This article is about the American multinational technology company.
For other uses, see IBM (disambiguation).
"Big Blue" redirects here.
For other uses, see Big Blue (disambiguation).
|Predecessors||Bundy Manufacturing Company|
|Founded||June 16, 1911; 109 years ago (1911-06-16) (as Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company)|
|Headquarters||Armonk, New York, U.S.|
|Area served||177 countries|
|Key people||Ginni Rometty|
|Products||See IBM products|
|Revenue||US$77.14 billion (2019)|
|Operating income||US$13.21 billion (2019)|
|Net income||US$9.43 billion (2019)|
|Total assets||US$152.18 billion (2019)|
|Total equity||US$112 billion (2019)|
|Number of employees||352,600 (2019)|
International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is an American multinational technology and consulting company headquartered in Armonk, New York, with more than 350,000 employees serving clients in 170 countries.
On October 8, 2020 IBM announced it was spinning off the Managed Infrastructure Services unit of its Global Technology Services division into a new public company, an action expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
Prior to the announced split, IBM produced and sold computer hardware, middleware and software, and provided hosting and consulting services in areas ranging from mainframe computers to nanotechnology.
It is also a major research organization, as of 2020 holding the record for most U.S. patents generated by a business for 27 consecutive years.
Inventions by IBM include the floppy disk, the hard disk drive, the magnetic stripe card, the relational database, the SQL programming language, the UPC barcode, and dynamic random-access memory (DRAM).
IBM, sometimes referred to as Big Blue, is one of 30 companies included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and one of the world's largest employers, with over 352,600 employees as of 2019.
At least 70% of IBM employees, known as "IBMers", are based outside the United States, with the largest number in India.
Main article: History of IBM
IBM is incorporated in New York and has operations in over 170 countries.
In the 1880s technologies emerged that would ultimately form the core of International Business Machines (IBM).
Julius E. Pitrap patented the computing scale in 1885; Alexander Dey invented the dial recorder (1888); Herman Hollerith (1860–1929) patented the Electric Tabulating Machine; and Willard Bundy invented a time clock to record a worker's arrival and departure time on a paper tape in 1889.
On June 16, 1911, their four companies were amalgamated in New York State by Charles Ranlett Flint forming a fifth company, the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR) based in Endicott, New York.
They manufactured machinery for sale and lease, ranging from commercial scales and industrial time recorders, meat and cheese slicers, to tabulators and punched cards.
Watson joined CTR as General Manager then, 11 months later, was made President when court cases relating to his time at NCR were resolved.
Having learned Patterson's pioneering business practices, Watson proceeded to put the stamp of NCR onto CTR's companies.
He implemented sales conventions, "generous sales incentives, a focus on customer service, an insistence on well-groomed, dark-suited salesmen and had an evangelical fervor for instilling company pride and loyalty in every worker".
His favorite slogan, "THINK", became a mantra for each company's employees.
Watson never liked the clumsy hyphenated name "Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company" and on February 14, 1924, chose to replace it with the more expansive title "International Business Machines" which had previously been used as the name of CTR's Canadian Division.
By 1933 most of the subsidiaries had been merged into one company, IBM.
In 1937 IBM's tabulating equipment enabled organizations to process huge amounts of data.
Its clients included the U.S. , during its first effort to maintain the employment records for 26 million people pursuant to the GovernmentSocial Security Act, and Hitler's Third Reich, for the tracking of Jews and other persecuted groups, largely through the German subsidiary Dehomag.
The social security-related business gave an 81% increase in revenue from 1935 to 1939.
In 1949 Thomas Watson, Sr., created IBM World Trade Corporation, a subsidiary of IBM focused on foreign operations.
In 1952 he stepped down after almost 40 years at the company helm, and his son Thomas Watson, Jr. was named president.
IBM built the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator, an electromechanical computer, during World War II.
In 1956 the company demonstrated the first practical example of artificial intelligence when Arthur L. Samuel of IBM's Poughkeepsie, New York, laboratory programmed an IBM 704 not merely to play checkers but "learn" from its own experience.
In 1957 the FORTRAN scientific programming language was developed.
In 1963 IBM employees and computers helped NASA track the orbital flights of the Mercury astronauts.
A year later, it moved its corporate headquarters from New York City to Armonk, New York.
The latter half of the 1960s saw IBM continue its support of space exploration, participating in the 1965 Gemini flights, 1966 Saturn flights, and 1969 lunar mission.
