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Highlights—April 11, 2015

  • Poughkeepsie Journal:

    IBM headcount in Dutchess shrinks to all-time low. By Craig Wolf. Excerpts: The headcount at IBM Corp. in Dutchess County shrank again in 2014 to a new local low. ...

    Combined, the Poughkeepsie and East Fishkill sites had an average of 6,105 people in 2014. ...

    IBM's employment counts heavily in Dutchess County's economy, not only because it's the largest private employer — still — but because Big Blue's pay scale runs considerably higher than the average. The most recent decline is the latest in a long run for a company that once employed more than 30,000 in Dutchess and Ulster counties. The drops, however, are small compared with the early 1990s when thousands were cut from IBM.

  • Legal Newsline Legal Journal:

    Asbestos workers union files securities class action against IBM. Excerpts: The International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers filed the lawsuit on April 1 against International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation alleging the company knew part of the business it was trying to sell was virtually worthless.

    The lawsuit said IBM was attempting to sell part of its hardware business that designs and produces microchips for approximately $2.4 billion. The business included property, a plant and equipment assets. Investors, including the union, allegedly didn't know that IBM struggled to find a buyer and that the business had lost approximately $700 million in 2013. Daniel Patrick Moynihan U.S. Courthouse Daniel Patrick Moynihan U.S. Courthouse

    The lawsuit alleged IBM knew that the microelectronics business was worthless, but misrepresented the value of the microelectronics business and artificially inflated the company's results to stockholders.

    Investors didn't find out about the $700 million loss until IBM announced in October that it planned to transfer the microelectronics business to GlobalFoundries Incorporated along with a $1.5 billion incentive payment, the suit says.

  • eWeek:

    When Will IBM Become a Cloud Leader? By Darryl K. Taft. Excerpts: IBM launched a new cloud unit earlier this year to focus its activities and bring the company's overall cloud strategy under one leader as Big Blue takes aim at more established competitors, such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft.

    IBM's claim to fame is its expertise in the enterprise, and the company is hoping to ride its enterprise prowess to a leadership position in the cloud space. However, the company's rivals and some observers say IBM has a way to go before it can claim to be a "leader" of any sort in the cloud.

    In a recent Forrester report, analyst John Rymer asked: "Is IBM a cloud leader yet?" His conclusion is that IBM is a "strong contender" but not yet a leader. Rymer added that he believes IBM needs more time to join the ranks of cloud leaders, such as AWS, Microsoft and Salesforce.com.

    Meanwhile, IBMers contend that the company deserves to be considered a leader, and they are tired of being portrayed as the Rodney Dangerfield of the cloud.

  • The Street:

    Has Warren Buffett Made a Mistake With His IBM Stock Purchase? By Andrew Meola. Excerpts: For years and years Warren Buffett swore up and down that he would avoid tech stocks because of their uncertainty.

    His investing strategy preaches that discipline, patience, and value consistently outperform the market, and he tries to acquire great companies that trade at a discount to their intrinsic value. Once he gets a stake, Buffett seeks to hold onto it for a long time. He will only invest in businesses that he understands, and always insists on a margin of safety. ...

    But that all changed on November 4, 2011 when Buffett revealed in an interview with CNBC that he had purchased a sizable stake in IBM. In fact, the tech company also found out about Buffett's purchase through the interview! ...

    As of December 31, 2014, Buffett owned 76.972 million shares of IBM for a $12.349 billion value and a 7.8% ownership stake in the company. IBM ranked fourth in his portfolio by weighting at 11.3%. ...

    But how has IBM actually performed since Buffett's purchase? Take a look at the chart from November 4, 2011 until March 27, 2015. ...

    As Buffett mentioned in November 2011, IBM's five-year plan was one reason he found the stock attractive. But CEO Ginni Rometty more or less abandoned the plan, called Roadmap 2015, in light of the aforementioned third-quarter earnings report, according to Forbes. ...

    So at Buffett's scale of ownership of IBM, the Oracle of Omaha has lost hundreds of millions of dollars by sticking with IBM and not switching to, say, Apple or Microsoft. ...

  • Forbes:

    Security Startups Challenge IBM. By Peter Cohan. Excerpts: Recently, hackers have broken into corporate information systems and cost at least one CEO his job.

