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6, 2000 April, 2000

Highlights—October 31, 2015

  • LinkedIn Pulse:

    The Search for Leadership at the University of Iowa. By Peter E. Greulich, President, MBI Concepts Corporation. Excerpts: I am a thirty-year, retired IBMer and a historian of its leadership and culture. The future president is from the IBM generation that I define in my book as the younger generation—experienced in the ways of the 21st Century IBM. I am part of the transition generation—an individual that has experienced both the 20th and 21st Century IBMs.

    Since coming into the 21st Century, IBM has evolved, and its strategy has changed. Evolution, though, isn’t always an advance, and change isn’t always for the better. The Iowa Board of Regents and UI’s faculty, staff, students and community must understand what IBM was, and what it has become to ask the tough but necessary questions of their new president.

    IBM’s 21st Century culture is about compliance, not change. ...

    Tom Watson Sr. had laid the foundation for this culture of change by building a mutualistic ecosystem of customers, employees, shareholders and society. This does not describe the 21st Century IBM. It is less productive, more risk adverse and maniacally focused on rewarding a single investor to the detriment of all other investors. Shareholders may invest their money in its stock, but customers invest money and time in purchasing and implementing its products, employees invest time supporting its customers, and societies maintain critical infrastructures and provide tax abatements in exchange for jobs. ...

    IBM is a financially run organization, and it takes whatever financial action is necessary to ensure rising profits expressed as earnings per share. Any imperative other than improving profit margins pales in comparison. Those individuals that stray from this narrow path, trying to do the right thing by investing in people, processes or products, will be pulled back to earth by the long arm of finance. IBM Finance owns the plan and it has one—and only one—strategy: shareholder-first and -only.

    With any large organization, an investment in the wrong strategy takes years to reveal itself. IBM’s commitment, not once but twice, to earnings-per-share roadmaps—five year shareholder-only focused roadmaps ending in 2010 and 2015—was a short-sighted investment in stock. It is the reason that IBM fell behind in one of the newest implementations of technology in the 21st Century: the cloud. ...

    Because of IBM’s investment in paper, it no longer invests in its people. It treats its valuable knowledge worker as though he or she were an interchangeable, expendable resource. IBM Finance through human resources continually moves workloads worldwide to keep expenses under control. The individual IBMer is subject to continuous, mind-numbing resource actions—IBM terminology for layoffs. Employees are under the constant threat of unemployment—not because of poor performance, but because they are at the wrong place at the wrong time. As a result one out of every two employees would not recommend IBM to a friend. In an unusual twist, IBM’s leadership rather than addressing the problem removed all mention of employee satisfaction from its Corporate Responsibility Report—an interesting approach for a “responsibility” report. Surely the Iowa Board of Regents desires more than 50 percent of its graduating students to recommend an Iowa university education.

    Selected comments about this article posted on LinkedIn follow:

    • Peter E. Greulich: I would have to say that there still is some very good leadership left at IBM, but the key to finding that leadership is to discuss IBM's direction during the 21st Century. There are still many very good vice presidents left at IBM, but they are doing the best they can under the circumstances.

      When a corporation becomes as highly centralized as IBM is today, makes all decisions based on financial, short-term criteria, replaces turn-around leadership with jettison-now management, and has a financial rather than a win-the-market strategy, sooner or later it creates an environment that is hostile to developing great leadership.

    • Richard Hillier: In the last 5 years of my 30 year career with IBM I became a little scornful of IBM's leadership development ideas. In particular the "top talent" program which identified those with potential early and have them preference in terms of development (jobs, training etc). It was somewhat against my ideas of leadership development; that true leaders don;t need any special treatment, they will simply emerge and to do otherwise will mean that they have insufficient hands-on experience and will be less able to empathize with those they are leading. So, my answer is, maybe not as much as they were.
    • Peter E. Greulich: I would recommend a book by a former IBM product manager (or another "jack of all trades" as we used to be called at IBM) - William (Bill) Simmons. It is entitled "Inside IBM: The Watson Years." The mainframe was great technology delivered at the right time, but, as you point out, it took a complete team to deliver and win the market. Bill was one of the guys that in a decentralized, empowered IBM independently researched, decided and executed on a plan to completely re-educate and re-align the DPD sales force around an industry model. IBM took salesmen (women) out of the field and sent them to universities for industry education. It was an investment in people that today is being invested in stock, or what I call paper.

