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Highlights—April 18, 2015

  • New York Times:

    IBM Venture With China Stirs Concerns. By Paul Mozur. Excerpts: Shen Changxiang, who once supervised the cybersecurity of China’s strategic missile arsenal and spearheaded computer security research for the navy, has warned of the perils of his country’s reliance on American technology.

    Yet in December, the 74-year-old former military engineer, one of China’s top-ranking cyberofficials, quietly started working with a company synonymous with American technological prowess: IBM. Mr. Shen’s task is to help a little-known Chinese company absorb and build upon key technologies licensed by IBM, according to a statement posted on a Beijing government website.

    In the past 16 months, IBM has agreed — and received permission under United States export laws — to provide the Beijing company, Teamsun, with a partial blueprint of its higher-end servers and the software that runs on them, according to IBM announcements and filings from Teamsun. As the chief scientist overseeing the IBM project on behalf of the Chinese government, Mr. Shen is helping Teamsun, and in turn China, develop a full supply chain of computers and software atop IBM’s technology.

    The goal is to create a domestic tech industry that in the long run will no longer need to buy American products, thus avoiding security concerns. ...

    Critics say IBM is caving in to Chinese demands, placing short-term business gains ahead of longer-term political and trade issues. Its actions may spur other American companies to break ranks and also submit to the new Chinese regulations, out of concern that IBM will get advantages by cooperating with the country. ...

    In a recent interview posted on Teamsun’s website, Huang Hua, a vice president, said the company’s new capabilities would help it better address security concerns of local Chinese companies. Calling a movement in China to replace crucial high-end technology from IBM, Oracle and EMC an “opportunity,” Mr. Huang said Teamsun’s strategy to “absorb and then innovate” would enable it to eliminate the capability gap between Chinese and American companies and create products that could replace those sold by companies in the United States.

    Language about replacing IBM, Oracle and EMC was removed from the site after Teamsun and IBM were contacted for this article. Teamsun declined to be interviewed about the IBM project, and an assistant declined to make Mr. Shen available for comment. ...

    Clyde V. Prestowitz, a senior Commerce Department official in the Reagan administration, said IBM’s approach to China is reminiscent of what the company did in Japan decades ago. He said tech transfers to Japanese companies helped them catch up to the United States.

    “IBM was arrogant in saying, ‘We’ll give them some tech and then innovate faster than them,’ and that wasn’t the case,” he said.

  • Seeking Alpha:

    IBM May Cut Its EPS Forecast Again. By Bill Maurer. Excerpt: Anyone who has followed my work in recent months knows that I've continued to discuss a stronger US dollar. The currency issue is hurting many names, especially those that have a substantial amount of business outside the US. One name that I'm particularly worried about is IBM, which will report its earnings Monday afternoon. Due to a rising dollar, I feel that Big Blue could be about to lower its EPS forecast again.
  • CRN:

    IBM SoftLayer cops spray over Bigcommerce disruption. Frustration boils over amid snag in services. By William Maher. Excerpts: Australian-owned e-commerce platform provider Bigcommerce has written a scathing blog post criticising IBM SoftLayer over availability problems affecting its customers.

    An incident in early April resulted in some Bigcommerce storefronts failing to load correctly due to missing content such as issues, styles and other assets, as well as slow response times, according to Bigcommerce status updates.

    The incident resulted in service disruption affecting five percent of Bigcommerce stores, a spokesperson told CRN. It is understood that Bigcommerce uses IBM Softlayer facilities in the US.

    On late Wednesday evening on 1 April, Bigcommerce's SoftLayer storage cluster started exhibiting degraded performance. Engineering teams from Bigcommerce and IBM SoftLayer worked to resolve the issue, with widespread recovery of the storage clusters beginning on 4 April. The disruption lasted until 1am on 5 April, and systems were stable by 8 April. ...

    Scott Baker, Bigcommerce's head of site reliability and operations, also directed his unhappiness at IBM SoftLayer. “Our engineers placed too much trust in IBM SoftLayer and that's on us.

    “Unfortunately, our trust in IBM SoftLayer was misplaced. They have failed at every level of an operations team, they have failed as a business unit, they have failed in caring about how their customers are affected.”

    Customers took to Reddit to voice their displeasure, with one Bigcommerce user writing: "We're losing thousands of dollars while they sit here and blame SoftLayer for their negligence. I have a feeling we're all about be spending a lot of time building shopify stores this week."

  • Injustice Smugmug:

    Open Letter to Ginni Rometty (IBM CEO) and Bernard Tyson (Kaiser Permanente CEO). Discrimination in the Workplace at IBM! Covert Discrimination: No Subtle Matter. Full excerpt: I am a former employee of International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) Headquarters, Armonk, NY, a company that has been in business for over 100 years. IBM is a major leader in corporate business, has a diverse workforce, and is an organization thought to be among those companies setting the standard in employee fairness. Sadly, however, employee fairness was not the practice at the branch where I worked. Unfortunately, this facility was more favorable to white males and fostered a culture of discrimination routinely experienced by the minority workforce.

    Based on the disparate treatment I personally experienced while working at IBM in Columbia, Missouri, I filed numerous complaints with the Missouri Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) citing gender and racial discrimination, violation of my Civil Rights under Title VII of the Act of 1964, and ultimately, retaliation. It is my position that IBM management neglected to take my allegations seriously due to the fact that I am African-American and a woman.

    My EEOC complaint alleges I was regularly harassed by a male colleague in the workplace. On one occasion, while I was on the telephone with a client, the man surreptitiously entered into my cubicle space, muted my telephone, and forcibly turned my chair around so that I was facing him with my body was thrust against the desk, leaving me little room to escape. Suddenly, he began to scream hysterically and I froze in fear for my life. Fortunately, I managed to escape this incident without physical harm. Nonetheless, I was traumatized and I recall quite vividly how the harassment progressed.

    Subsequent to my complaints, management initiated a pattern of bullying, harassment, and intimidation that continued daily for the next 18 months. The following is a list of what I endured:

    • special medical accommodations denied
    • promotion was rescinded
    • paychecks were delayed
    • unpaid overtime
    • •cyberbullying
    • low performance rating
    • I was socially ostracized

    Moreover, I requested to be permanently moved away from the male counterpart who harassed and threatened to do bodily harm to me and was essentially told “No.” The response by IBM Human Resource was as follows:

    “…please understand that you are using the title of ‘Harasser’ and it is important for you to be reminded that the corporate investigation determined that there were no findings of your allegation of ‘harassment’…and I cannot mandate management to move you away from your alleged harasser.”

    Thus, despite continued harassment, which I reported to IBM management, no action was taken to address my complaint or thwart the actions of my co-worker.

