back to article IBM loses chunky ATM contract, reaches for staff eject button

IBM is to pull the flusher on Technical Support Services staffers in the UK after losing a meaty ATM maintenance contract with Produban, Grupo Santander’s tech arm, which designs and operates the bank's infrastructure. In a note sent to staff - seen by us - Big Blue’s Tim Frisby, TSS UK service delivery business ops manager, …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    GTS and IBM aren't the same thing

    El Reg says "Eight in ten services personnel at IBM could be working in lower cost labour countries by the end of 2017".

    This is misleading as the article references IBM's GTS division only, rather than the organization as a whole.

    If it'd said "eight in ten services personnel at the GTS division of IBM could be working in lower cost labour countries by the end of 2017", I'd have no complaint.

    GTS isn't all of IBM, and there are plenty of services people outside of GTS but inside IBM (GBS, Systems, Cloud etc).

  2. Phil Kingston

    “in order the relationship remains positive for future win back opportunities”

    What a dick.

    People being told their job is gone remain professional because it's the decent thing to do and they have a sense of self-worth above that of the company they've been screwed over by.

    Not out of some strange desire to really knuckle-down and hope the company that's just stiffed them gets the contract back in a few years.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    5 MORE DAYS working for Big Blue then my redundancy check will clear and I'll be rid of them forever!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Congratulations. I'm sure it's their loss, not yours.

  4. Ralph B

    Question

    What percentage of IBM's ATM maintenance project team are likely to be recruited to join NCR's ATM maintenance project team?

    I'm assuming that there hasn't been a huge change in the number of ATMs that need maintaining; nor that ATMs have suddenly become simpler to maintain; nor that NCR had an ATM maintenance team who were kicking their heels with nothing to do.

    1. Ralph B

      Re: Question

      To answer my own question: Since the contract was changed “for reasons of cost” one must assume that any soon-to-be-ex-IBM employees effectively interviewing for their own jobs at NCR will probably get less generous terms offered to them. They might be better to decline, move on elsewhere, and let NCR and their penny-pinching customers wallow.

      1. Munchausen's proxy
        Pint

        Re: Question

        "one must assume that any soon-to-be-ex-IBM employees effectively interviewing for their own jobs at NCR will probably get less generous terms offered to them"

        I know nothing at all about the specifics of either IBM's or NCR's internal processes, but I'm jaded and old enough to have an opinion on this assumption.

        Suppose, for instance, NCR has fewer management / middlemen in the product chain, pushing paper and "costs" around internally, and jacking up the price customers see? It seems to me entirely plausible that competent staff could get equivalent or higher compensation for switching companies, without creating a necessity for higher prices.

        I'm cynical. I seriously doubt it's the compensation of the people actually doing the work that's to blame for IBM's losses of contracts.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Question

          "I'm cynical. I seriously doubt it's the compensation of the people actually doing the work that's to blame for IBM's losses of contracts."

          While true on the face of it, I'm cynical enough to know that doesn't often matter to the senior management calling the shots. I.e. the people who are screwing up usually aren't the ones being made to suffer the consequences.

          The big wheels don't fire themselves, after all.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Backdoor-2-Retirement Anyone?

    He said TSS workers should demonstrate “continued commitment and professionalism” during the last weeks of the contract “in order the relationship remains positive for future win back opportunities”.

    Well, the good people people can call in sick for those last weeks or they can spend the time backdooring as many ATM's as possible since some Asian is going to take the blame anyway. Which is better?

  6. quite_remarkable

    Frisky Frisby. ROFL.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    TUPE

    Affected staff should consult with their union or an employment lawyer. It may be that they will TUPE across to the new provider on the same employment terms.

  8. Angry-Angel

    IBM CEO needs to go. Workers should physically eject her.

    Lower costs also means lower quality as IBM hires kids with no experience. I personally worked with Unix administrators who didn't know even basic commands. Why? Because they are not IT oriented and provided a quicky Unix course by IBM and then told: Congratulations! You are now a UNIX administrator.

    IBM and customer teams constantly complained about the quality of the support over the past 7+ years. I've been told to do the work or provide oversight as the account teams simply don't trust the judgement of the foreign workers. The customer pays for premium support but gets neophytes who are more likely to bring down a system then properly maintain it.

    IBM may be trying to reinvent itself, but it is also digging it's own grave. Ginni Rometty will lie in it with the headstone that says "I should have tried to THINK" (IBM motto). Another formerly great company being stripped mined by a greedy self-centered CEO who has no moral compass.

    America will become a 3rd world country thanks to the politics of business and the business of politics.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: IBM CEO needs to go. Workers should physically eject her.

      For literally millions of employees, America is already a 3rd world nation.

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: IBM CEO needs to go. Workers should physically eject her.

      IBM may be trying to reinvent itself, but it is also digging it's own grave

      Mine, and other's I've talked too, experience with IBM, impressed us the same way. We will NEVER work for any part of IBM ever again.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: IBM CEO needs to go. Workers should physically eject her.

        As someone who has worked for a lot of parts of IBM (GBS, S&D, Systems, Cloud), IBM is almost not even the same company from one division to the next. If you get stuck in a bad division, it is almost impossible to transfer, but all of IBM isn't a bad place to work... or at least it wasn't as of 2015. You want to stay away from GTS (all of it), software is supposedly not great anymore, legacy GBS (like implementing SAP). You would think Systems would be bad, but not really.

  9. ecofeco Silver badge

    This is why you lost the contract IBM

    ...“in order the relationship remains positive for future win back opportunities”

    This would not pass a 5th grade grammar assignment.

    Any company whose communication used composition like that would literally be laughed out the door. With a few choice insults as well.

  10. PeterM42
    FAIL

    IBM?

    It's Bad Management

    I've Been Misled

    etc

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