      Ginni has been nothing if "at war" with her sales force since she took over. Her comments and investment decisions show a complete disregard for understanding what a "balanced investment" means when bringing new technology to the market. As I point out in my article, IBM's revenue per employee has been gradually declining for over 15 years.

      I recently did a press interview with a reporter that had written an article on a few headline wins for Watson Analytics. I told her that IBM needs to sell 1000's of Watsons to be successful, not a few headliners. It can't do that without a trained, educated, focused and motivated sales force. It can't do that without trained, educated, focused and motivated technical-sales force supporting them in the field.

      It takes a team and the complete avoidance of "us and them" mentalities that can only be overcome when the complete focus is on service to the customer, product wins and successful product implementations. People talk because they aren't empowered to THINK and ACT like we were in the 20th Century. Bill Simmon's book is an example of an empowered IBMer in action. He is an example of one person making a significant difference that lead to the overall success of IBM. He could not do what he did in the '60s for the mainframe in today's IBM for Watson Analytics.

      Ginni and her executives are pretty much on their own in this respect. They have isolated themselves behind a curtain of silence and quelling of dissent.

    • JC Jasik: “Leaders who don’t listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say” - Andy Stanley.
    • Kit Craig: I agree with you that IBM's 21st Century culture is about compliance, often to artificial metrics created solely for the purpose of having something easy to measure. That's lead to many behaviours that in turn have undermined IBM's once successful culture. For the last decade or so IBM's management culture has been one of bullying rather than leadership. That has in turn created an 'emperor's new clothes' culture where forecasts are designed to avoid abuse rather than reflect the state of the business. I see genuinely inspirational leaders leaving the company because they can't comply with this poisonous trend.

      Consequently, management secrecy is rife. When I first joined IBM in the eighties we would get a frank and open assessment of where the numbers were at monthly branch meetings. We all knew the organisation's targets and how we were tracking against them. Now all we receive is generalised percentages accompanied by spin to make them look as good as possible. There seems to be a belief that employees are so naive they'll be fooled into thinking things are good while we experience 14 straight quarters of declining revenue!

    • Dennis Demereckis: Kit, I also agree with you too. I joined IBM 37 yrs ago, and experienced many-many changes over time. Originally IBM was created by leadership, technology, principals, vision, belief and respect for the individual. Every one of these best human nature characteristics have eroded in IBM's culture over the decades, in my opinion. 14 straight quarters of declining revenue strongly suggests a course of correction needed back to these original founding characteristics that made this great company.
    • Jeff Lamb: I am still in the game marketing IBM solutions. Having come from the original GSD division and DPD we are constantly amazed how little IBMers know, the number of IBMers it takes to present a solution to a customer (of course all of them flown in) and the mere fact today's younger CIOs have never seen an IBM hardware product. AS/400 accounts are slowly replacing with Microsoft servers because CIOs don't know anything about the best ever architected product and no one seems to know RPG. CIOs don't see IBM servers, printers, PCs or Blades. Tapes and DISK are OEM'd.

      We used to lead in technology but I cannot recall a time when IBM came out with a hardware solution no one else had. Remember the day of IBM universities that taught you how to sell a solution. Now we can't even get calls returned from the few reps we know. IBM should architect the AS/400 or ISeries to be the back-end enterprise server for APPLE. NOW that would be a game changer and I think it could be done.

    • Kit Craig: Peter, another interesting angle is the value of the IBMer, especially in the light of how the individual IBMer is treated these days.

      A couple of years ago Ogilvy did a great piece of work for us to help define the IBM brand and what we could do to enhance it. They analysed IBM's brand against a number of factors and compared it to Interbrand's other most valuable brands.

      A key finding was that customers primarily experience the IBM brand through their interactions with IBMers; not through our products, not through our services, not through our financial security. The individual IBMer IS the brand.

      This work gave rise to the advertising campaign, "I'm an IBMer and that's what I'm working on." Obviously, the corporation had embraced a strategy to improve employee morale and to bring back the pride people felt in being an IBMer.

      Or had it?