    This shows how much times have changed. After all, for decades CEOs could shift responsibility for such failures onto their heads of data processing who in turn tried to secure their jobs by buying from IBM. ...

    Not only are CEOs vulnerable but the traditional safe haven — buying from IBM — is no longer seen as an insurance policy. Instead of buying an all-in-one solution from IBM, a Boston-area venture capitalist argues that companies want best-of-breed point solutions to their information security problems.

    As ironman competitor Jeff Fagnan, a partner at Atlas Ventures, explained, “IBM struggles to sell security solutions because companies want to buy from best-of-breed vendors like cyber-attack defender, FireEye, network security vendor, Palo Alto Networks, endpoint security provider, Bit9 + Carbon Black, and application security supplier, Veracode. Companies want to buy from vendors with security in their DNA.”

    IBM disputes this conclusion. IBM spokesperson, Michael Rowinski, said, “The overall security market opportunity is moving to integrated, analytics-driven approaches that protect all parts of organization, including people, data, applications and infrastructure. IBM is a leader across all these segments – including software and services – and continues to gain share and outpace our competition.” ...

    Big companies like IBM and Hewlett Packard have tried to compete by making acquisitions. “IBM has made five or 10 acquisitions and the consolidation continues. But do customers want that? No. They go with next generation technology providers like FireEye,” explained Fagnan. ...

    Ronil Hira, a professor at Howard University, said at the hearing that the utility outsourced work to two companies, and those companies employed H-1B staffers who were then trained by the employees they were replacing. "There could not be a clearer case of the H-1B program being used to harm American workers' wages and working conditions," Hira said.

  • eWeek:

    IBM Aims to Give New Generation of Programmers a Career Edge. By Darryl K. Taft. Excerpt: Demand is growing for a new generation of enterprise computing professionals armed with the expertise to address the mobile, big data and analytics trends. One way to prepare the next generation of computing pros is to train programmers to work with the mainframe. IBM's mainframes have long served as the core hub by major businesses for processing data and transactions. As mobile transactions are growing exponentially, the recently unveiled z13 takes that capability into the digital economy and helps companies meet customer expectations for speed and safety for trillions of transactions in the mobile economy. Learning to work with mainframes gives young programmers a career edge. Hosted at high schools, colleges and universities across the globe, the IBM Master the Mainframe contest is designed to give students mainframe knowledge and real-world experience using enterprise computing skills.
  • Fox News

    : Senators seek probe of claims US workers fired, forced to train foreign replacements. Excerpts: A popular visa program allegedly is being misused by U.S. companies to lay off thousands of American workers and replace them with foreign labor.

    And, adding insult to injury, many of the laid-off workers allegedly have been forced to train their replacements, in what one anonymous whistleblower called a “humiliating” experience.

    The allegations have caught the attention of a bipartisan group of senators -- including immigration hawk Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., and the No. 2 Senate Democrat, Illinois’ Dick Durbin -- who are calling for a federal probe. A letter sent by 10 senators urging an investigation specifically cited reports of the firing and hiring practices at Southern California Edison, California's second-largest utility. The incidents are concentrated in the IT field, and involve American workers being replaced by H-1B visa holders.

    “A number of U.S. employers, including some large, well-known, publicly-traded corporations, have reportedly laid off thousands of American workers and replaced them with H-1B visa holders,” the senators wrote.

  • Glassdoor IBM reviews. Selected reviews follow:
    • “30 years at IBM”

      Current Employee — Senior Pricing Analyst. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: Company is stable. Allows flexibility with work/life balance. Provides decent training. Good 401k and benefits. Managers do not micro manage senior employees. Cons: Limited advancement unless you are in Armonk. Salary increases and bonuses are minimal. Sales runs the company. Management is focused on current quarter and makes decisions that don't make sense. Advice: Share the wealth with employees. Figure out what you want the company to look like and get there quickly.
    • “Started out well — IBM Management have lost their way”

      Former Employee — Software Sales Representative. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 3 years). Pros: IBM could change the world if they focused on their customers. Cons: Appalling management at senior levels — they have all been at IBM far to long with little to no external experience — they are soulless. Advice: Resign and leave ASAP — the shareholders must be worried with 11 straight quarter losses
    • “Software Sales at IBM in the Information Management team.”

