IBM is very particular in hiring for the hot new skills where IBM is expanding like machine learning, big data, mobile, and security.
"When you look at the number of applicants, we're more selective than MIT," she joked.
All told, IBM added 70,000 IBMers to its payroll in 2015, she said, albeit many of them came in through acquisitions.
IBM has spent more on acquisitions in the last 12 months than it has at any other 12-month period in its history, she said. IBM bought 14 companies in 2015, and she's already bought three more in 2016.
What she didn't mention is that IBM is still also cutting. ...
IBM's global headcount ended 2015 at 377,757 full time employees, vs. 379,592 in 2014 (down less than 1%). Headcount grew a little over 1% in IBM's less-than-wholly owned subsidiaries to 9,577 people. And it's contract work force stayed virtually the same, at 24,464 people. ...
GBS hired 30,000 people in the last two years, Schroeter said. As its headcount stayed fairly stable, that means it also lost 30,000 workers, again, some through attrition, some by selling off a big business unit, some by shifting to more contract workers. IBM also moved 6% of its consultants offshore in the past two years. It's hard to know what that total number is but IBM said it has about 120,000+ employees in GBS.
IBM is always very careful when talking about its global headcount, which has been going through major shifts for years.
It won't say many people it lays off each year, or how old they are or in what areas they work. It only talks only about "resource actions" or "workforce rebalancing" in terms of the total amount of money it spends on them. It spent $587 million on such things in 2015 (and nearly $1.5 billion in 2014), it said.
And CFO Martin Schroeter says that such shifts (including hiring people, retraining existing employees, and laying them off), isn't over yet. "We've been shifting resources aggressively," Schroeter said at the investor meeting. "and we'd like to shift them more aggressively."
What holds IBM back, particularly in the consulting unit, is that some of these people are on long-term contracts serving customers, he said.
Selected comments from the "Watching IBM" Facebook page follow:
The company started the 45-day redundancy notice period with GTS staff on 15 February after forming a Employee Consultation Committee earlier this month, as we revealed.
According to the latest internal memo seen by The Register, Big Blue is actually putting 1,352 staff in Blighty at risk. In the document, IBM stated GTS "continues to drive an aggressive agenda to transform its operational model to maintain our competitive advantage. ...
One of our sources previously said IBM has undertaken "strategic 'resource actions'" every six months for the past year-and-a half, with the latest cuts being the fourth round of redundancies in 24 months. ...
A spokeswoman at IBM, said the company "continually remixes skills - our clients expect no less as they look to IBM to help them take advantage of innovations and new technologies. IBM continues to hire aggressively in key skills areas."
Selected reader comments follow:
IBM is intent on destroying its business and reputation. The so-called growth areas are being tackled purely by buying other companies, and IBM's had such a great record with those, hasn't it?
Concentrix is a wholly owned subsidiary of Synnex Corp. According to Synnex's financial statements, Concentrix had a strong year in 2015. ...
In September of 2013, IBM announced that Synnex was acquiring IBM's global customer care business in a deal expected to help Synnex and Concentrix grow dramatically, according to corporate statements at the time the deal was announced.
The initiative was to have resulted in a multi-year agreement in which Concentrix would become an IBM strategic business partner for global customer care
A Concentrix spokesman said the Boulder facility served other clients and was not tied to IBM.
News of the closure comes as Colorado's economy continues to grow, with Boulder County enjoying one of the lowest unemployment rates - at about 2.5 percent - in the state and country.
Selected reader comments follow:
There is, however, a danger that product categorisation becomes a game. Most businesses of sufficient complexity can be sliced up such that some slice or other is getting bigger. Paranoid investors (the kind that stay in business) will always suspect that the categories are a bit specious. This suspicion is encouraged by IBM’s description of its “imperative” units, which sounds like an industrial accident at a jargon factory: cloud platforms, cognitive solutions, internet of things, analytics, mobile, social. That IBM is a frenetic acquirer and divestor makes the growth still harder to parse. ...
The market prices IBM as a slow decliner. The stock trades under 10 times earnings and has fallen 40 per cent in two years. This, surely, has something to do with why, at Thursday’s investor day, IBM revealed changes to its reporting structure. So might the fact that more detailed segment reporting had a tonic effect on the shares of both Google and Amazon. ...