      As you quite rightly point out in your main post, revenue per employee and sales productivity have continued to slide. There has been no perceptible increase in employee morale; in fact it was around the same time as this finding that the 100% Club was reduced to a congratulatory email. Resource actions continue apace, and as you also pointed out one out of every two employees would not recommend IBM to a friend. The company has stopped even assessing employee morale through Pulse surveys. The PBC process, already diminished from the world standard PPC&E structure, has been effectively killed off. Employee performance ratings are handed out on a quota basis.

      In short, IBM's 'leadership' team is actually eroding the IBM brand. And then they wonder why our results are poor!

    • Jeremy Pollard: I love 'finance' as a necessary evil. As a business owner I sleep better knowing there are people obsessed with counting the money and helping avoid decisions with unintended financial or tax consequences But... Abrogating broader stakeholder responsibilities for a dangerous simple focus is neither sound strategy nor leadership At best a temporary defensive play it's the antithesis of the bold, courageous culture many of us knew loved and thrived in / as employees and customers. Lacking customer focus and treating staff as commodities results in poor loyalty from both - meaning the precious shareholders ultimately miss out anyway .
  • The Register:

    Top watchdog probes IBM over 'transactions in US, UK, Ireland'. Share price tumbles as Big Blue confirms SEC accounting investigation. By Shaun Nichols. Excerpts: IBM's stock price has taken a hit after the tech titan revealed it is under investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

    Big Blue said in its latest 10-Q filing that for the past two months, the financial watchdog has been looking into its accounting practices.

    "In August 2015, IBM learned that the SEC is conducting an investigation relating to revenue recognition with respect to the accounting treatment of certain transactions in the US, UK, and Ireland," IBM admitted in the filing. ...

    A Big Blue spokesperson said the enterprise IT giant was confident the investigation would not be a major issue going forward. "IBM has a rigorous and disciplined process for the preparation of its financial statements and the reporting of revenue," the IT giant said in a statement to the media on Tuesday.

  • The Register:

    IBM splashing $2bn on Weather Company – reports. Big Blue throwing yet more cash at Watson in bid to turn around the oil tanker. By Kat Hall. Excerpts: Big Blue is reported to be further beefing up its Watson division by splashing $2bn (£1.3bn) snapping up the digital arm of the Weather Company, a US-based organisation that runs the Weather Channel and a digital company providing mobile apps. ...

    Peter Roe, analyst at TechMarketView, noted: "This marks another move by IBM to increase the predictive power of its services, and the company will be looking to combine the weather forecasting unit with its Watson operation to build an 'insights' business." Roe commented that the logical thing would be for IBM to roll the Weather Channel into its Watson division and its just-announced Cognitive Business Practice. He said the acquisition could be used for the Agricultural sector.

    Selected reader comments follow:

    • Watson is looking more like a desperate bluff than genius strategy. If only it worked well and didn't cost so much, they wouldn't have to spend billions to coax an A.I. revenue stream into existence.
    • I think Watson works well at what it does, it just suffers from the same thing most other "big data" applications do. Namely that correlating data and identifying trends isn't the same as delivering pertinent and meaningful insights to any given user in an open-ended user base.
  • Glassdoor IBM reviews. Selected reviews follow:
    • “Kind of awful but a good learning experience”

      Current Employee — Intern in Miami Beach, FL. I have been working at IBM (less than a year).

      Pros: Good experience, very challenging environment, a lot of resources, and learning opportunities. A lot of free time.

      Cons: No one cares whether you show up or work from home. IBM does nothing to support interns and treats undergraduates like mid-level professionals, who already have a family, car, and do not need extra support. My social skills were stunted after this internship since I barely got to talk to anyone. Advice: This isn't Google, Apple, or Microsoft. Do not expect to do more than work. This will not be fun but it will be challenging. Be prepared to see the worst and kind-of-okay in people. Also I cried about 3 times during my summer there.

      Advice to Management: Provide more support for undergrads. Supplement the internship experience. I did not relocate across the country to just watch Netflix every weekend.

