"and not become the next Digital Equipment Corporation"
They pretty much already are. IBM have wasted billions on Linux for little benefit purely because they didn't want to cooperate with Microsoft. Not a successful business model...
IBM CEO Ginni Rometty is instigating the biggest global re-org in the history of the corporation in a bid to carve out a clearer future in a cloudy world. Multiple sources told us senior managers were this week informed about the changes that will see IBM try to shed the dusty hardware, software and services silo structure. …
"IBM should say, "please sir may I have another?" and get screwed over again, and again , and again?"
No, not at all - they don't have to get in bed with Microsoft to progress.
Microsoft have a 75% share of the server market (Forbes), so for IBM to try and ignore them is not surprisingly a massive fail.
"Do you really think playing nicer with MS will somehow make a difference to their business?"
Yes. IBM are irrelevant here (FTSE 100) at least partly because of their disconnect from what most companies are actually doing in replacing expensive Midrange with commodity Wintel.
> No surprise IBM would keep them at arms length after that.
But they didn't. There were years of OS/2-like cooperation over Web Services, WSDL and all that ball of crap. I'm guessing Ginny has re-learned the lesson of the 1980's about exactly why cooperating with MS is a Bad Idea.
"You do realise that hardware only makes up about 10% of their turnover"
Not really true, but it is often repeated. That 10%, actually it is 11%, of revenues is the bare metal that you can tap on, but that is not the sort of hardware IBM sells. They sell systems = software and hardware. Take a look at your standard mainframe shop over a five year period. Maybe 10% of the total mainframe expenses go into actual hardware. A large percentage of it goes into the MLC, software licenses, and a substantial portion goes into maintenance and support services. IBM only accounts the 10% as mainframe revenue, but, if you didn't have a mainframe, you probably wouldn't be buying mainframe software and services. The same is true of storage and Power to a lesser extent. These are just the direct costs of the system too, not including all of the indirect benefits from systems (e.g. customer buys IBM storage and then buys Tivoli storage management software). Not to say that all IBM software and services are dependent on systems, but more than meets the eye with the 10% of revenues stat.
Not long after Satya Nadella took the helm at M$ he announce 18,000 layoffs, followed by another 3,000 a few short months later, Cisco have been restructuring their business ever since 2009, still trying to work out what it wants to be when it grows up, EMC's last ditch attempt to huddle it's companies into a federation is unlikely to save it from the hacktervist, tugging away at juicy VMware, HP is splitting itself in two and Amazon apparently shoves all its profits back into AWS so on paper has never ever made one, then there's those pesky upstarts over valued, funded by a new wave of financial instruments, nobody is immune!
"... Operating between the hardware and software groups was to minimise conflict where IBM worked with other software or hardware vendors, but this was becoming less important with more and more customers wanting to consume technology like a utility."
No, that's not true. It is no longer necessary because IBM is slowly but surely moving away from all kinds of hardware where there is any competition at all. Basically what they have left are the mainframe and iSeries.
So what's really happened is that it is no longer important because IBM hardware is another cow to milk and there's no risk of conflict.
Yet another chapter in the slow and progressive march to irrelevance....
Reading the article, I'm left with the impression that IBM are moving from a three silo model to a circa eleven silo model. Either the journalism's not up too much, or Ginny has been listening to the management consultants talking bollocks about matrix organisations again.
I work for a large complex business. Originally run on country lines, the board sucked on the consultant's Kool-aid, and we adopted a chaotic matrix structure. Now nobody knows who does what, who's accountable for what, we have multiple teams sniffing around the same customer deals, we talk about "collaborative working" and never do it.
Good luck with that.
I got a new job and left IBM UK a small number of weeks before the "hands up for a brown envelope" programme started. I would like have to stayed for a bit to help my colleagues and cash in some chips after Xteen years but had to commit to a start date.
Any hoo, the "voluntary" programme was such a rip-roaring success they have cancelled the planned compulsory programme. What does that tell you about the morale and the planning which somewhere in the region of 200 people have been doing recently ? Retire, go contracting, or just find a job else rather than put up with it any more.
But I'm sure there will be a fresh compulsory programme, based on squeezing out people who didn't top out on the "CAMSS" quiz...a massively irrelevant bullshit bingo quiz which we were required to "Pass" as a sign of being up to speeed.
Not surprising to see GTS kept on the side lines...absolutely stacked full of dead wood from my experience apart from one or two bright sparks. Whilst I would selectively buy from my former employer, I wouldn't touch that part of the business. Which is why other parts of IBM will go out to the market rather than partner with them.
You weren't too valuable. The only people who got accepted were those close to retirement who were on fat pensions anyway. The rest of us who applied weren't accepted. They didn't even do the decent thing and tells us why we had been rejected. In fact they didn't even bother replying at all.
Then again, considering how many applied, it would have taken some time to do this. My guess is that you were told you were too valuable by your manager in a vain attempt to raise your morale.
Most of us are either leaving for work elsewhere, or sitting around doing as little as possible until the inevitable next round of redundancies. There's no work because all the salesmen got sacked, and we keep getting told to "transform" ourselves to align with the new "strategy". But of course, there's no funding whatsoever. Education is banned, even if it means turning up at a customer and working from a Redbook. Non-customer travel is banned, so we can't even meet up with colleagues and learn from each other.
Instead we have countless "webinars" and "video blogs" all of which spout out the same marketing bullshit with no actual content whatsoever. Apparently wasting 40 hours of our time each year watching this shit counts as education now.
Nobody's had a pay rise for years now (they're banned too) and the rewards for doing well each year are so minuscule that there's no point in trying any more. Because we've all got email on our phones now, and there are no longer any offices to go to, we just do what we want all day, which to be honest is actually quite nice, considering we're getting paid for it. Occasionally we get dragged into talking to customers and pretending to know what we're talking about. Honestly, I could probably get a part time job elsewhere and I doubt anyone would notice. My manager wouldn't. I've never even met him.
Anon because I still work there. Sort of.
Yes, I'm not sure why IBM has these mandated layoffs which just move morale from bad to terrible. If they told people, "in three months we're going to ask everyone if they would like to voluntarily resign with x terms", people would jump at it.... As you mention, it is not exactly a positive sign when people are jumping at the chance to leave the company, but it would still be much better than the blind side "resource actions" (i.e. layoffs). If you want to be thought of as, forget about great, a reasonable employer, you should give the employees some forewarning which would allow them to find a new position. Employees often don't mind leaving, but dropping people without any warning is just cruel and unnecessary. IBM definitely plans these layoffs months in advance and could provide a warning. It would probably even be to IBM's financial benefit to tell employees that in six months they will be laid off because many of them would leave voluntarily in the interim instead of taking a small severance package... as you did.
For non-IBMers, the CAMMS challenge or 'training' was an ill-thought out e-learning delivery in an attempt to align the staff with the move to cloud/analytics/mobile/social.
Rather than incur costs of doing it right (hands on and in classroom) the ideology of spending as little as possible prevailed.
A spreadsheet of answers was circulated amongst staff. If management thought of looking at how many people scored 100% or close they'd see how widespread this was.
It's likely some of the UKI management will read this and all the better if they do as they very rarely get honest feedback on the internal connections site.
Since IBM is actively trying to remake itself into a consulting firm that just happens to write software, I'm guessing these changes are being made to manage out anyone in their hardware product organizations.
It's so strange to see such an iconic company that basically defined a large chunk of business computing in the 20th century like this -- selling off anything that involves physical hardware to the highest bidder. From what I've heard from colleagues, it was always kind of a strange place to work, but lately it has taken on a whole new level of strange.
In any org that large, there's bound to be a fair amount of dead wood hiding out. I work for a fairly large multinational and we see it all the time - multiple layers of management that basically exist to provide promotion opportunities for key staff, whole product divisions whose product has been cancelled, but somehow they're still there, and so on. Cutting or moving truly dead wood is one thing, but from what I've heard, IBM has started hacking off the living bits now. I'm sure it will get worse as the entire management tree in each of those silos they're looking to kill starts scrambling for survival and throwing the actual workers overboard.
I wonder what will happen when businesses finally migrate completely away from mainframe, iSeries and AIX...it'll be interesting to see a massive top heavy org like IBM try its hand at white-shoe management consulting as its primary business.
