Introducing the System z Job Board

Are you looking for mainframe-related employment? Or are you seeking mainframe-related professionals? Visit the new System z Job Board at SystemzJobs.com, sponsored by the IBM Academic Initiative.

by Timothy Sipples January 30, 2011 in People
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IBM Announces 4Q2010 Earnings: Mainframe Up Big

IBM announced its 4th quarter earnings for 2010. The overall financial results beat expectations, and IBM's CFO indicated that the company is on track toward its 2015 financial plan.

System z hardware had a tremendously impressive quarter as virtually all press accounts headlined: up 69 percent year to year on a revenue basis. IBM shipped 58 percent more MIPS capacity in the quarter. IBM's 4Q2010 was the first full quarter of availability for the new zEnterprise 196 model which contains the world's fastest CPU cores. IBM started shipping some of the blade server features for the z196 during the quarter as well. Sharp mainframe hardware revenue growth slightly outpaced also high MIPS growth. Server revenues grew strongly overall as well, though not quite at the blistering pace as IBM's mainframe hardware. IBM's CFO, Mark Loughridge, noted that IBM gained server marketshare again, and he said that IBM broke its previous record for migrations from Sun and HP.

IBM does not break out System z-related software, services, and financing elements of its business. However, Loughridge noted that IBM won 24 new System z customers during the quarter. Also, during the question and answer session with financial analysts (as transcribed by Seeking Alpha), IBM's CFO specifically commented on the strong System z performance and indicated that IBM expects continued momentum into 2011.

by Timothy Sipples January 19, 2011 in Economics
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2011: IBM's Centennial(ish) Year

IBM is a fascinating company in many ways. This year seems a particularly appropriate year to look back on IBM's long and interesting history, because 2011 is IBM's official centennial year.

In classic IBM fashion, the company may be underselling itself when it comes to recognizing its centennial. The Tabulating Machine Company, founded by Herman Hollerith — arguably history's leading computing pioneer — dates back to 1896 and commercialized much of the technology Hollerith invented for the 1890 U.S. Census. Hollerith's tabulating equipment improved the Census's productivity by at least a factor of three. There is a recognizably straightforward evolution, albeit a somewhat convoluted one with at least two big hardware technology transitions, from TMC's late 1800s punched card tabulating technologies to many of IBM's current technology offerings, even including the IBM zEnterprise mainframe. Yet IBM considers the incorporation of Computing Tabulating Recording (C-T-R) in mid-June, 1911, to be its official start. C-T-R, later renamed International Business Machines (IBM), was a merger of TMC, the Computing Scale Corporation, and the International Time Recording Company. It's not clear to me why the addition of meat scale and employee time clock businesses reset IBM's corporate clock, so to speak, especially when IBM divested those businesses long ago, but that's how IBM sees its history.

Anyway, even if IBM should be celebrating its 115th birthday instead of its 100th, understanding the company's history is helpful in understanding how IBM — and how technology overall — is likely to evolve in the future. Therefore I would recommend paying at least a little attention to IBM's centennial reflections over the course of this year.

by Timothy Sipples January 5, 2011 in Future, History
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