    • “10 years leading presales teams or varying sizes, portfolio and territory”

      Current Employee — Technical Sales Manager in Glossop, England (UK). I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: High integrity professional people. Respectful culture with high levels of trust. Broad portfolio, broad channels, and broad range of role opportunities. Cons: Significant erosion of variable pay for technical sales roles since 2008. Climate has steadily declined in line with business performance over 3 years. Advice to Management: High risk of attrition of most talented sales and technical sales professionals. Need to re-think how targets are set and how sales/bonus plans are structured and funded.
    • “Program Relationship Manager”

      Current Employee — Program Relationship Manager in Raleigh, NC. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than a year). Pros: Pay is slightly above average. Cons: Too much to list, terrible company culture, stuck in old ways, sinking ship.
    • “Mediocre Compensation/Mediocre Expectations from Management”

      Former Employee — Software Sales Representative in DC Ranch, AZ. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 8 years). Pros: Good work life balance. Great people to work with. Lots of opportunity to train. Cons: Pay is barely competitive with similar companies. So much administrivia. Too many executives. Selling approach is still solution driven. Advice to Management: Read these reviews and make changes to improve selling environment. Filter administrative demands.
    • “Sector Compliance Leader”

      Current Employee — Senior Compliance Officer in Boulder, CO. Pros: There is a process for everything. Cons: 20 hour work days is the norm.
    • “Senior Consultant”

      Former Employee — Senior Consultant in Washington, DC. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 3 years).

      Pros: Global Business Services was very organized and structured. Managers are easy to talk to and it's easy to go to different projects once you are on the bench (as long as you have a good manager and keep in contact with him/her). Travel varies by sector. I worked in the government sector, so travel was limited unless I had to visit an installation, base or other military division. Pay was decent for the area that I lived in. Ginny seems to be righting the ship. Work-life balance in private section is great. Good brand reputation.

      Cons: Sometimes you get placed on boring projects and it's hard to get off. Work can be boring at times. Upward mobility depends on the projects you work on and who you know within IBM.

      Advice to Management: Allow people to move between public and private sectors in order to fully utilize talent. Bring back educational reimbursement.

    • “Senior software engineer”

      Former Employee — Senior Business Program Manager in O'Fallon, MO. I worked at IBM (more than a year). Pros: It was once a great career, but all things change, although not always for the better. Cons: They vend out so much internal software, so many different styles/techniques and high turnover. The really good PMs do not know the technology,;the really good technology people do not always know project management.
    • “Full time employee”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: Not much on the "pros." Cons: IBM is going to ****. Nothing much to expect from this company.
    • “Enjoyable but not very rewarding”

      Current Employee — Systems Administrative in Budapest (Hungary). I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 3 years). Pros: The colleagues are nice and very helpful. The work-life balance is excellent; you can leave early or arrive late if needed, and you also have the option to work from home. Cons: Employees are paid below their market value. They can't keep experienced workers, often they replace them with cheap fresh graduates. Advice to Management: You have to put more effort into keeping your talents.
    • “IBMer”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: Good port in a storm. Outlast most recessions without too much incidents. Cons: Totally locked in to preserving its stock price at the expense of much needed infrastructure investment. Advice to Management: Stop buying up companies and invest in your creaking infrastructure.
    • “It will get better soon”

      Current Employee — User Experience Designer in Boston, MA. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than a year). Pros: Quite decent salary and benefits (if you are an experienced hire). Company really cares about the culture and fit. There are some serious effort is going for turn-around effort. I am positive that the effort will pay off soon. Cons: Just like any other big company, it is very easy to get lost and triple your effort to stand out. The company is currently in a turn-around process, so the bonus amount can be very small and may offer less perks compare to some startups, Facebook, and Google. Advice to Management: Keep push it. We will get there eventually.
    • “Consultant”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: Got paid on time every month. Cons: Treated like a number in a spreadsheet.
    • “Client Executive”

      Current Employee — Client Manager in Atlanta, GA. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 3 years). Pros: You work with very bright, intelligent people. Cons: Managers become "reporters", more red tape than you can even imagine. Advice to Management: Managers get very disconnected from clients, forget the human element to a job. They become too focused on quarterly attainment rather than investing time in strategic initiatives that will ultimately benefit the company in the long term.
    • “IBM yeah...right.”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee, I worked at IBM full-time (more than 3 years). Pros: They chose nice offices and location. Cons: Really bad salaries unless they really really really need you. Advice to Management: The technical level is going down...really down...especially in help desk positions. I noticed that they require no skill at all apart of language skills.
    • “Technical Lead”

