Updated Mar. 3, 2010 at 8:44 a.m.

Premium Lock IBM layoffs a 'sliver?' No, a thorn in the flesh

Published: 2010-03-02 08:53:00
Updated: 2010-03-03 08:44:58

The "slivers" grow in number at Big Blue The "slivers" grow in number at Big Blue

Coverage of the latest job cuts at Big Blue misses the bigger context: IBM's U.S. work force is shrinking while profits set records. "Sliver" doesn't tell the story of the real nightmare taking place at IBM as well as a lot of other companies in this recession economy....

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Rick Smith... The article you should be publishing should be titled: "Is IBM's cost cutting putting Fortune 500 companies at risk for corporate espionage?"

IBM is directly laying off American developers and replacing them with Chinese developers working in the "CDL labs". They're doing this for code designed to run on System z mainframes, such as Rational HATS (I know that half the team was laid off and moved to China). The only reason why companies use System z at all is because it's supposed to be ultra-secure, and therefore it is used for the most sensitive of processes (like banks, etc...). How unrealistic would it be for a Chinese developer (either willingly, or coerced by the Chinese government) to plant security holes in IBM mainframe products? They did it with Google...isn't it logical that they'd try to do the same with IBM? IBM is probably unwittingly exposing the sensitive information of many of its System z customers to the Chinese.
IBM is looking more like a pump-and-dump stock scheme. I work in IBM software development, and the quality of our products are just going to cr*p because of the layoffs and other cost-cutting measures. We're shipping stuff without even testing it nowadays, all because of the fear that if we don't produce, we'll be gone. And who cares if customers complain a year from now if we're not around? I fear for the long-term survival for IBM.

But I've also felt for a while now that IBM has given up on in-house development for their products (since it's nearly impossible to develop new products in IBM because of the politics involved). Instead, they buy software companies, cannibalize them, milk the products for as long as possible, then rinse-and-repeat. IBM is able to pull it off because they can charge HUGE prices for those products because they're backed by the IBM brand. It's evil, but it seems to be working for IBM....until of course IBM loses its reputation.
I'm sorry, was someone saying something about my not knowing what I was talking about regarding IBM's layoffs. I thought I just saw an article this morning announcing even more are coming and there's no end in sight. Anyhoo...I've lived in this area off&on for 20 years and IBM is just another example of an "employer" in this area going from the penthouse to the outhouse because they misread the market. Remember Nortel, RH Donnelley (now Dex One and soon to be "RIP"), Alphanumeric Systems, Worldcom, Sprint, Alcatel, Credit Suisse, Dell? Some still have a pulse (barely) but none are what they were 10-15 years ago and none are hiring currently.
Until companies like IBM are taken to task nationally for their layoffs, there will be no companies to write 'happy' articles about.

Rick, you have spoken for more people than you know who took the AP article as a serious affront to being laid off. Thank you.
You're out of your league Greg. If you knew anything about IBM in RTP you'd know that IBM has never gone crazy hiring in the last decade. The RTP headcount is far less than it was two decades ago, and that was true before the recession, and even true before the PC company sale. IBM has been steadily reducing U.S. headcount for a long time now. Don't believe me? Take a drive down Davis Drive. Empty ex-IBM buildings. Drive down 54, empty ex-IBM buildings.

They're only overzealous expansion has been in BRIC countries.
What!?!? A Raleigh company that over-hires when business is booming and hires irresponsibly then overracts when business is down and lays off workers by the thousands? Shocker! Why doesn't somebody write an article about a company that DOESN'T behave like like a bunch of short-sighted cowards?
Sliver. I like it! I’ve been a sliver for about six months now. Actually, my metaphor is musical chairs, because my “seat” was eliminated. It might be amusing to research and publish all the euphemisms corporations have dreamed up to avoid the operative word termination - might be that is, if it wasn’t so disrespectful to employees and devastating to their dependants. Or maybe “Dilbert” has already done that. In any event, thank you Rick Smith for shining light on this farce, perpetrated to fatten profits, not avoid bankruptcy. And pity those left behind who inherit the privilege of picking up the slack – until their turn comes. Imagine waking up one morning to learn that all corporate employees below C-level unilaterally go on strike, stay home, read books, take walks, play games, anything except spend or make money. Wonder who could hold out longer, us or the big bonus bunch. And no more taxes. Whoa! What would government do then?
Excellant article. And right on on target. I really appreciate you saying so well, what is going on with IBM. And what do they called being fired, or laid off, or RA'd or whatever? being "selected to participate" in a resource action, kinda makes it sound like something really good just happened. wow.
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