden few, the quarterly-driven Earnings Per Share focus drives stupid short term thinking.

      Advice to Senior Management: For a services company you cannot keep hitting the majority of your employees with such an atrocious compensation policy—the good people leave and you're left with the rest! You under-resource every account and then drive your employee base to work ever—increasing unpaid hours to make up the difference, making client delivery almost impossible.

      Staff turnover is really on the increase and you really need to see that its management policy which is causing this. Instead of creating more and more highly paid Partners and Associate Partners, most of whom deliver nothing, you really need to recognise and reward those below who are doing the real work and ensure they are rewarded too.

      Wake up IBM—your short term, EPS-driven focus is driving this company into the ground.

    • “No hope for big blue”

      Tech Support (Current Employee), Greenock, Scotland (UK). Pros: Good people to work with and great on C.V. Cons: Poor morale due to cuts, pressure to carry out more work with no additional pay. Advice to Senior Management: Start to focus on people and not numbers
    • “Many great people mired in process”

      Advisory IT Architect (Current Employee).

      Pros: There is opportunity in IBM for the properly motivated person to get exposure to areas they would seldom see elsewhere.

      Cons: Though the company espouses work-life balance there is no getting away from work. There is plenty of vacation time, but few higher-level employees seldom take an actual non-working vacation. The entire company is so mired in process that it can often be impossible to get work done. The push to off shore, or move into low-end factory type support is over whelming. Training is almost non-existent.

      Advice to Senior Management: It is not possible to replace quality, skilled employees with process documents.

    • “Generally uncaring about employees and beholden just to stockholders”

      Project Manager (Current Employee).

      Pros: Work at home widely accepted. Benefits are not horrible.

      Cons:

      • Company nickels and dimes employees to death, be it no raises, no profit sharing, screwing employees over on 401k matches (only at end of year); who knows what they will come up with next. If you are looking for a billion dollar a quarter in profits company that will value their hardworking employees with fair compensation and treatment this is NOT the place to work.
      • Moral is HORRIBLE due to the aforementioned garbage above AND the annual massive layoffs. You NEVER feel secure about your job which just makes already difficult jobs even harder.
      • Global Services employees are 'expected' to effectively work 50-60 hours a week MINIMUM to reach absolutely outrageous billable targets set every quarter. If you are unlucky enough to actually reach 10 years and 4 weeks vacation, this effectively means you have to work MORE just to offset your 'vacation'.
      • Employees rating and evaluation system is a complete joke. Managers are forced to skew ratings to fit a curve designed to minimize raises and profit sharing (if profit sharing is available at all).

      Advice to Senior Management: IBM has effectively done everything possible to devastate their employees. We have lost every competitive advantage we once had to attract and retain top talent. Start valuing your employees again and make IBM a place where people want to work by treating employees with respect, fairly compensating them, and not doing everything possible to save costs on their backs.

    • “It's all about earnings...and they aren't good!”

      Sales (Current Employee).

      Pros: Once was a great company. Great benefits, good base salary—lousy commission structure for quota compared to similar companies.

      Cons: Lack of leadership from director level through senior manager. Didn't provide the right resources for on boarding and learning the company environment. All system training was via WebEx (as everyone is remote) so no on-site training with peers and real world examples. Everyone has been there way too long and the culture of old - is still being disseminated. Hiring manager told me quota was x and second half it was 100% increase. That is one way to limit the income potential of a top seller at IBM. Raise the quota that wasn't to be raised by a ridiculous amount.

      Advice to Senior Management: Stop shedding good people and go back to a time when it meant something to work at IBM. I hope Ginni reads this and understands. I don't believe this is the kind of company she envisioned.

    • “Solid company, but too much bureaucracy”

      Software Developer (Current Employee).

      Pros: Start out with 15 days of PTO, plus some number of "personal choice holidays", meaning you get about a month of vacation time. Insurance policies are fine too. As a company, telecommuting is widely regarded as an acceptable practice, so you can work from home if you need to. I also found I was consistently being recognized for excelling at my job, receiving two moderate pay raises and a bonus in under a year based on performance alone. Neither were life changing numbers, but were appreciated nonetheless. Overall I felt that I was treated extremely well. Even outside of my own division, I feel that there are plenty of opportunities for me within the company should I choose to go after them.

      Cons: I would describe the pay as "moderate". Sometimes I feel like IBM is more concerned with developing their image than developing their products and services. My team's pleas for more software developers to handle the obscene workload thrust upon us has been dutifully ignored. Although I felt my job as a software developer was secure, I did not get the same feeling for all other positions, like Sales, Marketing, HR.

