IBM Headquarters at Armonk, New York
In 1911, Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR) was founded in Endicott, New York by Charles Ranlett Flint which was later renamed International Business Machines in 1924 by Thomas Watson after he took the charge of the company. The base of the foundation of the company was established in the 1880s when technologies emerged. CTR was formed on June 16, 1911, by the amalgamation of four companies.
Charles Ranlett Flint, the founder of CTR
Thomas J Watson, the founder of IBM
In 1914, Thomas J. Watson, Sr., joined CTR. He became the president of the company within 11 months. He expanded the business to Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia. During his time the company’s revenue reached $9 million. On February 14, 1924, Thomas replaced the name from CTR to IBM. The security-related businesses of the company enjoyed a rise in revenue of 81%, between 1935 and 1939. In 1952, Thomas Watson, Jr. got the designation of president.
During World War ll, the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator which was an electromechanical computer, was built by IBM. Some other products that were developed by IBM are
- The vacuum tube (in 1952)
- The hard disk drive (in 1956)
- The first practical example of artificial intelligence (in 1956)
- The FORTRAN scientific programming language (in 1957)
- The highly successful Selectric typewriter (in 1961)
From 1960 to 1969, IBM also supported many space exploration programs. In 1964 and 1970 computer system families, the IBM System/360 and IBM System/370 were introduced. The company also developed the magnetic stripe card in 1969, and the UPC in 1974.
In 1993, the company faced a huge loss of US$8 billion. The company sold its business of personal computers to Lenovo in 2005. The company become so much popular after getting the National Medal of Technology and Innovation for its supercomputing program, Blue Gene, and also after introducing the AI program, Watson. In 2012-13, IBM bought Kenexa, Texas Memory Systems, and SoftLayer Technologies. On July 9, 2019, IBM acquired Red Hat for $34 billion.
Headquarters and Offices
The headquarters of the company are located 37 miles (60 km) north of Midtown Manhattan in Armonk, New York. Because of its location the company is also known by the nickname of the “Colossus of Armonk”. In 1990, the National Building Museum have the Honor Award for Van der Rohe's building in Chicago.
In 2005, the company secured a place in the US Environmental Protection Agency’s list of the top 20 companies having the Best Workplace for Commuters. This was because the company provided many excellent commuter benefits to its employees so that traffic and air pollution can be reduced. The concern was raised against the company in 2004, because of the production of high pollution in Endicott, New York.
As per a report of the fiscal year 2017, the earnings of IBM was US$5.7 billion with annual revenue of US$79.1 billion. In September 2018, the company’s market capitalization value was over US$113.9 billion. In Fortune’s list of top 500 corporations of the US as per the total revenue, IBM got the 34th rank. But in 2019, the company’s revenue was reduced by US$ 2,491 million. Since 2012, the company’s revenue, net income, and the number of employees are continuously decreasing except in the year 2018.
Products and Services
There are a large number of products and services that are produced by the company. These include Artificial Intelligence, data, and analytics, cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT), mobile, cybersecurity, commerce, IT infrastructure, and Digital workplace.
There are more than 60 data centers of IBM located worldwide. The company also runs alphaWorks, SPSS, Kenexa, and BrassRing. The ‘Weather Company’ that provides the weather forecasting is also owned by IBM. To achieve economic growth, water management, sustainable development, and solutions to traffic congestion, the initiative of Smarter Planet was done by IBM.
Another technology platform of the company is IBM Watson in which natural language processing and machine learning is used. From the large amounts of unstructured data, insights can easily be revealed through this technology. Watson is used in the field of business, universities healthcare, and developers.
IBM Q System One, Commercial Quantum Computer
Thomas J. Watson Research Center in New York
IBM Research is the largest industrial research organization in the world having its HQ at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center in New York. There are 12 labs of the company on 6 continents. Its facilities include the Australia lab, Austin lab, India lab, China lab, Africa lab, Almaden lab, Brazil lab, Ireland lab, Tokyo lap, Haifa lab, and Zurich lab. The company is advocating Linux since 1998 and is also a leading supporter of the Open Source Initiative.
