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(BetaNews)   IBM to eliminate 78% of its American jobs, leaving behind only executives, salespeople, and employees working on US government contracts that require workers to be US citizens. Everyone else will be gone. Everyone   (betanews.com) divider line 152
    More: Asinine, American Jobs, government contracts, IBM, Americans, executive directors, EPs, Robert X. Cringely, Xerox  
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8234 clicks; posted to Business » on 29 Apr 2012 at 8:31 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-04-29 04:56:15 PM

HempHead: DjangoStonereaver: Plug compatible is not the same as being made from standard parts, and I'm sure they didn't have the same
OS/operating software, just a backward-engineered equivalent. And they didn't have the blue IBM logo on
them (though, ISTR, that Amdahl was founded by a disaffected IBMer).


They did allow you to run the same software.

From Gene Amdahl's wikipedia page:

Competing with IBM in the mainframe market, the company manufactured "plug-compatible" mainframes, shipping its first machine in 1975 - the Amdahl 470V/6, a less expensive, more reliable and faster replacement for the System 370/168. By purchasing an Amdahl 470 and plug-compatible peripheral devices from third-party manufacturers, customers could now run S/360 and S/370 applications without buying actual IBM hardware. Amdahl's software team developed VM/PE, software designed to optimize the performance of IBM's MVS operating system when running under IBM's VM operating system. By 1979 Amdahl Corporation had sold over a US $1 billion[citation needed] of V6 and V7 mainframes and had over 6,000 employees worldwide.


Interesting; I thought that Amdahl cloned the OS as well as the hardware.

So, in essence he also helped set up the precident of having disparate HW running the same OS that was taken
up by Microsoft. Sort of.
 
2012-04-29 05:28:59 PM
moblog.net

A group of American children being prepared for the 'post-industrial' "economy."
 
2012-04-29 05:30:06 PM
But job creators!

Reminds me of an old novel by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Player Piano. Every job except some managerial positions and their secretaries have been replaced by what we would call "expert systems". The machines do all the real work. Virtually everybody else is unemployed and poor, or working poor, tending the medians of highways in PPP make-work projects like the chain gangs of the 1960s. Slaves in other words, either because of some petty drug infraction or because there is nothing else for them to do.

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. is pulling ahead of George Orwell and his 1984 and Aldous Huxley and his Brave New World on points. So much for George Orwell standing on a cloud and looking smug (as a Private Eye cartoon portrayed him). It'll be Kurt Vonnegut Jr. and he'll be looking more sad than smug.

Guess what company Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.'s brother worked for as an engineer? IBM, of course. I wouldn't be asking now would I if it were any other. And readers of Vonnegut's novels know this already, and also that so many of his novels were based on his brother's and his own careers outside of literature. This is why Vonnegut, Jr. has the edge over other prophets--he was closer to the movements of real history than the upper class Brits who wrote so many of the other dystopian novels of anticipation, and also more realist and more optimistic at once.

Could state socialism be worse than crony capitalism, aka corporatism, aka fascism? They're just different names for the same thing--the industrial-military-media-congressional complex, as President Eisenhower called it in his farewell speech, a warning flare fired over the bow of the USA Inc.

Personally I would be glad if government of the creative people, by the creative people, and for the creative people were not to perish from the face of the Earth. Creative people are the upper working class, the people who really create, both ideas and jobs. So I guess that makes me a social democrat.
 
2012-04-29 05:38:07 PM
Gee, who'da thought that "International Business Machines" would be outsourcing jobs? It's not like it's in the farking name or anything.

That being said, wish they would've laid me off last fall before I quit - that severance check would have been nice.
 
2012-04-29 05:44:15 PM

DjangoStonereaver: Interesting; I thought that Amdahl cloned the OS as well as the hardware.


I believe as part of an anti-trust lawsuit against IBM in the 70s, customers were allowed to license OS 360/370 and not forced to purchase IBM hardware.

Again, similar to PC-DOS vs MS-DOS of the 80's.
 
2012-04-29 05:44:59 PM

tlchwi02: Bad_Seed: This is what happens when the world is run by MBAs.

this right here is incredibly true. MBA's are great for doing the tax returns and keeping the books, but they should never be in charge of anything. they don't have what it takes to actually independently think.


Gee, I thought accountants did tax returns and "kept the books". But carry on!
 
