Friday, May 30, 2008


International Business Machines Corporation, abbreviated IBM and nicknamed "Big Blue," NYSE: IBM, is a multinational computer technology and consulting corporation headquartered in Armonk, New York, USA. The company is one of the few information technology companies with a continuous history dating back to the 19th century. IBM manufactures and sells computer hardware and software, and offers infrastructure services, hosting services, and consulting services in areas ranging from mainframe computers to nanotechnology.[1]
IBM has been known through most of its recent history as the world's largest computer company; with over 388,000 employees worldwide, IBM is the largest information technology employer in the world. Despite falling behind Hewlett-Packard in total revenue since 2006, it remains the most profitable. IBM holds more patents than any other U.S. based technology company.[2] It has engineers and consultants in over 170 countries and IBM Research has eight laboratories worldwide.[3] IBM employees have earned three Nobel Prizes, four Turing Awards, five National Medals of Technology, and five National Medals of Science.[4] As a chip maker, IBM has been among the Worldwide Top 20 Semiconductor Sales Leaders in past years, and in 2007 IBM ranked second in the list of largest software companies in the world.
Current projects
Eclipse is a platform-independent, Java-based software framework. Eclipse was originally a proprietary product developed by IBM as a successor of the VisualAge family of tools. Eclipse has subsequently been released as free/open source software under the Eclipse Public License.
developerWorks is a website run by IBM for software developers and IT professionals. It contains a large number of how-to articles and tutorials, as well as software downloads and code samples, discussion forums, podcasts, blogs, wikis, and other resources for developers and technical professionals. Subjects range from open, industry-standard technologies like Java, Linux, SOA and web services, web development, Ajax, PHP, and XML to IBM's products (WebSphere, Rational, Lotus, Tivoli and DB2). In 2007 developerWorks was inducted into the Jolt Hall of Fame.[8]
alphaWorks is IBM's source for emerging software technologies. These technologies include:
* Flexible Internet Evaluation Report Architecture - A highly flexible architecture for the design, display, and reporting of Internet surveys.
* IBM History Flow Visualization Application - A tool for visualizing dynamic, evolving documents and the interactions of multiple collaborating authors.
* IBM Linux on POWER Performance Simulator - A tool that provides users of Linux on Power a set of performance models for IBM's POWER processors.
* Database File Archive And Restoration Management - An application for archiving and restoring hard disk files using file references stored in a database.
* Policy Management for Autonomic Computing - A policy-based autonomic management infrastructure that simplifies the automation of IT and business processes.
* FairUCE - A spam filter that verifies sender identity instead of filtering content.
* Unstructured Information Management Architecture (UIMA) SDK - A Java SDK that supports the implementation, composition, and deployment of applications working with unstructured information.
* Accessibility Browser - A web-browser specifically designed to assist people with visual impairments, to be released as open-source software. Also known as the "A-Browser," the technology will aim to eliminate the need for a mouse, relying instead completely on voice-controls, buttons and predefined shortcut keys.
Semiconductor design and manufacturing
Virtually all modern console gaming systems use microprocessors developed by IBM. The Xbox 360 contains the Xenon tri-core processor, which was designed and produced by IBM in less than 24 months.[9] Sony's PlayStation 3 features the Cell BE microprocessor designed jointly by IBM, Toshiba, and Sony. Nintendo's seventh-generation console, Wii, features an IBM chip codenamed Broadway. The older Nintendo GameCube also utilizes the Gekko processor, designed by IBM.
