- Prehistoric Creatures
Documented by the Ancient Man
Evolution of IBM
Descent of IBM Logos
IBM programs in a historical timeline
International Business Machines Corporation
Type Public (NYSE: IBM)
Founded Endicott, New York (1896, incorporated 1911)
Founder(s) Thomas J. Watson
Headquarters Armonk, New York, U.S.
Area served Worldwide
Key people Samuel J. Palmisano (Chairman, President and CEO)
Mark Loughridge (SVP and CFO)
Industry Computer hardware
IT service management
Products See products listing
Revenue ▼ US$ 95.757 billion (2009)
Operating income ▲ US$ 17.012 billion (2009)
Net income ▲ US$ 13.425 billion (2009)
Total assets ▼ US$ 109.023 billion (2009)
Total equity ▲ US$ 22.637 billion (2009)
Employees 398,455 (2009)
Sequent Computer Systems
List of mergers and acquisitions by IBM
"Big Blue" redirects here. For other uses, see Big Blue (disambiguation).
For other uses, see IBM (disambiguation).
International Business Machines (NYSE: IBM), abbreviated IBM, is a multinational
computer, technology and IT consulting corporation headquartered in Armonk,
North Castle, New York, United States. 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 (with a focus on the
latter), and offers infrastructure services, hosting services, and consulting
services in areas ranging from mainframe computers to nanotechnology. It has
been nicknamed "Big Blue" for its official corporate color.
IBM has been well known through most of its recent history as the world's
largest computer company and systems integrator. With over 407,000 employees
worldwide, IBM is the largest and most profitable information technology and
services employer in the world according to the Forbes 2000 list  with sales
of greater than 100 billion US dollars. IBM holds more patents than any other
U.S. based technology company and has eight research laboratories worldwide.
The company has scientists, engineers, consultants, and sales professionals in
over 200 countries. IBM employees have earned five Nobel Prizes, four Turing
Awards, nine National Medals of Technology, and five National Medals of
Science. As a chip maker, IBM has been among the Worldwide Top 20
Semiconductor Sales Leaders in past years.
Main article: History of IBM
The company which became IBM was founded in 1896 as the Tabulating Machine
Company by Herman Hollerith, in Broome County, New York (Endicott, New York
or Binghamton, New York), where it still maintains very limited operations. It
was incorporated as Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation on June 16, 1911,
and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1916 by George Winthrop
Fairchild. CTR's Canadian and later South American subsidiary was named
International Business Machines in 1917, and the whole company took this name in
1924 when Thomas J. Watson took control of it. IBM's first U.S. trademark was
for the name "THINK" filed as a U.S. trademark on June 6, 1935. "THINK" was
the IBM philosophy Watson summarized with a motto consisting of one word. The
name was attributed to a monthly magazine called 'Think', that was distributed
to the employees of IBM in the 1930's. A U.S. trademark for "IBM" was not filed
until approximately 14 years later, on May 24, 1949.
Selected current projects
Main article: developerWorks
developerWorks is a website run by IBM for software developers and IT
professionals. It contains 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
Main article: alphaWorks
alphaWorks is IBM's source for emerging software technologies. These
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 drive 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
Unstructured Information Management Architecture (UIMA) SDK – A Java SDK that
supports the implementation, composition, and deployment of applications working
with unstructured data.
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
Semiconductor design and manufacturing
IBM's Wii "Broadway" CPUVirtually all console gaming systems of the latest
generation use microprocessors developed by IBM. The Xbox 360 contains a PowerPC
tri-core processor, which was designed and produced by IBM in less than 24
months. 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 utilizes
the Gekko processor, also designed by IBM.
In May 2002, IBM and Butterfly.net, Inc. announced the Butterfly Grid, a
commercial grid for the online video gaming market. 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.
Open Client Offering
IBM announced it will launch its new software, called "Open Client Offering"
which is to run on Linux, Microsoft Windows and Apple's Mac OS X. 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 alternative to Microsoft's office document formats
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 Mozilla Firefox web browser. IBM plans to
install Open Client on 5% of its desktop PCs.
UC2: Unified Communications and Collaboration
UC2 (Unified Communications and Collaboration) is an IBM and Cisco Systems 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.