2012-04-29 06:11:01 PM

Jaws_Victim: Ontos: GAT_00: Behold, the glory of the free market!

Yes. When business leaves the country due to high taxes and mountains of regulations, the obvious cure is to increase government influence on the market. That should pretty much fix everything.

Or... we could make it illegal for Americans to move business out of the country. Hell, why don't we just make it crime for Americans to leave the country and take their sweet, sweet, tax dollars with them?

Please. When I pay more in taxes than general electric, a multi billion dollar corporation, something is wrong with the system. Companies simply dont want to pay their fair share and the faux news watchers are more than happy to spring to their defense. If having a company in america is so goddamm bad that you just cant make a profit at all, get the fark out. We are all in it together and we either work together to see business and country succeed or you get out.


But IBM is not "leaving the country" because of high taxes or a mountain of regulations. They are leaving because of CHEAP LABOR. You can't compete with $12K per year degreed software engineers in Mumbai or Chengdu. Are they as competent...so far not even close. But throw six of them at the job for twice as long and then use the client for a beta test and it usually works out...for IBM. They continue to bill the client the same hourly rate but have the bonus of multiplying it by 6 because more folks are on the project.
 
2012-04-29 06:15:00 PM

brantgoose: the industrial-military-media-congressional complex, as President Eisenhower called it in his farewell speech...


No, Eisenhower did not call it that. Why would you even attempt to falsify such a well-known quote?
 
2012-04-29 06:24:28 PM

Refudiated Strategerist: Jaws_Victim: Ontos: GAT_00: Behold, the glory of the free market!

Yes. When business leaves the country due to high taxes and mountains of regulations, the obvious cure is to increase government influence on the market. That should pretty much fix everything.

Or... we could make it illegal for Americans to move business out of the country. Hell, why don't we just make it crime for Americans to leave the country and take their sweet, sweet, tax dollars with them?

Please. When I pay more in taxes than general electric, a multi billion dollar corporation, something is wrong with the system. Companies simply dont want to pay their fair share and the faux news watchers are more than happy to spring to their defense. If having a company in america is so goddamm bad that you just cant make a profit at all, get the fark out. We are all in it together and we either work together to see business and country succeed or you get out.

But IBM is not "leaving the country" because of high taxes or a mountain of regulations. They are leaving because of CHEAP LABOR. You can't compete with $12K per year degreed software engineers in Mumbai or Chengdu. Are they as competent...so far not even close. But throw six of them at the job for twice as long and then use the client for a beta test and it usually works out...for IBM. They continue to bill the client the same hourly rate but have the bonus of multiplying it by 6 because more folks are on the project.


From what I've heard, due to the rising rupee their labour isn't nearly as cheap as it used to be. We get bugged by Indian outsourcing companies all the time and while they're cheap, they're not really all that much cheaper anymore. Also, their quality sucks (it was data entry, and we had them on trial for a couple of weeks. What a mistake). They're also totally untrustworthy.
 
2012-04-29 06:33:13 PM
Reasons like this is why I went into commission only sales. Most people avoid that by thinking "If I fail, I don't get paid that day.", I realize that if I fail at a regular job, I won't get paid anyways, so if I'm going to work, I'm going to do it by commission only so I can get the most money. Plus, when it comes to lay offs, commission only sales people are often the last to go because you only pay them as they bring in money. They make no sales, you pay them no money. Unlike that guy who works really fast, does a horrible job because he's wanting to get back to his online flash game that you pay hourly. The salespeople who end up getting laid off are the ones who get the highest commissions. Get rid of them in favor of newer sales people who make lower commission rates.

After succeeding in sales, I went into business ownership. You see, when you own the farking business, you don't have to worry about getting laid off because the company is being outsourced. You own the company, you decide who works there, and who gets fired and everyone who I hire works for me and my hopes and dreams which is better than me working for another company where I have to work for that jackass's hopes and dreams.
 
2012-04-29 06:33:22 PM

Grouchy Old Bear: I was "laid-off" back in 2005 from IBM. It was a brutal experience. I have now come to understand the the Executives are no longer concerned about what will happen to the company but getting those 20-30% profit margins to add to their resumes for their next employer or retire with a fortune in retirement benefits.

It's almost a visual, to see the current management wringing the last $$ out of a dying company with virtually no care to what happens to it or the people within it.

