|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
In the 1880s technologies emerged that would ultimately form the core of International Business Machines (IBM). Julius E. Pitrap patented the computing scale in 1885; Alexander Dey invented the dial recorder (1888); Herman Hollerith (1860–1929) patented the Electric Tabulating Machine; and Willard Bundy invented a time clock to record a worker's arrival and departure time on a paper tape in 1889. On June 16, 1911, their four companies were amalgamated in New York State by Charles Ranlett Flint forming a fifth company, the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR) based in Endicott, New York. The five companies had 1,300 employees and offices and plants in Endicott and Binghamton, New York; Dayton, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; Washington, D.C.; and Toronto.
IBM was founded in 1911 in Endicott, New York, as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR) and was renamed "International Business Machines" in 1924. IBM is incorporated in New York and has operations in over 170 countries.
They manufactured machinery for sale and lease, ranging from commercial scales and industrial time recorders, meat and cheese slicers, to tabulators and punched cards. Thomas J. Watson, Sr., fired from the National Cash Register Company by John Henry Patterson, called on Flint and, in 1914, was offered a position at CTR. Watson joined CTR as General Manager then, 11 months later, was made President when court cases relating to his time at NCR were resolved. Having learned Patterson's pioneering business practices, Watson proceeded to put the stamp of NCR onto CTR's companies. He implemented sales conventions, "generous sales incentives, a focus on customer service, an insistence on well-groomed, dark-suited salesmen and had an evangelical fervor for instilling company pride and loyalty in every worker". His favorite slogan, "THINK", became a mantra for each company's employees. During Watson's first four years, revenues reached $9 million ($133 million today) and the company's operations expanded to Europe, South America, Asia and Australia. Watson never liked the clumsy hyphenated name "Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company" and on February 14, 1924, chose to replace it with the more expansive title "International Business Machines". By 1933 most of the subsidiaries had been merged into one company, IBM.
The company also has various designations for exceptional individual contributors such as Senior Technical Staff Member (STSM), Research Staff Member (RSM), Distinguished Engineer (DE), and Distinguished Designer (DD). Prolific inventors can also achieve patent plateaus and earn the designation of Master Inventor. The company's most prestigious designation is that of IBM Fellow. Since 1963, the company names a handful of Fellows each year based on technical achievement. Other programs recognize years of service such as the Quarter Century Club established in 1924, and sellers are eligible to join the Hundred Percent Club, composed of IBM salesmen who meet their quotas, convened in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Each year, the company also selects 1,000 IBMers annually to award the Best of IBM Award, which includes an all-expenses-paid trip to the awards ceremony in an exotic location.
In 1937 IBM's tabulating equipment enabled organizations to process huge amounts of data. Its clients included the U.S. Government, during its first effort to maintain the employment records for 26 million people pursuant to the Social Security Act, and Hitler's Third Reich, for the tracking of Jews and other persecuted groups, largely through the German subsidiary Dehomag. The social security-related business gave an 81% increase in revenue from 1935 to 1939.
IBM has one of the largest workforces in the world, and employees at Big Blue are referred to as "IBMers". The company was among the first corporations to provide group life insurance (1934), survivor benefits (1935), training for women (1935), paid vacations (1937), and training for disabled people (1942). IBM hired its first black salesperson in 1946, and in 1952, CEO Thomas J. Watson, Jr. published the company's first written equal opportunity policy letter, one year before the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Board of Education and 11 years before the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Human Rights Campaign has rated IBM 100% on its index of gay-friendliness every year since 2003, with IBM providing same-sex partners of its employees with health benefits and an anti-discrimination clause. Additionally, in 2005, IBM became the first major company in the world to commit formally to not use genetic information in employment decisions; and in 2017, IBM was named to Working Mother's 100 Best Companies List for the 32nd consecutive year.
In 1949 Thomas Watson, Sr., created IBM World Trade Corporation, a subsidiary of IBM focused on foreign operations. In 1952 he stepped down after almost 40 years at the company helm, and his son Thomas Watson, Jr. was named president.
IBM built the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator, an electromechanical computer, during World War II. It offered its first commercial stored program computer, the vacuum tube based IBM 701, in 1952. The IBM 305 RAMAC introduced the hard disk drive in 1956. The company switched to transistorized designs with the 7000 and 1400 series, beginning in 1958.
In 1956 the company demonstrated the first practical example of artificial intelligence when Arthur L. Samuel of IBM's Poughkeepsie, New York, laboratory programmed an IBM 704 not merely to play checkers but "learn" from its own experience. In 1957 the FORTRAN scientific programming language was developed. In 1961 IBM developed the SABRE reservation system for American Airlines and introduced the highly successful Selectric typewriter.
In 1963 IBM employees and computers helped NASA track the orbital flights of the Mercury astronauts. A year later, it moved its corporate headquarters from New York City to Armonk, New York. The latter half of the 1960s saw IBM continue its support of space exploration, participating in the 1965 Gemini flights, 1966 Saturn flights, and 1969 lunar mission.