In May 2002, IBM and, Inc. announced the Butterfly Grid, a commercial grid for the online video gaming market.[10] In March 2006, IBM announced separate agreements with Hoplon Infotainment, Online Game Services Incorporated (OGSI), and RenderRocket to provide on-demand content management and blade server computing resources.[11]
Open Client Offering
IBM announced it will launch its new software, called "Open Client Offering" which is to run on Microsoft's Windows, Linux and Apple's Macintosh. The company states that its new product allows businesses to offer employees a choice of using the same software on Windows and its alternatives. This means that "Open Client Offering" is to cut costs of managing whether Linux or Apple relative to Windows. There will be no necessity for companies to pay Microsoft for its licenses for operations since the operations will no longer rely on software which is Windows-based. One of Microsoft's office alternatives is the Open Document Format software, whose development IBM supports. It is going to be used for several tasks like: word processing, presentations, along with collaboration with Lotus Notes, instant messaging and blog tools as well as an Internet Explorer competitor – the Firefox web browser. IBM plans to install Open Client on 5 percent of its desktop PCs.
UC2 (Unified Communications and Collaboration) is an IBM and Cisco joint project based on Eclipse and OSGi. It will offer the numerous Eclipse application developers a unified platform for an easier work environment.
The software based on UC2 platform will provide major enterprises with easy-to-use communication solutions, such as the Lotus based Sametime. In the future the Sametime users will benefit from such additional functions as click-to-call and voice mailing.[12]
Internal programs
Extreme Blue is a company initiative that uses experienced IBM engineers, talented interns, and business managers to develop high-value technology. The project is designed to analyze emerging business needs and the technologies that can solve them. These projects mostly involve rapid-prototyping of high-profile software and hardware projects.
In May 2007, IBM unveiled Project Big Green -- a re-direction of $1 billion per year across its businesses to increase energy efficiency.
Virtual Innovation Center[13]
The Virtual Innovation Center is an easy access to technical development, technical training and sales support from IBM meant for Business partners and Independent software vendors. It is a source for technical and sales resources for IBM products and services. A PartnerWorld membership is required to access the Virtual Innovation Center benefits. If you are not a member, join now!
You can get personalized access to support and education to help build your skills:
* 24/7 access to the IBM technical enablement portfolio
* One-on-one guidance for development projects during all stages
* Interactive online courses
* Virtual and classroom-based workshops
* Live support and virtual mentoring through online chat and e-mail
* Architecture consultations in over eight languages
IBM Software Group
This group is one of the major divisions of IBM. The various brands include:
* Information Management Software — database servers and tools, text analytics, content management, business process management and business intelligence.
* Lotus Software — Groupware, collaboration and business software. Acquired in 1995.
* Rational Software — Software development and application lifecycle management. Acquired in 2002.
* Tivoli Software — Systems management. Acquired in 1996.
* WebSphere — Integration and application infrastructure software.
Environmental Record
IBM has a long history of dealing with its environmental problems. It established a corporate policy on environmental protection in 1971, with the support of a comprehensive global environmental management system. According to IBM’s stats, its total hazardous waste decreased by 44 percent over the past five years, and has decreased by 94.6 percent since 1987. IBM's total hazardous waste calculation consists of waste from both non-manufacturing and manufacturing operations. Waste from manufacturing operations includes waste recycled in closed-loop systems where process chemicals are recovered and for subsequent reuse, rather than just disposing and using new chemical materials. Over the years, IBM has redesigned processes to eliminate almost all closed loop recycling and now uses more environmental-friendly materials in their place.[14]
IBM was recognized as one of the "Top 20 Best Workplaces for Commuters" by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2005. This was to recognize the Fortune 500 companies that provided their employees with excellent commuter benefits that helped reduce traffic and air pollution.[15]
However, the birthplace of IBM, Endicott, suffered IBM's pollution for decades. IBM used liquid cleaning agents in its circuit board assembly operation for more than two decades, and six spills and leaks incidents were recorded, including one recorded 1979 leak of 4,100 gallons from an underground tank. These left behind volatile organic compounds in the town's soil and aquifer. Trace elements of volatile organic compounds have been identified in the Endicott’s drinking water, but the levels are within regulatory limits. Also, from 1980, IBM has pumped out 78,000 gallons of chemicals, including trichloroethane, Freon, benzene and perchloroethene to the air and allegedly caused several cancer cases among the villagers. IBM Endicott has been identified by the Department of Environmental Conservation as the major source of pollution, though traces of contaminants from a local dry cleaner and other polluters were also found. Despite the amount of pollutant, state health officials cannot say whether air or water pollution in Endicott has actually caused any health problems. Village officials say tests show that the water is safe to drink.[16]
Corporate culture of IBM
Big Blue is a nickname for IBM; several theories exist regarding its origin. One theory, substantiated by people who worked for IBM at the time, is that IBM field reps coined the term in the 1960s, referring to the color of the mainframes IBM installed in the 1960s and early 1970s. "All blue" was a term used to describe a loyal IBM customer, and business writers later picked up the term.[17][18] Another theory suggests that Big Blue simply refers to the Company's logo. A third theory suggests that Big Blue refers to a former company dress code that required many IBM employees to wear only white shirts and many wore blue suits.[19][17] In any event, IBM keyboards, typewriters, and some other manufactured devices, have played on the "Big Blue" concept, using the color for enter keys and carriage returns.