    Further, in addition to my report of collegial harassment, management became aware that I was privy to information regarding a severe HIPAA data breach within the organization. I have included the following excerpt regarding the Kaiser Permanente (KP) data breach from the report of which I was privy: “It is my belief that if an auditor were to examine the KP Domino infrastructure as it is today, that it would be impossible for IBM, ‘to demonstrate compliance to mandatory HIPAA requirements.”...“Some of the violations I see fall under the following categories:

    • Implementing encryption mechanisms
    • Controlling logical access to PHI (protected health information)
    • There is no disaster recovery plan that covers all the Domino servers or all the data centers"

    Consequently, due to the negligence of IBM, who has a contractual agreement with KP to protect patient privacy, IBM failed to protect confidential data. This impacted several hundred servers, and an indeterminate number of Kaiser’s patients were undoubtedly affected.

    In light of this discovery and to add insult to injury, upon my return from a medical leave of absence (necessitated by the traumatic events I experienced), I was terminated, though, prior to these incidents, I received satisfactory evaluations.

    This matter, and the fact that it remains unresolved, has confounded my life for more than three years now. What I’ve suffered as a result of the aforementioned events has dealt a swift blow to not only my financial security, but also to my emotional well being. Further, there is no evidence that IBM seeks to remedy the situation, which is disturbing.

    I ask you, is this standard conduct for an allegedly reputable organization? Does IBM tolerate employee discrimination, collegial harassment, and the mishandling of employee complaints? Based on what has happened to me and the neglectful manner in which it was handled, I am left with the unsavory impression that this is business as usual for your organization. And, while this may be the case, while you may have tossed this issue aside as insignificant, please note that I am seeking a satisfactory resolution. The treatment I experienced was intolerable and inexcusable and I intend to share my story.

    “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”—Martin Luther King, Jr

    Deepest regards, Former IBMer

  • Sydney Morning Herald (Australia):

    Woman takes on IBM and loses $150,000 in return-to-work case. By Anna Patty. Excerpts: A young mother who complained that multinational technology giant IBM had overloaded her with work after she returned from maternity leave has been ordered to pay $150,000 in costs after losing her court battle.

    Software engineer Kelly Yeoh alleged that she was working for 60 hours during some weeks, when she was supposed to be working for only 20.

    The Federal Circuit Court of Australia heard the complaint in late March and has issued a judgment in IBM's favour, ordering Mrs Yeoh to pay costs of $150,000.

    Judge Sandy Street said Mrs Yeoh took maternity leave in 2008 when she worked for IBM in Canberra. After moving to Adelaide, Mrs Yeoh returned to work for the company's South Australia office in July 2009.

    IBM approved a request for her hours to be reduced to 20 per week.

    An IBM manager reported that Mrs Yeoh had to "skill up" because of changes in the project she was working on and said she was performing well until early 2010. In March 2010, the manager raised concerns about Mrs Yeoh's productivity.

    Mrs Yeoh alleged she suffered discrimination by being required to work for more than 20 hours per week.

    She alleged that she worked for 40 to 60 hours each week for a period of almost 14 months and that she had been given a weekly workload which could not be performed in 20 hours.

    But Judge Street said Mrs Yeoh was not directed to work the longer hours. ...

    The judge said he favoured evidence from IBM managers who said Mrs Yeoh was told she should not work more than 20 hours. And he rejected Mrs Yeoh's allegations of discrimination on the basis of reasons including her gender and being a young mother.

    A selected reader comment follows:

    IBM is the king of underhanded HR practices. No manager puts anything remotely negative in writing in order to cover their backside. I should know because I was one of those very people. When you become a manager in IBM, you're "expected" to put in at least 50-60 hours a week. It's not all roses in IBM. Historically they are one of the great underpayers too. In 2015, they have set utilisation targets for staff that means each person would need to work 44.9 hour a week - but be paid for 37.5. In the words of my former manager - "people need to work harder". IBM will continue to lose major contracts because they do not have the staff to service their customers. IBM knows this and do it without any care. IBM's HR Case Managers are swamped with cases of stress and illness brought about through overwork. I personally believe this lady because I've seen many times that this approach is par for the course.
  • Poughkeepsie Journal:

    IBM toxic pool defies cleanup. By Tom Wilber. Excerpts: After 35 years, IBM Corp. contractors have stanched the flow of industrial solvents into a commercial and residential district in the heart of the village, but they have yet to find a solution for the source of the problem at the company's former flagship manufacturing plant.

    Officials recently reported that efforts to intercept and remove the subterranean flow of hazardous chemicals coming from the industrial complex — now owned by Huron Real Estate Associates — have been successful. Consequently, health risks to a nearby neighborhood have been eliminated.

    Yet they have no remedy for a concentrated pool of solvents directly under the manufacturing site, where at least 1,500 people still work. It may take years before a proven remedy is found, according to Alex Czuhanich, an engineering geologist with the state Department of Environmental Conservation, although the agency has no timetable for the project.

    The pollution, discovered in 1979, includes trichloroethylene (TCE) and other solvents used as industrial degreasers that have been linked to maladies ranging from cancer to birth defects. IBM used vast quantities of the solvents to manufacture printed circuit boards during the company's heyday from the 1950s through the 1970s. ...

    Reluctance by IBM and the DEC to publicly discuss the source area has added to uncertainty about its status. IBM spokesman Todd Martin did not reply to phone calls or written inquires on the subject. ...

    A study of mortality rates of IBM workers, completed by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health last year, found people who worked at the Endicott campus when the chemicals were widely used had relatively high rates of deaths from certain cancers and nervous system diseases. The study took into account records from 34,494 workers beginning in 1969, before TCE was phased out of production. ...

  • Binghamton (NY) Press & Sun Bulletin editorial:

    Workers exposed to TCE in Endicott need more protection. Excerpts: In the community's must-do file, add an urgent cautionary note for the Huron campus worksite in Endicott that sits atop a toxic pool of trichloroethylene.

    About 1,500 people work at the former IBM site where the ground and water table is contaminated with the chemical that IBM used in its manufacturing operations.

    TCE vapors have been detected in the buildings at the property that IBM sold in 2002 to Huron Real Estate Associates. BAE Systems Electronics, i3 Electronics (formerly Endicott Interconnect), Binghamton University and other smaller firms have operations on the property.

    An expert on TCE contamination recently told a workers and residents meeting in Endicott that employees at the location ought to be getting more information about the TCE vapor testing and the chemical's concentration levels in the indoor air. ...

    Of particular concern in Endicott and at other spill sites across the country is that TCE exposure is now associated with birth defects for women exposed to it for short periods of time over days or weeks. TCE exposure has previously been linked to several serious human diseases. In 2011, the federal Environmental Protection Agency determined the chemical was a carcinogen.

    The problem with TCE wafting into workplaces in Endicott may continue for years. Earlier this month in reporting on an in-depth look on the 35-year-old cleanup, writer Tom Wilber found there is no remedy for draining the pool of solvents from under the manufacturing site. Wilber learned from Alex Czuhanich, an engineering geologist with the state Department of Environmental Conservation, it may take years before a proven remedy is found.