I think the way of doing business that keeps a company strong is dead. That was the last generation's ideal. This generation gets as much as it can from whoever it can and moves on. We have no vested interest in the future of a company since retirement is now left in our hands. So our services go to the highest bidde and we get our services from the lowest. This is the world we now live in.


Apple would disagree... Identify your strengths, pay them well, and spend money to make sure you can have a reasonable supply chain.
 
2012-04-29 06:50:29 PM

DjangoStonereaver: HempHead: DjangoStonereaver: Plug compatible is not the same as being made from standard parts, and I'm sure they didn't have the same
OS/operating software, just a backward-engineered equivalent. And they didn't have the blue IBM logo on
them (though, ISTR, that Amdahl was founded by a disaffected IBMer).


They did allow you to run the same software.

From Gene Amdahl's wikipedia page:

Competing with IBM in the mainframe market, the company manufactured "plug-compatible" mainframes, shipping its first machine in 1975 - the Amdahl 470V/6, a less expensive, more reliable and faster replacement for the System 370/168. By purchasing an Amdahl 470 and plug-compatible peripheral devices from third-party manufacturers, customers could now run S/360 and S/370 applications without buying actual IBM hardware. Amdahl's software team developed VM/PE, software designed to optimize the performance of IBM's MVS operating system when running under IBM's VM operating system. By 1979 Amdahl Corporation had sold over a US $1 billion[citation needed] of V6 and V7 mainframes and had over 6,000 employees worldwide.

Interesting; I thought that Amdahl cloned the OS as well as the hardware.

So, in essence he also helped set up the precident of having disparate HW running the same OS that was taken
up by Microsoft. Sort of.


Shiat, my noob ass only knew of "Amdahl" for his Law.
 
2012-04-29 07:11:40 PM

Refudiated Strategerist: You can't compete with $12K per year degreed software engineers in Mumbai


Degrees that in most cases aren't worth what floats in the Ganges. Fark won't let me link it, but search for a WSJ article entitled "India Graduates Millions, but Too Few Are Fit to Hire"
 
2012-04-29 07:16:04 PM

Great Janitor: Reasons like this is why I went into commission only sales. Most people avoid that by thinking "If I fail, I don't get paid that day.", I realize that if I fail at a regular job, I won't get paid anyways, so if I'm going to work, I'm going to do it by commission only so I can get the most money. Plus, when it comes to lay offs, commission only sales people are often the last to go because you only pay them as they bring in money. They make no sales, you pay them no money. Unlike that guy who works really fast, does a horrible job because he's wanting to get back to his online flash game that you pay hourly. The salespeople who end up getting laid off are the ones who get the highest commissions. Get rid of them in favor of newer sales people who make lower commission rates.

After succeeding in sales, I went into business ownership. You see, when you own the farking business, you don't have to worry about getting laid off because the company is being outsourced. You own the company, you decide who works there, and who gets fired and everyone who I hire works for me and my hopes and dreams which is better than me working for another company where I have to work for that jackass's hopes and dreams.


There's a fascinating/odd book by Tom Peters that I read about 5 years ago called "The Brand You 50" which basically talks about how a lot of people are not going to be "employees" so much as individual brands. Some of it I'm not sure of, but what he's basically saying is that careers within companies are dead. Basically, the days when you could view the company as almost an extended part of your life are over - you've got to look after yourself.

And what I realised is that I feel much more secure in my destiny running my own company than working in a company. Some guy with a hardon for outsourcing can come in 3 steps up the ladder, and your job is gone. Years of getting to know what that company is about is lost.

My company? I know my clients, talk to them regularly. India is too much of an overhead but they also want a job done well, and because I'm in quite a cheap part of the UK, I can undercut companies in London and the south east (I also don't have fancy offices). I charge fixed price on jobs which reassures them, and as a result, also can charge quite a lot (I'm also rather good at estimating now). Thing is, if I was rubbish at estimating, or couldn't deliver, and was paid by the day, I would be fired quickly anyway. I do better adding 30% into the price (for being fixed price) and seeing where the chips fall. If I'm 20% out on cost, I still win.
 
2012-04-29 08:13:56 PM
I started counting the number of major companies ruined by MBA circle-jerk parties, but I lost track after the first few dozen.
 