      Current Employee — Software Sales in Los Angeles, CA. Pros: Stability, ability to move into other areas of the organization, benefits. Cons: Very little incentive to overachieve as commissions are capped and determined by finance, subject to their discretion. Yearly raises of 1-2% way below the industry average. Advice: More competitive comp plans would attract more skilled and experienced talent and give employees an incentive to overachieve.
    • “Financial Analyst”

      Current Employee — Service Delivery Analyst in Winston-Salem, NC. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than a year). Pros: Good training opportunities, solid brand name. Cons: High turnover, no tuition reimbursement, lack of growth, lack of organizational structure, salaries not competitive to industry. Advice: Encourage innovation by rewarding those that perform, invest in your employees, don't play favorites.
    • “Interesting place to work, but going through tumultuous times”

      Current Employee — Marketing Advisor in New York, NY. Pros: Work at home flexibility. Nice co-workers. Big company means lots of opportunity to try different types of roles throughout one's career here. Cons: Layoffs, and the threat of them, loom over everything. Performance system that requires ranking team members is unnecessarily divisive. Environment can be complex and complicated. Advice to Management: Not much advice to give — appear to be trying to make the best of a difficult market situation. Training opportunities are welcome
    • “A dinosaur”

      Former Contractor — Business Analyst in Dublin (Ireland). I worked at IBM as a contractor (more than a year). Pros: A company you can progress your career in. Cons: Everything takes time; to make the smallest change in a routine needs months of approvals.
    • “Went from good to down hill rapidly”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: work/life balance, vacation, location, intelligent workforce. Cons: No loyalty or trust. Too many benefits are being taken away. Work more with less. No incentives. No raises, no upward mobility. Advice to Management: Go back to basics and treat employees with respect and reward them they are your most valuable assets.
    • “Good Pay, bad Opportunity”

      Current Employee — Staff Software Engineer in Hillsboro, OR. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than a year).

      Pros:

      • Good pay
      • Good stock matching plan
      • The small groups you work are usually pretty nice

      Cons:

      • Terrible bonuses
      • Stock matching plan is once a year; if you are fired or quit, you lose it -
      • Constantly cut employee benefits
      • They like to cut pay raises
      • They like to cut bonuses
      • Upper management wants to drive the company into the ground
      • Tons of layoffs
      • Really hard to advance your career

      Advice to Management: They don't know what they are doing. They want to go into cloud and expand profits when the entire revenue of cloud is less than the revenue of IBM. They lay off all the bad people, and then cut all the benefits so all the good people want to leave.

    • “Managing Consultant”

      Current Employee — Managing Consultant. I have been working at IBM (more than 3 years). Pros: Good place to acquire new skills and growth. Cons: Career progression is employee responsibility; need to focus continuously and spend time for it. Just contributing to IBM bottom line doesn't make you succeed; need to know how it works and work within that framework. Advice to Management: Need to retain their top talent, instead of asking employees to plan their career progression. It is much simpler to get a new job at next level outside than getting a promotion within.
    • “Technical Rep”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 3 years).

      Pros: Freedom to meet with clients, pitch new concepts, make deals.

      Cons: Management and product managers do not meet customers. You end up supporting customers against IBM. The company buys inferior products and companies and can put their management on top of you...which is what they do at Rational for the pathetic Telelogic managers and terrible technologies.

      Advice to Management: 1. Support your best technologies and evangelists. 2. Do not bring in management from other firms, be true to your staff. 3. Visit your customers!

    • “Customer Entitlement Coordinator”

      Former Contractor — Customer Entitlement Coordinator in Boulder, CO. I worked at IBM as a contractor (more than a year).

      Pros: Got help people. Got to work with some really amazing people. Worked with people all over the United States.

      Cons: Took jobs from others. Manpower managers did not care about their workers. Raises did not happen often. Paid time off was not given.

      Advice to Management: Take the time when someone comes to you with very rude things said by others seriously.

    • “Great Opportunity, but depends on which division you work for”

      Former Employee — Analyst in Dubuque, IA. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 3 years).

      Pros: Great place to grow specific skills as they pertain to the IBM portfolio. Professional services groups are top notch; they pay fairly well, and the benefits are very good too.

      Cons: The Strategic Outsourcing groups are extremely mismanaged. Boulder, Dubuque and Columbia (MO) locations are places that I would not recommend.