  • Bloomberg Business:

    Bridgewater Is Said to Start Artificial-Intelligence Team. By Kelly Bit. Excerpt: Ray Dalio’s $165 billion Bridgewater Associates will start a new, artificial-intelligence unit next month with about half a dozen people, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The team will report to David Ferrucci, who joined Bridgewater at the end of 2012 after leading the International Business Machines Corp. engineers that developed Watson, the computer that beat human players on the television quiz show “Jeopardy!”
  • eWeek:

    IBM's 2015 Fellows Hail From Analytics, Cloud, Systems Camps. By Darryl K. Taft. Excerpt: IBM awarded 10 of its top technologists, scientists and researchers with the distinction of IBM Fellow. This year's Fellows are at the vanguard of innovations in business, science and society. They hail from a variety of disciplines, ranging from cloud computing and enterprise systems to predictive analytics. In addition to their R&D responsibilities, each of the new Fellows will choose a country from IBM's emerging markets where they will serve as technical ambassadors, continuing a program initiated in 2013. To be named an IBM Fellow requires achievements across four criteria: sustained innovation in some of the world's most important technologies, significant recognition as leaders among IBM's executive and technical communities, broad industry acknowledgement of their accomplishments and a strong history of helping clients deploy new technologies and business models. Collectively, the 10 new Fellows have filed for 441 patents, of which 289 have been granted so far. Since the first appointments by IBM CEO Thomas J. Watson Jr. in 1963, there have been 267 IBM Fellows, 95 of whom remain active IBM employees. IBM shared with eWEEK its list of new Fellows and their accomplishments.
  • Washington Post:

    How IBM Watson helped me to create a tastier burrito than Chipotle. By Dominic Basulto. Excerpts: When you think of the classic burrito, you probably don’t think of Austrian cuisine. And you certainly don’t think of chocolate, apricots, oranges and vanilla beans. Which is why the Austrian chocolate burrito is so fascinating – it somehow manages to reinvent everything you thought you knew about which ingredients and flavors should be in a burrito.

    The Austrian chocolate burrito is just one of the more than 65 recipes in the new Cognitive Computing with Chef Watson cookbook, a three-year collaboration project between IBM and the Institute of Culinary Education to showcase how supercomputers can be used in the kitchen to find new ingredient combinations and new ways of pairing foods.

  • Glassdoor IBM reviews. Selected reviews follow:
    • “The elephant can barely walk”

      Former Employee — IT Architect in Hursley, England (UK).

      Pros:

      • Other smart people to work with (in GBS and SWG).
      • Range of client and projects is good if you are willing to travel all the time and get lucky (hear about them, get yourself a role).
      • Brand name still worth something.
      • Some technical capability unlike shiny suit fat-tie 'pure' consultancies.

      Cons:

      • Sorry to have resigned from the company (remembering how it was) but not sorry to be away from the current IBM. I didn't go under a severance package so I'm not gagged unlike colleagues who would be balancing the obvious shills pumping up Glassdoor with happy-happy reviews.
      • Strategically IBM became slow to move, missing opportunities and falling behind on technology. I mean, way behind.
      • Grinding itself into the dirt with bureaucracy and treatment of employees. Morale is in the toilet, complete lack of respect at every turn. I was consistently 1 and 2+ rated, but terrible salary and bonus requests — only offered once I resigned.
      • First line management is a powerless puppet. I didn't see my manager face-to-face for >12 months, and had to call him up on my last day to say goodbye and tell him where my laptop/corp card was.
      • Plenty of idiots with no skills but shifty slopey shoulders, particularly in GTS/SO, in my experience.
      • Embarrassingly bad to do business with from a client point of view.
      • Constant travel in consulting — ruins personal/family life. That is the nature of the job, but glad to have left it behind.
      • B-S free work under the guise of "giveback". Look, I've given you 20 hours of travel and 60 hours of work; how about giving me something back? And if it's worth doing, it's worth IBM investing in.
      • Dangling the carrot of progression — but you have to spend hours of your own time to jump through hoops just to get more of the same for no guaranteed salary hike. Errr...how about 'no'?

      Advice to Management:

      • Listen to your technical leaders. Don't force them to become just like you (project manager/sales roles).
      • Invest money — your money not your employees' spare time — in service offerings and technical solutions, not just hope to harvest and re-use from projects. It's not just hardware and software products which need innovation and investment.
      • Various UK management in skilled groups leave and form a small consultancy of your own. You don't need Armonk or their local UK and European tar pit to be successful; corporate is a drag not a help.
    • “IT Project Manager”

      Former Employee — IT Project Manager in Boulder, CO.

      Pros: Good benefits, Work-from-home opportunities, Great people to work with.

      Cons: IBM has turned into a company that treats their employees as just a number. This is the worst company to work for. If you want to be treated like a number, work 24 x 7, get called on vacation and holidays to work, work 60 plus hours a week, get screamed at by executives, then work for IBM. Employee moral is extremely low, while people question if they are going to have a job tomorrow. Most of the projects are in red, and everyone is running around like a chicken with their heads cut off, not knowing what is going on. I have wasted many years at this place and I am glad to be gone and will never to return to this toxic environment.

      Advice to Management: Quit treating people like numbers. Stop the RA of talented resources. The PBC evaluation is demoralizing. Train your employees to be able to keep up with the current technologies; don't just lay it on them without any training. Train your DPEs, PEs, XMs, TTIMs to know and follow all the Project Management Office systems. Every one I have ever worked with, ran the programs differently. Give your DPEs, PEs, XMs and TTIMs anger management classes. They all seem like you just hired them out of the military. Have your technical SME's involved with engagements so they can give you a real timeline of what it will take to complete the transitions; don't just say you have to get this done within 6 months or else. Get back to the true value of a company; it is the employees!

    • “Was very excited about IBM, now spirits are broken”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee. I have been working at IBM (less than a year).

      Pros: Good benefits. Good pay. Lots of very good and very interesting self-directed courses on their learning tool. Easy to get the training and certifications you need, not as much red tape for approval. Lots of innovation, clubs to attend to learn interesting things.

      Cons: Extremely hostile environment. Was pulled off a project less than a month after starting for a "performance issue". The client did not give me a chance to learn the ropes of either the client or IBM itself and people in the other office on the client side were extremely rude to me when I was still learning. I was even threatened once. Feel treatment from client was discriminatory.

      Advice to Management: Do not give into unreasonable demands from difficult clients. Back up and realize that the well being of your employees is important. You cannot win and retain clients if your employees are not healthy and happy. Also, require clients to adhere to IBM's diversity policy when dealing with IBM staff.

    • “It was great in the beginning...from there on it went downhill.”