      The biggest con is absurd amount of bureaucracy you have to deal with on a daily basis. Examples: Submitting tickets requesting an approval to someone who has to request approval to approve your request.

      A support system that integrates with a support system that integrates with a support system that integrates with a support system - all of which track the SAME THING.

      You're forced to used Lotus Notes for an email client. Anyone who tells you it isn't that bad is trying to make themselves feel better. We're talking about a program that comes with another program called Lotus Zap, which only has a single purpose: Killing Lotus Note's process when it freezes on you.

      I know the above examples sound like jokes, but I'm not exaggerating here. The amount of time I have wasted on slow, bloated processes and confusing interfaces is appalling.

    • “Good pay, good people, little or no career advancement opportunity.”

      Software Sales (Current Employee), Detroit, MI.

      Pros: Pay is decent if you have a favorable comp plan, though that's out of your control in most years. Benefits are good, not great. Lots of smart, professional people.

      Cons: There's essentially no career planning except for what you do on your own. Most managers take little or no interest in mentoring.

      Advice to Senior Management: Morale suffers when quotas double or triple from one year to the next. People need a plan to advance. You lose a lot of good people because people have unreasonable quotas and/or don't feel like they have a fair opportunity to advance. You've made quotas unattainable and at the same time cut the upside for the few who do make it. You've also cut benefits and perks like club trips and stock options. All while IBM profitability is the envy of the industry. You could do better if you cared about holding on to good employees.

    • “Good range of technologies to work on and excellent work life balance”

      Software Architect (Current Employee), Dublin (Ireland).

      Pros: The range of technologies being used is vast, depending on the project. There is great opportunity to move internally also and find projects of interest The work life balance is great, and working from home is supported by the company. I work from home 2 to 3 days a week

      Cons: In my particular role, I am dealing with a lot of new or emerging technologies so it can be hard to keep up all the time. The canteens on premises are pretty bad with a poor level of food. There can be a LOT of politics in IBM due to its size (approx 450,000 employees worldwide) and this can be quite frustrating at times. Very little company entertainment, i.e. crap Christmas party, no social occasions with a few pints.

      Advice to Senior Management: A bit more social "payback" to the employees with a few free drinks / nights out would go a long way.

    • “Learned a lot but not worth the of worrying if you had a job every quarter.”

      Anonymous Employee (Current Employee). Pros: I met a lot of great people. I had several managers and most of them were good. Cons: Should have been paid more. No raises and bonus kept on going lower and lower until there was no bonus at all. PBC rating is a joke. Good luck trying to get promoted. Advice to Senior Management: Their hands are tied from the high ups. Tell more of the truth what is actually going on with the company, your position etc.
    • “Great place to learn—lot of waste because of blind compliance”

      Customer Service Representative (Current Employee), Dublin (Ireland).

      Pros: It's a brilliant opportunity to learn how multinationals might work. You will probably meet a lot of brilliant people here as well with great ideas. Management can sometimes be very engaging, and willing to put a lot of effort for getting things done. Very good access to lot of software technology, although sometimes a bit outdated.

      Cons: This is a bit contradictory assessment as the learning opportunities are great, but still the learning is very hard to put in practice. Growing your portfolio of learning, or your CV is under the stone. Lot of waste because the management doesn't sometimes know what they are trying to gain, and most importantly how to get there. For a company famous for so much of automation, it sometimes hurts your soul to see where it is used. Some of the own software has terrible ways of working, and instead of improving them, they are enforced to be used for more, and more things.

      Advice to Senior Management: Better resource management (human and technical) would be beneficial for the workers, the IBM community, and for internal and contractual targets. Sometimes it would be good to look in the mirror, and ask yourself am I really needed for this. Hopefully local branches will gain more autonomy in the future.

    • “From great to good to...”

      Senior Managing Consultant (Current Employee), Canberra (Australia).

      Pros:

      • Worked with countless very smart, passionate and trustworthy people.
      • Opportunities for flexible work arrangements.
      • Massive global scale means there are many interesting projects, corners and niches for variety and challenge—if you can navigate the big blue machine to find them.
      • Some good employee benefits, e.g. sick leave policy, discount schemes.