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. Extreme Blue web page
In May 2007, IBM unveiled Project Big Green, a re-direction of $1 billion per
year across its businesses to increase energy efficiency.
On November 2008, IBM’s CEO, Sam Palmisano, during a speech at the Council on
Foreign Relations, outlined a new agenda for building a Smarter Planet. In
addition, an official company blog exists. Smarter Planet @ IBM
IBM has a long history in dealing with 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, its
total hazardous waste decreased by 44% over the past five years, and has
decreased by 94.6% 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 for subsequent reuse, rather than just disposing
of them 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. IBM has also now built a
modelling solution to help protect the environment and reduce its own Carbon
Footprint using Lean and Six Sigma principles Green Sigma
IBM was recognized as one of the "Top 20 Best Workplaces for Commuters" by the
United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2005. The award was to
recognize Fortune 500 companies which provided employees with excellent commuter
benefits to help reduce traffic and air pollution.
The birthplace of IBM, Endicott, suffered pollution for decades, however. IBM
used liquid cleaning agents in circuit board assembly operation for more than
two decades, and six spills and leaks were recorded, including one leak in 1979
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 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 townspeople. 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 could not verify whether air or water pollution in
Endicott has actually caused any health problems. According to city officials,
tests show that the water is safe to drink.
Tokyo Ohkla industrial area Kogyo Co., Ltd. (TOK) and IBM are collaborating to
establish new, low-cost methods for bringing the next generation of solar energy
products, called CIGS (Copper-Indium-Gallium-Selenide) solar cell modules, to
market. Use of thin film technology, such as CIGS, has great promise in reducing
the overall cost of solar cells and further enabling their widespread
IBM is exploring four main areas of photovoltaic research: using current
technologies to develop cheaper and more efficient silicon solar cells,
developing new solution processed thin film photovoltaic devices, concentrator
photovoltaics, and future generation photovoltaic architectures based upon
nanostructures such as semiconductor quantum dots and nanowires.
Green Sigma is an Active Management Six Sigma system which is currently being
developed and enhanced through the Innovation Centre in Dublin. Its goal is to
Manage & Reduce Carbon Footprint while achieving associated economic and
Green Sigma is focused around the elements of:
IBM Green SigmaTM consultants work with the client team to establish ongoing
optimisation of core processes and KPMGs.
Phase I: Define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Phase II: Establish Metering
Phase III: Deploy Carbon Console
Phase IV: Optimise Processes
Phase V: Control Performance
IBM’s goal with the Green SigmaTM offering is to partner with clients to drive
innovation, achieving economic benefits for the business and reducing impact to
the environment. 
1970s IBM System/3 with characteristic blue hardwareBig Blue is a nickname for
IBM. There are several theories explaining the origin of the name. One theory,
substantiated by people who worked for IBM at the time, is that IBM field
representatives 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. 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. 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 sales-oriented
business culture. Traditionally, many IBM executives and general managers are
chosen from the sales force. The current CEO, Samuel J. Palmisano, for example,
joined the company as a salesman and, unusual for CEOs of major corporations,
has no MBA or post-graduate qualification. Middle and top management are often
enlisted to give direct support to salespeople when pitching sales to important
A dark (or gray) suit, white shirt, and a "sincere" tie was the public
uniform for IBM employees for most of the 20th century. During IBM's management
transformation in the 1990s, CEO Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. relaxed these codes,
normalizing the dress and behavior of IBM employees to resemble their
counterparts in other large technology companies. Since then IBM's dress code is
'Business casuals' although normally employees wear formal clothes during client
IBM company values and "Jam"
In 2003, IBM embarked on an ambitious project to rewrite company values. Using
its Jam technology, the company hosted Internet-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".
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.
IBM launched another jam session called InnovationJam 2008. This jam began
on October 5 at 6:00 p.m. US EDT and continued for 72 hours through October 8.
Unlike past jams, Innovation Jam 2008 involved wide participation from hundreds
of IBM's clients, business partners and academics from around the world as well
as thousands of IBM's own employees.