      Current Employee — Technical Team Lead in San Ramon, CA. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 3 years). Pros: Offers good benefits. Can not think of any other advantage unless you are working on state of art research or technology project. Cons: Too big, too impersonal and you get lost in forest. You have to navigate your own way. Advice to Management: Pay attention to good talent.
    • “Good experience, bad benefits”

      Current Employee — Senior IT Specialist. Pros: Big name. Lot of different sectors to advance through like big data, Watson, computer warehouses. Cons: Low salary, high stress, no respect for the work that is done for a long time such as experience and continuous good results.
    • “Senior Engineering Manager”

      Current Employee — Senior Engineering Manager in Mountain View, CA. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: Love working at IBM. Get to work in different roles and the best people in the world. Cons: Cant Say there are any. Advice to Management: Being agile...and watching changes in the newer companies to adeptly adapt.
    • “Service Manager”

      Former Employee — Service Delivery Manager in Fort Worth, TX. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 5 years). Pros: Flexible schedule, good benefits, average salary. Cons: Average work week 60 hours. Too many conference calls. Advice to Management: Fewer conference calls, more time to handle customer situations.
    • “Software Sales Leader”

      Former Employee — Senior Sales Director, Consultant in Dallas, TX. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 3 years). Pros: Great technology, R&D, and name recognition. Cons: IBM sells in silos, doesn't "team" with other groups to sell to its customers, does not get organic growth, and employees are just a number that are expendable every year in January to make shareholders happy and the balance the financials. Advice to Management: Streamline the number of people who get paid on a deal by getting rid of people on an account who do nothing to close a sales deal.
    • “Great place to work if you don't mind been afraid for your job”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 5 years). Pros: Good salary and benefits, great co-workers. Recognizable and respected company. Cons: Annual organizational restructuring (sometimes more than once a year) and layoffs. Constantly worried about losing your job even if you are a top performer. Not a healthy work environment.
    • “Electrical Engineer”

      Former Employee — Development Project Manager/Information Architect in Burnt Hills, NY. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 8 years). Pros: Excellent challenging and relaxed work environment. Great colleagues to work with, and a superb manager who always made us feel that we worked with him and not for him. Cons: Projects were terminated by directors before they were completed.
    • “Current role”

      Current Employee — Education in Dublin, Co. Dublin (Ireland). I have been working at IBM full-time (less than a year). Pros: Good port in a storm. Outlasts most recessions. Stable. Cons: Very complex management structure. Performance reviews are tied to the companies profitability. So performance is not a true evaluation of work and effort. Advice to Management: Break the link between profitability and performance reviews. Have the courage to speak up.
    • “Associate Partner”

      Current Employee — Associate Partner. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 8 years). Pros: Flexibility and independence are high. Cons: Administration is ridiculous and the politics of being successful are difficult to manage.
    • “IBM Job or career?”

      Former Employee — IT Specialist in Austin, TX. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: It's not a career; it's a job. Cons: 32 years at IBM and retired. Saw most of the major changes first hand. Today, senior management unfortunately treats employees as a tool for IBM, not an asset. Advice to Management: You're hopeless, like politicians, but take a cut in pay and give it to the employees.
    • “Good place to start — then look else where”

      Former Employee — Senior Consultant in Ottawa, ON (Canada). Pros: Good Benefits, lots of smart people to learn from, lots of CBTs and learning opportunities. IBM looks great on a resume. Cons: Crazy hours, sweatshop oriented, lack of promotion opportunities. Advice to Management: Some of the best people have left because the open culture turned into a sweatshop run by accountants.
    • “The worst company I have ever worked for!”

      Current Employee — Senior Managing Consultant in San Francisco, CA. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than a year).

      Pros: Work from home, which is typical of most consulting jobs.

      Cons: There is a long list...where shall i start. Lacks leadership and direction. Too much bureaucracy and an insane unreasonable obsession with outdated processes — some of which are Excel-based (can't believe I work in a major IT company).

      Extremely political. It doesn't matter whether you generate a higher billing rate for your work as long as you hit 150% utilization even if your rate is at the bottom.