      Cons:

      • Far too many of the smart, passionate and trustworthy people have departed. I plan to join them whilst I have some smarts, passion and integrity left in the tank!
      • The spreadsheet drivers won the management culture wars. There is an unsustainable focus on shareholder interests over and above clients and employees. Quality was sacrificed for cost in the globally-integrated enterprise, the root cause of a death spiral of underwhelming project results for our clients.

      Advice to Senior Management: Re-set priorities to value happy clients and motivated employees.

    • “Could do better”

      Anonymous Employee (Current Employee). Pros: lenient, work from home, trainings. Cons: crappy projects; no budget for employee events.
    • “Mash-up of garbage”

      Software Engineer (Current Employee), Boston, MA. Pros: It's a good place to learn and you can be challenged. Cons: Way behind the industry. Upper levels are unsuccessfully trying to ingrate horrible products together and it's a giant mess. Advice to Senior Management: Stop trying to fake knowledge—encourages more of that behavior from the people around you
    • “Many opportunities. Need to be a self driven person”

      Technical Account Manager (Current Employee), Paris (France). Pros: Opportunities. Variety. WW presence. Size of engagements. Exposure to senior management both at client and IBM. Possibility to manage your own schedule and calendar. Sets agenda. Cons: Titanic-like organization. Bureaucracy. Slow. High cost level leads to expensive customer rates. Capacity to roll out agenda in countries is somewhat limited. Too much focus on financial engineering takes focus away from core and historical values like employee growth and benefits. Advice to Senior Management: Cut management levels. Spend more time with clients and less on internal bureaucracy.
    • “The fall of IBM”

      Senior IT Specialist (Current Employee), Chennai (India).

      Pros: Flexibility in few projects alone. Other than this no other "pros" here.

      Cons: Everything. Leave policy; Utilization concept; Compensation and benefits; No career growth; No trainings; Overpriced cheap quality food in cafeteria; No perks. Managers can do anything if they wish and mostly they do absurd things thinking they are the gods of this company. Only the God can save IBM from these people!

      Advice to Senior Management: IBM will not give decent compensation, so let us leave that. Apart from that :- First ask the people in management to follow your rules properly. Change almost everyone in your senior management and the HR department. Else IBM would pay a bigger price later. There are so many things that need to be changed here. But at least, please give us good food, beverages and chats etc. at cafeteria (after all it's not free. We are paying for that).

  • Washington Post:

    The middle class is 20 percent poorer than it was in 1984. By Matt O'Brien. Excerpts: Nostalgia is just about the only thing the middle class can still afford. That's because median wealth is about 20 percent lower today, in inflation-adjusted dollars, than it was in 1984.

    Yes, that's three lost decades.

    Now, as you might expect, the middle class has been hit particularly hard by the Great Recession and the not-so-great recovery. It's all about stocks and houses. The middle class doesn't have much of the former, but it does have a lot of the latter. And that's bad news, because, even though the crash decimated both, real estate hasn't come back nearly as much as equities have. So the top 1 percent, who hold more of their wealth in stocks, have made up more of the ground they lost. But, as the Russell Sage Foundation points out, the slow housing recovery means that, in 2013, median households were still 36 percent poorer than they were a decade earlier. ...

    Though, to put that in depressing perspective, it's still a heckuva lot better than households in the bottom 25 percent, whose wealth never grew during the good times, and then plunged 60 percent during the bad ones. That's because, for both the middle and working classes, real wages have been stagnant the past 30 years, and housing equity has taken a nosedive.

    At this rate, it won't be long until the American Dream isn't even a memory for the middle class.

New on the Alliance@IBM Site

Job Cut Reports

  • Comment 08/03/14:

    Re the PBC process, if IBM employed Albert Einstein, Neils Bohr, Sir Isaac Newton and Galileo one of them would get a 3! -Glad To Be Gone-
  • Comment 08/04/14:

    It is very sad to see how IBM STG managers follow the senior managers direction to kick out the old workers. The young /inexperience workers get the high visible projects even they are clueless. There is no moral code. -dark blue-
  • Comment 08/04/14:

    GBS. Got the boot March 2014: full payout, early retirement, now hearing from people who are getting RA's with reduced payout after 2-3 weeks bench time. Two in my small circle, so who knows how many. Even heard a person being replaced by H1B and going to bench. These are not "3" performers getting 13 weeks pay with just 3 weeks notice. What is IBM doing? -Gonein2014-
  • Comment 08/05/14:

    For those tracking numbers, IBM has recently stated that if the System X divestiture gets approved (which is still uncertain) it will be losing 7,500 jobs. This appeared as a full page ad this month in Wired, and is available on ibm.com too: "Can a move spark a transformation? See it happen with System x." Noteworthy is that it was signed "Sincerely, The entire System x Team".