      Former Employee — Senior Consultant in Johannesburg (South Africa). I worked at IBM full-time (more than 10 years).

      Pros:

      • Brand - everyone wants to work for IBM.
      • Experience - taught me to never work for another corporate of this size.

      Cons:

      • Lack of strategy by executive management.
      • Lack of adaptability to changing market trends.
      • Rebranding of the same offerings time and again.
      • Impersonal feeling as an employee - you don't have an Employee Number, you have a Serial Number (like a piece of equipment).
      • Management see themselves as infallible - never heed good advice from employees, always use their own judgment.
      • Too many others...

      Advice to Management: Start the next cycle of retrenchments from the top and work your way down; too many useless chiefs in the middle. Use local people as executive management; imports and assignees do not understand the local culture and, like the mother company, think that international methods will work in SA...most of which fail.

    • “Immer schlechter”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee in Munich, Bayern (Germany). Pros: Früher war es mal ein gutes Unternehmen, das ist aber Geschichte. Cons: Mitarbeiter ist nichts mehr wert Alles für die Aktionäre Firmenpolitik ist nicht nachhaltig. Advice to Management: Achtung der Mitarbeiter wieder in den Vordergrund stellen Ohne Mitarbeiter funktioniert kein Unternehmen.

      English translation, courtesy of Google Translate:

      “Worse and worse”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee in Munich, Bayern (Germany). Pros: It used to be a good company, but that is history. . Cons: Staff is worthless. Everything for shareholders; company policy is not sustainable.. Advice to Management: Respect for employees back into the foreground. Without employees, no company works.
    • “Managing Consultant”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee in New York, NY. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 5 years).

      Pros: Provides great breadth of services, many smart people, and an offering catalog that is second to none. Has a name and reputation that almost everyone around the world can instantly recognize.

      Cons: Global Business Services is slow to adapt to the market and is often held back by its size and overhead. There is a lack of focus on talent retention and often senior leaders are powerless to help keep top employees.

      Advice to Management: Constant reorganization strategies with little change management associated with them have left employees often confused and untrained on key go-to-market strategies. If you have a strategy, the ones executing it in the field should be the ones most aware as they are the front lines in interacting with clients. Also focus more on talent retention and recognition. Not everything is about a single metric during performance reviews.

    • “So much history, so much potential, but so much drag”

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

      Pros: If you ever do a quick review of IBM's history, you will find an organization that invented or improved a multitude of industries and aspects of modern life. The original founder, and his son, seemed invested in creating a business that was a positive force in society and which took pride in advancing the lives of employees and their families.

      Cons: Today's IBM manages and incents plenty of unintentional and bad behaviors. Managers are driven to protect and champion their own employees regardless of relative value. Top-line revenue numbers and short-term profitability have overtaken innovation, customer loyalty, and employee growth as prime motivators in the company. Employment at IBM can feel very frustrating from both a personal and technical perspective.

      Advice to Management{ Revive the proud IBM traditions of company value, innovation, and employee growth. Focus on a strategy to dominate an industry, or a market, or a technology, and stop trying to hit unrealistic short-term financial reporting targets.

    • “Tech Dinosaur”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than a year).

      Pros:

      • Good benefits compared to non-tech employers,
      • Good amount of time off,
      • 6% 401k match,
      • Flexible about working remote.

      Cons:

      • Still using waterfall design rather than agile.
      • The company overcharges itself to use its own services, when superior services exist at a cheaper price elsewhere.
      • AIX.

      Advice to Management: Fix the Cons above. Those are all easily addressable issues; look at start-ups and see how many use AIX, waterfall design, or Lotus Notes.

    • “Certified IT Specialist"

      Former Employee — IT Project Manager in São Paulo (Brazil). I worked at IBM (more than 8 years).

      Pros: Work from Home. Health benefits.

      Cons: Harassment and bullying in order to inspire fear and attrition. Average salary. Does not give raise to their employees. A lot of layoffs in the past 2 years. Low motivation.

      Advice to Management: Take care of the ones who really drives this company - your employees.

    • “PhD Microelectronic engineer”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee in Hopewell, NY. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 5 years).

      Pros: One of the best place all over the world to do R&D in Microelectronic! Lot of very talented people, so you can learn a lot from them. Since it is R&D it is still a very interesting job where you could learn everyday.

      Cons: Not easy to work in a company when you do not know what's going on. Not clear vision of what will happen in less than a year. Due to that lot of people are just not motivated anymore. Forget about see you salary increase, even if you are in the top performers!

      Advice to Management: Direct managers are OK. I guess the problem come from the top management who care more about the stock price than the people them self. Not sure they care about the company too. Only short term profit is the goal.

    • “Consultant_ID”

      Current Employee — Consultant_ID in Greenville, SC. Pros: Rich history. IBM has done (and continues to do) many good things for the world. Without IBM, NASA wouldn't have sent a man to the moon. We wouldn't have the personal computer. Women and minorities wouldn't have the types of management opportunities that IBM has afforded them. For a very long time, IBM's heart and soul were aimed in the right direction. And, I am continuing to be impressed by Watson's capabilities. It should prove to be a game changer for millions.

      Cons: At some point (actually, during the height of the recession), IBM opted to purchase good companies who were in distress, rather than enhance and reward their existing talent pool. For the three worst years of the recession, IBM did exceedingly well. But, Sam Palmisano saw the tidal wave that was about to hit, and took a HUGE severance package, leaving our current president (Ginni Rometty) with a mess to clean up.

      Eight straight quarters of declining revenue, stealth layoffs (some that have impacted entire state economies), morale that is sinking, and a North American workforce that is afraid that they won't have a job after 2015. Many are hoping to get laid off with a severance package. Even more are opting for early retirement. At least then, they can take a break and recover before looking for another job.

      Work life balance no longer exists. One former employee, a woman who opted for part time status (she had a child) was forced to pay $150,000 in court fees when she claimed that she was asked to work a 60-hour week, even though she was being paid for 20.

      While I have no court fees yet, I can personally attest that my reduced workload has been a bonanza for IBM. I am always assigned work that is improperly scoped, and when I complain that I am not being paid for a 60 hour work week, the only response that I get (from a well intentioned manager) is to be more efficient in managing my time. Whatever.

      IBM's forced attrition plan (aka "Roadmap 2015) virtually guarantees that they will continue to shed honest, skilled, hard working folks. Our replacements, while nice folks, will be under paid, over-utilized, and in constant fear of losing their job. Really too bad, because IBM has the potential to turn this sinking ship around. For their sake, I hope that they do.

      Advice to Management: I was fully prepared to make this my career until my 50's, and used to have admiration for folks who made it more than 20 years with IBM. I no longer feel that way. Please find a way to boost morale for the poor souls who still believe in you.

    • “Dreary, floggings continue until morale improves”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee.