2012-04-29 08:48:40 PM

chuklz: Try moving to a BRIC country. Those are the ones tekkin urrr jerbs and they are in fact a bunch of dirty feet lazy dumb-asses who apparently have very shiatty Google-Fu.

Also, stay in Europe commie, you'll have enough problems with the Muslims there to make up for your smug soon enough.


We need a "racist" button.
 
2012-04-29 09:23:19 PM

jaytkay: brantgoose: the industrial-military-media-congressional complex, as President Eisenhower called it in his farewell speech...

No, Eisenhower did not call it that. Why would you even attempt to falsify such a well-known quote?


He also said the MIC was necessary. People generally misunderstand the quote to begin with.
 
2012-04-29 09:28:26 PM
Not getting a kick out of this article. Just took a new job and one of our sub-contractors is IBM. I am not seeing stellar work from them yet (although it's only been two weeks).

On the other hand, a few years ago participated in buying some big ass networked and mainframe printers and bought IBM and the installation and product was excellent. We couldn't be down at all and they did a great job pulling out one printer, setting the new one up, then pulling out the old and setting the new one up.
 
2012-04-29 09:35:49 PM

brantgoose: But job creators!

Guess what company Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.'s brother worked for as an engineer? IBM, of course. I wouldn't be asking now would I if it were any other. And readers of Vonnegut's novels know this already, and also that so many of his novels were based on his brother's and his own careers outside of literature. This is why Vonnegut, Jr. has the edge over other prophets--he was closer to the movements of real history than the upper class Brits who wrote so many of the other dystopian novels of anticipation, and also more realist and more optimistic at once.


Bernard Vonnegut, Kurt's brother, worked at General Electric, not IBM. But I doubt GE is very far behind IBM in their globalization efforts.

If anything, I think Vonnegut's dystopian future in Player Piano was even more optimistic than reality, because there's no way you are going to get the government to provide a welfare state anywhere as good for the masses as is portrayed in the novel.
 
2012-04-29 10:04:07 PM

ptr2void: Refudiated Strategerist: You can't compete with $12K per year degreed software engineers in Mumbai

Degrees that in most cases aren't worth what floats in the Ganges. Fark won't let me link it, but search for a WSJ article entitled "India Graduates Millions, but Too Few Are Fit to Hire"


Well, I was only speaking to the IBM hires and IBM does tend to vet their hires to a certain level. The folks that I know who graduated from schools in India and came here H1B to IBM had a reasonable level of competence. But they were older. The current issue is with the younger folks, just out of school @$12K and the requirement to send a platoon of them to do the work of one or two.

Within a few years the focus will change and hiring will again start in the US. Of course all of the 25-30 year vets will be gone, along with their [our] overhead.
 
2012-04-29 10:05:33 PM
My girlfriend's father is the head of world sales for IBM Lotus, so these types of layoffs don't really effect him. As long as IBM has their Lotus software, he says that his job is fairly solid...the thing that takes a toll on him is that they continue to cut the amount of (qualified) people that he is allowed to delegate to. He works 24/7 and is constantly stressed. He makes a damn good living...but I don't know that kind of stress is worth it.
 
2012-04-29 11:28:08 PM

themuze: My girlfriend's father is the head of world sales for IBM Lotus, so these types of layoffs don't really effect him. As long as IBM has their Lotus software, he says that his job is fairly solid...the thing that takes a toll on him is that they continue to cut the amount of (qualified) people that he is allowed to delegate to. He works 24/7 and is constantly stressed. He makes a damn good living...but I don't know that kind of stress is worth it.


If his line of work means that more people have to use Lotus Notes, it's not worth it.
 
2012-04-29 11:47:13 PM

Refudiated Strategerist: But IBM is not "leaving the country" because of high taxes or a mountain of regulations. They are leaving because of CHEAP LABOR. You can't compete with $12K per year degreed software engineers in Mumbai or Chengdu. Are they as competent...so far not even close. But throw six of them at the job for twice as long and then use the client for a beta test and it usually works out...for IBM. They continue to bill the client the same hourly rate but have the bonus of multiplying it by 6 because more folks are on the project.


The question you're not asking yourself is, "Why is that labor so cheap?" It's precisely because the "mountain of regulations" you cite make domestic labor so much more expensive.