    But do you really think each and every one of the 7,500 is sincerely excited about leaving IBM? Well, most probably are elated to get out of IBM, but do you think they did an employee survey to determine this stated consensus? What's most interesting is that no single person, like an Adalio Sanchez-level executive individually signed it. Maybe they don't want to be too accountable for this massive and historic loss for IBM, which is short changing its long-term future? Or, maybe they just don't have the authority, as it seems everything is spiraling further out of control? -eXer-

  • Comment 08/05/14:

    Looks like Ginni is running a reverse garage sale. She's paying folks to take her junk? Help the bottom line by taking take a hidden 1-2 billion dollar write off. Imagine if that money was invested in EFK's physical plant instead. -anon-
  • Comment 08/05/14:

    GlobalFoundries is hiring and has an ad in the Burlington Freepress today for a job fair on Tuesday Aug 5 from 6-8pm at the Sheraton in Burlington -JustSaying-
  • Comment 08/07/14:

    The Feb '14 RA sent shock waves to a lot of employees in the STG India site; about 20% of STG India who managed to find a job outside have left. Some who could not find suitable jobs outside managed to jump to other departments where IBM is currently investing (Cloud, Big Data, Analytics).

    The rest are frustrated at their inability to find a job outside of IBM, and confused with the lack of direction for STG, and angry because the latest leadership changes in STG India only made things worse. The employee morale here is lower than a snake's belly.

    With all this mess, I am not sure how IBM can produce any quality products going forward; looks like we are entering a vicious circle. There are fears that there might be more RAs in the making, given that Glo-Flo ditched us. I find this site a great place for IBMers across GEOs to know what is happening. Please share some updates from your Geo/Site. -STG-INDIA-

  • Comment 08/08/14:

    A bunch of people are getting 2-year retention bonuses in Microelectronics. Not me, despite getting a 1 last year and leading a major project. All I got was a lousy Blue Points reward from my manager. I guess the writing's on the wall that those of us who didn't get a retention bonus won't be staying around whatever happens with GloFlo. Instead of union contracts we now have people indebted to IBM. Good luck to everyone. -BrokeInEFK-
  • Comment 08/09/14:

    I was RA'D in 2013 and that was the happiest day of my life. I have to admit being in management at IBM has to be the lowest form of human life out there. Our manager did everything possible to fire us or make us quit before the RA happened. Not sure if she thought she would save money on severance or she was just being a true blue-blooded idiot IBM manager, but we are gone and so is she. I can only say get out if you can and not to go through all the stress, because IBM does not care about their people; that's a fact. -RA'D in 2013-
  • Comment 08/09/14:

    I have been a PBC 2 and 1 since I joined the company. Then I was suddenly informed that due to my LOW PERFORMANCE I need to either leave voluntarily with minimized separation package, or choose to be put on performance improvement plan (i.e., the hell). I know sometimes the company gave people 3 to force them out with less or no severance, but to force a solid performer, plus to leave based on the past half-year performance? That's the new low! Could anyone please recommend some good employment lawyers? -low performance 2+-

    Alliance reply: If you choose to spend your money on an attorney to fight IBM, that is your choice. But know this: You are an "At Will Employee". That means that IBM can fire you for any reason or no reason. IBM makes their own rules concerning the PBC, their salary pay outs; even the way they decide to make changes to the 401(k) plans being paid at the end of the year, instead of bi-weekly like they used to do. IBM can break or revise ALL those rules whenever they choose. There is nothing illegal about it.

    Any attorney worth their education should be able to confirm what Alliance@IBM is saying here. Until you have a written contract (whether it is an individual contract or a collectively bargained contract) signed by you (or your union representative) and the IBM company, that guarantees specifics of your performance plan, you have no standing or power to dispute the way that IBM does business with their employees—you.

    Keep that in mind, when you decide to contact an attorney. It may save you a stack of money that you can use to support yourself and your family until you find another job. IBMers in the USA need to understand that Organizing to get a union contract is their ONLY option to level the "At Will Employee" playing field.

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.

This site is designed to allow IBM Employees to communicate and share methods of protecting their rights through the establishment of an IBM Employees Labor Union. Section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act states it is a violation for Employers to spy on union gatherings, or pretend to spy. For the purpose of the National Labor Relations Act, notice is given that this site and all of its content, messages, communications, or other content is considered to be a union gathering.