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Highlights—January 10, 2015

  • The Register (Great Britain):

    IBM ushers in BIGGEST EVER re-org for the cloud era, say insiders. By Paul Kunert. Excerpts: IBM CEO Ginny Rometty is instigating the biggest global re-org in the history of the corporation in a bid to carve out a clearer future in a cloudy world.

    Multiple sources told us senior managers were this week informed about the changes that will see IBM try to shed the dusty hardware, software and services silo structure.

    The main units will include Research, Sales & Delivery, Systems, Global Technology Services, Cloud, Watson, Security, Commerce, Analytics. Mobility is expected to overlay some divisions. ...

    The next phase will see IBM reassess whether it needs to cut costs further, forcing through compulsory redundancies. We have been told this could be a significant programme, with a well-placed source suggesting the cuts could run to tens of thousands. Whether it will be similar in scope to HP - 55k jobs cut - is not clear at this stage.

    Selected reader comments follow:

    • No compulsories in the UK. I got a new job and left IBM UK a small number of weeks before the "hands up for a brown envelope" programme started. I would like have to stayed for a bit to help my colleagues and cash in some chips after Xteen years but had to commit to a start date.

      Any hoo, the "voluntary" programme was such a rip-roaring success they have cancelled the planned compulsory programme. What does that tell you about the morale and the planning which somewhere in the region of 200 people have been doing recently? Retire, go contracting, or just find a job else rather than put up with it any more.

      But I'm sure there will be a fresh compulsory programme, based on squeezing out people who didn't top out on the "CAMSS" quiz...a massively irrelevant bullshit bingo quiz which we were required to "pass" as a sign of being up to speed.

      Not surprising to see GTS kept on the side lines...absolutely stacked full of dead wood from my experience apart from one or two bright sparks. Whilst I would selectively buy from my former employer, I wouldn't touch that part of the business. Which is why other parts of IBM will go out to the market rather than partner with them.

    • So compulsory redundancies will continue to occur until employee morale improves?
    • Staff morale was on the floor last year, it's in intensive care now. I was turned down for the voluntary redundo, "too valuable" apparently. I await my rewards ;)
    • Yes, I'm not sure why IBM has these mandated layoffs which just move morale from bad to terrible. If they told people, "in three months we're going to ask everyone if they would like to voluntarily resign with x terms", people would jump at it. As you mention, it is not exactly a positive sign when people are jumping at the chance to leave the company, but it would still be much better than the blind side "resource actions" (i.e. layoffs).

      f you want to be thought of as, forget about great, a reasonable employer, you should give the employees some forewarning which would allow them to find a new position. Employees often don't mind leaving, but dropping people without any warning is just cruel and unnecessary.

      IBM definitely plans these layoffs months in advance and could provide a warning. It would probably even be to IBM's financial benefit to tell employees that in six months they will be laid off because many of them would leave voluntarily in the interim instead of taking a small severance package...as you did.

    • You weren't too valuable. The only people who got accepted were those close to retirement who were on fat pensions anyway. The rest of us who applied weren't accepted. They didn't even do the decent thing and tells us why we had been rejected. In fact they didn't even bother replying at all.

      Then again, considering how many applied, it would have taken some time to do this. My guess is that you were told you were too valuable by your manager in a vain attempt to raise your morale.

      Most of us are either leaving for work elsewhere, or sitting around doing as little as possible until the inevitable next round of redundancies. There's no work because all the salesmen got sacked, and we keep getting told to "transform" ourselves to align with the new "strategy". But of course, there's no funding whatsoever. Education is banned, even if it means turning up at a customer and working from a Redbook. Non-customer travel is banned, so we can't even meet up with colleagues and learn from each other.

      Instead we have countless "webinars" and "video blogs" all of which spout out the same marketing bullshit with no actual content whatsoever. Apparently wasting 40 hours of our time each year watching this shit counts as education now.

      Nobody's had a pay rise for years now (they're banned too) and the rewards for doing well each year are so minuscule that there's no point in trying any more. Because we've all got email on our phones now, and there are no longer any offices to go to, we just do what we want all day, which to be honest is actually quite nice, considering we're getting paid for it. Occasionally we get dragged into talking to customers and pretending to know what we're talking about. Honestly, I could probably get a part time job elsewhere and I doubt anyone would notice. My manager wouldn't. I've never even met him.

