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6, 2000 April, 2000

Highlights—November 28, 2015

  • BloombergView:

    IBM Should Hold Onto Its Code. By Michael Schuman. Excerpts: For months, China has been asking U.S. technology companies to share proprietary information, ostensibly for security purposes. With the implicit threat of reduced market access in the air, IBM has complied, allowing officials to examine its source code and setting a dangerous precedent.

    IBM may preserve some sales in the short term. But at what cost? IBM’s source code contains the secrets to its software -- and its success. By revealing that vital know-how to China’s government, which also owns most of the country’s biggest companies, IBM is potentially aiding its rivals and undercutting its own competitiveness.

  • European Works Council:

    Opinion - XXXII Meeting. Excerpts: "If we do nothing, we basically disappear”. This clear and direct message was delivered by Mark Taylor (General Manager Worldwide GTS Solutioning) and Jan van Groningen (Vice President GTS Infrastructure Services Europe). They stated that in Europe’s highly competitive Strategic Outsourcing market, companies like IBM must revisit and adapt their current GTS Infrastructure Services (IS) delivery models quickly. “A fundamental transformation of cost, delivery and resource models is required to remain profitable and ensure continuity of operations”, they said. The underlying benchmark was shared and well understood. However, the EWC believes that a more balanced mix of competitors provides a more realistic view than focusing almost exclusively on Asian players. ...

    It is estimated that the workload of more than half of the current onshore GTS IS employees around Europe will be moved out of the local country organisations and transferred towards IBM International Delivery Centres. This will require additional and substantial restructuring actions. Mr. Taylor and Mr. Van Groningen said that they expect that both voluntary and involuntary approaches will be required, orchestrated via a special ‘Change Program’ with concrete timelines to be further developed.

    As in GTS IS, a fundamental transformation within the European GBS organisation was announced under the name ‘Fit for the Future’ to improve competitiveness by cutting labour cost. Also here, the EWC believes that an almost exclusive comparison with Asian players provides an unbalanced view of the situation. Via a special ‘Grow or Go’ program GBS employees should be identified who are fit to stay within the company or not. The EWC questions the validity of the underlying selection criteria, e.g.. four years or more in the same salary band or two or three consecutive PBC 2 ratings. As a result, the EWC foresees significant workforce reductions in GBS Europe for the coming years as well. ...

    The EWC believes that IBM’s strategy of price matching with especially Asian Service Providers in both GTS and GBS will ultimately damage IBM’s reputation and might even lead to loss of experienced colleagues with ‘dark blue hearts’. The EWC calls upon IBM management to invest in our ability to differentiate on quality and position the company as a premium brand with high value add, rather than as one of the many low cost, commoditised price fighters.

    The EWC concludes that over the past years, IBM’s cost cutting measures have never shown any discernible, positive impact on improving and sustainably growing the business. There is no indication that it will be different this time. Therefore the EWC requests IBM management to reconsider its current restructuring plans.

    Over the past years, the EWC repeatedly drew attention to all kinds of issues arising from the current PBC system which negatively impacted both recognition and motivation of European employees. The EWC welcomes IBM’s intention to implement a new performance management system and tool, but wonders if the system is sufficiently culturally balanced as 26 out of the 36 so called ‘sponsors’ are based in Anglo-Saxon countries such as the UK and USA.

  • Poughkeepsie Journal:

    GlobalFoundries may be for sale, report says. By Joseph Spector, Journal Albany Bureau. Excerpts: GlobalFoundries, the chipmaker with a growing footprint in New York, could be sold, a report said. GlobalFoundries, which owns the former IBM plant in East Fishkill, is owned by Abu Dhabi’s investment arm, Mubadala Development Co., and has had preliminary talks with potential buyers, Bloomberg News reported, citing unnamed sources.

    The sale is being explored as the emirate considers dumping some assets amid a drop in crude oil prices, according to the report. ...

    The company employs about 3,500 workers in Malta and about 1,780 workers in East Fishkill. As part of the IBM sale in July, GlobalFoundries agreed to maintain a jobs pledge between IBM and New York to for 3,100 high-tech jobs in the Hudson Valley and surrounding areas through 2016.

  • Seeking Alpha:

    IBM: It's The Shareholders, Dummy! By Richard Berger. Excerpts: Revenues continue to decline, many business units are showing weak growth or even slight declines, and management remains focused on other things. This seems to frustrate the outside pundits and Monday morning quarterbacks who think they know better.