Two things make a Google/Amazon pop unlikely. The new distinctions at those companies were very clear: advertising is not self-driving cars, and computing is not online retail. Understanding the new IBM still takes work. And those other two companies were growing overall, which always makes scepticism easier to overcome.
The changes shed light on some of IBM’s so-called strategic initiatives, but they did little to illuminate its biggest bet: the effort to generate revenue from its “Jeopardy”-winning Watson artificial intelligence technology.
There “was no ’AWS moment,’” wrote Sanford Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi in a Friday report, referring to Amazon.com Inc.’s decision last year, to report revenue from its Amazon Web Services cloud computing unit after nine years in business. Those figures propelled Amazon shares upward as the company outlined a business that was more profitable and faster-growing than many had expected. ...
Meanwhile the Watson unit has been a major beneficiary of a massive, ongoing reallocation of labor at IBM. The company’s workforce shrank in the last three years, but IBM also has hired voraciously to build up Watson and other capabilities. Last year it added 70,000 new employees (while simultaneously losing 72,000 through layoffs and attrition). More than 20,000 jobs remain unfilled. ...
The Watson division now has about 5,000 employees, including thousands brought in through IBM’s purchases of the Weather Co., Truven Health Analytics Inc., Merge Healthcare Inc. and other acquisitions.
But revenues for the unit appear to be small. The Watson unit is part of a broad segment called Cognitive Solutions that also includes other types of data analytics and transaction-processing software. However, Watson drives revenue in other reporting segments such as Global Business Services. Cognitive Solutions revenue totaled $17.8 billion for 2015, up just 3% year over year.
However, the Watson division itself doesn’t appear to be bringing in significant amounts of revenue to date, at least not by IBM’s standards. Mr. Sacconaghi estimates that stand-alone Watson revenues accounted for less than $200 million in 2015.
Selected reader comments follow:
Reich's efforts changed nothing. Three years after he testified, in 1998, Congress raised the H-1B cap.
The Senate Immigration Subcommittee is holding a hearing Thursday to consider the impact of the H-1B visa program on high-skilled workers. A Disney IT worker who lost his job last year, Leo Perrero, will tell his story to the committee.
Reich won't be testifying, but if he were to do so, this is what he would tell lawmakers:
"I'd say the program has become just another way for Big Tech to keep wages down," Reich said in an email response to a question from Computerworld. "It was originally conceived as a means of getting into the U.S. specific skills in very short supply, which Americans didn't have or for which they couldn't be readily trained," said Reich. "That's not what it has morphed into."
The anger is particularly seen in the candidacies of Donald Trump, the billionaire developer who is leading the race for the GOP presidential nomination, and from Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent who is seeking the Democratic nomination. Both want the H-1B visa program reformed.
"Who could be more different, who could be more opposite," said Kilcrease of Trump and Sanders. But together they probably "represent all the unhappiness with our economy."
Most of the debt increase came from bond issuance, as nonfinancial companies took advantage of the lowest rates on corporate bonds since the mid-1960s. That is a plus as companies in many cases extended the maturity of their debt and lowered borrowing costs.
The negative: Rather than investing the funds they raised back into their businesses, companies in many cases bought back stock instead. That was something that many investors welcomed, but it may have come with future costs that they didn’t fully appreciate. ...
Because those stock buybacks helped reduce companies’ total shares outstanding, earnings per share got a boost. Indeed, absent the past three years’ share-count reductions, S&P 500 earnings per share would have been 2% lower in the fourth quarter than what companies are reporting, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.
Half a week’s pay for each full year you were under 22 one week’s pay for each full year you were 22 or older, but under 41 one and half week’s pay for each full year you were 41 or older.
Length of service is capped at 20 years and weekly pay is capped at £475. The maximum amount of statutory redundancy pay is £14,250.
We also have to work our 3 months service too, so our approximate leave date would be Aug 5th; can you imagine having to work for about one month not knowing; then when you do know you have to stay another five because of what your contract states. Then get 1/3 to 1/5 or less the normal package. Everyone is a bit peed. Not sure about other areas yet, but i reckon it will soon follow.
Cons: Company is made up of over 50% contractors. (Could be as high as 80% according to WSJ article.) Layoffs of both contractors (despite renewed contracts for years) and full-time employees are abrupt and often handled very poorly. People are viewed as a number. As a contractor, don't expect a rate increase no matter how long you are there. Not even a cost-of-living increase. A lot depends on managers. The department is only as good as the manager...the morale is only as good as the manager. Your work can be inspiring, satisfying, and growth oriented depending on the manager.
Pros: The people at the Baton Rouge Center are great people to work with. Friendly and gives you help on your project even if they are on another.
Cons: This is a consultant position, not a developer position. If you are looking for in-house developer position this is not it. It is also a sink or die situation. There is no way to move vertical or horizontal. You are stuck in your position until you find another job. You work 44 hours or more per week which means you will burn out quickly on some project.
Advice to Management: Office Managers: We know you all are working hard to give us good projects, but the project managers are still putting us in positions that we did not signed up for. We are developers not on call help desk 24/7/365.
Advice to Management: Too many layers of management with numerous executives not having any employees reporting to them any longer. IBM is known not be top heavy.
Advice to Management:
Pros: IBM has some of the best technology in the world and is fully committed to delivering client solutions that change the way we live. Lots of absolutely, terrific, top notch people to work with. Dedication to clients, willingness to persevere in the face of obstacles, some terrific managers and leaders who will absolutely go to the mattresses for what's right and for their people. You have the ability to determine the course of your career.
Cons: Management practices are abysmal. "Operational rebalancing" when sales and revenue are down means an annual tradition of mass layoffs. Management doesn't seem to understand what that does to employees in a services business. Salaries are acceptable, bonuses in GBS are awful and continue to get worse. IBM will work you as hard as you are willing to work and then expect more. We have a split personality — we are trying to transform the company, but at the same time, we aren't willing to wait for investments to bear fruit.
Advice to Management: Stop the annual layoffs. It's a sign of ineffective performance management and is poisonous to the staff. Don't force us to go after non-strategic opportunities because of crazy targets. Fix performance measures so we stop cannibalizing the different lines of business. And we have WAAAY too many sellers that are pure overhead!
Pros: Good people and teams. Many strong, well respected products. Large install base across many solution areas. Trying to catch Amazon and Microsoft.
Cons: Fifteen quarters of decline says it all. The brand has lost significant value as perceived by client decision makers. The demand for IBM has dropped significantly. Outsourcing and reduced staffing has hurt customer satisfaction and support. Turnover is very high including senior leaders. The cloud message isn't working. Boosting cloud revenue through creative tactics. Reduced compensation.
Advice to Management: Innovate or die. Fifteen quarters tells you which direction you are headed. The transformation requires something far more radical since it isn't working.
Pros: There were lots of internal resources within the company but it was mostly a serve yourself setup. There was very little support in helping you become better at what you do.
Cons: The big problem I hit while there was an underwhelming direction from leadership on priorities. Building certain types of software requires attention to detail and there was very little paid to things that made certain products usable. All the decisions makers only cared about having a list of check boxes they could mark with no bearing on utility, quality, or impact it had on the overall sustainability of the project.
Advice to Management: Balancing sales driven priorities with careful quality controls and serious analysis of existing customer problems is a must. Throwing everything to the side just to get new customers is a sign that the company doesn't get their own product in any deep sense, and thus has no business selling it.
Pros: Extremely smart and competent people. You get to learn a lot. You'll make great friends. Flexible work schedule, enlightened attitude towards work-from-home. If you prove yourself, they will even let you work remotely (from another city) if you have a family emergency to handle, or even to work in another city permanently too.
Cons: The best projects seem to be hand picked for certain people. It can be very hard to find the sort of work that you want to do (that would develop your career). You may very well end up doing work no one else wants to do (like level 3 support). When you try to put in for a transfer, management gums up the works, and makes it nearly impossible for you to transfer, unless it's one of the positions THEY want you to go to. They also try to make you go to level 2 (phone support), even though you are a software engineer who wants to write code. All of this is meant to make you wanna quit eventually. They have layoffs every year, it can be scary.
Advice to Management: Need to focus on retention, and respect the individual, which is starting to disappear more and more. Make it easier for people to transfer to where they want to go within the company. We can't stay in the same role for 10 years.
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