International Business Machines or IBM according to Abbreviationfinder (known colloquially as the Blue Giant): It is a transactional company that manufactures and markets computer- related tools, programs and services. IBM is headquartered in Armonk (New York, United States) and has been incorporated as such since June 15, 1911, but has been operating since 1888.
With around 390,000 employees in about 161 countries, the company has revenues of 103,600 million dollars in 2008, IBM is the service company based in the technology world ‘s largest information and one of the few that has been operating since the nineteenth century to the present.
It has a main presence in practically all the segments related to information technology; in fact, in recent years, more than half of its income has come from its consulting and services branches, and not from equipment manufacturing. It is a sponsor of free software.
IBM is often described as a sales- oriented company. Traditionally, many of its executives and top managers were chosen from among its salespeople. In addition, upper and middle management used to support salespeople who were in the process of making a sale to important clients.
Over time the company has become more technical; in 2003, around 178,000 of IBM’s 320,000 employees were in the technical community, and of those 38,000 were software- related.
Historically, the work uniform of IBM employees was a blue suit with a white shirt and dark tie, hence the company’s nickname, the Blue Giant. In the 1990s, IBM relaxed the regulations regarding apparel and today it does not differ from other large technology companies.
Today, IBM’s business culture is being influenced by the open source movement. IBM is investing billions of dollars in Linux- based software and services, including around 300 IBM employees working on the Linux kernel. This has caused some problems for IBM.
- SPSS in 2009.
- Cognos, ILOG and others in 2008.
- Datamirror in 2007.
- Softek in 2007.
- MRO Software in 2006, for $ 740 million.
- ISS in 2006.
- Alphablox in 2004.
- Candle Corp. in 2004.
- Rational Software in 2003, for $ 2.1 billion.
- The consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2002, for 3.5 billion dollars.
- Informix Software (actually an asset purchase) in 2001, for $ 1 billion.
- Sequent Computer Systems in 1999, for $ 810 million.
- Tivoli Systems in 1995, for $ 750 million.
- Lotus Development Corporation in 1995, for $ 3.5 billion.
Subsidiaries and other related companies
- Advanced Software Engineering (INSA), a business project started in 1991 by IBM Spain and Catalana Occidente.
- Lexmark, a company created in 1991 as an external company focused on the manufacture of printers, in 1995 IBM put a part of the company up for sale by placing shares in the NYSE, which divested of IBM.
- Taligent, a company created in 1992 together with Apple Computer to develop a new operating system that would work on any hardware architecture. In 1998, the company was incorporated into the IBM structure and later dissolved.
- Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, a company formed by IBM and Hitachi to handle their data storage technologies, including hard drives and Microdrives.
- ScanSoft sells and supports IBM speech recognition products under the ViaVoice brand. It also distributes a similar product under the name Dragon Naturally Speaking.
- IBM Global Network was the Internet services division of IBM, acquired in 1999 by AT&T. It is currently called AT&T Business Internet.
- Lenovo is the Chinese group that bought its personal computer division from IBM since late 2004.
- Thomas John Watson, 1914 – 1956.
- Thomas J. Watson Jr., 1956 – 1971.
- Vincent T. Learson, 1971 – 1973.
- Frank T. Cary, 1973 – 1981.
- John R. Opel, 1981 – 1985.
- John F. Akers, 1985 – 1993.
- Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., 1993 – 2002.
- Samuel J. Palmisano, 2002 -?.
Unions at IBM
IBM has a policy hostile to unionization around the world. Despite this, union organization was possible and in many countries there are unions that group IBM workers.
In 1984, IWIS IBM Workers International Solidarity was formed, which is a coordinator of the union activity of IBM workers around the world. The last Conference was held in 2007 between June 26 and 28 in Paris and Lee CONRAD of the Alliance @ IBM / CWA of the United States of America was elected as coordinator.
IBM and Cuba
As part of the policy of the criminal political and economic bloc of the United States against Cuba, the computer transnational IBM has had several problems with the island. In October 2009, Cuba hosted the International University Programming Contest of the Association for Computers Machines., known as ACM-IPCP, for its acronym in English, of which IBM is sponsored but knowing that the Island would host the event, Dovier Antonio Ripoll, director of the headquarters, was informed because Cuba is an embargoed country (euphemistic term of blocked), it is impossible for him to support it monetarily, as they usually do in this phase of the competition  .
IBM and Free Software
IBM has been involved in cases of blocking its clients regarding the use of open source, it is a lawsuit presented to the European Commission by the French developer of opensource solutions , TurboHercules accuses IMB of blocking and preventing its clients from accessing open source solutions like the one produced by the plaintiffs. According to IBM, all they are really doing is protecting the copyright of their products.