      Anon because I still work there. Sort of.

    • Possible dead wood clean out? Since IBM is actively trying to remake itself into a consulting firm that just happens to write software, I'm guessing these changes are being made to manage out anyone in their hardware product organizations.

      It's so strange to see such an iconic company that basically defined a large chunk of business computing in the 20th century like this -- selling off anything that involves physical hardware to the highest bidder. From what I've heard from colleagues, it was always kind of a strange place to work, but lately it has taken on a whole new level of strange.

      In any org that large, there's bound to be a fair amount of dead wood hiding out. I work for a fairly large multinational and we see it all the time — multiple layers of management that basically exist to provide promotion opportunities for key staff, whole product divisions whose product has been cancelled, but somehow they're still there, and so on. Cutting or moving truly dead wood is one thing, but from what I've heard, IBM has started hacking off the living bits now. I'm sure it will get worse as the entire management tree in each of those silos they're looking to kill starts scrambling for survival and throwing the actual workers overboard.

      I wonder what will happen when businesses finally migrate completely away from mainframe, iSeries and AIX...it'll be interesting to see a massive top heavy org like IBM try its hand at white-shoe management consulting as its primary business.

    • "I'm guessing these changes are being made to manage out anyone in their hardware product organizations." Nope. It's been a bizarre, knee-jerk response to the shit Q3 results. There is virtually zero bench in the areas targeted (services not hardware) so all revenue earning individuals.
    • Interesting, so it's even dumber than I thought. My assumption was that they would be going after the multiple product managers, marketing people, customer liaison people, etc. that would have been totally redundant in each silo. My experience with IBM is as a customer, and an acquaintance of lots of people who have cycled in and out of there over the years. As a customer, I can tell that, right now, they're just too large to effectively address questions. Hearing the war stories from former employees, it sounds like this huge bureaucracy is basically self sustaining and you end up spending more time playing in that world than doing actual work. (I see a little of this in my company, but I'm a product engineer, so we need to produce real stuff.)
  • I, Cringely:

    But first a look back at Bob’s predictions for 2014. By Robert X. Cringely. Excerpts: #2 — IBM throws in the towel. Any minute some bean counter at IBM is going to figure out that it is statistically impossible for the company to reach its stated earnings-per-share goal of $20 for 2015.

    HIT – After 3 disappointing quarterly earnings in 2014, IBM admitted the $20 EPS would not be possible in 2015. Cuts throughout 2014 in IBM have seriously damaged the company. IBM continues to alienate itself with its customers. Revenue continues to drop. There are management crises in many parts of IBM but this isn’t obvious to the outside world yet. The board is getting a lot of heat.

    IBM’s new strategy in 2014 was to double down on its old strategy – CAMSS – Cloud, Analytics, Mobile, Social, and Security. The only problem is IBM’s existing businesses are declining faster than the new businesses can grow. Until IBM stops damaging their Services divisions and repairs them, IBM will continue to falter.

  • The Channel (United Kingdom):

    IBM stamps us into the dirt in race for cloudy glory. Direct salesmen tap up customers, claim partners. By Paul Kunert. Excerpts: IBM is trampling over some smaller software boutiques in the rush to pump up its cloud sales volumes, we are told.

    Selling tech as-a-service is one of the five strategic pillars on which Big Blue has staked its future – alongside mobile, social, big data and analytics.

    But, at least according to some IBM Business Partners, it seems the grand old lady of tech has created channel conflict in mid-sized and small business customer markets.

    One, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, complained IBM had tapped up all of his firm’s Collaboration Software customers in a bid to get them to partake of the Bridge to Cloud. ...

    “IBM can book the ‘new’ services revenue as cloud revenue,” the source claimed. “It is a quick and dirty scheme to inflate their cloud sales numbers. They are not new, they are simply gutting their software numbers”.

  • WRAL TechWire:

    Lenovo offering buyouts to veteran workers to 'remain competitive'. By Rick Smith. Excerpts: Lenovo, its work force swollen by several thousand employees after two major acquisitions in 2014, is offering buyouts to veteran workers.