"I'm guessing these changes are being made to manage out anyone in their hardware product organizations."
It's been a bizarre, knee-jerk response to the shit Q3 results. There is virtually zero bench in the areas targeted (services not hardware) so all revenue earning individuals.
Interesting, so it's even dumber than I thought. My assumption was that they would be going after the multiple product managers, marketing people, customer liaison people, etc. that would have been totally redundant in each silo. My experience with IBM is as a customer, and an acquaintance of lots of people who have cycled in and out of there over the years. As a customer, I can tell that, right now, they're just too large to effectively address questions. Hearing the war stories from former employees, it sounds like this huge bureaucracy is basically self sustaining and you end up spending more time playing in that world than doing actual work. (I see a little of this in my company, but I'm a product engineer, so we need to produce real stuff.)
"I see jobs with Chef, Puppet and AWS"
None of which require or even make you think of the involvement of IBM.
Also worth noting that whilst AWS is big in the website world, Azure is about to overtake it by size in revenue. So the most significant piece of cloud estate at least for the next few years is likely to belong to Microsoft. Which IBM is particularly not well positioned to coexist with.
We've had 6 years of redundancies in IBM UK, which I include the pensions debacle which kicked people out in 2009. Every year redundancies, all short term fixes to help the share price, at the expense of customers. Every year it has got worse with more and more leaving who are actually doing the work.
So much "robbing Peter to pay Paul" in IBM UK, people firefighting from one account to another. Many having the reputation of the "account from hell" to work on, and then the customer leaves IBM. We sign another few to replace them and the cycle starts again. Less and less people now available in the UK to actually fix all the problems out there.
Personally I could never....ever...recommend anyone to work for IBM UK. I'm a GTS techie by the way, one of the ones doing the work!
Also, in a strange way, I would actually respect HP more for how they announce redundancies, in a more open and honest way. IBM hide them, IBM split them up amongst many sub organisations and locations to mean they don't have the big numbers HP announces. I know of 5 parts of the IBM UK organisation doing it, amounting to probably about 750 people, but I am sure there are more. Many compulsory as well as people going voluntarily. 15%+ came out of our organisation, imagine that across the whole of IBM UK, it's over 2000 people!! But that won't make the news anywhere. Kudos to HP for at least being honest.
IBM has quietly announced its first-ever cloudy mainframes will go live on June 30.
Big Blue in February disclosed its plans to provide cloud-hosted virtual machines running the z/OS that powers its mainframes. These would be first offered in a closed "experimental" beta under the IBM Wazi as-a-service brand. That announcement promised "on-demand access to z/OS, available as needed for development and test" with general availability expected "in 2H 2022."
The IT giant has now slipped out an advisory that reveals a “planned availability date” of June 30.
Less than a week after IBM was ordered in an age discrimination lawsuit to produce internal emails in which its former CEO and former SVP of human resources discuss reducing the number of older workers, the IT giant chose to settle the case for an undisclosed sum rather than proceed to trial next month.
The order, issued on June 9, in Schenfeld v. IBM, describes Exhibit 10, which "contains emails that discuss the effort taken by IBM to increase the number of 'millennial' employees."
Plaintiff Eugene Schenfeld, who worked as an IBM research scientist when current CEO Arvind Krishna ran IBM's research group, sued IBM for age discrimination in November, 2018. His claim is one of many that followed a March 2018 report by ProPublica and Mother Jones about a concerted effort to de-age IBM and a 2020 finding by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that IBM executives had directed managers to get rid of older workers to make room for younger ones.
Updated ERP vendor Infor is to end development of an on-premises and containerized version of its core product for customers running on IBM iSeries mid-range systems.
Born from a cross-breeding of ERP stalwarts Baan and Lawson, Infor was developing an on-premises containerized version of M3, dubbed CM3, to help ease migration for IBM hardware customers and offer them options other than lifting and shifting to the cloud.
Under the plans, Infor said it would continue to to run the database component on IBM i (Power and I operating system, formerly known as iSeries) while supporting the application component of the product in a Linux or Windows container on Kubernetes.