      Pros: Large company, sitting on a lot of cash, could possibly turn the corner and become an overall positive, vibrant place to work again. Holds many, many patents and continues a substantial level of R&D investment. Because it's so big, there's plenty of pockets where, if you time it right and land in the right situation, you can do well and find it enjoyable.

      Cons: At least on the hardware side, everyone seemed to be keeping their head down, waiting for next shoe to drop/axe to fall. NOT an inspiring environment. And heard similar complaints coming out of the businesses being touted as the future, such as Software, GBS (Global Business Services), and others.

      Advice to Management: You've taken some very harsh, if perhaps necessary, steps to right the ship. Now start investing in and encouraging your people the way IBM as famous for in the past. Get past the "fungible" sentiment, and give folks more of an opportunity to move up rather than sit and become dormant. Sam got this ship going in the wrong direction, Ginny seems to be trying to right it, but at present, she's not been too kind to the folks in the trenches and hasn't been as inspiring as she needs to be.

    • “Flat-lining for a reason”

      Former Contractor — IA/User Experience Devigner in Brooklyn, NY. I worked at IBM as a contractor (more than 10 years). Pros: Remote work, on a Mac. Cons: As a woman in tech, I ironically must say, IBM makes all women in tech look like the cliche. Pass this tissue. So much emotion. Ugh. Advice to Management: Innovate – for real. Don't just say you do in commercials.
    • “Not a high paying job, but might be good place to go if really young or older”

      Former Employee — Anonymous Employee. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 3 years). Pros: They have almost every technology under the sun — you can learn a lot about a lot of things. IBM has mega coverage. There are specialty teams everywhere that can help out. Cons: Within Software Group it all revolves around DB2 (especially DB2 for zOS). Once you get that it all starts to fall into place! IBM has so much coverage that while they typically pay individual employees less than market average, IBM usually ends up paying overall considerably more across the entire coverage team.
    • “Designer”

      Former Employee — Designer in Austin, TX. I worked at IBM full-time (more than a year).

      Pros: If you end up on the right projects, you get interesting challenges and the chance to learn a lot about dealing with large cross-disciplinary teams and messy problems, and even as a recent graduate you can have a really big influence on major products—if you end up on the right projects. You work with some great people, and everyone is really friendly.

      The design studio (and by extension designers) currently have relatively strong political backing and a lot of pull within the company, so in some cases at least, you get to drive strategic discussions and sit at the table with product managers, dev leads, etc.

      A lot of big companies are trying to make design work for them right now, and IBM has one of the most serious efforts in this area, so you can learn a great deal about how it might work and how to go about helping an organization become more user focused.

      A lot of what determines your experience also depends on your attitude and expectations—if you look at challenges as something to learn from, you will learn—if you want an easy job where someone has already figured everything out, you will be disappointed.

      Cons: A lot of teams are quite dysfunctional, sometimes for reasons internal to the studio, but usually because of the widespread bureaucracy and politics within the broader company. Also, lot of people choose to work at IBM because they can hide in the vastness and get away with doing next to nothing, so mediocrity and lack of motivation are the norm outside of the design studio.

      A lot of people are completely out of touch with current trends in technology and design, at least as far as user interface stuff goes. Another downside is the fact that even within the studio, the real goal is just getting to a place where design best practices can be applied, not pushing the field of design forward. There is no need for real innovation or flair, just for applying techniques that were worked out ten years ago to problems defined years before that.

      While what IBM Design is doing can be quite exciting, there are a lot of exciting things happening at the intersection of design and technology right now, and a lot of them are much more exciting than IBM. Also, expect to be around a lot of people just out of college with little to no perspective.

      Advice to Management: Be a little more honest and a little less condescending.

    • “Great for Resume not for Life”

      Former Employee — Client Technical Specialist in New York, NY. I worked at IBM full-time (more than a year).

      Pros: IBM hires some of the most talented professionals and industry experts who genuinely care about their work, their customers and their peers. The relationships you build while at IBM are lasting.

      Cons:

      • Initial challenges: On boarding professional hires. Navigating and finding the right resources can be difficult. The onboarding process as a whole has room for much improvement.
      • Constantly changing; not always in a positive direction.
      • Lacks career stability. With the annual layoffs, it's not a place where you are an exception. Regardless of whether you're new or have been employed for years.
      • Lotus Notes.
      • Overall very unorganized.

      Advice to Management: Stop posting jobs. Quit claiming growth and "searching for talent" when you layoff 100's of 1000's of talented and exceptionally qualified employees. Don't give your layoffs pet names. Try to keep some humanity.

    • “A great company that's lost its way (again)”

      Former Employee — Senior Managing Consultant. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 3 years). Pros: Storied company with an unparalleled history. Cons: Has completely lost direction and focus on clients. Advice to Management: Replace the leadership team, make some bold directional changes.
    • “Lead financial analyst”

      Former Employee — Senior Financial Analyst in Bratislava (Slovakia.) I worked at IBM full-time (more than 5 years).

      Pros:

      • You don't have to dress up for work which is good for graduates who like to come in shorts/t-shirt and flipflops
      • Work life balance is good during the non-busy periods

      Cons:

      • Low pay, no rises, no benefits, no bonuses.
      • IBM is now doing financially very bad which makes them save on every penny.
      • The reason to get promoted has more to do with brown nosing than with performance; unfortunately some managers require financial incentives to promote somebody in their team.
      • Low chance for career development as you work with graduates and experience sharing is small as everybody comes with routine questions.

      Advice to Management:

      • A lot of good people left because of the bad performance of the company and the low compensation.
      • Don't treat people like robots.
      • Work on your ethical principles; a lot of foreigners in eastern Europe get frustrated by the low ethics and false promises.
    • “Awesome Job”

      Former Employee — Service Delivery Manager. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 10 years).

      Pros: Challenging, great benefits, easy to move up, work from home, easy to take on more and more responsibility, rewarding, transparent plans SOMETIMES.

      Cons: Terrible, short sighted C-Suite leadership. Doesn't listen to lower echelon employees. Doesn't listen to customers. Low morale, no job stability. Loooooong hours.

      Advice to Management: Leave the road plan. (I think they are starting a new path *crosses fingers*). If you don't IBM will die.

    • “Great Place!”

      Former Employee — Programmar-analyst in West Palm Beach, FL. I worked at IBM full-time (more than 3 years). Pros: Awesome bosses and great perks. Cons: Too far from big cities. Advice to Management: Open an office in NYC
    • “Take advantage of training and get out.”

      Former Employee — Package Solution Consultant in Baton Rouge, LA.

      Pros: Lots of training, looks great on a resume. Only useful as a stepping stone to a real career.