    The world's No. 1 PC manufacturer says the offers are voluntary and includes several business units. ...

    The buyouts were offered to workers in the recently formed Enterprise Business Group, which includes the recently acquired x86 server business unit from IBM (NYSE: IBM) and "other business units as well," Gorman said in response to a series of questions.

  • Benzinga:

    Will IBM Ever See $200 Again? By Joel Elconin. Excerpts: The stock that was the worst performer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average for the last two years may be setting investors up for another disappointing year in 2015.

    In the early goings of 2015, International Business Machines Corp. IBM 0.44% shares are down over 2 percent year-to-date. ...

    Poor Fundamentals And Getting Worse: The fundamentals for the company are bad and aren't getting much better.

    Weaker-than-expected software sales, lower productivity in services and customers abandoning data storage hardware in favor of the cloud are just a few problems plaguing the company.

    Despite cutting jobs and shedding its unprofitable chip unit, Globalfoundries Inc., IBM shares continue to be in a free fall since flirting with $200.00 in July 2014. ...

    Only time will tell if IBM can see $200 again. But it's clear the Street doesn't think it will.

  • Glassdoor IBM reviews. Selected reviews follow:
    • “downhill slope?”

      Current Employee — Software Engineer in Singapore (Singapore). I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 8 years). Pros: Still a lot of amazing people and a broad portfolio where you can tons of things in your career. Cons: dysfunctional leadership and cost cutting to the bones (or amputation). Advice to Senior Management: Replace the board and executive team. People first — client second — profit third.
    • “It was great...now there is nothing”

      Current Employee — Managing Consultant in Melbourne (Australia). Pros: It is massive, great amount of IP and opportunity to move into a company that defies national culture! Cons: There is nothing left eduction and training has been removed; massive redundancies in the last two years have resulted in the remaining survivors competitively looking to get out. No opportunity to grow or learn in this organisation. Advice to Senior Management: Need to either look after who is left or give them the redundancies!
    • “Good employer but not up to the image that they portray. Focus on moving many positions off shore for lower labor costs.”

      Former Employee — IT Project Manager in Edison, NJ. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 5 years). Pros: Fair market value salary. Generally knowledgeable peers. Part time telecommuting for position. Cons: Pervasive use of underskilled contractors; not much job security (outsourcing and off-shoring jobs); constant management assessment of performance metrics of projects.
    • “Lack of growth”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 5 years). Pros: As with any large company, the benefits are comprehensive—flexible schedules, working from home, amazing vacation/time off, and decent health insurance. Cons: There is no direct career path for many positions so it's difficult to advance. Depending upon your department, it's also extremely difficult to get pay increases. The system for pay increases pits employees against coworkers in the same department. And, for all the talk about including women and minorities, the culture is still very much an old boy's network.
    • “Loving working here at IBM right now! Couldn't have found a better fit!”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee in Phoenix, AZ. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than an year). Pros: I enjoy the team of people I work with, both from a sales and a technical perspective. The technology is strong too. Loving all the strategic acquisitions going on and looks like they are fitting into the broader IBM vision. IBM has good vision and seems to be executing on that vision too. Cons: I'm not finding a lot of con's but probably the typical things that working for a large company - can be slow moving and can be a little bureaucratic at times.
    • “Getting worse all the time”

      Current Employee — Software Engineer in Essex Junction, VT.

      Pros: I've always been happy with how flexible the job has been. If you need time for a doctor's appointment or something, you just take the time. No one is looking over my shoulder or tracking anything. Working from home is an option, and also flexible. I've also had great teams, and most of my managers have been good. Overall it has been a positive experience.

      Cons: Salary — very poor, not competitive with other companies, and getting worse as the Burlington fab has been the anchor on Ginni's plans. Morale — yearly layoff's have taken their toll. Nearly everyone I talk to is grumpy and pissed at IBM. It's really made it an unhappy place to work. I used to enjoy my job, now I'm mostly putting in my time.

      Advice to Senior Management: My immediate (first level) management has always been good but they are completely limited by the decisions of upper level management. Those decisions have caused our best engineers to leave for other companies and 1st level management has nothing they can do about it. High level management needs to care about their employees more than their shareholders or they will drive the company into the ground.

    • “Highly bureaucratic environment with really cheap mentality”

      Former Employee — UNIX Administrator in Brno (Czech Republic).

      Pros: None except a few bright minds that don't stay long.

      Cons:

      • If you are hard working, people will use it against you since most of people are there just to occupy their chairs.
      • Management is there only to tell you that there is no budget for anything.
      • Second line/higher level managers think that they are appointed by gods, having really unpleasant attitude.
      • Most so-called specialists are completely incompetent.
      • The GDF framework is managed by people that have no clue what the company does in reality so its a complete failure.
      • The change management processes are reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally slow and that causes high dissatisfaction from customers.
      • The change managers are incompetent. You are being asked questions such as "What is the roll-back action for reboot???"
      • Zero failed change policy is a joke. Hard-working people may make a small mistake and get fired while people that do absolutely nothing (I mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!) are getting high performance scores during evaluations.
      • The salary is really low comparing to the market standards and there are no benefits at all. They are even lying about raises when someone threats to quit. I've seen several very good professionals that lost their new opportunity and will got no raise.
      • No education
      • The company itself has very cheap and toxic mentality.
      • People stealing things from desks.
      • The communication is impossible.
      • No real way to find information about the platforms and products.
      • I can keep going for days but I don't think that the company worths wasting my time. Avoid at any cost, except if you don't have another choice.

      Advice to Senior Management: The company is too big to get affected by this advice but seriously, if you are hiring professionals, let them do their work and leave them alone with your political ****. Pay more In the end, just quit.

    • “15+ years and no salary increase for 5 years.”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years).

      Pros: Working from home. IBM has mastered the telework culture and actively encourages its workforce to give up their offices and work from home.

      Cons: Pay is not competitive. Since we work from home, we are expected to always be available. Billable hours expectation means you have to work one hour overtime for every one hour of vacation time.

    • “Expendable employees...”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: Excellent 401K matching, great people on my team. Cons: Remotely working, no face-to-face time, cannot "impress" or move up ladder. Advice to Senior Management: Employees are what drives the business; working from home does not mean you are available 24/7. Vacation should be vacation — not working vacations.
    • “Bureaucratic and don't value people.”

      Former Employee — Managing Consultant in London, England (UK). I worked at IBM full-time (more than an year). Pros: Flexible working diversity of staff great people. Cons: Very cost focused. Charged for coffee and even hot water in the office drinks machine. Rigid rules and systems old fashioned; lack of career development opportunities. Advice to Senior Management: Treat people as individuals
    • “Uninspired and Timid”

      Former Employee — Senior Member of Technical Staff. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 10 years).

      Pros: Some interesting engineer opportunities. Great tradition. Comfortable chairs.

      Cons:

      • Uninspiring engineering leads. Everyone seems defensive and afraid of the next round of layoffs. Marking time.
      • Annual review is a gladiator fight where the losers end up as '2' performers waiting for the axe. Offices are from Dilbert. Benefits reduced year to year. Executives want 'wild ducks' but timid middle-level managers don't.
      • Anecdote: For his annual performance appraisal, one Distinguished Engineer told me his process looks like this. Hears from above what the top 5 initiatives are and writes down he is an expert in these areas. His executive signs off and he continues as a '1' performer. Hasn't contributed anything meaningful in years.

      Advice to Senior Management: To executives: Get back to be being a *great* engineering company and invest in doing something great. Eliminate the current appraisal system. To managers: Stop being afraid. Act bold. Inspire.

    • “Overall OK company but need to work on changing the culture quite a bit.”

      Current Employee — Big Data Consultant in San Jose, CA. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than an year).

      Pros:

      • Good work-life balance.
      • Work from home gives you good flexibility, even though there is travel involved in the job. The WFH thing more than makes up for it.
      • Good trainings available for people who are willing to learn and grow.
      • Good quality of engineers to work with and if you are lucky you will get a chance to interact with them.
      • Good compensation packages.
      • Easy to move around within the company.

      Cons:

      • Too much focus on management while IBM is essentially a tech company. The tech guys end up getting ignored.
      • WFH, although relaxing, can be restrictive in terms of "knowing" what is going on in the company — in terms of new initiatives and stuff like that. I mean how much can you communicate through email. Also, when you go to an office you get to interact with people and learn. That doesn't exist in IBM at all.
      • In any given project, there are more managers and less tech people. All that the managers do is take a status report. Although being a big company some sort of control is important but it gets way too much in IBM's case.
      • Another disadvantage of WFH is that there are times when you can afford to just let go. This affects quality of work, not good for the individual and the company.
      • Too much emphasis on utilization rates for consultants, sometimes at the cost of quality.

      Advice to Senior Management:

      • Give more incentives to the tech guys. Your tech guys do the real work, not the long chain of managers. At the end of the day your managers can only say "Come on guys!". That's it. So think about how you can have a culture which inspires the tech guys to work more.
      • Customers would appreciate more if you offered them quality work. So think more about the quality than about utilization rates.
    • “Solution architect”

      Former Employee — IT Architect. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 8 years). Pros: IBM stands for I By Myself. You can control your own professional career especially if you work in Global Services group. Cons: You are a commodity to IBM, which can be replaced at anytime based on market demands. Works sometimes can be very demanding if the project was oversold to customer. There are mixture of smart and incompetency people. Advice to Senior Management: Invest in ways to retain top talents.
    • “A very big company”

      Former Employee — Consultant in London, England (UK). I worked at IBM full-time (more than an year).

      Pros: A lot of opportunities. Some very driven people to motivate you. Recognition.

      Cons: Compensation is lower than most. Make employees feel like a number. Long engagements mean you feel very detached. Lack of a social IBM.

      Advice to Senior Management: Making employees feel like they are part of the company is important to any business, and this becomes critical in a business this size, IBM needs to work hard on this because it is significantly lacking behind its competitors in this regard, and will lose all of the top talent to those who spend more time and effort on this.

    • “Focused more on meeting numbers than doing true innovation.”

      Current Employee — Research Staff Member in San Jose, CA.

      Pros:

      • Intelligent colleagues
      • Good name recognition
      • Flexible work schedule

      Cons:

      • No promotions/salary raise at all
      • Below par salary
      • Management (at least in my team) focused on ultra short term goals, no emphasis on research/innovation
    • “The elephant deigns not to dance”

      Current Employee — Senior Managing Consultant in Somers, NY. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: Great resume cache if you aren't a consultant. Cons: Limited loyalty to, or investment in its employees especially in Europe and North America; limited opportunities to build a career without a sponsor and top honors from a top university. Advice to Senior Management: Stop pandering to Wall Street and make money the old fashioned way, by making and selling top quality products that customers value.
    • “Too Monolithic”

      Current Employee — Technical Support Manager. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: Good benefits, broad product selection, locations all over the world. Cons: Too much pressure to reach the $20 EPS set by the previous CEO. Reach that no matter what the cost in morale. Promotions are based on who you know and how much they like you. When you reach over 50 slow push to replace with cheaper employees. Extremely difficult to move the bureaucracy.
    • “Feels rocky”

      Current Employee — Sales Specialist in Boston, MA. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 8 years). Pros: IBM is a great brand name and has had a reputation for good benefits although those have declines to industry norms now. Cons: IBM used to be a job for life. It is now feeling like even high performers have job insecurity as they change so rapidly.
    • “Mostly positive experience, some negative points mostly to do with big corporate business”.

      Former Employee — CAD Engineer in Williston, VT. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 10 years).

      Cons: Easy to get lost in the fray. Difficult to transition roles or change departments. IT support staff was non-existent. Engineers had to constantly solve their own IT/networking issues, taking critical time away from the real job. Performance evaluations are a farce. IBM is changing its business model and is probably abandoning the semiconductor manufacturing business, which might explain the decline in support staff.

      Advice to Senior Management: Cease splitting up teams around the world.

New on the Alliance@IBM Site

Job Cut Reports

  • Comment 01/06/15:

    As another STSM I can relate to and agree with the comments made by the band 10/STSM before. My health too was affected BP/stress/acid reflux. My 'body' count was 4 who died with their boots on so to speak. One alone on a business trip in a hotel room overseas. I packed my bags took my knowledge and experience elsewhere. -STSMgone-
  • Comment 01/06/15:

    Just heard from a former co-worker who was transitioned to Lenovo last year... As they returned to work for 2015 on 1/5/15 approximately 70% of the IBM'ers who transitioned to Lenovo as part of the System X buyout were told that they would be offered a package if they leave voluntarily. The majority of folks affected are said to be in the Development group. Folks in development who have been with IBM for 15 years are being offered one year of salary plus a year of health benefits. Folks outside development who had been with IBM for 25 years are being offered the same package. People who received the notice have one week to decide, if they volunteer to leave then their last day will be January 30th. If not enough people volunteer to leave then Lenovo will likely do mandatory layoffs.