But nice try in blaming foreigners for our problems - it's always been a common red herring in political discourse for centuries.
 
2012-04-29 11:53:14 PM

Great Janitor: The salespeople who end up getting laid off are the ones who get the highest commissions.


Worked for a company that did just that. Closed its doors 2 years later when all of the laid of salespeople went to work for competitors and stole away all of the most valuable clients.
 
2012-04-30 12:05:42 AM

brantgoose: But job creators!

Reminds me of an old novel by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Player Piano. Every job except some managerial positions and their secretaries have been replaced by what we would call "expert systems". The machines do all the real work. Virtually everybody else is unemployed and poor, or working poor, tending the medians of highways in PPP make-work projects like the chain gangs of the 1960s. Slaves in other words, either because of some petty drug infraction or because there is nothing else for them to do.

If your characterization of Vonnegut's novel is true, it just shows that he was a far better novelist than economist - considering machines have been replacing human labor since the dawn of civilization. Machine labor frees up human labor to do other, more productive things that machines can't do yet. It actually makes us richer as a society and allows consumers - ALL consumers - to benefit by increasing supply and allowing prices to fall.

/Crog the Caveman says: SIMPLE MACHINES ARE TAKING OUR JOBS!

 
2012-04-30 12:06:51 AM
Gah! Stupid italics mistake. Let's try that again....

brantgoose: But job creators!

Reminds me of an old novel by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Player Piano. Every job except some managerial positions and their secretaries have been replaced by what we would call "expert systems". The machines do all the real work. Virtually everybody else is unemployed and poor, or working poor, tending the medians of highways in PPP make-work projects like the chain gangs of the 1960s. Slaves in other words, either because of some petty drug infraction or because there is nothing else for them to do.


If your characterization of Vonnegut's novel is true, it just shows that he was a far better novelist than economist - considering machines have been replacing human labor since the dawn of civilization. Machine labor frees up human labor to do other, more productive things that machines can't do yet. It actually makes us richer as a society and allows consumers - ALL consumers - to benefit by increasing supply and allowing prices to fall.

/Crog the Caveman says: SIMPLE MACHINES ARE TAKING OUR JOBS!
 
2012-04-30 12:11:53 AM

Hydra: Refudiated Strategerist: But IBM is not "leaving the country" because of high taxes or a mountain of regulations. They are leaving because of CHEAP LABOR. You can't compete with $12K per year degreed software engineers in Mumbai or Chengdu. Are they as competent...so far not even close. But throw six of them at the job for twice as long and then use the client for a beta test and it usually works out...for IBM. They continue to bill the client the same hourly rate but have the bonus of multiplying it by 6 because more folks are on the project.

The question you're not asking yourself is, "Why is that labor so cheap?" It's precisely because the "mountain of regulations" you cite make domestic labor so much more expensive.

But nice try in blaming foreigners for our problems - it's always been a common red herring in political discourse for centuries.


Sorry, it is not "mountain of regulations" it is "standard of living". It is why offshoring works so well for third world countries. When labor rates are $0.17-$0.90/hr. No amount of finessing budgets, cutting of taxes or reduction of regulations would get US wages to those rates. What "regulations" would you find are holding back the software development or programming industry here in the US? I have been a project manager for well over a decade in the industry and, other than ISO or Q1 quality standards [which are also implemented on offshore applications] I have no regulations, including overtime or work conditions to hinder 60-70 hr work weeks should the project require it. Of course the team might not like it.
 
2012-04-30 01:29:37 AM
I saw what the "Lean Initiative" did several years ago. That's when I learned of their goal to outsource as many jobs as possible.

F*ck IBM.

/8 year contractor
 
2012-04-30 02:58:00 AM
I work in a little segment of IBM that still makes something: chips. We build chips for the mainframes but also game systems (Wii, PS3 and XBOX), smart phones, GPSs, etc.The problem here is when workload is light they let folks go, then it gets busy and they don't have enough people to keep up with the orders so they hire temps off the street. Now you have a small number of experienced workers trying to keep up the pace while training newbies at the same time. And not all the new people enjoy the clean room suits, the frantic pace or the 12 hour shifts so we get fallout there as well (like some guy going to lunch and never coming back). It does get a little crazy around here.