      Advice to Management: Reevaluate the effectiveness of operations in Boulder, Columbia, and Dubuque, and think about moving those operations to Poughkeepsie perhaps?

    • “Over the past 12 years, Big Blue earned its nickname by slowly turning off the oxygen to our products.”

      Former Employee — Staff Software Engineer in Research Triangle Park, NC. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 10 years).

      Pros: Talented, hard-working team members.

      Cons: Actions of executives on long-term vision do not match their words. Financial engineers running the company from quarter to quarter. Losing money for 13 consecutive quarters.

    • “I.B.M. can become a tech powerhouse again but not under current CEO”

      Former Employee — Software Engineer in San Jose, CA.

      Pros:

      • Nice social events
      • Smart coworkers
      • Invited good speakers on campus often
      • Nice brand

      Cons:

      • Big politics
      • Legacy technologies, tools, and products
      • Company is too big; split, don't fire by the thousands
      • Not honest about how many people they fire
      • Stop firing people for the wrong reasons (financial engineering); do it strategically instead
      • Focus on quality patents, not trivial ones (I knew plenty of coworkers who did not feel very proud of some of their inventions turned patents because anything goes)

      Advice to Management:

      • Get your act together; do more acquisitions in cloud/big data and integrate quickly.
      • Fire current CEO (Ginni Rometty) and instead promote a new CEO from within the engineering or research divisions
      • Buy Splunk
    • “Started out rewarding”

      Current Employee — Project Manager. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years).

      Pros: Best benefits ever and unlimited sick time. Lotus Notes rocks! Great customer clients to work with. Remote work very common, hours can be flexible.

      Cons: Management doesn't promote employees. They would rather hire contractors over exempt employees for new opportunities. IBM bleeds daily on new ideas, so take a risk on your exempt employees and stop worrying about yourself. Exempts have more pride than contractors.

      Advice to Management: Work on career advancement with your employees. You only look good if your employees are moving up the ladder.

    • “Impersonal Business Model”

      Former Employee — Staff Hardware Engineer. I worked at IBM full-time (more than a year).

      Pros:

      • Strong heritage
      • Tech savvy co-workers
      • Well established procedures and career paths
      • Global working environment
      • Great work/life balance

      Cons:

      • Little to no face-to-face communication
      • Working in physical product design felt like working on a part of the company that is being phased out
      • Your job does not feel secure; frequent lay-offs (aka resource actions)
      • You are a number in a large system
      • You have many bosses. In my role as an entry level hardware design engineer I had 15 managers/executives between me and the CEO.

      Advice to Management: More empathy is needed for the PEOPLE who work for you. Please understand that when you make decisions about your human resources you drastically change the lives of those human beings, and usually not for the better.

    • “Good culture and steady job”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee.

      Pros:

      • Good culture, friendly people.
      • Flexibility, unlimited sick days, allow time off for personal business, work from home option.
      • Benefits

      Cons:

      • Underpaid. They will not bother with pay raise or may provide a very small one if you keep asking.
      • Can go on for years without promotions no matter how hard you're working.
      • Hard working employees feel under appreciated. Management doesn't take the time to make employee feel valuable or a contributor.

      Advice to Management: Make your employees feel valuable and have frequent one-on-ones. We work to make money; therefore, pay raises and promotions are important to retain employees.

  • Charlotte Observer, courtesy of Kaiser Health News:

    High-Deductible Health Plans Can Ruin Finances. By Ann Doss Helms. Excerpts: The 30,000-plus people who work for Carolinas HealthCare System will have only one option for insurance next year, and it requires them to pay up to $5,600 a year out of pocket. For family coverage that risk rises to $11,200.

    The move by the Charlotte area’s largest employer spotlights a trend that’s sweeping the country: As more people get health insurance, more people with insurance face potentially devastating medical bills.

    The cost-sharing shift has been building for years. Now it’s snowballing to include some of the region’s biggest employers, from hospitals to banks to public schools. ...

    David Frick of Waxhaw, a 50-year-old case worker for a company that manages worker’s compensation benefits, was healthy and financially stable until Dec. 1, when a trip to the emergency room with abdominal cramps ended with a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer (see accompanying story). He maxed out the $11,000 in out-of-pocket costs on his workplace policy for 2014, and quickly started piling up more bills in 2015.