      The company finds every possible way to snatch away the tiny perks of traveling despite the sacrifice consultants do.

      While consultants and those working on ground, who bring real money to the company keep getting ignored, senior management, which is mostly overhead keeps getting paid millions in bonuses and incentives.

      If you don't have a godfather or a godmother in the company then god help you. Of course your godfather or godmother needs to be a strong politician within the company...I can just go on and on.

      Advice to Management: Wake up and do some real work! Learn to appreciate true talent.

    • “Technical Support.”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 8 years).

      Pros: Great place to build a career, a lot of opportunities to switch jobs. Global presence, you can switch work locations. Opportunity to work from home office.

      Cons: Yearly review process was brutal, management would get together and fight it out on which employee was eligible for what. (I heard that this has changed starting this year, 2015, it was a source of many sleepless nights) Met a lot of managers that had no idea what was going on, did not understand technology and seemed to be a lot more interested in their own careers then moving the company forward.

      Advice to Management: Company talked a lot about values to customers. Internally the company works like a medieval kingdom; each department tries to get hold of a limited number of resources. Somewhere along the lines it was forgotten that all departments were part of a single company.

    • “Struggling to catch up with the marketplace”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee in London, England (UK). I worked at IBM full-time (more than 10 years).

      Pros:

      • People — strong relationships and and a supportive community
      • Access to a vast knowledge and skills base
      • Flexible working (work from home etc.)
      • Ability to move around internally.

      Cons:

      • Senior leadership often has a myopic focus, driven by their performance objectives. This focus often drives dysfunctional behaviour and impacts long-term prospects for the company for the sake of short term window-dressing benefits
      • For a technology company, there are too many people running parts of the organisation who are simply managers, without a true appreciation either for the market, or what it is that we make and do
      • The company has been late in spotting where the puck is going to be, and is struggling to quickly adapt to address cloud and software opportunities, with a workforce who in large part has a legacy skill set
      • Technology people play second fiddle to sellers and managers — neither of whom play much part in the technologies that create value for customers or shareholders
      • Long-term employees are not rewarded. Bonuses are tiny for non-sales staff, as are pay awards, which are negligible increments, and totally separate from the job role you perform (e.g. a promotion will almost certainly not result in a pay increase).

      Advice to Management: Stop focusing on short-term operational management goals and take a look at the bigger picture — both in terms of the marketplace, and internally — how can we be smarter.

    • “Definitely Big and Definitely Blue”

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

      Pros: I have reinvented my career 3 times without ever leaving the company. I am around highly skilled, highly motivated people that have the abilities to drive the future of technology. IBM is involved in every aspect of technology.

      Cons: The size and bureaucracy can kill productivity at times. Any organization this large tends to be loaded with A types that have conflicting personalities and power politics can be a problem at times.

      Advice to Management: Continue to streamline the bureaucratic overhead, work to continue to drive IBM Values home to every employee, and work to correct the view of the protected class of execs vs everyday employees that can be treated as commodities at times.

    • “Marketing”

      Current Employee — Market Manager. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: Professional environment; good place for those over 50. Cons: Not innovative; run now by accountants and lawyers, sales jobs are feast or famine. People coming in from the outside start at a higher level. Advice to Management: Have move consistency in pay.
    • “Nice for a first job.”

      Current Employee — IT Architect in New York, NY. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years).

      Pros: All depends on division and people you work with. Global Services is fine if you are young, don't mind traveling all the time, and want something big to put on your resume. Your career won't be long there unless you stay billable, which doesn't allow you to take the vacation you earn. So there is a tipping point; if you take your alloted vacation, you can't make the 98% billable target and will be an underperformer.

      Cons: Most jobs shifting to India, actually most of the company resides outside the US at this point. Current executive management is pretty inept as reflected in the stock price over the time she has been in charge, but there is little movement to address this situation. The sole priority at the company, despite all the mission statements and values documents, is the shareholder value. So take everything with a grain of salt. As an individual you are of little value. Also disregard any promises of bonuses. They either never make their numbers (not in 18 years) or if there is any money it is divided up not by your work but by a comparison of your work to people you have nothing to do with. Real number are 2% or less on a good year.

      Advice to Management: Too big a nut for me to crack, but a change in executive management is certainly called for.