    Lenovo is blaming IBM for sending too many duplicate and non-essential positions over with the buyout and not adequately reporting on what folks actually did relating to System X. I believe this to be accurate based on things I saw during the phase to "determine if you were in scope for the transition". Our manager at the time told us you had to work on System X for at least 51% of your time to even be considered, but friends in other divisions were saying that people on their teams who didn't even touch System X were being sent over. The common factor (anecdotal) was the person's age. The theory at the time: "let the layoff be on Lenovo's books and spare IBM from further claims of ageism" -Grass is brown everywhere-

  • Comment 01/06/15:

    Is anyone aware of the policies around regular travel? I might be asked to join a project which requires weekly travel across the whole country (i.e. 20+ hrs/week) on top of the regular 50+ hrs work week and for many reasons I do not want to travel. Can I refuse or would it be treated as voluntary resignation, or as a refusal to do the job? -mapleleaf-
  • Comment 01/06/15:

    More job cuts will come from the IBM Microelectronics give away. Global Foundries got $1.5billion to take this mess away. Senior management is to blame for this situation. Total lack of accountability and taking it out on the lowest of workers with a forced appraisal distribution to allocate more money to the senior managers. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 01/08/15:

    -Mapleleaf-, unfortunately you are an at will employee with no union contract and no job scope limits. Also, at least in the U.S., it's unlikely you are subject to overtime pay requirements for the extra time you spend on business travel. (That's something the Obama Administration and the U.S. Department of Labor might, with public pressure, at least partially fix since far too many employees are left out of overtime compensation regulations that haven't been updated since about 1972.)

    Your manager can require you to perform practically any legal task as a condition of employment, and business travel is certainly legal. Other legal protections are very narrow. For example, you can probably refuse business travel to dangerous areas (on a State Department travel warning list) and be legally protected in that narrow sense, and, if applicable, the Americans with Disabilities Act requires IBM to make reasonable accommodations. Those are pretty far-fetched, though.

    You can try appealing to reason — a novel concept, I know. If there's work you can effectively and productively perform remotely, great, tell your manager, and point out the fact that's also great news for IBM since it avoids unnecessary business travel expense and wasted travel time. If there's somebody else you know who wants to take on the mission, great.

    You could discuss options with your manager to cut down on the number of flights if that's the problem, such as renting medium-term corporate housing better suited for a long-term project. That should cost IBM less money anyway (less airfare), and your family can then stay with you (at your expense). IBM has negotiated rates with short-term apartment-style corporate housing firms precisely for this purpose.

    Or, if you cannot come to an agreement, you can (politely, preferably) say no, and IBM can fire you if it wishes — as IBM already can since you're an at will employee without a union contract. -Mobile IBMer-

  • Comment 01/08/15:

    -anon2- Lenovo is being fairly generous with their voluntary package. Ex IBMers with over 15 years get 3 weeks pay per year of service up to a full year of salary. That's twice as generous as IBM would be at this point, and also it's voluntary, which is also quite nice. But, because it's not IBM, perhaps many of the newly anointed Lenovians might not take it? -anon3-
  • Comment 01/08/15:

    Referencing the "exhortations to do more with less" comment. Bantering around the lunch table a few years ago folks came up with some apt sarcastic motivational and marketing slogans.
    • "We the willing, having done so much, for so long, with so little, are able to do anything, with nothing, in order to charge customers as much as possible, in turn deliver as little as possible."
    • "IBM, Quality is Job None" (apologies to Ford) -
    • "What have YOU done for IBM today? and why haven't YOU done More!" -
    • "IBM, You can always buy better, but you will never pay more." -anonymous-
  • Comment 01/08/15:

    My experience with travel time and IBM policy. In short, IBM does not care if you have to travel in excess of 20+ hours. Your selfish incompetent FLM cares only about the overall utilization numbers and is not a wee bit concerned by this unproductive routine. To add insult to the injury, they may even provide numerous ways to make this work for you — like flying on a Sunday or taking a red-eye on a Sunday night or flying back home every two weeks, etc. Additionally, they will either ding you during PBC time or have HR call you right away, in case you refuse. In today's environment, more likely latter. In all practicality, I would not show my discomfort with this inhumane routine, as that will not go in your favor. Ride it as far as physically possible and be on the lookout for viable options. On a different note, I would also join the IBM union initiative and encourage other colleagues to do the same. -Glad to be gone 2014-
  • Comment 01/08/15:

    I suspect that the huge reorganization that was announced by Ginny yesterday morning is a precursor to the big RA numbers coming soon. They'll say the reorg exposed a lot of redundancy, etc. The reorg and big RA are their plan to try to mitigate the damage to the stock price that will occur when 4Q results are announced on Jan 21 (unless the postpone it like last time). These cuts don't only affect the customer service, they affect the products big-time. A developer I know said they are so slammed now, they cut corners when implementing new code rather then the good old days, when they had time to add additional nice little touches or extra security measures or even take their time to be sure to get things right so they don't fail in production. Join the union, every little bit helps! -ReadTheTeaLeaves-
  • Comment 01/08/15:

    Eleven years and left after too many years of panic on potential RA's. Grass is greener, opportunities are out there. Three large cloud companies interviewed me and two felt "IBM isn't a real cloud...it's a cloud want a be", which is accurate. Softlayer is poor performed in analysts reports. IBM has neither the agility itself, or the ability to not destroy acquisitions to succeed. -Not Blue anymore-
  • Comment 01/09/15:

    Regarding Lenovo's offer of "one year of salary plus a year of health benefits" to transferred IBM'ers who leave voluntarily — I'll bet I'm not the only one still at IBM who would love a deal like that one :-) -Survivor-
  • Comment 01/10/15:

    Thanks, IBM. 15 years and now at Lenovo, I was offered a voluntary package. This is the best thing that can happen to a young worker like me, a Master Inventor. One Year salary!!! What stupid young worker will let a great deal like this pass by? Getting the deal, and leaving to find another job. If Lenovo wants me to stay, they better offer something better than what they just offered me. Because, I'm taking the deal and going to another company to find another job and continue writing patents. :) ExIBMer feeling for once, Happy!!!! -Lenovian-
  • Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alerts. This week's articles include:
    • Mitch McConnell Raises the Possibility of a Grand Bargain with President Obama
    • House Vote Damages Social Security Solvency, Makes Budget Analyses Biased
    • Alliance, Reps. Schakowsky and Matsui Warn of More Danger around the Corner
    • AFL-CIO’s Wage Summit Kicks off at Gallaudet University
    • Alliance Joins Rally to Stop Fast Track Trade Authority
    • 2015 Social Security and Medicare Fact Sheet is Now Available
    • “Story Warriors” Survey – Please Fill out if you Participated
  • Washington Post:

    On Day One, the new Congress launches an attack on Social Security. By Michael Hiltzik. Excerpts: Well, that didn't take long.

    As one of its first orders of business upon convening Tuesday, the Republican House of Representatives approved a rule that will seriously undermine efforts to keep all of Social Security solvent.

    The rule hampers an otherwise routine reallocation of Social Security payroll tax income from the old-age program to the disability program. Such a reallocation, in either direction, has taken place 11 times since 1968, according to Kathy Ruffing of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

    But it's especially urgent now, because the disability program's trust fund is expected to run dry as early as next year. At that point, disability benefits for 11 million beneficiaries would have to be cut 20%. Reallocating the income, however, would keep both the old-age and disability programs solvent until at least 2033, giving Congress plenty of time to assess the programs' needs and work out a long-term fix. ...

    Social Security advocates are almost universally aghast at the change. "It is hard to believe that there is any purpose to this unprecedented change to House rules," wrote Max Richtman, president of the committee, in an open letter Tuesday, "other than to cut benefits for Americans who have worked hard all their lives, paid into Social Security and rely on their Social Security benefits, including Disability Insurance, in order to survive."

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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