On April 7, 1964, IBM announced the first computer system family, the IBM System/360.
It spanned the complete range of commercial and scientific applications from large to small, allowing companies for the first time to upgrade to models with greater computing capability without having to rewrite their applications.
It was followed by the IBM System/370 in 1970.
They, and the operating systems that ran on them such as OS/VS1 and MVS, and the middleware built on top of those such as the CICS transaction processing monitor, had a near-monopoly-level marketshare and became the thing IBM was most known for during this period.
In 1969 the United States of America alleged that IBM violated the Sherman Antitrust Act by monopolizing or attempting to monopolize the general-purpose electronic digital computer system market, specifically computers designed primarily for business, and subsequently alleged that IBM violated the antitrust laws in IBM's actions directed against leasing companies and plug-compatible peripheral manufacturers.
Shortly after, IBM unbundled its software and services in what many observers believed was a direct result of the lawsuit, creating a competitive market for software.
In 1982 the Department of Justice dropped the case as “without merit.”
Also in 1969, IBM engineer Forrest Parry invented the magnetic stripe card that would become ubiquitous for credit/debit/ATM cards, driver's licenses, rapid transit cards, and a multitude of other identity and access control applications.
IBM pioneered the manufacture of these cards, and for most of the 1970s, the data processing systems and software for such applications ran exclusively on IBM computers.
The IBM PC, originally designated IBM 5150, was introduced in 1981, and it soon became an industry standard.
In 1991 IBM spun out its printer manufacturing into a new business called Lexmark.
In 1993 IBM posted a US$8 billion loss – at the time the biggest in American corporate history.
The result was three values: "Dedication to every client's success", "Innovation that matters—for our company and for the world", and "Trust and personal responsibility in all relationships".
In 2005 the company sold its personal computer business to Chinese technology company Lenovo and, in 2009, it acquired software company SPSS Inc. Later in 2009, IBM's Blue Gene supercomputing program was awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation by U.S. PresidentBarack Obama.
The company also celebrated its 100th anniversary in the same year on June 16.
In 2014 IBM announced it would sell its x86 server division to Lenovo for $2.1 billion.
Also that year, IBM began announcing several major partnerships with other companies, including Apple Inc., Twitter, Facebook, Tencent, Cisco, UnderArmour, Box, Microsoft, VMware, CSC, Macy's, Sesame Workshop, the parent company of Sesame Street, and Salesforce.com.
In 2015 IBM announced three major acquisitions: Merge Healthcare for $1 billion, data storage vendor Cleversafe, and all digital assets from The Weather Company, including Weather.com and the Weather Channel mobile app.
Also that year, IBMers created the film A Boy and His Atom, which was the first molecule movie to tell a story.
In 2016, IBM acquired video conferencing service Ustream and formed a new cloud video unit.
In April 2016, it posted a 14-year low in quarterly sales.
The following month, Groupon sued IBM accusing it of patent infringement, two months after IBM accused Groupon of patent infringement in a separate lawsuit.
In 2015, IBM bought the digital part of The Weather Company;, Truven Health Analytics for $2.6 billion in 2016, and in October 2018, IBM announced its intention to acquire Red Hat for $34 billion, which was completed on July 9, 2019.
IBM announced in October 2020 that it is splitting itself into two separate public companies.
IBM's future focus will be on high-margin cloud computing and artificial intelligence, built on the foundation of the 2019 Red Hat acquisition.
The new company "NewCo”, yet to be formally named, created from IBM Global Technology Services Managed Infrastructure Services unit, will have 90,000 employees, 4,600 clients in 115 countries, with a backlog of $60 billion.
IBM's spin off will be greater than any of its previous divestitures, and welcomed by investors.
IBM has regularly reinvented itself by selling off low margin assets while shifting its focus to higher-value, more profitable markets.
- 1991: Spun off its printer and keyboard manufacturing division, the IBM Information Products Corporation, to Lexmark
- 2005 and 2014, respectively: Sold its personal computer (ThinkPad/ThinkCentre) and x86-based server businesses to Lenovo
- 2015: IBM adopted a "fabless" model with semiconductors design, while offloading manufacturing to GlobalFoundries
- 2002–2019: Acquired PwC Consulting (2002), SPSS (2009), The Weather Company (2016), and Red Hat (2019)
- Planned for late 2021: A $19 billion spin-off of managed infrastructure services unit into a new public company (temporarily named "NewCo.")