    The real story is that IBM management knows just what they are doing. They have the important numbers to back them up too. This is a mature company with one of the largest installed customer bases in the world - customers that look to IBM to help maintain their equipment and software, keep it secure, and continue to prop it up with add-ons that will allow it to continue to perform even as newer technologies enter the field. This moat gives IBM the staying power to plan on scales of decades, not months or years.

    When all is said and done, shareholders should be interested in shareholder value enhancement. Anything other than that is simply myopic analyst syndrome, the eye on the wrong ball(s). As a shareholder, what do you want from your company? Growing revenues, every more complexity, new products and new markets at every turn? Perhaps that is what attracted you to Enron in its final years, but surely you have learned a lesson from that. I suggest that a wise shareholder should want results - results for the shareholder, not for the company. If a company can grow its EPS, grow its free cash flow per share, FFO per share, ROE and ROIC, then I am going to be a happy shareholder. I don't care if I own the world's largest company, the one with the most revenues or the most employees, or the fastest growing. I want the bottom line results to me on a per share basis to be good and to be growing.

    Selected reader comments follow:

    • There's a reason why IBM has been on a major decline, and I don't see any change of direction, given the current management team.
    • Thank you for the article, but I have to say that the target price for IBM is borderline delusional. In earlier times in my life I worked for companies that used IBM mainframes as well as their AS/400. I respect their technology as well as their intelligence in leaving the PC business before it cratered. However, every aspect of their business is in a secular decline and while they have made strides to change, they are not moving fast enough, and risk being left behind.

      Using a static historic dividend yield to determine a future price target is not realistic. According to the chart in your article, the yield went from approximately 0.6% to 1.75%. I would suggest that this trend would continue going forward, and if I apply the ratio that 1.75 is to 0.60, and multiply that against the current yield of 1.75%, I find that the future yield should be 5.104%, which given a dividend of $5.60, would imply a price target of $109.72.

    • Nobody in their right mind would merge with IBM. It would be like tying up to the Titanic. For years now IBM has become a ship with a crew waiting around for orders instead of one with a crew that is confident that if they do their job well and a little more, good things will happen. Totally top down decision making, like the USSR. IBM's 5 year plan is to enrich the top execs. Period.
  • The Register:

    Ex-IT staff claim Disney fired them then gave their jobs H1-B peeps. Where discrimination comes true, allegedly. By Shaun Nichols. Excerpts: Ex-Disney IT staffers in Florida have accused the Mickey Mouse outfit of discrimination, and now hope to sue their former bosses. The nearly two dozen techies claim they were forced to train and then hand their jobs over to foreigners working in America on H1-B visas.

    Attorney Sara Blackwell told The Register she has filed complaints with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on behalf of 23 Disney employees who were let go earlier this year.

    The complaints are the first step in what could become a class-action discrimination lawsuit against Disney. The deadline for filing the grievances under a title seven claim is Wednesday this week, 300 days after the techies were axed. The commission will then consider the case in full.

    According to Blackwell, the IT workers' rights were violated when late last year they were notified they would be replaced by workers coming from India on H1-B visas. The outgoing staff were asked to stay on for several weeks to train their replacements, and dismissed in January of this year, we're told.

    Blackwell told us that in addition to discriminating against the US workers on the basis of nationality, the dismissals included workers over the age of 40 and workers who are women, so age and gender discrimination are also being claimed in the EEOC filings.

  • InformationWeek:

    IBM SoftLayer Performance Less Impressive Than Claimed. VoltDB's latest cloud performance benchmark claims IBM SoftLayer is 3X faster than Amazon, but that's only true if you compare apples to oranges. By Charles Babcock. Excerpts: A benchmark purported to illustrate the speed of the IBM SoftLayer cloud actually tells an opposite story. At best it shows that bare-metal servers run faster than virtual machines in the cloud, as they do in the data center, but most experienced IT managers already knew that.

    What it also illustrates is that Google, Microsoft, and Amazon run faster than IBM when it comes to running normal, virtual machine workloads. It's the second year that IBM and VoltDB have played up the results of a benchmark using the Yahoo Cloud Serving Benchmark, an open source standard out of Yahoo Labs that tests a variety of workloads. ...

    Damion Heredia, VP of platform services for IBM Cloud, called attention to the benchmark in an interview with InformationWeek November 18 at IBM offices in San Francisco.