IBM has often been described as having a sales-centric or a sales-oriented business culture. Traditionally, many IBM executives and general managers are chosen from the sales force. The current CEO, Sam Palmisano, for example, joined the company as a salesman and, unusually for CEOs of major corporations, has no MBA or postgraduate qualification. Middle and top management are often enlisted to give direct support to salesmen when pitching sales to important customers.
The uniform
A dark (or gray) suit, white shirt, and a "sincere" tie[20] was the public uniform for IBM employees for most of the 20th Century. During IBM's management transformation in the 1990s, CEO Lou Gerstner relaxed these codes, normalizing the dress and behavior of IBM employees to resemble their counterparts in other large technology companies.
IBM company values and "Jam"
In 2003, IBM embarked on an ambitious project to rewrite company values. Using its Jam technology, the company hosted Intranet-based online discussions on key business issues with 50,000 employees over 3 days. The discussions were analyzed by sophisticated text analysis software (eClassifier) to mine online comments for themes. As a result of the 2003 Jam, the company values were updated to reflect three modern business, marketplace and employee views: "Dedication to every client's success", "Innovation that matters - for our company and for the world", "Trust and personal responsibility in all relationships".[21]
In 2004, another Jam was conducted during which 52,000 employees exchanged best practices for 72 hours. They focused on finding actionable ideas to support implementation of the values previously identified. A new post-Jam Ratings event was developed to allow IBMers to select key ideas that support the values. The board of directors cited this Jam when awarding Palmisano a pay rise in the spring of 2005.[22]
In July and September 2006, Palmisano launched another jam called InnovationJam. InnovationJam was the largest online brainstorming session ever with more than 150,000 participants from 104 countries. The participants were IBM employees, members of IBM employees' families, universities, partners, and customers. InnovationJam was divided in two sessions (one in July and one in September) for 72 hours each and generated more than 46,000 ideas. In November 2006, IBM declared that they will invest $US 100 million in the 10 best ideas from InnovationJam.[23]
Open source
IBM has been influenced by the Open Source Initiative, and began supporting Linux in 1998.[24] The company invests billions of dollars in services and software based on Linux through the IBM Linux Technology Center, which includes over 300 Linux kernel developers.[25] 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)[26] and the Java-based relational database management system (RDBMS) Apache Derby. IBM's open source involvement has not been trouble-free, however (see SCO v. IBM).
* IBM AIX (operating system)
* IBM OS/2
* IBM PS/2
* IBM System/360
* IBM System/370
* IBM ESA/390
* IBM System z9, IBM System z10
* IBM System p, POWER6
* IBM System i
* IBM PC compatible (or IBM PC clone)
* List of Computer System Manufacturers
* List of IBM acquisitions and spinoffs
* List of IBM products
* List of IBM facilities
* SCO v. IBM
* IBM Rochester
* IBM and the Holocaust
* IBM's Deep Thought (chess computer)
* Extreme Blue

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