/28 years and counting
 
2012-04-30 03:04:57 AM

Fark_Guy_Rob: I get that it's reassuring to tell yourself that overseas workers are dumb and can't communicate and produce crap code. And there are lots of examples of outsourcing done badly that you can point to. 'Well, *that* air plane crashed, so clearly heavier than air flight is impossible!'.

I left the US to work overseas. I had visions of walking into a company with my American accent and good looks and showing everyone how we do it back home! A few months and I'd be running the place! But first, I need a job. So I started my job search.

First thing I noticed was the companies that were hiring. These weren't no-name US companies. These were big-name US companies. Google, Microsoft, Facebook, other less recognizable names that are leaders in their respective industry. I had no idea these companies had such a strong international presence.

Next, I expected my co-workers to be....well....stupid. I mean, that's what I'd always heard. A US company was outsourcing something - so, obviously, these would be crap developers, right? It was a very humbling experience, to say the least. They were every bit as smart as the US developers I'd worked with. Compared to my last US job - a perfectly average software company nobody outside of their industry would have heard of - my new co-workers are light years ahead.

Next, was the work ethic. I'm Europe. Lazy, socialist Europe. Where everyone works 30 hours a week, right? That's what I'd been told. But once again, I was lied to. Not only are my co-workers really smart, experienced developers, they are better workers. In the US - I'd walk up to someone and they'd be surfing the web for something non-work related. That was common. Sure, they got work done, but work was pretty laid back. Here - work time is work time. Most of my coworkers take 15 minutes for lunch (company provided) and eat/work at their desk. Even ignoring the extra lunch-time work, they are still clocking 55-60 hours per week.

I'm really not exaggerating. I actually pul ...


Glad you started your journey about getting your head unfarked re: american stereotypes of Europe. So you took a good first step but you got a long way to go. For one, Europe isn't one place. And you cant say "Europe is x", because how the brits do something vs the French vs the germans vs the swiss vs... isn't going to be the same.

Also, "outsourcing to offshore" generally refers to india. your experience sounds more like you were in foreign offices of your mothership US HQ, which isnt quite the same thing as outsourinc.g

And there, the coders do generally suck, and this article certainly has been my experience with offshoring to india. I would rather have one onsite local programmar with a bit of grey in his hair who knows what's up than a team off offshore guys I will never meet and who don't really understand anything that isn't documented ad nauseum.
 
2012-04-30 07:43:02 AM
About a dozen years ago I worked for Global Services. Two things to know about IBM: It is one of the greatest companies to work for when it comes to interesting experiences and techology at any level plus they know how to make money at absolutely everything they put any serious leadership effort into. I think this is a move that won't hurt them in the long run and, considering how huge their market is that they currently support overseas, it only makes sense.
 
2012-04-30 07:57:22 AM

brantgoose: Guess what company Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.'s brother worked for as an engineer? IBM, of course.


it was g.e. you dumb communist fattie
 
2012-04-30 09:31:03 AM

HighlanderRPI: This is nothing new in terms of job loss fear-mongering by IBM. I don't know a single IBM'er who ISN'T constantly concerned about losing their job. And that is not a new thing. It has been that way for so long, I think it's part of the IBM business model to keep their employees afraid of losing their job. I would never want to work in that kind of environment where the ax is always dangling.

I'm also laughing because my current company also thinks they can export "process" and hire the dumbest mother f'ers offshore & "nearshore" (at a lower salary) to just "follow the process" and produce the same results.

/It hasn't worked


Yep!

Because of this, my govt clients have been ditching IBM faster than they blink. They're sending one of their execs here tomorrow in order to plead their case (i.e., please don't fire us).

Being the geniuses they are, the exec is not a US citizen, hence no meeting.

/gee, and they wonder why they're losing business...
 
2012-04-30 09:48:43 AM
I left IBM in 2006, so I'm getting a kick out of these replies.
 
2012-04-30 11:56:39 AM
Could someone tell me what IBM actually does these days? I've seen thousands of their ads, and never aside from a few blade server ones, I never have any idea what they're selling other than vague bullshiat about building a "smarter planet". Unless they're producing Asian guys with Midwestern accents, I'm lost.
 
2012-04-30 12:06:35 PM

Intoxoman: A friend of mine is a contract employee for IBM. He holds one of the jobs that must be done by a US citizen and told me IBM is trying to change the classification of what he does so a non-US citizen can do it. He knows the second that happens he's gone.