  • CIO:

    Fury and fear in Ohio as IT jobs go to India. By Patrick Thibodeau. Excerpts: The IT workers at Cengage Learning in the company's Mason, Ohio offices learned of their fates game-show style. First, they were told to gather in a large conference room. There were vague remarks from an IT executive about a "transition." Slides were shown that listed employee names, directing them to one of three rooms where they would be told specifically what was happening to them. Some employees were cold with worry.

    The biggest group, those getting pink slips, were told to remain in the large conference room. Workers directed to go through what we'll call Door No. 2, were offered employment with IT offshore outsourcing firm Cognizant. That was the smallest group. And those sent through Door No. 3 remained employed in Cengage's IT department. This happened in mid-October. ...

    The employees were warned that speaking to the news media meant loss of severance. Despite their fears, they want their story told. They want people to know what's happening to IT jobs in the heartland. They don't want the offshoring of their livelihoods to pass in silence.

    The employees remaining at Cengage have begun training their replacements in person and via the Web. Their work is being "shadowed" and recorded. Their jobs will end in January. ...

    Cognizant applies for thousands of H-1B visas annually, and is one of the top three users of the visa, according to government data. Cengage employees reached for comment didn't know what visa, if any, the contract workers in their offices were using. But they said some of these workers spoke a foreign language in the office, along with English. ...

    The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that the labor market grew by 271,000 jobs in October. But Victor Janulaitis, CEO of Janco, a consulting firm that studies the IT labor market, says IT hiring has been weakening compared to earlier this year. ...

    Offshore outsourcing is having "a fairly strong impact" on IT employment, said Janulaitis. Students coming out of college are facing trouble starting a career "and a lot of that is driven by jobs that are taken by non-U.S. nationals in our economy, and a lot of that is H-1B [visa holders]," he said.

    "Why are we talking about more H-1B visas for people when we have people who are unemployed?" said Janulaitis.

  • Seeking Alpha:

    The Curious Case Of IBM: Dividend Growth Dream Or Value Trap Nightmare? By Adam Aloisi. Excerpts: Many prominent investors continue to embrace the proverbial falling knife that has been IBM's stock for the past four years or so. Warren Buffett, for one, is still buying and he's not the only value investors that continues to defend Big Blue's forward prospects.

    I'll admit up front that my personal bias to IBM has been rather negative for some time now, and have never owned the stock. I see IBM as a diversified, peripheral technology player that seems to have developed somewhat of a "jack of some trades, master of none" position in the tech sector since jettisoning its PC division over a decade ago. To an extent it may be argued that IBM is throwing spaghetti at the wall, hoping to gravitate to where it sticks the best. ...

    Although IBM represents the kind of stock I'd like to own from a quantitative perspective, I am left grasping for specifics to what will create sustainable organic revenue traction for the company in the years ahead. Some investors like to take the position that just because a company has had success in the past or has gone through a prior reinvention, that history must repeat itself at some point. ...

    IBM is a company with a rich history that is optimistically viewed as being in the process of reinventing itself. If one wishes to take the opposite view, it can be argued that reinvention is required only of companies that fall behind due to lack of vision. As a result, they are forced to constantly play catch up to others.

    Selected reader comments follow:

    • many of the IBM hopefuls are looking back to past glory. IBM will live of die based on its ability to innovate in the future and build motes around those innovations. The present management under Rometty is clueless if they believe they can do that spending about 5% on R&D. No high-tech company can thrive while penny pinching on R&D and demotivating (and firing/retiring) their engineers who create the innovation, as Rometty has been doing. She is out to please a certain Wall street segment and make a LOT of money for herself, but NOT to build a new and long term viable IBM.
    • I talk to IBMers and ex-IBMers who stay in contact with those still in the company. The universal sentiment from these people is Rometty has created a culture of chaos within IBM.
    • "lower sales/higher margin model" I think that's a fallacy spread by IBM PR. For example, Cloud, one of their biggest 'strategic imperatives' and one where they claim billions in revenue, is not a high-margin business. As for the other strategic imperatives, I'm not sure anyone can pin down what Mobile, Social and Security are and how IBM is making money at those. Finally, on Analytics, I for one don't believe the Watson hype.

      I wonder how many people buy IBM and stick with IBM not because they really understand and appreciate anything about the company and what it does, but because Warren Buffet is in. My bet is that if he reduced his position, there'd be a panic as others rush to sell too. In other words (and sorry if this offends anyone) many IBM investors as not so much savvy as they are sheep.