IBM has been a leading proponent of the Open Source Initiative, and began
supporting Linux in 1998. 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. 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 International Components for Unicode (ICU)
license, and the Java-based relational database management system (RDBMS) Apache
Derby. IBM's open source involvement has not been trouble-free, however (see SCO
Business Relations with Nazi Germany
This section relies largely or entirely upon a single source. Please help
improve this article by introducing appropriate citations of additional sources.
IBM has acknowledged that the company’s subsidiary Dehomag sold the Third Reich
unit record equipment and data processing technology and services.
In 2001, a book by Edwin Black was released contending that IBM played an
integral administrative part in the systematic genocide of the European Jewish
community from 1939 to 1944, by helping the Nazis organize and coordinate their
efforts toward gathering and organizing all available information about their
victims. Specifically, IBM leased their unit record (punched card) equipment
and support services to the Third Reich, providing a significant help in dealing
with the massive administrative task that was the 'Final Solution', with sizable
profits for IBM. IBM denies that it had control over its subsidiaries after
the Nazis took control of them. However, researchers such as Edwin Black, based
on sources including "recently discovered Nazi documents and testimony of former
Polish workers", found that in addition to the Dehomag connection, a large
amount of the technology arrived via "a subsidiary in Poland, Watson Business
Machines in Warsaw, which reported directly to the IBM New York
Simultaneously with the release of Black’s book, a lawsuit was filed against IBM
based on these allegations. The lawsuit was voluntarily dismissed by the
plaintiffs in the interest of advancing a concurrent claim in German courts.
Diversity in the Workforce
Research building in Haifa, IsraelIBM's efforts to promote workforce diversity
and equal opportunity date back at least to World War I, when the company hired
disabled veterans. IBM was the only technology company ranked in Working Mother
magazine's Top 10 for 2004, and one of two technology companies in 2005 (the
other company being Hewlett-Packard).
On September 21, 1953, Thomas J. Watson, the CEO at the time, sent out a
controversial letter to all IBM employees stating that IBM needed to hire the
best people, regardless of their race, ethnic origin, or gender. In 1984, IBM
added sexual preference. He stated that this would give IBM a competitive
advantage because IBM would then be able to hire talented people its competitors
would turn down.
The company has traditionally resisted labor union organizing, although unions
represent some IBM workers outside the United States.
In 2009 following the announcement in the UK of pension cuts that left many
employees facing a shortfall in projected pensions, several hundred employees
joined the Unite union.
In the 1990s, two major pension program changes, including a conversion to a
cash balance plan, resulted in an employee class action lawsuit alleging age
discrimination. IBM employees won the lawsuit and arrived at a partial
settlement, although appeals are still underway. IBM also settled a major
overtime class-action lawsuit in 2006.
Historically, IBM has had a good reputation of long-term staff retention with
few large scale layoffs. Recently, there have been a number of broad cuts to the
workforce as IBM attempts to adapt to changing market conditions and declining
profits. After posting weaker than expected revenues in the first quarter of
2005, IBM eliminated 14,500 positions, predominantly in Europe. In May 2005, IBM
Ireland announced that the MD (Micro-electronics Division) facility was closing
down by the end of the year and offered a settlement to staff. However, all
staff that wished to stay with the Company were redeployed within IBM Ireland.
The production moved to a company called Amkor in Singapore who purchased IBM's
Microelectronics business in Singapore and is widely agreed that IBM promised
this Company a full load capacity in return for the purchase of the facility. On
June 8, 2005, IBM Canada Ltd. eliminated approximately 700 positions. IBM
projects the moves as part of a strategy to "rebalance" its portfolio of
professional skills and businesses. IBM India and other IBM offices in China,
the Philippines and Costa Rica have been witnessing a recruitment boom and
steady growth in number of employees due to lower wages.
On October 10, 2005, IBM became the first major company in the world to formally
commit to not using genetic information in employment decisions. The
announcement came just a few months after IBM stated its support of the National
Geographic Society's Genographic Project.