And he'll find another job somewhere else almost immediately.
 
2012-04-30 12:10:42 PM
Those extra layers insulate IBM's top management from responsibility for their decisions. At the highest levels in Armonk they think things are going beautifully because they are out of touch with the reality of their own company.

Today at IBM the US workers who try to save the business are the first in line to lose their jobs. Management accountability is gone. The people who mess up get to keep their jobs; and those trying to retain the business lose their jobs.


i need more details to support these statements.
 
2012-04-30 12:14:51 PM
"I'm an IBMer," as the commercials say, and this has me a little worried, although my area of work is probably a touch more secure than others.

Those saying they've "no idea what IBM does any more" show a remarkable ignorance of business and technology -- You can make many criticisms but to suggest IBM isn't constantly evolving is just idiotic. Look at Watson all over the news, look at the very specific examples of the "Smarter Planet" initiative on national commercials, look at the never-ending stream of acquisition announcements.
 
2012-04-30 12:31:51 PM

jbull217: Google "IBM Nazi Germany" and any sympathy you have for the company will fly out the window.


If IBM were running Nazi Germany's Jew-killing infrastructure today, the Holocaust would have never happened and Germany would have invaded India out of frustration with their tech support.

I used to work there. Finally let go in Jan of '09. Found a much better job. Have said for a long time that India Business Machines would eventually implode. It's very likely. The bloated management organization, their inability to find and keep talent, along with their quest to rid themselves of any US job, will be their downfall. I'm sorry but I have seen firsthand what a disaster hiring foreign workers has been. Not in every group, but in enough of them. Money in US contracts will shrink, although it's possible they could grow their foreign business enough. They've spent a lot of money on buying out other software companies, but those acquisitions have been a disaster as they just can those employees after buying the IP.

Companies that treat their knowledge workers like shiat will eventually have no knowledge workers. And when that happens, they will fail.

No one wants to work at IBM anymore.
 
2012-04-30 12:41:07 PM

DRFS Rich: Those saying they've "no idea what IBM does any more" show a remarkable ignorance of business and technology -- You can make many criticisms but to suggest IBM isn't constantly evolving is just idiotic. Look at Watson all over the news, look at the very specific examples of the "Smarter Planet" initiative on national commercials, look at the never-ending stream of acquisition announcements.


Please give me some specific examples of how Watson has worked outside of Jeopardy. Or Smarter Planet. Or how their acquisitions have paid off. How have they executed on those initiatives?

There is a huge difference between marketing hype and execution. IBM overpromises and underdelivers. They're losing huge government and corporate contracts and getting sued for underdelivering. Watson's skill was awesome to behold, but I have yet to see it successfully applied anywhere. They basically got some really really smart engineers from their R&D labs together to solve a problem with an almost unlimited budget (I can't remember how much they spent on Watson but it was possibly in the 100s of millions).

IBM has definitely done well in licensing and patents, and it is definitely a global company. But they aren't the juggernaut you think they are.
 
2012-04-30 03:19:23 PM

poot_rootbeer: which is why they threw together some off-the-shelf components and licensed a quick 'n' dirty disk operating system and called it their Personal Computer


So you're saying they built an OS too?

/is not proud
//had to
/is also not sorry
 
2012-04-30 03:26:38 PM
Why'd they bother keeping the executives? There are other much smarter folks overseas who could run the company better and wouldn't demand as much ridiculously over-inflated compensation.
 
2012-04-30 03:58:37 PM

RickyWilliams'sBong: Could someone tell me what IBM actually does these days? I've seen thousands of their ads, and never aside from a few blade server ones, I never have any idea what they're selling other than vague bullshiat about building a "smarter planet". Unless they're producing Asian guys with Midwestern accents, I'm lost.


Someone else mentioned IBM's acquisitions over the years. At my current job (much to my chagrin), I have to use Lotus Notes (groupware) and Telelogic Synergy (software change management), both of which are owned (but not originally developed) by IBM, and both are horrible. I never thought I'd see products so bad that they'd make me miss Outlook and Subversion.