      Cons: Poorly organized, incompetent workers and disinterested management. Salary is less than half the industry average for the position I held. Endless stream of lies about roles, raises, and travel obligations. Places client demands over legal obligations to the state and employees. Incredibly unprofessional coworkers with minimal education and zero work ethic. Zero communication between management and employees regarding client engagements, etc. Misleading hiring process (most employees at our center were told they would be programming for mobile development, Java, etc, but were instead trained on something entirely unrelated to their areas of interest).

      Advice to Management: If you want full-time consultants, pay them like full-time consultants. Also, be more selective in your hiring processes and you won't need to babysit your employees. Hire a bunch of unmotivated, unprofessional individuals and you have to deal with the headache of running a daycare. Concern yourselves with the interests of your employees re: travel burnout, unpleasant client engagements, areas of interest).

    • “Adrift with no map”

      Current Employee — Sales Specialist in New York, NY. I have been working at IBM full-time (more than 10 years). Pros: Puts food on the table. Complexity opens a lot of different career doors. Cons: No investment in people, tools or client innovation. Continual firings and re-organizations. Morale is low. Advice to Management: Replace yourselves.
    • “Systems Verification Tester”

      Current Employee — Systems Verification Tester in Tucson, AZ. Pros: Flexible schedule, relaxed environment and quiet. Cons: The facility is very old school; not a lot of light or excitement. The company still uses old practices, i.e. still waterfall and barely transitioning into Agile. A lot of the employees are typically older.
    • “Systems Support Representative”

      Current Employee — SSR in Kansas City, MO. I have been working at IBM (more than 10 years).

      Pros: Has the ability to borrow seemingly endless amounts of cash. Unfortunately, little of the debt added under current management has been used to grow the business. Instead, it has been used to liquidate the company via share buy-backs.

      Cons: You can't trust anything management says during the hiring process or at any time once employed. IBM's idea of good corporate ethics is that so long as they can win in court, if sued, then ethics don't really have any practical application within the business and employees are treated accordingly.

    • “Low morale; will one day become a better place to work”

      Current Employee — Anonymous Employee. Pros: Great technology, flexibility to work from home. Cons: Low morale, no bonus, too many layers of management. Advice to Management: Fire the enormous amount of VPs in some organisations and make your employees happy.
    • “Overworked and Underpaid”

      Current Employee — IT Program Manager in Boulder, CO.

      Pros: Vacation and benefits and co-workers, work from home.

      Cons:

      • Continuous layoffs off-shoring of jobs to India
      • No work-life balance, expected to work 24 x 7
      • No or little raises in recent years
      • Underpaid for industry, job title, and area

      Advice to Management:

      • STOP OFF-SHORING
      • STREAMLINE ALL THE RED TAPE AND RIDICULOUS PROCESSES
      • TREAT EMPLOYEES WITH RESPECT AND NOT AS "RESOURCES"
    • “Practice Executive”

      Current Employee — Practice Executive in Fairfax, VA. I have been working at IBM (more than 10 years). Pros: Large number of areas to wok across the company. Cons: Nepotism is rampant across the company; when layoffs come they circle the wagons. Advice to Management: Let the good employees surface based on performance.
    • “I was the first college hire on my logic design team in 10 years.”

      Current Employee — Logic Designer for Power Systems Servers in Austin, TX. I have been working at IBM full-time.

      Pros: Friendly people, interesting work, good benefits, networking opportunities. Morale improving. So is culture and experience with training new hires.

      Cons: Organization restructuring and poor business performance leading to layoffs and poor morale, causing people to quit, made people around me too overwhelmed to help me get me onboarded. It had been so long since they'd last had a fresh college hire that they didn't know how to train me, which made some things tedious and some things stressful. Talking to my manager didn't help, though the same business problems that.

      Advice to Management: A new hire's experience is drastically different depending on the team they start with. Training managers and team members on how to set up a new hire would be very useful, as well as having mentors and small projects prepared to get the new hire started.

  • Alliance for Retired Americans Friday Alert. This week's topics include:
    • Prescription Drug Costs May Increase Under Trans-Pacific Partnership
    • GOP Presidential Candidates Discuss Slashing Social Security, Medicare if Elected
    • Department of Labor Releases Proposal to Protect Retirement Savings
    • Senate Passes Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) Replacement
    • U.S. Spending on Prescription Drugs Reaches an All-Time High
    • Medicare Turns 50: LBJ’s Vision
New on the Alliance@IBM Site

In response to comments re: IBM Endicott, here is a summary of details, facts and perspectives regarding the sale of IBM Endicott in 2002. Some of the facts and perspectives:

  • IBM sold the entire Endicott facility, of 62 buildings and 275-300 acres of property to a group of about 10 local investors in October 2002 for $65 million. The IBM total property assessment was over $260 million prior to 2002. NYS gave the new company taxpayer funded subsidies, and the energy company and the county of Broome also gave the new company "breaks" on their utilities usage. So, the total cost to the new company's investors was under $10 million, according to some sources.
  • There were a total of 4,000 IBMers at the site, before the sale. 2,000 went with the new company (or resigned), Endicott Interconnect Technologies (EIT). 2,000 remained as IBM employees.
  • The parent corporation of EIT, Huron Associates, leased back space in some of those buildings to IBM on a ten (10) year lease (that expired in 2012 but was extended for 3 years).
  • The new company (EIT) fired about 250-300 people 2 WEEKS after the "ink was dry" on the sale contract. IBM kept firing (RA'ed) their Endicott employees as well over the course of that 10-year lease. Around 2007, IBM Endicott's IBMer population had shrunk to under 1,000.
  • By the year 2003, it was discovered that IBM had left a "Plume" of toxic chemical waste products under the ground that contained TCE (Trichloroethylene) as the major contaminate of approx 300 acres of the Village of Endicott. This affected homes and businesses that would need to be ventilated from their basements, of the fumes (also known as Vapor Intrusion of Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOCs) IBM paid for this ventilation equipment; but after a health study it was discovered that cancer rates were 2 to 3 times higher in Endicott than in a "control" population during that study.
  • By the year 2010, EIT had an employee population of about 500 people. This was in direct violation of their agreement with NY State to "retain a worker population of 2,000". No legal action was taken by NYS, any local government.
  • Through-out the decade 2002-2012 and beyond, there has been a constant shrinking community population and a very stunted economic growth—to the point that growth nearly stopped. As of 2013, EIT went bankrupt and the company was bought out of bankruptcy by one of its former owners for approximately $250,000.

This is a page to view on our web site regarding EIT: http://www.endicottalliance.org/EIT/ There are several articles on this page that tell the story at different perspectives and situations.