IBM provides same-sex partners of its employees with health benefits and
provides an anti-discrimination clause. The Human Rights Campaign has
consistently rated IBM 100% on its index of gay-friendliness since 2003 (in
2002, the year it began compiling its report on major companies, IBM scored
In 2007, IBM UK was ranked the first in the Stonewall UK annual workplace
IBM has won over forty gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender awards
As part of IBM's diversity program, there is a GLBT Diversity Network Group, as
well as a GLBT employee group (called EAGLE – Employee Alliance for Gay and
Lesbian Empowerment) with over 1000 registered members worldwide.
The logo that was used from 1924 to 1946. The logo is in a form intended to
suggest a globe, girdled by the word "International".
The logo that was used from 1947 to 1956. The familiar "globe" was replaced with
the simple letters "IBM" in a typeface called "Beton Bold."
The logo that was used from 1956 to 1972. IBM said that the letters took on a
more solid, grounded and balanced appearance.
The striped logo was first used in 1967, and fully replaced the solid logo by
1972. The horizontal stripes suggesting "speed and dynamism."
This logo (in two versions, 8-bar and 13-bar), as well as the previous one, were
designed by graphic designer Paul Rand.
IBM's current "8-bar" logo was designed in 1972 by graphic designer Paul
Logos designed in the 1970s tended to be sensitive to the technical limitations
of photocopiers, which were then being widely deployed. A logo with large solid
areas tended to be poorly copied by copiers in the 1970s, so companies preferred
logos that avoided large solid areas. The 1972 IBM logos are an example of this
tendency. With the advent of digital copiers in the mid-1980s this technical
restriction had largely disappeared; at roughly the same time, the 13-bar logo
was abandoned for almost the opposite reason – it was difficult to render
accurately on the low-resolution digital printers (240 dots per inch) of the
Board of directors
Current members of the board of directors of IBM are:
William R. Brody – Former President, Johns Hopkins University
Kenneth Chenault – Chairman and CEO, American Express Company
Juergen Dormann – Chairman of the Board, ABB Ltd
Simon Shum Siu-hung – CEO, Lenovo Computer Ltd.
Michael L. Eskew – Former Chairman and CEO, United Parcel Service, Inc.
Shirley Ann Jackson – President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Minoru Makihara – Senior Corporate Advisor and former Chairman, Mitsubishi
Ria Leslie Sanchez – Junior Director International Programming Operations and
External Affairs, IBM
James W. Owens – Chairman and CEO, Caterpillar Inc.
Samuel J. Palmisano – Chairman, President and CEO, IBM
Joan Spero – Former President, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
Sidney Taurel – Chairman, Eli Lilly and Company
Lorenzo Zambrano – Chairman and CEO, Cemex SAB de CV
Entrance to IBM's secure headquarters complex in Armonk, New YorkIBM's
headquarters complex is located in Armonk, Town of North Castle, New York,
United States. The 283,000 square foot IBM building has three levels
of custom curtainwall. The building is located on a 25 acre site.
IBM PC 5150 with keyboard and green monochrome monitor (5151), running MS-DOS
5.0 Companies portal
Computer Science portal
IBM PC compatible (or IBM PC clone)
IBM PC DOS
IBM Personal Computer
IBM Personal System/2
IBM Project Big Green
IBM System i
IBM System p, POWER6
IBM System z9, IBM System z10
IBM's Deep Thought (chess computer)
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
List of computer system manufacturers
List of IBM products
List of mergers and acquisitions by IBM
SCO v. IBM
IBM Toronto Software Lab
IBM Rome Software Lab
This article's citation style may be unclear. The references used may be made
clearer with a different or consistent style of citation, footnoting, or
external linking. (January 2010)
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Edwin Black 2008 IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance Between Nazi
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Ulrich Steinhilper 2006 Don't Talk – Do It! From Flying To Word Processing ISBN
Samme Chittum 2004 In an I.B.M. Village, Pollution Fears Taint Relations With
Neighbors New York Times
Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. 2002 Who Says Elephants can't Dance? HarperCollins. ISBN
Robert Slater 1999 Saving Big Blue: IBM's Lou Gerstner McGraw Hill
Emerson W. Pugh 1996 Building IBM: Shaping an Industry Massachusetts Institute
Robert Heller 1994 The Fate of IBM Little Brown
Paul Carroll 1993 Big Blues: The Unmaking of IBM Crown Publishers
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