    • Looks like there is some interesting math in this. Let's see: earnings decreasing but, by means of share buyback, earnings per share increasing. Each share gets to own more and more of less and less. What is the endpoint when there is only one shareholder left? (giggle) OK, he can take it private or, (gasp!) he can continue the policy until there is only one share left. If there are still some earnings, he can have them all. If not, well the corporation will have vanished slowly, like the Cheshire cat, leaving only a grin at the end.

      Surely, IBM Research can optimize this. I don't think the MBAs can. My uninformed guess: when the beast gets to be very large it can survive only by digesting lots of little animals with some really neat ideas. Nothing new in that. I am reminded of Buffet.

    • if a high tech company can only increase its P/E, for years in a row, by buying back shares (and doing that at least partially by taking on debt to finance it) then something is obviously way off. IBM, as its is today, is a dead man walking. Things of course may change, especially if the BOD finally realize that they have to get rid of Rometty and her team if they want to have an IBM 10 years from now. On the other hand, they may never wake up, similarly to utterly incompetent the BOD of HP.
    • Thanks Adam. Good insights. Bye the way. IBM's GBS has a legacy of BS already. It has need called Business innovation Services (BIS), Business Consulting Services (BCS), and Global Business Services (GBS). As I have said when I worked there and had my card changed three times, " We changed everything, but left in the BS!" Cheers :)
    • A couple years back I was looking to add an it services company with a strong growing dividend and narrowed my choices down to IBM and Accenture. I went with Accenture in large part after learning that the work culture at IBM was clearly causing problems with employee morale. This according to those who had jumped ship due to being unhappy at IBM.

      Companies with innovative workplaces where employees have the opportunity to thrive will always outperform their rivals. My investment in ACN has proven this to be the case as ACN has far outperformed IBM over the last couple years. IBM is trying to figure out its place in the new order and in the mean time is losing market share in areas it had previously excelled at to companies like ACN. Now it wants to be a cloud provider...good luck with that.

    • The irony here is that IBM executives are transient share holders. Check insider trading for the past 5 years. They appear to only hold their free and heavily discounted shares thru the vesting period. The sold shares are then replaced by additional free and heavily discounted shares. IBM execs are not long term share holders.
    • I can comment about IBM as someone who has worked for the company. From the inside you can see that management is terrible. The morale of the people are the lowest of any company I have ever worked for. Management HATES their employees and looks for every opportunity to screw them over or replace them with 5 cent and hour Indians. Everyone is scared to death to have a new idea. And even if you do have a new idea that is fabulously successful, you are likely to be replaced with a 5 cent an hour Indian in a couple years anyway.

      The key problem with IBM is that it has a "me too" management. It doesn't see new changes taking place in the technology environment but after new things like cloud, social, big data, etc. have emerged and have been going successfully for other companies for 5 years or so IBM says "me too" and it fires all their employees from an old business and tries to jump into a new one that many other companies are well established at. In such a climate IBM is doomed to failure.

      They NEVER have an original idea of their own. All they do is see what other companies have done that has been successful for many years and then try to jump into that new field; all the while treating their employees with disdain and hatred. Believe me, IBM is a nightmare you want to stay away from as far as possible. I worked there. I know.

    • "IBM is a nightmare, I worked worked there, I know" If only employees had the knowledge about the companies they worked for, why do public companies exist? Why are there stock markets where investors (that do not work for the business) buy or sell shares?

      You, as a former employee, for sure have an insider view. That is useful no doubt. But put it in context. Does your inside view really span the entire company? How can you be sure that "everyone is scared to have an idea" or that "management hates everyone". Please don't take this personal, but your view seems quite biased from your personal experience and from your area or division of work.

      I know other people from IBM who don't share that view. In fact if everyone was so unhappy, why don't they all leave and work for Apple or Amazon?

      Most investors are "outsiders". They don't have a personal experience and with that they are freed from that bias, and free to focus on the fundamentals (and I don't mean just the financial metrics) that are publicly available, including viewpoints from insiders if they choose to share them.

  • I, Cringely:

    Soylent Green — Now Made with More Women! Excerpts: The next female CEO in jeopardy is IBM’s Ginni Rometty. Given all the negative things I’ve written about IBM since 2007 this should be no surprise, but the story is more complex than simple mismanagement. I’ve decided Ginni really believes in what she is doing. It’s still the wrong plan and I think bound to fail, but I now believe Ginni has decided to take even bolder moves in the wrong direction — moves that should very quickly prove that one of us is right and the other wrong.