Some of our teams also use IBM blade centers, although to date the only complaints I've heard about them have involved attempts to get technical details from IBM about their blade architecture (one of our teams was trying to develop a blade with their own custom hardware). Although at the rate IBM is going, I do have to wonder if I'll start seeing blade centers from other vendors around here any time soon.

bdub77: If IBM were running Nazi Germany's Jew-killing infrastructure today, the Holocaust would have never happened and Germany would have invaded India out of frustration with their tech support.


I'm stealing that line.
 
2012-04-30 04:49:47 PM

clovis69: Just in case I couldn't get SPSS, I called Wolfram and they were the nicest people in the world to talk to.


In sales, yes. Try to get their software to do something useful without stabbing yourself in the brain.

SPSS sucks, but it kinda sucks less than every other analysis package out there.

Your IBM sales experience is pretty common for b-2-b, anyway. Yes it's stupid, I'm just saying they're not at a competitive disadvantage. I think I talked to 5 people at three different companies before I got a price for Solidworks.
 
2012-04-30 05:51:54 PM

DRFS Rich: Those saying they've "no idea what IBM does any more" show a remarkable ignorance of business and technology


Or, a remarkable failure to maintain brand value awareness on IBM's part.

IBM is the giant corporation that a lot of other giant corporations depend on for their IT infrastructure. But if you've only worked in medium and small companies -- or even younger giant companies like Facebook or Google that have flourished in the time since IBM divested themselves of their consumer division to re-focus on B2B -- you may not have had exposure to anything that would explain IBM's value to you.
 
2012-04-30 06:01:25 PM

UnspokenVoice: So you're saying they built an OS too?


BOO HISS/400

IBM wrote 1/2 of OS/2 (the elegant half, not the useful half).

So I guess that means they wrote an OS/4.
 
2012-04-30 06:07:43 PM

tlchwi02: SharkTrager: Most of the horror stories we tell are not about European coders

lets be honest, the horror stories we tell are about indian coders (or one of the surrounding countries)

although to be fair, i've had a terrible experiences with russian coders too.


in my experience, Russian programmers are giant flaming dicks, but they know their shiat.

Indian programmers... don't get me started. They are the main reason I'm considering leaving a $150K/year job.
 
2012-04-30 06:52:54 PM

Jaws_Victim: Ontos: GAT_00: Behold, the glory of the free market!

Yes. When business leaves the country due to high taxes and mountains of regulations, the obvious cure is to increase government influence on the market. That should pretty much fix everything.

Or... we could make it illegal for Americans to move business out of the country. Hell, why don't we just make it crime for Americans to leave the country and take their sweet, sweet, tax dollars with them?

Please. When I pay more in taxes than general electric, a multi billion dollar corporation, something is wrong with the system. Companies simply dont want to pay their fair share and the faux news watchers are more than happy to spring to their defense. If having a company in america is so goddamm bad that you just cant make a profit at all, get the fark out. We are all in it together and we either work together to see business and country succeed or you get out.


The irony of your post biatching about General Electric not paying enough in taxes and blaming Fox News watchers for it just made me laugh hysterically. Where to begin? General Electric has gotten massive tax breaks and fat government contracts since Obama has taken office. Jeffery Immelt, in addition to being CEO, also functions as the chair of Obama's council on jobs ( whether that deals with creating or destroying jobs is up in the air ). The NBC network ( and by extension MSNBC ) checked journalism at the door and just fawns over Obama 24/7.

Couple that with the fact that Ronald Reagan who, by the way, was supported by many of those present day Fox News watchers you're whining about, was inspired to overhaul the tax code in response to similar shenanigans back in the 1980's.

"I didn't realize things had gotten that far out of line," Mr. Reagan told the Treasury secretary, Donald T. Regan, according to Mr. Regan's 1988 memoir. The president supported a change that closed loopholes and required G.E. to pay a far higher effective rate, up to 32.5 percent.


http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/25/business/economy/25tax.html?_r=1&pa g ewanted=2&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha2
 
2012-04-30 09:23:46 PM

poot_rootbeer: UnspokenVoice: So you're saying they built an OS too?

BOO HISS/400

IBM wrote 1/2 of OS/2 (the elegant half, not the useful half).

So I guess that means they wrote an OS/4.


LOL I admit - that was cute. Microsoft could code well back then actually.
 
2012-05-01 12:58:53 AM

ZAZ: So IBM HQ will be like B Ark?


Came here to ask about the telephone sanitizers...
 
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