    Even after tapping retirement savings and getting help from family, friends and their church, he and his wife, P.J., still owe more than $10,000.

    “We work professional jobs. We’re educated. We did everything right,” Frick said. “We have no control over it.” ...

    Stacie Dusetzina, an assistant professor in UNC-Chapel Hill’s schools of pharmacy and health policy, did a recent study that found about one in six leukemia patients stopped potentially life-saving medication during the first six months because they couldn’t afford it. ...

    Experts agree: The days when a good job meant never having to worry about medical bills are gone.

    As the cost-shifting trend continues, the question becomes what to do about people who don’t get the care they need because they can’t afford a few hundred – or thousand – dollars in medical bills.

  • New York Times opinion:

    Enjoying the Low Life? By Nicholas Kristof. Excerpts: The United States is the most powerful colossus in the history of the world: Our nuclear warheads could wipe out the globe, our enemies tweet on iPhones, and kids worldwide bop to Beyoncé.

    Yet let’s get real. All this hasn’t benefited all Americans. A newly released global index finds that America falls short, along with other powerful countries, on what matters most: assuring a high quality of life for ordinary citizens

    The Social Progress Index for 2015 ranks the United States 16th in the world. We may thump our chests and boast that we’re No. 1, and in some ways we are. But, in important ways, we lag.

    The index ranks the United States 30th in life expectancy, 38th in saving children’s lives, and a humiliating 55th in women surviving childbirth. O.K., we know that we have a high homicide rate, but we’re at risk in other ways as well. We have higher traffic fatality rates than 37 other countries, and higher suicide rates than 80.

    We also rank 32nd in preventing early marriage, 38th in the equality of our education system, 49th in high school enrollment rates and 87th in cellphone use.

    Ouch. “We’re No. 87!” doesn’t have much of a ring to it, does it? ...

    “We’re not now No. 1 in a lot of stuff that traditionally we have been,” said Professor Porter, an expert on international competitiveness. “What we’re learning is that the fact that we’re not No. 1 on this stuff also means that we’re facing long-term economic stresses.”

    “We’re starting to understand that we can’t put economic development and social progress in two separate buckets,” Porter added. “There’s a dialectic here.”

    The top countries in the 2015 Social Progress Index are Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Iceland, New Zealand and Canada. Of the 133 countries rated, Central African Republic is last, just after Chad and Afghanistan. ...

    As Porter notes, Americans generally understand that we face economic impediments such as declining infrastructure, yet we’re frozen. We appreciate that our education system is a mess, yet we’re passive.

  • Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert. This week's topics include:
    • Moves to Expand Social Security Benefits Gain Traction in the Senate
    • SGR Bill Disallows Federal Health Standards to be used in Malpractice Cases
    • Postal Banking: Fiesta’s Letter to the Editor in The Washington Post
    • Trans-Pacific Partnership Deal would Likely Raise Prescription Drug Costs
    • Rep. Lois Capps Will Not Run for Reelection
    • Medicare Turns 50: Medicare Protects Retired Service Members
New on the Alliance@IBM Site

Job Cut Reports

  • Comment 04/03/15:

    I know many of you are asking yourselves why isn't the government doing something about the situation at IBM. They did. They gave you the right to organize and recently the right to use company email to do so. Take the hint. Like the Minutemen of old, you must stand in front of the enemy to stop them from advancing. Be an organizer. Passing out fliers is like passing out ammunition to your co workers so they can fight back also. Putting on a blindfold and pretending its not happening is a good way to wind up in front of a firing squad. -Exodus2007-
  • Comment 04/03/15:

    To Band 9 about to leave...although you might be giving them two weeks notice, they do not have to allow you access to their systems for those two weeks. Be prepared to be completely disconnected from IBM's IT infrastructure on the day you give notice. Any contacts, personal data, etc. make sure it is in a place on a non-IBM computer, BEFORE you give notice. Also, be aware of where you stand in terms of vacation time and what not. You would not want them to say you owe them money for unearned days offs. Kudos on choosing to leave, and best wishes on your the future prospects. All-in-all, you do want to depart in a professional manner, regardless of how they might have treated you. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 04/04/15:

    To -Anonymous- of "given a 3 for the first time in 31 years, on a PIP that was totally unattainable." Sorry to hear of how you were treated. Seems to be the norm rather than the exception by this post-Gerstner IBM. I hope you are at least 55 years old so you at least get the FHA. If not, I believe that was the real reason for the PBC 3, PIP: the measured mile that you had to run in a minute flat to prove performance improvement. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 04/04/15:

    Where is my Easter egg IBM? I worked all last night doing your Cloud business and now my manager wants me to come in tomorrow after I get some sleep to "finish up". Yeah, I got a 1% raise recently but would rather forgo it if this is what is "expected". -Anonymous-
  • Comment 04/04/15:

    I was in the wave 2 of cuts at IBM Toronto Lab in Canada. Got the notification on March 23rd and my last day is April 10th. I thought I will be in the wave 1 of cuts. Anyway I know this day will come. From what I know there is another wave coming, most likely in May. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 04/05/15:

    To -Union YES- IBM had all of us 'brainwashed' thinking that if we worked hard, 12+ hour days, weekends, holidays, we would always have a job...and most of us did! I, like many others were hesitant to join the Alliance because we all thought it could NEVER happen to me...well sooner or later it does...all it takes is one or two psycho managers. Managers who are weak leaders, don't have confidence, steal your work and try to promote themselves vs their people, etc, etc. If you are employed JOIN the Union! It costs very little and they can and will help you! -Glad to be Gone!-
  • Comment 04/05/15:

    Massive layoffs coming up for India and Brasil. Pay attention band 9 and 8 employees...you are going to be the first ones. First-line managers deciding who leaves or stays. If you are a good worker, do not worry. You will be relieved when you are gone! -Anonymous-
  • Comment 04/06/15:

    Would it be possible to get a question about Warren Buffet's (i.e., Berkshire Hathaway's) support and justification of that support of IBM management in front of their annual shareholders' meeting on May 2, 2015 and in so doing in front of the global financial news media? That is, have him/them justify the support of IBM management's treatment of domestic employees and the large scale export of good paying US jobs to other countries. To get meeting credentials, one has to own stock in Berkshire Hathaway which is currently about $215,600/share. I think very few people, if any, reading this website owns Berkshire Hathaway stock. Nonetheless, is there another way to confront Buffet in a public way with this question at the share holders' meeting? -Mark1-
  • Comment 04/07/15:

    I just wanted to add my name to the list. I was RA'd at the end of February — a band 10 manager in GTS Marketing. Like many of you, I feel I was managed out of the business, having been rated a '1' and then, over a few years, taken down to a '3'. Officially I had 31 years with the business, but IBM did not count the time I worked as a Branch Office Sales Assistant (supplemental) while I was in college. Counting that time, I would have had 33 years. I am terribly relieved to be out of the cesspool, moving forward again in my life and away from the worst executive management I've worked for in the past 30+ years. -Glad That's Over-
  • Comment 04/07/15:

    The blood bath has been started in Brazil. New round is Friday. -ibmbr-
  • Comment 04/07/15:

    All team members received this in an email this week. "There is an initiative to help improve morale across the business. To help support this initiative, a TSS National Morale team has been assembled". Morale issue? You think? To actually see them admit it speaks volumes. signed -'Fool me once'-
  • Comment 04/08/15:

    Band 9 guy- I left on my own discretion and getting fed up by incompetent management. My first-line was a joke. I got sick of moving one side to another hearing blah blah from executives and shuffling resources to cloud for no reason. I got sick hearing Chef Watson news as if it meant anything. If IBM cared any technology news, they could have highlighted many good case studies STG and RES did over the years but banged up Chef Watson was the only thing to harp on. A lot of new things exist outside IBM managers have no clue and unmotivated IBMers can not help all management getting the promised lands. It is slow death. Beware -Anonymous-
  • Comment 04/08/15:

    @WonderingInNY, The "shareholders" have been quite happy with IBM cutting benefits, cutting employees, and self-cannibalization for many years. They are only unhappy now because its no longer driving the stock price up. If IBM his now hiring and advisor, it's to "spin" the situation; not to reverse their strategy. I've been out of IBM for almost two years. The tech market is pretty vibrant and most other companies don't treat their employees like IBM. If you get an offer, I'd highly advise you to take it and run. IBM experience still has value in other companies but that may not last forever if the house of cards falls. It's wonderful post-Blue. -GoneIn13-
  • Comment 04/08/15:

    -Mark1- I am under the inkling that Warren Buffett doesn't concern himself with the IBM stock price. He only cares for the dividend he gets on the IBM stock shares each quarter which he thinks is a good return on investment. I know it makes little sense but that is my take. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 04/08/15:

    >> OUCH! When Will IBM Become a Cloud Leader? While IBM reinvented its cloud unit with a reorg and new services, it seems the company, like Rodney Dangerfield, still can't "get no respect" in the cloud. <<

    What new services? Just because they market something doesn't mean it exists. It's the same people using different language. Had they not purchased SoftLayer they would still have ONE Strategic Outsourcing account running in their old cloud...a client (Bacardi I think) that was leaving IBM's cloud anyway. They get no respect because they are inactive, not engaged and totally ineffective in this space. Is that going to change? Probably. When? Who knows. Impact? No one is waiting for IBM to get their act together. -Anonymous-

  • Comment 04/09/15:

    "...away from the worst executive management I've worked for in the past 30+ years..." Amen, The myth of IBM is that they still have effective executive management. If Ginni is the leader then they have no real executive leadership, let alone any management and direction. -Pravda-
  • Comment 04/10/15:

    I first wrote on 3/25/15 about receiving PBC 3 and 90-day PIP (Performance Improvement Plan) after many years at 2+. I am over 55, with over 30 years at IBM. Close to finishing first month on PIP with no chance of reaching impossible list of objectives outlined on PIP template. Does anyone have experience with being placed on 90 day PIP, and then being offered reduced ISAP (Individual Separation Agreement) prior to the end of 90 days? I am doing the best I can to anticipate my forced retirement...having the extra 90 days, rather than being forced out with 30 days notice under RA, has been helpful, but still painful. -Anonymous in S&D-
  • Comment 04/10/15:

    Eight weeks of Friday mandatory cloud education for a number of sites in Canada (not sure if all). This requires coming into the location in person for two hours for CAMSS education, awareness and meeting with IBM exec and SMEs. With travel, three to four hours of the day used up for many. This strikes me as a very odd choice of training methods and questionable use of time. Seems like there is more to this than is said. -canuck-
  • Comment 04/10/15:

    I hope Warren Buffet loses his shirt on the IBM investment. Because of his and IBM management greed I lost my job when I needed it most - after the birth of a child. Rot in hell you greedy bast*rds! May you find yourselves in the hottest most raging part of the inferno. It won't be long! -fg-
  • Comment 04/10/15:

    With all the Cloud back and forth, let's not lose sight of the fact that before Amazon wiped IBM's *ss and they discovered religion and bought Softlayer there was IBM's own in-house developed "Smart Cloud" that execs had no idea what to do with, or how to market (before the CIA fiasco). Details at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_cloud_computing.

    There are some exaggerated claims as to how wide spread it was actually used. If a company got an ID on it to give it a try it was considered a "customer". To IBM, Cloud Computing was viewed and treated as a passing industry fad as "Thin Clients", and Virtualization. "Smart Cloud" was a kludge, a poor step child of SWG. It was offered to the public as a freebie "try me Test Cloud deal." Virtually (no pun) all the execs, VPs, DEs involved with it have left IBM. Cringley would have a field day writing about it. At the same time Research had its own toy clouds (RC1 and RC2) that were never implemented in any scale. -CloudyDays-

  • Comment 04/10/15:

    Twenty layoffs this week in Brazil...GBS and GTS. The managers want discretion but the blood bath is just starting. Shame on you IBM. Another massive layoff coming discretely. Cringely was right...wish this company best luck because the environment is toxic. Brace yourselves. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 04/10/15:

    IBM is making good use of social media and we should engage IBM in the social media environment. I want to suggest that Facebook and Twitter users interact with IBM on its social media feeds. We can get the message out about RAs, H1B visas, unionizing efforts, and mistreatment of employees by commenting directly on IBM social media feeds. For example, there is the @IBM Twitter feed that is ripe for commenting. Let us get our messages included within IBM's. Consider this a new way of disseminating information for the new ages. -Anonymous-

    Alliance reply: Good idea. As a matter of fact, Alliance has been active on Facebook and Twitter for a few years now.