Headquarters and offices
IBM is headquartered in Armonk, New York, a community 37 miles (60 km) north of Midtown Manhattan.
A nickname for the company is the "Colossus of Armonk".
Its principal building, referred to as CHQ, is a 283,000-square-foot (26,300 m) glass and stone edifice on a 25-acre (10 ha) parcel amid a 432-acre former apple orchard the company purchased in the mid-1950s.
There are two other IBM buildings within walking distance of CHQ: the North Castle office, which previously served as IBM's headquarters; and the Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., Center for Learning (formerly known as IBM Learning Center (ILC)), a resort hotel and training center, which has 182 guest rooms, 31 meeting rooms, and various amenities.
IBM operates in 174 countries as of 2016, with mobility centers in smaller markets areas and major campuses in the larger ones.
Outside of New York, major campuses in the United States include Austin, Texas; Research Triangle Park (Raleigh-Durham), North Carolina; Rochester, Minnesota; and Silicon Valley, California.
IBM's real estate holdings are varied and globally diverse.
Other notable buildings include the IBM Rome Software Lab (Rome, Italy), Hursley House (Winchester, UK), 330 North Wabash (Chicago, Illinois, United States), the Cambridge Scientific Center (Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States), the IBM Toronto Software Lab (Toronto, Canada), the IBM Building, Johannesburg (Johannesburg, South Africa), the IBM Building (Seattle) (Seattle, Washington, United States), the IBM Hakozaki Facility (Tokyo, Japan), the IBM Yamato Facility (Yamato, Japan), the IBM Canada Head Office Building (Ontario, Canada) and the Watson IoT Headquarters (Munich, Germany).
IBM was recognized as one of the Top 20 Best Workplaces for Commuters by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2005, which recognized Fortune 500 companies that provided employees with excellent commuter benefits to help reduce traffic and air pollution.
For the fiscal year 2017, IBM reported earnings of US$5.7 billion, with an annual revenue of US$79.1 billion, a decline of 1.0% over the previous fiscal cycle.
IBM's shares traded at over $125 per share, and its market capitalization was valued at over US$113.9 billion in September 2018.
IBM ranked No.
34 on the 2018 Fortune 500 rankings of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.
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Products and services
See also: List of IBM products
IBM has a large and diverse portfolio of products and services.
As of 2016, these offerings fall into the categories of cloud computing, Artificial intelligence, commerce, data and analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), IT infrastructure, mobile, Digital workplace and cybersecurity.
For instance, the IBM Bluemix PaaS enables developers to quickly create complex websites on a pay-as-you-go model.
IBM also provides Cloud Data Encryption Services (ICDES), using cryptographic splitting to secure customer data.
IBM also hosts the industry-wide cloud computing and mobile technologies conference InterConnect each year.
IBM Secure Blue is encryption hardware that can be built into microprocessors, and in 2014, the company revealed TrueNorth, a neuromorphic CMOS integrated circuit and announced a $3 billion investment over the following five years to design a neural chip that mimics the human brain, with 10 billion neurons and 100 trillion synapses, but that uses just 1 kilowatt of power.
In 2016, the company launched designed for small and midsized companies, which includes software for data compression, provisioning, and snapshots across various systems.
Smarter Planet is an initiative that seeks to achieve economic growth, near-term efficiency, sustainable development, and societal progress, targeting opportunities such as smart grids, water management systems, solutions to traffic congestion, and greener buildings.
Services provisions include Redbooks, which are publicly available online books about best practices with IBM products, and developerWorks, a website for software developers and IT professionals with how-to articles and tutorials, as well as software downloads, code samples, discussion forums, podcasts, blogs, wikis, and other resources for developers and technical professionals.
Watson has since been applied to business, healthcare, developers, and universities.
Also, several companies have begun using Watson for call centers, either replacing or assisting customer service agents.
In March 2020 it was announced that IBM will build the first quantum computer in Germany.
The computer should allow researchers to harness the technology without falling foul of the EU's increasingly assertive stance on data sovereignty.
Research has been a part of IBM since its founding, and its organized efforts trace their roots back to 1945, when the Watson Scientific Computing Laboratory was founded at Columbia University in New York City, converting a renovated fraternity house on Manhattan's West Side into IBM's first laboratory.