The famous inventions and developments made by IBM are the ATM, DRAM, the financial swap, the relational database, the hard disk drive, SQL, RISC, the electronic keypunch, the magnetic stripe card, the SABRE airline reservation system, the virtual machine, the floppy disk, the Universal Product Code (UPC), and the bar code. In its research work, the company is mostly responsible to generate the patents. Five IBMers got the Nobel Prize for work in semiconductors, scanning tunneling microscope, and superconductivity. Several IBMers also received the Turing Award.
Brand and Reputation
Because of its blue logo and color scheme, IBM got the nickname Big Blue. IBM’s current logo was created by Paul Rand, an American graphic designer in 1972. During its lifetime, the company’s logo is changed many times. Prior to 1972, there was a 13-bar logo which was later replaced by an 8-bar logo.
IBM Logo since 1972
The company is working for about 100 years which makes it a valuable brand with high prestige. IBM is also an exclusive technology partner of Masters Tournament which is among the four major professional golf championships. It also created:
- The first Masters.org in 1996.
- The first-course cam in 1998.
- The first iPhone app with live streaming in 2009.
- The first-ever live 4K Ultra High Definition feed in the U.S. in 2016.
The U.S. Open, the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and the French Open are professional tournaments which are majorly sponsored by IBM. The company also had the sponsorship of the Olympic Games from 1960 to 2000, and the National Football League from 2003 to 2012.
- In 2012, the company ranked as the second best brand worldwide by Interbrand with a value of $75.5 billion.
- The company ranked top company in the list for leaders in 2012 by Fortune.
- In 2012, IBM became the number two green company in the U.S. by Newsweek.
- The company also got the title of the second most respected company in 2012, by Barron’s.
- IBM also secured the 18th rank in the most innovative companies' list of 2012.
- In the Vault’s list of 2012, the company ranked 1st in technology consulting and 2nd in outsourcing.
- In Forbes’ list of most valuable brands of 2015, IBM secured the 5th rank.
People and Culture
Employees: The workforce of the company is among the largest workforces in the world. The employees of the company are called IBMers. The company provides various benefits to their employees like group life insurance, paid vacations, survivor benefits, training for women, and training for specially-abled people. In 1946 the company give the job to the first black salesperson and in 1952, the company’s first written letter was published by CEO Thomas J. Watson, Jr. which was related to the policy of equal opportunity. Since 2003, IBM rated 100% every year in the Human Rights Campaign for gay friendliness. In 2017, the company also became a part of the list of 100 Best Companies for Working Mother for the 32nd consecutive year.
IBM organize many leadership programs and others like IBM Corporate Service Corps, and Extreme Blue for the development of interns and working employees. The company’s designation of IBM Fellow is the most prestigious one. Some other programs of the company are Quarter Century Club and Hundred Percent Club. Each year, the company gives the IBM Award to its best 1,000 employees. In 2015, the employees of the company enjoyed a choice between a PC and a Mac given by the company to perform their tasks.
Board and Shareholders: The Board of Directors is responsible to deal with the overall corporate management of the company with a team of 15 members. These members include the presidents of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Cornell University as well as the current or former CEOs of Royal Dutch Shell, Anthem, UPS, Vanguard, Johnson and Johnson, and Dow Chemical, and a retired Navy admiral of the U.S.
In 2011, 64 million shares costing 10.5 billion dollars of IBM were bought by Berkshire Hathaway, a Warren Buffett's holding company. It made IBM the first technology company in which Berkshire Hathaway made a huge investment. He increased his investment in IBM however at the end of 2017, he reduced it to 2.05 million shares. It was a reduction of about 94.5%. Buffet takes out all his investment by May 2018.