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IBM Info Please

#1 IBM Info Please
12/03/2009 10:03



I would like to know if you can shed some light onto IBM Strategy Practice, in terms of quality of work, hours, pay etc.

I get the gist that its not very much respected in the field - coming from outside of consulting my opinion is that it has a valid brand - so I am unsure why its trashed so much.

Would really appreciate any insight, thank you


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#2 RE: IBM Info Please
12/03/2009 10:51

a to Applicant (#1)


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#3 RE: IBM Info Please
12/03/2009 11:07

ZB to a (#2)

Please tell me that this is a sick note..IBM Strategy Practice lord help us


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#4 RE: IBM Info Please
12/03/2009 11:28

qq to Applicant (#1)

IBM has a valid brand for IT and outsourcing. They occasionally get real strategy projects but this is not core business.

This means if you work there in "strategy" you will end up spending most of your time on IT/outsourcing related projects. I guess this is a major reason for it being trashed by Strategy people who did not get the projects they expected.

I would add that as an employer they are unlikely to get in the "top 100 places to work" for a host of reasons.

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#5 RE: IBM Info Please
12/03/2009 11:44

Mars A Day to Applicant (#1)

I thought my eyes had gone funny then but it really did say IBM and Strategy in the same sentence.

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#6 RE: IBM Info Please
12/03/2009 12:23

Olivier to Applicant (#1)

I had an interview in London 3 years ago in what was called "strategy and change". They did no strategy at all. As for the "change" they were unclear of what they really did.

I met the strategy and change people in France 1 year later on a project: they trained people on how to use an ERP... Strategy indeed.

To finish I met a partner of this strategy and change practice who said I had no experience in consulting (while I has 10+ years of experience). Actually she meant I had no experience in IT project management. My time at McKinsey was not considered as consulting for her.

Consulting as ZB loves it!

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#7 RE: IBM Info Please
14/03/2009 16:01

IBMer to Olivier (#6)

This year IBm made its largest ever profit, but the bonus pot was the same as last year PBC1 (top 3-5%) made 9%, PBC2+ (Top10%) made 6% the rest got what was left.

Last year even though it was a bumper year, pay freeze, this year pay freeze.

Go onto and read the reviews, IBM as a company is doing well by not doing much, pay is way below market and promotions are hard to get.

As for strategy, its like this

80% offshore

20% onshore

And the PM takes all the flak.

I am one of the optimistic ones, you should meet my effigy burning comrades.

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#8 RE: IBM Info Please
15/03/2009 06:01

goose to Olivier (#6)

can also confirm Olivier's comment as IBM's so-called Strategy and Change practice in Asia is also a joke. Imagine S&C is filled with people with SI outsourcing and ERP implementation. No offense to the SI or ERP guys, but why call themselves S&C when not at all doing Strategy work? Even see S&C (ERP people) put on their bluepage that are expert level Corporate Strategy when they do ERP implementation... maybe they refer to system implementation as major strategy for corporations. a bunch of jokers.

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#9 RE: IBM Info Please
17/03/2009 10:42

a to goose (#8)

but then why does it exist? surely they must sell it to someone, otherwise it would be a loss making department?

I hear your voices in saying its not strategy, but i can't understand why keep it open if it were such a flop of a department?

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#10 RE: IBM Info Please
17/03/2009 12:26

Olivier to a (#9)

I never meant they were not successful, just that they don't do strategy, not even change. As goose said people - can't call them consultants - are busy working on ERP/outsourcing projects. They work on business as opposed to technical topic. The partner I saw - a former PwC by the way - worked on program management.

They play on words. When it's a large project, they say it's strategic for the customer. As a consequence they are strategy consultant!

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#11 RE: IBM Info Please
17/03/2009 13:08

sa to Olivier (#10)

Every couple of years the IBM senior management wonder why "advisory" consulting seems to be doing badly.

There is a flurry of activity. They sell projects and recruit........but then it all dies down. The next big ERP project arrives and any "strategy" people get roped into it. This pisses them off and they leave.

...then the senior management wonder why it "advisory" consulting seems to be doing badly.

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#12 RE: IBM Info Please
17/03/2009 17:56

goose to sa (#11)

Sa, right on! No surprised, though, as to why senior management weren't able to figure out why... since they only how to sell products (hardware, system integration and outsourcing), not consulting service. Can't blame them since they are never in the consulting world, basic problem solving is no a part of them, unfortunately.

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#13 RE: IBM Info Please
17/03/2009 18:06

sa to goose (#12)

More about size of project. The largest Strategy consulting project is smaller than the smallest ERP implementation. So guess which gets the focus when quarterly targets have to be hit.

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#14 RE: IBM Info Please
18/03/2009 13:21

goose to sa (#13)

true, but don't forget strategy projects tend to be short, on avg say, 6 to 12 weeks while ERP lasts almost a year. If there is a consistent stream of strategy related work, the strategy revenue is also significant (though annual revenue will still be small comparing to ERP since more people needed in one ERP project comparing to strategy).

What I hv seen in this part of the world is that the ERP people wanting to win the project (it is a competitive landscape since ERP is almost a commodity nowadays, unlike in the late 90s), usually promise the client a free strategy evaluation projects for FREE. In these cases, the strategy team only get cost recovery (usually from hardware team as ERP projects bundle with hardware and software teams), and the outcome of the strategy project should mainly lead to the need to improve IT and system integration. At the end of the year, strategy team tends to get cost recovery and the work sucked, so consultants leave (and they start bringing in ERP/SI/ Outsourcing people into strategy group). Worst, IBM gives free strategy for ERP is an open secret. The sad part now is that even if the team is really good, the clients' won't pay IBM the price they would pay for strategy jobs by other consultancies since they can sometimes get it for free. Plus, when the free piece of strategy work start looking like a canned food (conclusion either didn't make sense or always conclude the need for IT), don't expect the client to look for IBM when there is a real serious strategy work - even if it is free or 50% cheaper than the nearest competitor. Clients' ain't stupid. IT/system is a tool and it won't solve all business problems. IT will be a powerful tool only if one know what one need for the business.

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#15 RE: IBM Info Please
21/03/2009 10:07

Blue Loo to goose (#14)

The Strategy consultants are little more than IT salesmen.

Clients know this

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