    • “Software engineer in IoT”

      Current Employee — Staff Software Engineer in Austin, TX. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 3 years). Pros: Great work-life balance, good projects, can move across areas with relative ease. Moving towards agile development and continuous delivery so that's a welcome change. Cons: Bonuses and promotions are hard to come by; none of the fancier perks associated with other IT companies ala Google or Facebook and their ilk (e.g. a really nice cafeteria and lounges to relax, etc.) Advice to Management: None really, however innovation through acquisitions can only work for so long. Focus on original research and build on it.
    • “Have been facing a really hard time”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee in San Jose, CA. Pros: Work/life balance is really great. Lot of flexibility. Cons: Politics works best. Lot of discrimination. Wasted my career by joining this company after graduation. Advice to Management : Time waste to advise about anything.
    • “Senior Hardware Engineer”

      Current Employee — Senior Hardware Engineer in Austin, TX. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: Many experts in diverse areas. So, you can work with variety of people in different area. Cons: Very rare promotion and very low bonus.
    • “Company review”

      Former Employee — Analyst in Edmonton, AB (Canada). I worked at IBM full-time (more than 3 years). Pros: They are really good in execution and planning of project. There was a lot of learning I got from the phase I joined the company. They treat freshers up to the mark and show proper confidence in them. Cons: Being that said, I have sometime felt as I was not able to make a work-life balance due to overtime in the project. Although it was great learning! Advice to Management: They should work on team management, where they should be planning the proper person with proper team w.r.t their skill set.
    • “IT Solution Architect”

      Former Employee — IT Solution Architect in Minneapolis, MN. I worked at IBM (more than 8 years). Pros: Work from home is great. Cons: Low base pay, low bonus, jobs being outsourced to India etc. Frequently work with international teams which is difficult due to language barrier. Advice to Management: Layoffs frequently cut too deep into the talent pool and leave the client struggling with inexperienced contractors which is a risk to their business.
    • “Be prepared to be told what to do”

      Current Employee — Senior Consultant in Sydney (Australia). I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 3 years). Pros: Large project teams give you exposure to enterprise applications. Cons: The atmosphere is horrible, the people are stuck up and do not look after their own. Advice to Management: Start listening to the front line about the day-to-day happenings on client sites. Start proactively addressing problems and build personal development frameworks that provide long term.
    • “Partner”

      Current Employee — Partner in New York, NY. Pros: Breadth of solutions and opportunity. Easy door opener, team mentality. Cons: Fear, uncertainty, doubt. Focus is to internal, no one speaks up against the grain. Advice to Management: Be different, fight for employee rights, pays less to give more. Try to make people feel irs worn while facing the problems, stop living by the numbers, and get back to your beliefs. Take care of your customers and your employees and the numbers will come.
    • “Working at IBM”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: You get the best resources, mentoring, learning, technology opportunities. Cons: Very process oriented. Not people friendly. Advice to Management: Need something promising for share holders and employees.
  • Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert. This week's topics include:
    • Budget Deal Protecting Social Security and Medicare Beneficiaries Passes U.S. House
    • Republican Debate Dominated By Talk of Cutting Earned Social Security and Medicare Benefits
    • A Tale of Two Retirements: CEO’s and the Rest of Us
    • Vermont Alliance Holds Annual Meeting, Elects Officers

    Download a PDF version.

New on the Alliance@IBM Site

http://www.endicottalliance.org/thedisintegrationofemploymentinIBM.htm To all Alliance supporters, send and share the above link to the article "The disintegration of employment in IBM" far and wide. Put it on your FaceBook page; send it to newspapers; send it with comments to your political reps and send it to your co-workers. Help break the secrecy of IBM job cuts. Put some pressure on IBM. -Alliance-

Job Cut Reports

  • Comment 10/23/15:

    Job Title: Senior IT Architect; Location: Remote; Customer Account: Internal; Business Unit: GBS. Message: Article title: "10 Companies That Will Profit From the Seismic Shift to Cloud Computing". Guess which 100 year old IT company that bills itself as the hybrid cloud leader among other claims did not make the cut? See the 10 that did at: "10 Companies That Will Profit From the Seismic Shift to Cloud Computing" (see News Articles Archives) -mark1-
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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