Rick White,
IT Administrator
CWA Local 1701
Alliance@IBM
www.allianceibm.org
Twitter ID: @Allianceibm
Facebook: Allianceibm CWA

Job Cut Reports

  • Comment 04/12/15:

    For those of you being RA'd and who are remote, don't give your stupid remote manager the satisfaction of doing a remote close out. Try to find a local IBM manager who would be willing to close you out. That way your stupid manager has scramble to get your check to the remote manager before the close out date AND they also do not get to laugh at you, or continue to insult you, as you are leaving. I put in over 35 years and I HATE IBM! -ihateibm-
  • Comment 04/12/15:

    Dear -anon- and Worldwide IBM family regarding your comment -anon- on 4/11/15 ... I have also asked the wonderful Lee Conrad and all the amazing superheroes at the IBM Alliance who have worked relentlessly and tirelessly for all of us for so many years about LinkedIn. And shame on me... I visited this IBM Alliance site for about 5 years before becoming a dues paying IBM Alliance member two years ago. How sad is that? I am very ashamed of it to be brutally honest.

    I do believe LinkedIn is a powerful forum as it targets many of our IBM customers, IBMers past and present, our fellow IBM Contractors, and our IBM shareholders. But fundamentally, we have far far too few Alliance members considering the depth and scope of the critical information provided to us.

    My health is not great...so I do not visit social media often...but I am in awe of the power of social media. It only pales in comparison to the awe I have to the unionized efforts of these wonderful worldwide IBM friends and colleagues of ours Respectfully, -Deb Kelly Proud Alliance@IBM member-

  • Comment 04/13/15:

    Can the Alliance get some demographic data on how many IBMers got RAed that just miss qualifying for the FHA (not quite 15 years of employment and not quite 55 years old)? I bet the number would show clear AGE DISCRIMINATION!

    I know our best way of fighting IBM is to unionize and still agree it is the best way to go, but if we can expose IBM's dirty and unfair discriminatory practice of getting rid of workers who are, let's say, 50-54 years old with 10-14 years of service, we can help use that finding to entice more members to join the Alliance, particularly those in that demographic which is still rather sizable. -FutureHELLAccount-

    Alliance reply: There is no doubt there is age discrimination at IBM in job cuts. Has been for years. We got a lot of media attention on this a few years ago when a member did the stats on a job cut in STG. The problem is proving it in a court of law. IBM employees know that discrimination is going on. It is no secret anymore.

  • Comment 04/13/15:

    I found myself in an incredible situation after 29 years of service at IBM. As a result, I was rated my first 3 after receiving a 2+ (without a salary increase) the year before. As it turns out, I retired rather than fight the situation. Much of the situation had to do with my management. I can't go into details because of an agreement I signed, but even the person assigned to conduct my exit interview implied something was amiss considering the 29 years of long, hard hours of service I had given. Recently I reconnected with someone who I had lost contact with but had retired from another IBM division. Without any prompting, this highly accomplished person said that the root problem at IBM is its management. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 04/13/15:

    -Anonymous- writes " 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.".

    Why would you consider it odd that after telling the enemy exactly how to hurt you and your family the most they immediately do so? Odds are great that your management team had no idea you were one year away from actually getting something from IBM. They would have had to do research to know that. Actually work. Submit a query or something to generate a report. That isn't going to happen in most cases because most managers use a team lead to pull reports and have no clue how to do so. People, stop thinking that management or HR are on your side. They are not and will never be. Only your elected union representation will be on your side. Always. -Exodus2007-

  • Comment 04/13/15:

    Dear -Formeribmer- who commented on 4/13/2015: Your story is so awful...as a woman and an IBMer, I am so deeply ashamed of IBM. I do believe there was a fairly recent age discrimination court case against IBM, where the judge in fact ruled that the IBM Open Door Process was very biased, and an independent process should have been established as first and foremost; IBM should have investigated for establishing the truth. IBM is appealing this verdict...which is truly shocking. I can be a bit sarcastic once I get my Irish up. I am rooting for you friend as I am sure many on this forum are. Respectfully, -Deb Kelly Proud Alliance@IBM Member-
  • Comment 04/13/15:

    The exodus is well under way. Heard about some key defections to cloud competitors recently; actually only found out while looking for people to CC on an email and not finding them on the internal blue pages directory. The smart and talented are moving on; they understand this ship is sinking and it's hopeless.

    IBM isn't even acknowledging this with the usual 'organizational announcements'; it's all being kept mum, probably so that others don't get the same idea. People are just here one day, gone the next. So we lose the best and brightest to the competition, many others through self-inflicted rules like RA, PIP, PBC, and what's left? A lot of unmotivated, company-hating individuals. Not exactly a recipe for success. Very bad for morale to have people just 'disappear' and not give their former coworkers the benefit of a heads up. But, that's the kind of thing that happens when a company is dying.

    We're stuck at 62 because we've saturated the audience here. Let your coworkers know about the Alliance and this site, let's bring in new blood and keep some momentum going.

    Can't wait for the 1Q financials next week, to see what kind of excuses and further bloodbath results from that. Amusing that we sold off the low-end servers and called that 'cloud revenue'. Amusing, but not surprising. Spread the word, join the Alliance, rate the company on CEO on GlassDoor so we can outnumber the shills that HQ is putting on there to try to dive the ratings up. -ReadTheTeaLeaves-

  • Comment 04/14/15:

    I am not sure why no one is reporting RAs from Canada. Maybe we are too discreet! I know at least 3 of the managers from my previous group are getting RA'd. People keep on disappearing. If you are young and marketable I would suggest you look for another job ASAP before IBM sucks you dry. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 04/14/15:

    More and more layoffs coming in Brazil...GTS, GBS. PBCs 3, years of experience, does not matter at all since you are just a number. Get out of there while you can!!! -Anonymous-
  • Comment 04/14/15:

    I can't mention this enough to everyone that is RA'd in the States. Please petition with the Federal Trade and get your trade. http://www.doleta.gov/tradeact/ Trade will pay for 2 years of college and a few other things. Plus make sure when Trade contacts you to get their email and tell them everything IBM did to you and others. (Trade will be glad to give your their email). That is what I did and they listen and wanted me to send them anything I knew or had. I'm in my 50's and enjoy going to college. The management, instructors and counselors at college are more professional then IBM management team or HR Reps ever could be. -Never Too Young to go Back to School-
  • Comment 04/14/15:

    Someone posted a comment that three managers were RA'd. Does IBM RA managers too? Really surprised. I thought first-line managers are the ones who choose who to be RA'd. -FLMRA?- Alliance reply: IBM has fired (RA'd) FLMs and SLMs for years. There were managers that were fired, when "layoffs" began in IBM in the 1990's. However, the percentage of managers fired versus workers has always been very very low.
  • Comment 04/14/15:

    To -ReadTheTeaLeaves-"The smart and talented are moving on, they understand this ship is sinking and it's hopeless. IBM isn't even acknowledging this with the usual 'organizational announcements', it's all being kept mum, probably so that others don't get the same idea. People are just here one day, gone the next. So we lose the best and brightest to the competition"

    Quite true; it's been quite demoralizing in Research to learn so and so is gone. From Yorktown many have gone to Google. Two that left are now Microsoft Fellows. It used to be put forth that those leaving are spreading IBM's gospel in the industry. Now, silence; management will not announce that someone has left let alone where they've gone. It's up to the individual. David Chess left the best manifesto — it was on his w3 wiki, what was wrong with IBM and why he was leaving. We have had recognized industry SME's (subject matter experts) leave. Women at the top of the STEM chart leave. The list goes on. -anonymous-

  • Comment 04/15/15:

    Mr. White, I am an Endicott resident and my family had a history of working for IBM. Thank you for the chronological order of what has happened to IBM Endicott. Endicott's economy has suffered dramatically since Lou destroyed a once great upstate village. This section of upstate NY was once called the Great Southern Tier.