    If you have a Twitter account and/or a Facebook account, consider following us at @allianceibm on Twitter and Allianceibm Cwa on Facebook. Also, to keep it consistent with Alliance, we recommend using @IBM #THINKunion whenever you tweet re: IBM. We have 1522 followers on Twitter, and we have 1753 "likes" on our Facebook page. Not a huge following, but there is room to grow and potential to reach, if you really want to organize with social media. Thank you for your comment and your support.

  • Comment 04/11/15:

    Add to the social media list - LinkedIn. Follow and comment on the various IBM boards. You will reach a professional audience, act accordingly. Many customer execs, current and former IBMers are there. -anon-
  • Comment 04/11/15:

    With GE announcing yesterday that it is selling off GE Capital its financial component. Don't forget, IBM has it's own 'IBM Credit Corp' subsidiary that generates revenue offering financial support to customers for buying hardware. With IBM's hardware sales in steady decline, ICC becomes a vestigial entity that can easily be sold off. ICC is based out of the old IBM HQ white elephant building in Armonk. The parking lots there are so empty, so empty. -anonymous-
  • Comment 04/11/15:

    Anonymous in S&D — Just show up to work for the next 60 days for eight hours a day and do nothing special if you are sure you can't meet the objectives anyway. Take all the money you can get out of them and move forward to a new life. I don't know if there is a way out but use the next couple of months to find a job while still collecting a paycheck. -longtimebeemer-
  • Comment 04/11/15:

    "...layoffs this week in Brazil..." And there were large layoffs in India, USA, Canada, UK, Australia, China so next country please now step in line. After Brazil I can see the Eastern Europeans getting impacted. See, IBM really does stand for INTERNATIONAL Business Meanderings. They are an equal opportunity offender to world job security through these unjust resource actions! We need an INTERNATIONAL or global IBM UNION! -Anonymous-

    Alliance reply: We DO have an IBM Global Union Alliance. It has been written about on this Job Cuts Report section (see archives), on the main page, and in mass emails to IBM employees (list of unions link). What we need is more workers joining HERE.

  • Comment 04/11/15:

    Informed I was being RA'd on the day of my 14th anniversary with the company. Manager was not even aware of the anniversary. It is odd that after having a one-on-one with my manager in early January where she asked what my plans for the future were, I indicated that I had to get to March 2016 to hit 15 years in order to qualify for the Health Spending Account. After that I had options going forward.

    Shortly after that discussion I was given my first "3" rating. Told I was under performing.

    I am a team lead. I was put on a performance plan that was to run until April 20. January and February production numbers showed I was exceeding my goals under the plan. On March 19, 2015 I was informed that I was being RA'd even though I was well ahead of plan expectations. Another member of my team under a plan similar to mine, was also given the news the same day as well.

    Managers are not allowed to talk about how many or even indicate who was being RA'd on their individual teams. So far I am aware of four of us that were affected by the action. Of the four, three of us are over 55 and were considering retirement in the future, just not in 2015.

    Spoke with a first-line manager in our group that was also RA'd after delivering the RA message to a member of her team. She indicated that in management discussions where they discuss employee ratings several people that were near to or had indicated the possibility of retirement in the not too distant future were to be given "3" ratings just because of their comments to their individual manager regarding future retirement plans. A good indication of the selection process for being selected.

    It appears that IBM is performing the RA's a little at a time across different divisions in order to hide the number of affected people. They are further concealing the information by not being truthful in their announcements concerning someone leaving a team. The announcement reads something like "so and so has chosen to retire will be retiring on (date). Or so and so has decided to accept an opportunity with another company and will be leaving.

    They won't even tell the truth to their own teams. It is amazing how deceitful and untrustworthy the company and its management has become. -Anonymous-

If you hire good people and treat them well, they will try to do a good job. They will stimulate one another by their vigor and example. They will set a fast pace for themselves. Then if they are well led and occasionally inspired, if they understand what the company is trying to do and know they will share in its sucess, they will contribute in a major way. The customer will get the superior service he is looking for. The result is profit to customers, employees, and to stcckholders. —Thomas J. Watson, Jr., from A Business and Its Beliefs: The Ideas That Helped Build IBM.

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