Updated In one of the many ongoing age discrimination lawsuits against IBM, Big Blue has been ordered to produce internal emails in which former CEO Ginny Rometty and former SVP of Human Resources Diane Gherson discuss efforts to get rid of older employees.
IBM as recently as February denied any "systemic age discrimination" ever occurred at the mainframe giant, despite the August 31, 2020 finding by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that "top-down messaging from IBM’s highest ranks directing managers to engage in an aggressive approach to significantly reduce the headcount of older workers to make room for Early Professional Hires."
The court's description of these emails between executives further contradicts IBM's assertions and supports claims of age discrimination raised by a 2018 report from ProPublica and Mother Jones, by other sources prior to that, and by numerous lawsuits.
RSA Conference IBM has expanded its extensive cybersecurity portfolio by acquiring Randori – a four-year-old startup that specializes in helping enterprises manage their attack surface by identifying and prioritizing their external-facing on-premises and cloud assets.
Big Blue announced the Randori buy on the first day of the 2022 RSA Conference on Monday. Its plan is to give the computing behemoth's customers a tool to manage their security posture by looking at their infrastructure from a threat actor's point-of-view – a position IBM hopes will allow users to identify unseen weaknesses.
IBM intends to integrate Randori's software with its QRadar extended detection and response (XDR) capabilities to provide real-time attack surface insights for tasks including threat hunting and incident response. That approach will reduce the quantity of manual work needed for monitoring new applications and to quickly address emerging threats, according to IBM.
Tencent Cloud has released an odd robot-adjacent device designed to provide telemedicine services.
The effort is called i-Care and is the result of a tie up with USA-based IT services Millennium Technology Services (MTS)'s subsidiary Invincible Technology. The two companies set out to create "a digital solution that aims to improve patients' experience and quality of life as well as draw patients, families and caregivers closer than ever."
"Customers' habits and expectations have evolved dramatically over the last few years across various industries including the medical and healthcare field, driven by the further emergence of digital technologies and cloud computing," said Tencent Cloud in a canned statement.
Microsoft has indefinitely postponed the date on which its Cloud Solution Providers (CSPs) will be required to sell software and services licences on new terms.
Those new terms are delivered under the banner of the New Commerce Experience (NCE). NCE is intended to make perpetual licences a thing of the past and prioritizes fixed-term subscriptions to cloudy products. Paying month-to-month is more expensive than signing up for longer-term deals under NCE, which also packs substantial price rises for many Microsoft products.
Channel-centric analyst firm Canalys unsurprisingly rates NCE as better for Microsoft than for customers or partners.
The world's server market will grow in 2022 – but more slowly than in the past – and could dip further, according to analyst firm TrendForce.
Supply chain issues are, unsurprisingly, one reason for predicted modest growth. Shanghai's COVID lockdowns, for example, mean China's server makers have struggled to open, and get the parts they need.
The likes of Dell and HPE were hurt by those lockdowns, but TrendForce feels they'll recover.
VMware today revealed details about Project Arctic, the vSphere-as-a-service offering it teased in late 2021, though it won't discuss pricing for another month.
VMware's thinking starts with the fact that organizations are likely to run multiple instances of its vSphere and VSAN products, often in multiple locations. Managing them all centrally is not easy.
Enter vSphere+ and VSAN+, which run in the cloud and can control multiple on-premises instances of vSphere or VSAN. To make that possible, users will need to adopt the Cloud Gateway, which connects vSphere instances to a Cloud Console.
Updated Hitachi has taken a modest step towards becoming a public cloud provider, with the launch of a VMware-powered cloud in Japan that The Register understands may not be its only such venture.
The Japanese giant has styled the service a "sovereign cloud" – a term that VMware introduced to distinguish some of its 4,000-plus partners that operate small clouds and can attest to their operations being subject to privacy laws and governance structures within the nation in which they operate.
Public cloud heavyweights AWS, Azure, Google, Oracle, IBM, and Alibaba also offer VMware-powered clouds, at hyperscale. But some organizations worry that their US or Chinese roots make them vulnerable to laws that might allow Washington or Beijing to exercise extraterritorial oversight.
Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022