    If IBM executives can destroy the home of IBM, they can destroy the economy and lives of any town they are located.

    IBM needs a union to fight this greed and corruption. I hope Lou enjoys his millions on the backs of the residents and IBM employees of Endicott, New York that he destroyed. -ANA-

  • Comment 04/15/15:

    Someone posted a comment that 3 managers were RAed. Does IBM RA managers too? Really surprised. I thought FLMs are the ones choose who to be RAed. -FLMRA?- I've had 2 FLMs RA'd in the past 6 months. I do not believe that either one chose to be RA'd. Both were 2 of the better managers I have had. The last one was 60 and was with IBM for 30 years. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 04/15/15:

    In retrospect I'm kinda glad in a way I got RA'd back in 2009. Before I got the RA, a few years before, I joined the Alliance. I'm still glad I did. I now know the sick, sadistic lack of logic, decisioning and leadership that became IBM management. At least now when I look for a better job than the one I have, I can always say I was not around with the "bottom of the barrel" folks still hanging on by their broken fingernails, the ones still scared beyond belief to do anything to make IBM what it was when the interviewer or potential manager asks me about it on my resume. The sorry ones still left in IBM will find their resume entry for work in IBM is now less valued the longer you don't do nothing but still want to be employed by this IBM management. -BlueWho
  • Comment 04/16/15:

    I am an ex-IBMer in India and never I have seen such state of IBM as what I am seeing nowadays. Some of the level one support team people are getting paid less than the salary of security guard of the office where they are working. -Anonymous-
  • Comment 04/16/15:

    Another great example of a confused, lost behemoth struggling without direction in the tar pits. IBM decides to have a big "Digital Experience" conference in Atlanta. First, confusing name. What is 'digital experience'? As opposed to what, analog experience? They took the legacy portal server product, which was always horrendous, ancient crappy product based on ancient technology and UI paradigm (portlets, anyone?), rename it Digital Experience, have a conference with the same name, right after the big Interconnect and mobile conferences, all very bad decisions.

    Guess what? Six weeks to go and only twelve clients registered for this big IBM conference! Uh-oh. Colossal waste of time, money, resources. Very dumb idea and shows the cluelessness of those in charge at this company, and lack of interest in its products.

    Maybe spending that money to re-invigorate your employees would have been a better idea. Investing in cookbooks and tape technology? I hear that death knell slowly ringing.

    Activists need to push this board and executive team out, and employees need to work from our side to organize and ensure that we have a voice, before we let them drive the company ship into the reef. Analysts say expectations are so low for 1Q, IBM may actually meet them. I doubt it though. -ShipGoingDown-

  • Comment 04/16/15:

    Sadly like Endicott. I remember Kingston, Manassas, Boca Raton, Tucson, San Jose, and Charlotte all as major sites. Soon Fishkill will add to the list. -recentretired-
  • Comment 04/16/15:

    The Alliance has IBM employee numbers by site here: http://www.endicottalliance.org/ibmemployeenumberbyspecificsites2014.htm. We need more information. If your site is not listed please locate the OSHA 300 form for 2014 for your site employee number. It is usually posted with other legal documents that are required by law to be visible to all employees. Send information to ibmunionalliance@gmail.com -Alliance-
  • Comment 04/16/15:

    Has anyone run in to the issue of being denied your FHA money because when you were let go on an RA you were less than a year shy of program eligibility? I was laid off in February 2014 at age 54; 7 months shy of my 55th birthday in September when I would have made it to FHA eligibility. Since I was retirement eligible, they "retired" me. I wasn't asked if I wanted to bridge to my 55th birthday. In fact they keep telling me there is no bridge available if you are already eligible based on years of service. I've already been denied by the plan admins once. A second letter is in the works. Has anyone had any success in turning a similar situation around? Thanks -Anonymous-
  • Comment 04/16/15:

    I doubt IBM can do too much to destroy the economy in Rochester. Mayo Clinic is the dominant employer and IBM has never even been close. Even the state knows it as they do not offer IBM any tax breaks anymore, giving them to the Mayo Clinic instead. -Long_Gone_From_ROC-
  • Comment 04/17/15:

    After 25 years at IBM, I'm leaving for another job. Only took me 19 years to find a suitable alternative. I'm 54, no degree, and taking a position outside of I/T that pays substantially more than my SSR position at IBM. I mention all this only to offer hope to those of you who hate your job as much as you hate your employer, and are looking for a way out. There are other opportunities out there, and interestingly enough, the IBM mystique remains intact at many organizations outside the I/T industry; -they don't realize how much things have changed within IBM and still think it's a great company.

    My advice: get a resume together that focuses on your ability to form and maintain relationships with clients, and your ability to adapt to change. The actual I/T knowledge you have is increasingly worth very little outside of IBM, (and increasing worth very little inside IBM as well). Don't be afraid to take a part-time job. For me, taking a part-time job for $15 an hour for most of 2014, when added to my resume, enabled me to land a full-time job in the same industry making nearly $60 an hour in 2015. -Anonymous-

  • Comment 04/17/15:

    I was let go April 1 2014 with 18 years of service, I turned 55 in August and was given the bridge to retirement including FHA. On the books I suspect it looks like I willingly retired early. My FHA is worth less than 1 year of IBM healthcare. Ginny R sent me a congratulations letter in August for retiring. I also had $2500 retraining. The retirement counselor from IBM benefits said he was surprised I got the FHA. Maybe 6 months is the limit. -BobK-
  • Comment 04/17/15:

    Seven people from the Watson group just recently left IBM to join Dave Ferrucci at Bridgewater Associates. Ferrucci is leading a new AI unit according to this: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-27/bridgewater-is-said-to-start-artificial-intelligence-team -Anonymous-
  • Comment 04/18/15:

    "...Seven people from the Watson group just recently left IBM..." It is the "ya can't stand the heat, then get outta the kitchen" that must apply to the Watson group. Well I guess Watson just is not cooking with oil these days! We need a union to keep technical vitality and training before all of IBM's intellectual talent is long gone. -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.

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