IBM Research is headquartered at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center in New York, and facilities include the Almaden lab in California, Austin lab in Texas, Australia lab in Melbourne, Brazil lab in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, China lab in Beijing and Shanghai, Ireland lab in Dublin, Haifa lab in Israel, India lab in Delhi and Bangalore, Tokyo lab, Zurich lab and Africa lab in Nairobi.
In terms of investment, IBM's R&D expenditure totals several billion dollars each year.
In 2012, that expenditure was approximately US$6.9 billion.
Recent allocations have included $1 billion to create a business unit for Watson in 2014, and $3 billion to create a next-gen semiconductor along with $4 billion towards growing the company's "strategic imperatives" (cloud, analytics, mobile, security, social) in 2015.
IBM has also released code under different open source licenses, such as the platform-independent software framework Eclipse (worth approximately US$40 million at the time of the donation), the three-sentence (ICU) license, and the Java-based relational database management system (RDBMS) Apache Derby.
Famous inventions and developments by IBM include: the Automated teller machine (ATM), Dynamic random access memory (DRAM), the electronic keypunch, the financial swap, the floppy disk, the hard disk drive, the magnetic stripe card, the relational database, RISC, the SABRE airline reservation system, SQL, the Universal Product Code (UPC) bar code, and the virtual machine.
Additionally, in 1990 company scientists used a scanning tunneling microscope to arrange 35 individual xenon atoms to spell out the company acronym, marking the first structure assembled one atom at a time.
A major part of IBM research is the generation of patents.
Since its first patent for a traffic signaling device, IBM has been one of the world's most prolific patent sources.
In 2018, the company holds the record for most patents generated by a business, marking 25 consecutive years for the achievement.
Five IBMers have received the Nobel Prize: Leo Esaki, of the Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., in 1973, for work in semiconductors; Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer, of the Zurich Research Center, in 1986, for the scanning tunneling microscope; and Georg Bednorz and Alex Müller, also of Zurich, in 1987, for research in superconductivity.
Current research includes a collaboration with the University of Michigan to see computers act as an academic advisor for undergraduate computer science and engineering students at the university, and a partnership with AT&T, combining their cloud and Internet of Things (IoT) platforms to make them interoperable and to provide developers with easier tools.
The company is also involved in research into advanced algorithms and machine learning and their decision-making processes.
To that end, the company recently released an analysis tool for how and why algorithms make decisions while scanning for biases in automated decision-making.
Brand and reputation
IBM is nicknamed Big Blue in part due to its blue logo and color scheme, and also partially since IBM once had a de facto dress code of white shirts with blue suits.
It was a general replacement for a 13-bar logo, since period photocopiers did not render large areas well.
IBM has a valuable brand as a result of over 100 years of operations and marketing campaigns.
Since 1996, IBM has been the exclusive technology partner for the Masters Tournament, one of the four major championships in professional golf, with IBM creating the first Masters.org (1996), the first course cam (1998), the first iPhone app with live streaming (2009), and first-ever live 4K Ultra High Definition feed in the United States for a major sporting event (2016).
In 2012, IBM's brand was valued at $75.5 billion and ranked by Interbrand as the second-best brand worldwide.
That same year, it was also ranked the top company for leaders (Fortune), the number two green company in the U.S. (Newsweek), the second-most respected company (Barron's), the fifth-most admired company (Fortune), the 18th-most innovative company (Fast Company), and the number one in technology consulting and number two in outsourcing (Vault).
In 2015, Forbes ranked IBM the fifth-most valuable brand.
People and culture
See also: List of IBM CEOs
IBM has one of the largest workforces in the world, and employees at Big Blue are referred to as "IBMers".
The company was among the first corporations to provide group life insurance (1934), survivor benefits (1935), training for women (1935), paid vacations (1937), and training for disabled people (1942).
IBM hired its first black salesperson in 1946, and in 1952, CEO Thomas J. Watson, Jr. published the company's first written equal opportunity policy letter, one year before the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Board of Education and 11 years before the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The Human Rights Campaign has rated IBM 100% on its index of gay-friendliness every year since 2003, with IBM providing same-sex partners of its employees with health benefits and an anti-discrimination clause.
Additionally, in 2005, IBM became the first major company in the world to commit formally to not use genetic information in employment decisions; and in 2017, IBM was named to Working Mother's 100 Best Companies List for the 32nd consecutive year.
