Sunday, 16 February 2014

IBM resizing and other news

IBMers across the globe must be wondering what’s going on as IBM starts to axe job and downsize its workforce. Particularly badly hit seems to be the Indian subcontinent and Europe. It looks like IBM is reducing commodity equipment staff in favour of software staff.

In Europe, figures being quoted are up to 500 people in France, 430 in Italy, 240 in the Netherlands, 105 in Belgium, and 35 in Norway. It looks like worldwide job cuts could reach 15,000.

IBM recently sold its System X server to Lenovo and, so, many of the job cuts have come from its Systems and Technology Group (STG).

There’s also some talk about IBM asking Goldman Sachs to value its chip division. The implication is that IBM will then sell that off – leading to a further drop in its head count.

Irrespective of that suggestion, we find that Samsung Electronics has joined IBM’s OpenPOWER Consortium. OpenPOWER (announced last August) is a way for companies to licence the architecture and customize it for their specific needs – in the same way that ARM does with its chips. Other group members include Google, Nvidia, Mellanox, and Tyan. IBM has also announced it’s putting up over $1bn to encourage Linux development on the chips – hopefully increasing their usage.

Meanwhile, IBM’s Chief Executive Officer, Ginni Rometty has been to Beijing for three days of meetings with government leaders.

It’s not all bad news from mainframe companies in India, CA Technologies has announced a strategic partnership with IDG Ventures India, a technology venture capital fund investing in India, to help drive innovation in the enterprise software market.

However, it’s not all good news for CA. It recently reported 8 percent lower earnings for its third quarter compared to the previous year. Net income in the three months fell to $232 million. So per-share net income fell 7 percent to 51 cents. Revenues in the quarter of $1.163 billion were down 3 percent from last year.

It seems that layoffs are expected at Compuware, but this is the final phase of its planned cost-cutting, and brings its headcount down to mid-1990s levels.

Over at BMC, things seem more upbeat. They have announced BMC Engage 2014, an IT management conference that will offer new ideas and insights to help people use technology platforms – from mainframe to cloud to mobile – to achieve organizational and market objectives, and drive major business transformations – they claim. It runs from 13 to 16 October at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin in Orlando, Florida.

Over at Microsoft, new CEO, Satya Nadella, has e-mailed staff saying: “We must zero in on what Microsoft can uniquely contribute to the world”. That is, perhaps, harder than you might think in a world full of Apple and Samsung devices, and with Google pretty much ‘owning’ the Web.

An interesting week!

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