International Business Machines Corporation, more commonly known as IBM, is an American multinational company specializing in computer hardware and software.
The company changed name to become Business Machines Corporation on February 14, 1924. It previously focussed on the design and marketing of computer hardware and mainframe computers, in particular. In fact, IBM played a decisive role in their development and their use by most large public and private organizations.
The year 1993 was an important one for IBM. The company underwent a large-scale transformation that shaped the company into what it is today. The group went through a period of poor results, with financial market pressure favouring splitting the group into multiple independent companies to carry different product lines.
Thus, company President Louis V. Gerstner maintained the group’s integrity and accepted the challenge to better manage the portfolio of product offerings and services. IBM could better leverage what has historically been its strengths, beginning with its powerful capabilities in research and development, to provide integrated solutions and not just isolated products.
It was at this time when IBM began to focus on service activities in a very proactive way, especially in outsourcing. Developing these service activities has enabled IBM to redeploy some of the employees whose original positions were eliminated as a result of the reorganization.
Some numbers for the company: The 2009 profit contribution breakdown is as follows:
• Hardware = 7 %
• Financing activities = 9 %
• Software = 42%
• Services = 42%
Services now represent a little more than half of the revenues. This reflects the radical changes brought about by IBM over the past 10 years. Since the 2002 acquisition of the consulting arm of PriceWaterhouseCoopers, IBM has become the largest consulting entity in the world.
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