On April 7, 1964, IBM announced the first computer system family, the IBM System/360. It spanned the complete range of commercial and scientific applications from large to small, allowing companies to upgrade to models with greater computing capability without having to rewrite their applications. It was followed by the IBM System/370 in 1970. Together the 360 and 370 made the IBM mainframe the dominant mainframe computer and the dominant computing platform in the industry throughout this period and into the early 1980s.
In 1969 the United States of America alleged that IBM violated the Sherman Antitrust Act by monopolizing or attempting to monopolize the general-purpose electronic digital computer system market, specifically computers designed primarily for business, and subsequently alleged that IBM violated the antitrust laws in IBM's actions directed against leasing companies and plug-compatible peripheral manufacturers. Shortly after, IBM unbundled its software and services in what many observers believed was a direct result of the lawsuit, creating a competitive market for software. In 1982 the Department of Justice dropped the case as “without merit.”
Also in 1969, IBM engineer Forrest Parry invented the magnetic stripe card that would become ubiquitous for credit/debit/ATM cards, driver's licenses, rapid transit cards, and a multitude of other identity and access control applications. IBM pioneered the manufacture of these cards, and for most of the 1970s, the data processing systems and software for such applications ran exclusively on IBM computers. In 1974 IBM engineer George J. Laurer developed the Universal Product Code. IBM and the World Bank first introduced financial swaps to the public in 1981 when they entered into a swap agreement. The IBM PC, originally designated IBM 5150, was introduced in 1981, and it soon became an industry standard. In 1991 IBM spun out its printer manufacturing into a new business called Lexmark.
IBM is nicknamed Big Blue in part due to its blue logo and color scheme, and also partially since IBM once had a de facto dress code of white shirts with blue suits. The company logo has undergone several changes over the years, with its current "8-bar" logo designed in 1972 by graphic designer Paul Rand. It was a general replacement for a 13-bar logo, since period photocopiers did not render large areas well. Aside from the logo, IBM used Helvetica as a corporate typeface for 50 years, until it was replaced in 2017 by the custom-designed IBM Plex.
Five IBMers have received the Nobel Prize: Leo Esaki, of the Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y., in 1973, for work in semiconductors; Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer, of the Zurich Research Center, in 1986, for the scanning tunneling microscope; and Georg Bednorz and Alex Müller, also of Zurich, in 1987, for research in superconductivity. Several IBMers have also won the Turing Award, including the first female recipient Frances E. Allen.
Famous inventions and developments by IBM include: the Automated teller machine (ATM), Dynamic random access memory (DRAM), the electronic keypunch, the financial swap, the floppy disk, the hard disk drive, the magnetic stripe card, the relational database, RISC, the SABRE airline reservation system, SQL, the Universal Product Code (UPC) bar code, and the virtual machine. Additionally, in 1990 company scientists used a scanning tunneling microscope to arrange 35 individual xenon atoms to spell out the company acronym, marking the first structure assembled one atom at a time. A major part of IBM research is the generation of patents. Since its first patent for a traffic signaling device, IBM has been one of the world's most prolific patent sources. In 2018, the company holds the record for most patents generated by a business, marking 25 consecutive years for the achievement.
In 1993 IBM posted a US$8 billion loss – at the time the biggest in American corporate history. Lou Gerstner was hired as CEO from RJR Nabisco to turn the company around. In 2002 IBM acquired PwC consulting, and in 2003 it initiated a project to redefine company values, hosting a three-day online discussion of key business issues with 50,000 employees. The result was three values: "Dedication to every client's success", "Innovation that matters—for our company and for the world", and "Trust and personal responsibility in all relationships".
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 v. IBM).
In 2005 the company sold its personal computer business to Chinese technology company Lenovo and, in 2009, it acquired software company SPSS Inc. Later in 2009, IBM's Blue Gene supercomputing program was awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation by U.S. President Barack Obama. In 2011, IBM gained worldwide attention for its artificial intelligence program Watson, which was exhibited on Jeopardy! where it won against game-show champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. The company also celebrated its 100th anniversary in the same year on June 16. In 2012 IBM announced it has agreed to buy Kenexa and Texas Memory Systems, and a year later it also acquired SoftLayer Technologies, a web hosting service, in a deal worth around $2 billion. Also that year, the company designed a video surveillance system for Davao City.
IBM was recognized as one of the Top 20 Best Workplaces for Commuters by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2005, which recognized Fortune 500 companies that provided employees with excellent commuter benefits to help reduce traffic and air pollution. In 2004, concerns were raised related to IBM's contribution in its early days to pollution in its original location in Endicott, New York.