    I’ve been told another big Resource Action (IBMspeak for layoff) will be starting in January, ultimately costing the company up to 30,000 heads. This will be accompanied by a change in IBM’s 401K plan, either reducing or eliminating completely the company’s matching funds. The cuts will be coming mainly in IBM’s Global Technology Services (GTS) division which is responsible for 60 percent of the company’s revenue. These announcements will be accompanied, no-doubt, by additional cloud investments, the idea being to sell investors on the idea that IBM will make up in its cloud business what it inevitably loses in GTS.

    This will represent a significant strategy shift for IBM. For one thing, it’s Big Blue essentially abandoning its largest current business. GTS customers are already unhappy with IBM’s quality of service so what will be the likely effect on those customers of taking 30,000 more bodies from their already lousy service provider? ...

    But the bottom line for IBM seems to be a future in cloud and security (and mainframes, as a couple commenters point out below — that’s not going to change, but neither is it going to get any bigger). To do that with characteristic Armonk gusto, Ginni will use the 401K savings as well as division sales, if any, to bankroll a major cloud expansion, hoping to leapfrog Google and Microsoft and move into the #2 position behind Amazon in that sector. Alas that’s #2 in a business that’s nowhere near as big as what IBM is abandoning, so the company as a whole will continue to shrink. Share buybacks will continue, the dividend will continue to go up, but there will come a point when IBM is a $40 billion cloud and security company. Maybe that will be a good thing, but what it won’t be is a consequential thing. It’s the end of what used to be IBM.

    Selected comments follow:

    • If GTS is such a big profitable business with unhappy customers and scads of qualified and frustrated employees being turned out, why isn’t some company picking up both employees and customers and competing with IBM by offering higher quality services? Is this business based on obsolete hardware such that replacement WITH newer stuff reduces the need for the GTS services?
    • Because the other competing companies suck at providing services almost as much as IBM. That entire sector has been in a steady race to the bottom. They fire older experienced workers and replace them with cheap offshore workers. The results are terrible across the board.
    • The race to the bottom is mainly in terms of quality. Paradoxically revenue goes up.

      If you employ experienced, battle grizzled veterans. A greybeard comes in, sorts out the problem and moves onto the next job by the end of the week. Not great for revenue, nor profit.

      So the management “resource adjusts” him – and hires some H1B’s at a third the salaries. The “team” comes in to the client. By the end of the week, they have barely figured out to operate the coffee machine. By then of the month they make some progress, but not enough. So they pull in a project manager to manage customer expectations.

      How I love that term "they put on more “resources”. By the end of the quarter they have convinced the client that the problem is really complex and that additional hardware is required, and then software and then packages. By the end of the year, they have 40 people working flat out. Still nothing usable delivered. Now that’s how you have a big profitable business. Shame about hardly ever delivering results: http://spectrum.ieee.org/static/the-staggering-impact-of-it-systems-gone-wrong

    • In the past decade I was a big IBM GS customer and this is exactly how it goes. Once being a proud member of the IT industry, I felt sick about the attitude and stopped talking (passionately) what I do for a living. Fast forward 10 years and I almost jumped ship. However I don’t know much else in order to make money. Now being self-employed, serving a niche completely neglected by the IT corporations and having a blast.
    • In another life, I was one of those IBM GTS battle grizzled veterans who went in and cleaned up the mess, and you are correct, this is exactly how it was. Fortunately I left of my own choosing before they had the chance to slap me with an RA phone call. Wow, drafting and delivering that 2-week notice was pure joy.

      I agree with Cringley, they are complete toast as a company. The same miserable (non-technical-corporate-politician) management team spinning repeated prognostications of their ‘strategic initiatives’ and ‘moving to higher value’ is enough to cause digestive malfunction. Amazing that for this long, Wall St. has bought this garbage but my intuition says this is changing. For anyone having spent more than a few years on the inside, the charade is as clear as looking through a glass of spring water.

      Even worse, they will continue to try and sell this stuff to companies whom they have royally pissed off in the past 10-15 years. Not sure if that is narcissism, denial, desperation, or a combination of all three.

    • Indeed, nice synopsis of the IBM GTS SO contract “delivery”.

      As a now-retired 5-year IBM employee, I experienced this firsthand and observed many other iterations of it. In my case, I was one of 120 who were re-badged to IBM as a part of the SO contract terms. Roughly 85% of us had a 1-year employment guarantee, and those deemed “business critical” had 2-year. Immediately they downgraded some from exempt to non-exempt, and within 1-2 *quarters* they began dumping people as the work was moved offshore.