IBM has several leadership development and recognition programs to recognize employee potential and achievements.
Each year, the company also selects 500 IBMers for the IBM Corporate Service Corps (CSC), which has been described as the corporate equivalent of the Peace Corps and gives top employees a month to do humanitarian work abroad.
For certain interns, IBM also has a program called Extreme Blue that partners top business and technical students to develop high-value technology and compete to present their business case to the company's CEO at internship's end.
The company also has various designations for exceptional individual contributors such as Senior Technical Staff Member (STSM), Research Staff Member (RSM), Distinguished Engineer (DE), and Distinguished Designer (DD).
Prolific inventors can also achieve patent plateaus and earn the designation of Master Inventor.
The company's most prestigious designation is that of IBM Fellow.
Since 1963, the company names a handful of Fellows each year based on technical achievement.
Other programs recognize years of service such as the Quarter Century Club established in 1924, and sellers are eligible to join the Hundred Percent Club, composed of IBM salesmen who meet their quotas, convened in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Each year, the company also selects 1,000 IBMers annually to award the Best of IBM Award, which includes an all-expenses-paid trip to the awards ceremony in an exotic location.
IBM's culture has evolved significantly over its century of operations.
In its early days, a dark (or gray) suit, white shirt, and a "sincere" tie constituted the public uniform for IBM employees.
During IBM's management transformation in the 1990s, CEO Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. relaxed these codes, normalizing the dress and behavior of IBM employees.
The company's culture has also given to different plays on the company acronym (IBM), with some saying is stands for "I've Been Moved" due to relocations and layoffs, others saying it stands for "I'm By Myself" pursuant to a prevalent work-from-anywhere norm, and others saying it stands for "I'm Being Mentored" due to the company's open door policy and encouragement for mentoring at all levels.
In terms of labor relations, the company has traditionally resisted labor union organizing, although unions represent some IBM workers outside the United States.
In 2016, IBM eliminated forced rankings and changed its annual performance review system to focus more on frequent feedback, coaching, and skills development.
Many IBMers have also achieved notability outside of work and after leaving IBM.
In business, former IBM employees include Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook, former EDS CEO and politician Ross Perot, Microsoft chairman John W. Thompson, SAP co-founder Hasso Plattner, Gartner founder Gideon Gartner, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) CEO Lisa Su, former Citizens Financial Group CEO Ellen Alemany, former Yahoo!
chairman Alfred Amoroso, former AT&T CEO C. , former Michael ArmstrongXerox Corporation CEOs David T. Kearns and G. , former Richard ThomanFair Isaac Corporation CEO Mark N. Greene, Citrix Systems co-founder Ed Iacobucci, ASOS.com chairman Brian McBride, former Lenovo CEO Steve Ward, and former Teradata CEO Kenneth Simonds.
In government, alumna Patricia Roberts Harris served as United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, the first African American woman to serve in the United States Cabinet.
Alumni also include U.S. SenatorsMack Mattingly and Thom Tillis; Wisconsin governor Scott Walker; former U.S. AmbassadorsVincent Obsitnik (Slovakia), Arthur K. Watson (France), and Thomas Watson Jr. (Soviet Union); and former U.S. RepresentativesTodd Akin, Glenn Andrews, Robert Garcia, Katherine Harris, Amo Houghton, Jim Ross Lightfoot, Thomas J. Manton, Donald W. Riegle Jr., and Ed Zschau.
Others are NASA astronaut Michael J. Massimino, Canadian astronaut and Governor-General Julie Payette, noted musician Dave Matthews, Harvey Mudd College president Maria Klawe, Western Governors University president emeritus Robert Mendenhall, former University of Kentucky president Lee T. Todd Jr., NFL referee Bill Carollo, former Rangers F.C. chairman John McClelland, and recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature J. . M. Coetzee
The company's 15 member Board of Directors are responsible for overall corporate management and includes the current or former CEOs of Anthem, Dow Chemical, Johnson and Johnson, Royal Dutch Shell, UPS, and Vanguard as well as the presidents of Cornell University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a retired U.S. Navy admiral.
Initially he bought 64 million shares costing 10.5 billion dollars.
Over the years he increased his IBM holdings however he reduced it by 94.5% to 2.05 million shares at the end of 2017.
By May 2018 he was completely out of IBM.
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Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM.