Bob Cringley has written aseriesof fivearticlesconcerning IBM. The last time he did that, in 2007, he revealed that IBM was ready to offshore and outsource thousands of IBM jobs, impacting employees and customers alike. He was rigth. Now, he returns, predicting, well, here it is in his own words (emphasis, Bob Cringely).
The direct impetus for this column is IBMâs internal plan to grow earnings-per-share (EPS) to $20 by 2015. The primary method for accomplishing this feat, according to the plan, will be by reducing US employee head count by 78 percent in that time frame.
Reducing employees by more than three quarters in three years is a bold and difficult task. What will it leave behind?Â Who, under this plan, will still be a US IBM employee in 2015? Top management will remain, the sales organization will endure, as will employees working on US government contracts that require workers to be US citizens. Everyone else will be gone. Everyone.
Let's continue on to his second article.
Global Services is a mature business that has been around for about 20 years.Â In IBMâs 2015 business plan big income is expected from newer businesses like Business Analytics, Cloud and Smarter Computing, and Smarter Planet.Â Can these businesses be grown in three to five years to the multi-billion dollar level of gross profit coming from Global Services? Â Most of these businesses are tiny. Â A few of them are not even well conceived as businesses.Â It takes special skills and commitment to grow a business from nothing to the $1 billion range.Â Does IBM have what it takes?
Do you remember eBusiness?Â Do you remember On-Demand?Â These are recent examples of businesses IBM planned to grow to billions in sales, businesses that no longer exist today.Â Some claim that Blue Gene is shortly to be shuttered, too.
Actually, I see "eBusiness" nearly every day. It appears on my Linux server after I start WebSphere, ". . . ready for e-business . . . " Thanks, IBM, for that little advertisement.
Hereâs a simple thought experiment. When it comes to these new software and Internet services, IBMâs competition comes from a variety of companies including Amazon, Apple, Dell, Google, Hewlett Packard, Oracle and others. Does IBM have an inherent advantage at this point against anyÂ of those companies? No. Is IBM in any wayÂ superior to all of them and thence in a position to claim dominance? No.
If IBM is planning a 78 percent staff reduction, then that will of necessity involve all USA operations, not just Global Services.Â Hardware, systems, software, storage, consulting, etc. will all see serious staff cuts.Â This means IBM could be moving a lot of its manufacturing and product support offshore.Â Raleigh, Lexington, Rochester, and several other IBM communities are about to lose a lot of jobs.
That does not bode well for anyone, especially those organizations that pay IBM a lot of money for support, expecting a certain level of competence and knowledge from the support technicians.
IBMâs goal appears to be to have as few employees in the US as possible, maximizing profit. Â But doing so clearly hurts customer satisfaction.
Major IBM customers such as Amgen, The State of Texas, and most recently the Walt Disney Company have cut ties with IBM in favor of other providers. Many other customers are scaling back the services theyâre buying from IBM as the perceived value continues to drop. Customers are starting to realize that they can directly hire offshore companies such as TCS, Wipro, HCL and Satayam and book the savings directly instead of paying IBM top dollar for support and then seeing that support fulfilled from BRIC [Brazil, Russia, India, China] countries.
When IBM first started its big push to offshore technical work, the account teams were asked to make a list of reasons why customersâ work couldnât be offshored, but were not allowed to use skills as a reason. That makes no sense in a rational organization but it makes perfect sense to IBM.
IamLUG Presentation: Choosing a Mobile Device Management Solution
Fri, May 17th 2013 11:50a Gregg Eldred Better late than never, I usually say.
As promised to several delegates, here is the presentation Barb and I gave on choosing a mobile device management (MDM) solution at IamLUG. The Mobile IT Scorecard is an Excel spreadsheet that may help you weight features and determine the proper MDM for your organization.
Choosing a MDM presentation
Mobile IT Scorecard [read] Keywords: mobile
Cringely: The Decline and Fall of IBM
Mon, Apr 29th 2013 1:30p Gregg Eldred The rumor I’ve heard is that IBM, which not long ago changed its 401K contribution policy to push what had been a biweekly payment into an annual one right at the end of the year, may have decided this year (and in the future?) not to make any 401K contribution at all. Since IBM’s U.S. employees can divert up to eight percent of their gross compensation into the 401K and IBM has traditionally made a comparable matching payment, this possible change in compensation policy could save the compa [read] Keywords: ibm
What is This?
Thu, Apr 18th 2013 12:35p Gregg Eldred I would venture to say that if you are over a certain age, you don’t know what this is, let alone, what function it serves.
Care to guess? And while you’re at it, get off my lawn. [read] Keywords:
CNBC: 25 of the Most Outrageous Interview Questions
Wed, Mar 27th 2013 7:50p Gregg Eldred I don’t think “outrageous” is the proper adjective, but the questions listed will make interviewing someone much more enjoyable than the usual ones you throw at the candidates. And they may reveal more about the candidate then your standard questions.
“What song best describes your work ethic?”
That question was asked at Dell (DELL) for a consumer sales job.
“‘Under Pressure’ by Queen!” Lachapelle said.
“‘I’m a Rolling Ston [read] Keywords:
Open Mic Webcast: IBM Notes Domino 9 Social Edition New Features – 3 April 2013
Wed, Mar 27th 2013 7:40p Gregg Eldred Wow, just a few weeks after the release of Notes/Domino 9. That is progress.
This event will be held Wednesday, 3 April 2013 at 11:00 AM EDT (15:00 UTC, or GMT -4), for 60 minutes. After a presentation, you will have the opportunity to ask questions directly of IBM Developers and Support Engineers. See more details below. (Note: To view this information online, go to http://www.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg27038015
When Date: 3 April 2013
Time: 11:00 AM EDT (15:00 UTC, or GMT -4 [read] Keywords: domino