      I moved into a new position of my own choice, and after 1.5 years that job was offshored. Management moved me into a job I hated, then after only 6 months I was RAed. The very same day I was un-RAed, and management again moved me into a similar job that I also hated. Fortunately I was able to retire within a few months.

      Horrific, though I know it was worse for others. BTW, the internal GTS tools and procedures were nightmarish. Cases in point: SA&D, ITIM Vault, CIRATS, RCA.

    • It’s hard to pick up IBM employees to serve existing customers. Part of the severance package is a one year waiting period before you can work for anyone that is involved in IBM deals. This kicked my ass in the resource action I got caught up in about 2 years ago. IBM business partners would go down the road and get ready to hire and then that clause would come up, bye bye offer. Some skirt around it if they’re big enough but small business partners don’t have the juice. Starting something up will get the army of IBM lawyers crawling up your ass – notable exceptions exist if that startup is serving a really big customer (like PWC, yeah, I heard about that).
  • Glassdoor IBM reviews. Selected reviews follow:
    • “Decent employer.”

      Current Employee — Senior Software Support Analyst in Ottawa, ON (Canada). I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 8 years). Pros: Work from home is common. Compensation is fair, and can be negotiated higher if you have leverage. If you're good, you will advance. Cons: Bureaucratic, nothing is done to make lives of employees easier. Too many meetings, too many buzzwords. Change is promised, nothing is ever done. Advice to Management: Micro-managing is way too common. Anyone who has been there for 5+ years knows what they're doing; simply guide them.
    • “The best and worst of things”

      Former Employee — Marketing Manager in New York, NY. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 8 years).

      Pros: Good work life balance, great insurance coverage and benefits (not including bonuses, which are notoriously terrible). They care about their employees in a lot of ways (but not others — see cons).

      Cons: Horrible culture - working remotely (as 60% of IBM does) is nice but you can go years, if not your whole tenure at IBM without ever meeting your boss or peers face to face. In addition to the faceless factor, for a company that trades on "innovation" the culture and environment are anything but that. Antiquated, old school, conservative and top down to the fullest. People are often lifers at IBM and that has some drawbacks - old perspectives, outdated management styles, leadership that is out of touch with the bleeding edge.

      Advice to Management: Learn from startups and embrace design thinking.

    • “Don't work here”

      Current Employee — IT Architect in Armonk, NY. I have been working at IBM (more than 10 years). Pros: Work from home. Great people. Reputation, although this has got be waning. Many business partners that provide some great product discounts. Cons: Heavy on management. Executives have no respect for their employees. Will fire dedicated employees who have sacrificed almost everything to the company without blinking an eye. U.S. work force systematically being replaced by cheaper global resources Raises and bonuses are practically nonexistent. Advice to Management: Have some respect for the people working hard for you.
    • “Flexibility to do many roles and wear many hats”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: Great if you want to be a manager or to try many things you can shape your career and move around. Great diversity (gender, ethnicity and people with disability). Lots of programs and events taking place to get involved in. Cons: Recognition goes to whomever shouts the loudest. Many talented people go unrecognised, so global delivery teams treated poorly. Pay is below average and the promotion process is unnecessarily difficult. Advice to Management: Find ways to reward your good people at all levels. The worker bees are often ignored but they play a key role in the project success.
    • “IBM Ireland”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee in Dublin, Co. Dublin (Ireland). Pros: Some good people and ability to work from home. Cons: Some terrible managers. HR not interested in the individual, only in protecting IBM. Advice to Management: Get new HR and legal teams.
    • “Great place to work”

      Former Employee — Software Developer in Markham, ON (Canada), I worked at IBM full-time (more than 5 years). Pros: Lots of opportunities to grow. Very decent, diverse and open work environment. Cons: It takes long time to get anything approved.
    • “Avoid at all cost”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee in Dublin, Co. Dublin (Ireland). I have been working at IBM full-time (less than a year).

      Pros: Training (world class with a lot of variety). Name recognition.


      • Useless work, overpaid admin
      • Worst management style (micromanagement, bully when they don't get what they want)
      • No benefit at all, compared to other tech companies they are clueless. No free coffee and expensive lunch
      • Long commute if you're living in city center + you need to pay 3.5€/journey to sit on a crappy bus
      • Very rigid salaries and don't pay well compare to competition
      • Very stupid and long processes. Company culture is that's IBM we have always done this so accept it or leave;not open to change
      • Too many internal meetings to try to justify their jobs
      • Stupid focus on digital selling while they don't know what to do with it. Give the tools and proper training and let people decide what's best for them stop trying to force it on people (i.e. webinar are useless for some business units such as hardware)
      • Only company in Dublin to my knowledge where business development reps are not working together with sales reps on the same territory. Therefore no synergy in creating new opportunities.

