Rebuttal to Cringely
By Susan Eustis
Deer in the headlights is the aspect of all US IBM employees as they read the “Not your father’s IBM” blog from Cringely. http://www.cringely.com/2012/04/not-your-fathers-IBM/. According to the blog, “The direct impetus for this column is IBM’s internal plan to grow earnings-per-share (EPS) to $20 by 2015. The primary method for accomplishing this feat, according to the plan, will be by reducing US employee head count by 78 percent in that time frame.” The accuracy of this observation appears to be questionable.
It is possible, I suppose, to move the IBM company to China and developing countries, but the company would surely be a shadow of its former self, much as PAN AM disappeared soon after the executives so arrogantly decided they could run the company from Hawaii. I met those Pan Am executive men back in the 1960’s, and they had no idea they were running the company into the ground until after it happened. The problems were clear ahead of time however.
IBM is different. It has been through a near death experience. These current set of executives are seasoned. They work well together as a team. Team is a significant strength. In addition, the IBM company has significant hardware and software strength. It has market entry beyond its core data center business area into the line of business through its services organization.
IBM has the mainframe computer, the best, most powerful, most utilized, most reliable and secure business system around by far. IBM has the new Pure Systems server initiative that provides a quantum improvement in systems implementation, decreasing what used to take months or weeks of configuration to 4 hours.
Most of all IBM has integration software. It has SOA, it has a robust WebSphere application server and mission critical messaging systems software platform that dominates the industry because of the quality of the product. The quality of the middleware is unmatched, it is not even remotely matched by the nearest competitor. The quality of the IBM middleware is high enough to carry the company for 1,000 years.
That IBM software suite is incomparable with respect to quality. It is possible to criticize IBM and my fellow senior industry analysts and myself do plenty of criticizing, some of it founded and some of it unfounded, but the reality is that the IBM software is elegant. It is a five star performance; it is as sweet as the sweetest song. We should not lose sight of the value that the IBM company brings to every industry worldwide, we should critique the stuff that is bad, but we should always keep our eyes on what is of value.