IBM Cloud includes infrastructure as a service (IaaS), software as a service (SaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) offered through public, private and hybrid cloud delivery models. For instance, the IBM Bluemix PaaS enables developers to quickly create complex websites on a pay-as-you-go model. IBM SoftLayer is a dedicated server, managed hosting and cloud computing provider, which in 2011 reported hosting more than 81,000 servers for more than 26,000 customers. IBM also provides Cloud Data Encryption Services (ICDES), using cryptographic splitting to secure customer data.
IBM Watson is a technology platform that uses natural language processing and machine learning to reveal insights from large amounts of unstructured data. Watson was debuted in 2011 on the American game-show Jeopardy!, where it competed against champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter in a three-game tournament and won. Watson has since been applied to business, healthcare, developers, and universities. For example, IBM has partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to assist with considering treatment options for oncology patients and for doing melanoma screenings. Also, several companies have begun using Watson for call centers, either replacing or assisting customer service agents.
In 2011, IBM became the first technology company Warren Buffett's holding company Berkshire Hathaway invested in. Initially he bought 64 million shares costing 10.5 billion dollars. Over the years he increased his IBM holdings however he reduced it by 94.5% to 2.05 million shares at the end of 2017. By May 2018 he was completely out of IBM.
In terms of investment, IBM's R&D expenditure totals several billion dollars each year. In 2012, that expenditure was approximately US$6.9 billion. Recent allocations have included $1 billion to create a business unit for Watson in 2014, and $3 billion to create a next-gen semiconductor along with $4 billion towards growing the company's "strategic imperatives" (cloud, analytics, mobile, security, social) in 2015.
In 2012, IBM's brand was valued at $75.5 billion and ranked by Interbrand as the second-best brand worldwide. That same year, it was also ranked the top company for leaders (Fortune), the number two green company in the U.S. (Newsweek), the second-most respected company (Barron's), the fifth-most admired company (Fortune), the 18th-most innovative company (Fast Company), and the number one in technology consulting and number two in outsourcing (Vault). In 2015, Forbes ranked IBM the fifth-most valuable brand.
In 2014 IBM announced it would sell its x86 server division to Lenovo for $2.1 billion. Also that year, IBM began announcing several major partnerships with other companies, including Apple Inc., Twitter, Facebook, Tencent, Cisco, UnderArmour, Box, Microsoft, VMware, CSC, Macy's, Sesame Workshop, the parent company of Sesame Street, and Salesforce.com.
Hardware designed by IBM for these categories include IBM's POWER microprocessors, which are employed inside many console gaming systems, including Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo's Wii U. IBM Secure Blue is encryption hardware that can be built into microprocessors, and in 2014, the company revealed TrueNorth, a neuromorphic CMOS integrated circuit and announced a $3 billion investment over the following five years to design a neural chip that mimics the human brain, with 10 billion neurons and 100 trillion synapses, but that uses just 1 kilowatt of power. In 2016, the company launched all-flash arrays designed for small and midsized companies, which includes software for data compression, provisioning, and snapshots across various systems.
In 2015 IBM announced three major acquisitions: Merge Healthcare for $1 billion, data storage vendor Cleversafe, and all digital assets from The Weather Company, including Weather.com and the Weather Channel mobile app. Also that year, IBMers created the film A Boy and His Atom, which was the first molecule movie to tell a story. In 2016, IBM acquired video conferencing service Ustream and formed a new cloud video unit. In April 2016, it posted a 14-year low in quarterly sales. The following month, Groupon sued IBM accusing it of patent infringement, two months after IBM accused Groupon of patent infringement in a separate lawsuit.
In 2015, IBM bought the digital part of The Weather Company;, Truven Health Analytics for $2.6 billion in 2016, and in October 2018, IBM announced its intention to acquire Red Hat for $34 billion, which was completed on July 9, 2019.
In 2015, IBM started giving employees the option of choosing either a PC or a Mac as their primary work device. In 2016, IBM eliminated forced rankings and changed its annual performance review system to focus more on frequent feedback, coaching, and skills development.
For the fiscal year 2017, IBM reported earnings of US$5.7 billion, with an annual revenue of US$79.1 billion, a decline of 1.0% over the previous fiscal cycle. IBM's shares traded at over $125 per share, and its market capitalization was valued at over US$113.9 billion in September 2018. IBM ranked No. 34 on the 2018 Fortune 500 rankings of the largest United States corporations by total revenue.
In January 2019, IBM introduced its first commercial quantum computer IBM Q System One.
IBM announced in October 2020 that it is splitting itself into two separate public companies. IBM's future focus will be on high-margin cloud computing and artificial intelligence, built on the foundation of the 2019 Red Hat acquisition. The new company "NewCo”, yet to be formally named, created from IBM Global Technology Services Managed Infrastructure Services unit, will have 90,000 employees, 4,600 clients in 115 countries, with a backlog of $60 billion. IBM's spin off will be greater than any of its previous divestitures, and welcomed by investors.
In March 2020 it was announced that IBM will build the first quantum computer in Germany. The computer should allow researchers to harness the technology without falling foul of the EU's increasingly assertive stance on data sovereignty.