      Advice to Management: Get proper management training; your teams must have some of the highest turn-over in Dublin. Stop thinking that IBM matters as an employer as it used to in the past; people don't care. They care about getting paid market conform salaries, getting respect from their employers and being taken care off in terms of benefits. You are in a highly competitive job market in Dublin where most companies pay better than you, offer benefits, and are not situated almost outside of Dublin. (County Meath is on the other side of the field on the campus).

    • “Great”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: Great place to work here. Cons: Nothing which i can think as of now.
    • “Pre-sales consultant”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 5 years). Pros: The company is fortunate enough to still have some good people left. Cons: Sales people that got hired are virtually useless with no domain knowledge. Claim to be at the forefront of technology but the truth is, IBM is always 10 steps behind. Advice to Management: People management is not just about managing up.
    • “GBS Graduate”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee in Dublin, Co. Dublin (Ireland). I have been working at IBM full-time (more than a year). Pros: Nice people to work with, project teams are very experienced, good name on the CV. Cons: Very little in the way of team building, no Christmas parties, no team nights out or activities, no bonuses worth talking about, convoluted processes which aren't always understood, even by management. Some roles are incredibly tedious. Trying to get information on how/when you will be promoted is a disaster. Not particularly rewarding work. The clients are big but all the interesting projects take place elsewhere.
    • “Great Benefits”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: Great benefits and coworkers. Receive continuous training, always new products and technology to learn. Interact and work with people from all over the world. Cons: Your career depends largely on who your manager is more than your skill or contribution. Raises are non-existent and when management makes poor decisions the employees pay for it and the CEO gets a bonus. Advice to Management: Appreciate the skills of your employees.
    • “Partner”

      Former Employee — Partner in New York, NY. I worked at IBM full-time (more than a year). Pros: This company has the potential to accomplish anything. The firm has a unique and varied set of assets and capabilities. There a few very talented people that have stuck it out through very tough times. Cons: The firm has more bureaucracy than one can even imagine. Although they are trying hard to eliminate the most pernicious aspects of it, it is so deeply ingrained in the culture that it may be impossible. They continue to lay people off and do so almost randomly as they attempt to remake the workforce to match a strategy that is often (not always) akin to re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Advice to Management: The problems this firm faces are so complex, I would not be so arrogant as to think I could offer advice on how to solve them.
    • “Intern Experience”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: I had great teammates and there were a lot of opportunities to move around in the company. I still get emails from managers looking for interns and coops for the next year. Cons: The culture felt kind of sterile and it didn't seem like the really high up people cared as much about their employees. My manager cared a lot about her team but many really high ups didn't seem to want to show their appreciation as much as say it. Advice to Management: Maybe show your employees more appreciation instead of just saying it and make the culture more warm to people.
    • “Good environment”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: Friendly work environment. Able to improve skills. Cons: There are no cons for this company. Advice to Management: N/A
    • “Big Blue”

      Current Employee — Sales. I have been working at IBM full-time (less than a year). Pros: A great place to work, with lots of people willing to help and inspiring leadership. And, the recent changes are making it an even better place to be. Cons: Very complex systems and processes, so at times it can be challenging. Advice to Management: Try to motivate your team, and always be ready to listen to them
    • “Project Management for the unimaginative”

      Current Employee — Project Manager in Sydney (Australia). I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 5 years). Pros: Work from home, good work-life balance. Can purchase additional annual leave. Cons: Work very repetitive, work tools/software very cumbersome too use. A lot of mandatory useless and unhelpful documents required.
    • “Fulfillment Admin”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: Good pay, great benefits, work from home full time. Cons: Poor office morale and heavy workloads. Advice to Management: Immediate management is excellent — the furthest up the chain of command is where the issue lies. Happy employees = successful company. Senior execs need to be reminded of that.
    • “Lift and Shift”

      Current Employee — Systems Administrator in Columbia, MO. Pros: Decent pay for the area, great resume builder. Legitimacy of IBM/big blue. Cons: With IBM it's not IF you will be fired/laid off, it's when. That being said, if you know that going in, it's a great opportunity that opens doors to other places that are much more stable. Advice to Management: Honesty.
    • “Fine place to work”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: Huge company. You can try different types of jobs within the same company. And you can learn a lot if you willing to study. Cons: Too complicated process controls make things slow. You need to get Sr. VP's approval to spend a little bit of money. Advice to Management: Shorter the management chain. Make the company run faster.
    • “Strategy and Change Consultant”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 5 years). Pros: Ability to work abroad. Lots of training opportunities (but very difficult to actually get into them). Cons: Lack of integrity: constantly asked to lie about my past skills and experience to clients. Inability to participate in training as you always need to be billable on a client project. Advice to Management: When you improve your employees skills and create a better environment for them, everyone wins. Stop lying to your clients.
    • “Helpdesk analyst”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee in Broomfield, CO. I have been working at IBM (more than 3 years). Pros: I don't really have any pros. It's a job and you get a check, but that is about all. Cons: There is no personal touch. As an employee at this facility you are little more than a heartbeat to answer phones. Excellence is rarely rewarded and in my experience merely being at work with little understanding of what you are actually doing is all it takes to keep your job. Very little room for advancement.
    • “Don't stay long...”

      Former Employee — Computer Systems Analyst in Raleigh, NC. I worked at IBM (more than 10 years). Pros: These reviews are curated and anything too critical is rejected. Nothing to see here, move along. Cons: Corporate pirates running this company will throw you overboard for new cheaper meat the like clockwork. It's built into the performance review, a copy of Smith's idea from GE. Let go the bottom each year regardless if they are performing or not, despite what it does to morale. Advice to Management: Move to India, take a pay cut or outsource yourselves. Prove there's no class warfare going on at IBM.
    • “best in business”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: all positives can be seen. Cons: none sees to be negative. Advice to Management: perfect
    • “Long term employee”

      Current Employee — Service Delivery Manager in Armonk, NY. I have been working at IBM (more than 3 years). Pros: Great team, skilled long term staff. Cons: Lack of job security, reduced benefits, lack of raises/bonuses. Advice to Management: Return to quality, value people and skills as an asset.
    • “IBM Global services”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee in Washington, DC. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 5 years). Pros: Lots of resources, great public perception. Cons: Poor management, terrible performance review, manager discretion raises. Focus on billable hours. Advice to Management: Culture sensitivity — treating every tech like an immigrant from Asia.
    • “Finance”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee in Armonk, NY. I have been working at IBM full-time (less than a year). Pros: Lots of opportunity to move between countries and roles across various functions. Flexible working conditions - e.g. work from home, reasonable compensation and benefits. Cons: Work/life balance is extremely challenging, even in some middle level positions. Too much internal review/cadence, driven by aggressive corporate target setting. Constant restructuring impacts climate. Advice to Management: Allow the regions outside of the US to operate with more autonomy and pay real consideration to the aggressiveness of targets and the number of internal reviews.
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 11/24/15:

    The latest evil plan from Dr. evil is Champions for Growth, a plot to send "high performing, high skilled" IBMers to business partners on a two year assignment. At the end of the two years, the IBM employee is welcome to come back — IF they can find a job in IBM. Ha! Good luck with that. Another devious way to get rid of people, without packages. It will hit in January; lists are being culled now. What if you go to a partner and a week later they don't need you? Yup, layoff with no package. PBC 3 and 4 not eligible, so IBM is sending its best away and keeping the (lower salary) dead weight, who will probably be RA'd. Imagine if all this creative thinking get went I to the products? Join the Alliance, fight back! -ReadTheTeaLeaves-
  • Comment 11/24/15:

    Job Title: Retired; Location: USA; Customer Account: Many; Business Unit: Research; Product Line: Cog. Message: Some may remember that IBM once fought and won a bitter battle over source code with Fujitsu. The current management is willing to give it to China for a few bucks. Maybe they should sell Armonk to them while they're at it. Get on the business end of our going out of business sale. -GhostofTJW-
  • Comment 11/25/15:

    Job Title: DBA Admin; Location: Denver; Customer Account: CenturyLink; Business Unit: Global Services. Message: Several DBA Administrators are now being laid off. This was supposed to have happened two months ago, but the company could not find the resources who specialize in SQL development. My advice to US based IBMers is not to break your ass in trying to please IBM management. As long as your are a US-based employee, it does not matter how good a job you do, they will still get rid of you! "Big Blue" reminds me of the ICE running through the veins of IBM Executives! -Anonymous-

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