International Business Machines is one of the oldest companies dealing with computers. It offers technology products and services which are sold all over the world. During the 1920s it was computing tabulating recording company which is now IBM which offered printing tabulator and the first electric key punch device (Claerr, 2011). The name was changed to IBM in 1924. In 1933 its products expanded and it included electric writing machines. In 1944 IBM created the automatic sequence controlled calculator which later started being called Harvard Mark I. there was another product in 1952 which was called commercial scientific computer which was its first computer to be produced. This was called IBM 701. Another product was introduced in 1956 IBM 305 random access memory accounting system (RAMAC) and it was considered as the first magnetic hard disk drive. In 1956, it added FORTRAN computer programming language (Claerr, 2011). The company was so much concerned about meeting consumer needs. Therefore their products were aimed at meeting these needs. To respond to customer needs, system/360 was developed in 1964 as the mainframe computer system. Another product was introduced in 1981 which was IBM 5150 which was accompanied by Intel 8088 processor. It was part of the first microprocessor to be produced (Claerr, 2011). Some of the products were not specifically for sale but the ones which helped in the running of the business.
In the 1990s, the level of technology improved which made the products offered by IBM improves also. The products and services for IBM are mostly focused on the technology framework for IBM solutions which range from electronics, automotives and aerospace (IBM, 2011). The current products are classified in to different categories. The first category of the product is PCs which consists of one notebook PCs (Salois, 2011). These are very powerful and portable computers which are very convenient to use when travelling. This is to serve consumer needs because most consumers are always on transit for business trips and other work related trips. They can also be used instead of full sized desktop PC. Full sized desktop PC can be very cumbersome when one has to travel or other words; it is not portable and can only be use in the place where it is connected without movement from one place to another (Salois, 2011). The notebook PC has a ThinkPad R, T, X, A and G series. It also has an Intel Pentium 4-M CPU up to 2GHz and WinXP Professional (Salois, 2011).
The second PC category is the desktop PCs. These are low cost desktop PCs which consist of largely integrated components. It is mostly appropriate and convenient for home or home office PCs (Salois, 2011). This is based on the fact that there are some people who do not travel frequently and prefer working at home so they not need something portable. It is cheaper to make it more affordable. It consists of Intel CPU up to 3.2 GHz, integrated audio, NIC, and graphics. The graphics have a graphic card which in order to stay up to date; it is updated using ThinkCentre M and NetVista PCs. It also has an up to 120GB hard drive (Salois, 2011). The third product in this category is workstations which suitable for any user. They are ultra high-end Unix workstations for extremely advanced and technical users. These users may include; CAD/CAM, design, engineering and technical analysis. It also one product of IBM which is meant to meet customer needs. It has components like Power PC 604 CPU, Unix OS, up to 16GB RAM and an up to 1.4MB L2 and 32MB L3 Cache (Salois, 2011).
The second category of IBM products is servers which has five products. The first one is blades which are designed to ensure scalability and performance is achieved optimally (Salois, 2011). They are modular dual CPU which can be used together with eServer Bladecenter Chassis and can be applied to support up to 14 servers in a single 7U park. It has components like Up to two Intel Xeon processors at 3.2GHz, 512MB standard up to 8GB maximum ECC DDR SDRAM, Supports up to two IDE or two hot-swappable SCSI hard drives, Dual Gigabit Ethernet connections and System management and failure prediction (Salois, 2011).
The second product in this category is mainframe which can also be used for every application. It has a high end and high security (Salois, 2011). It can be used for technical analysis, application servers, ecommerce, accounting functions, material management, distribution, manufacturing, human resource, asset management, business intelligence and data mining. It has components like Z990 CPU, 2Gbps FICON and Linux among others (Salois, 2011).
The third product is SAN storage system which has a fiber channel host used for driving technology. It has t200 and T900 in which the t200 is low up to 1.47TB and T900 is high up to 56TB. It has components which can be redundant and hot swappable (Salois, 2011). To make duplication of data faster, it is equipped with flash copy software. It is one of IBM’s products which makes to be done fast and improve with improved technology (Salois, 2011).
The fourth product in this category is entry level and midrange servers which has a high storage capacity (Salois, 2011). It can support storage for many systems like WinNT/2000/XP/2003 and Linux among others. It also has many components including Dual RISC CPU, Large cache, Supports FICON, ESCON, Ultra, RAID 5 and RAID 10 protection SCSI, Fiber Channel, 2 GB Fiber and Scalable to 55.9TB Channel, and redundant hardware (Salois, 2011).
The fifth product is clusters which very powerful of low cost to make them affordable (Salois, 2011). They are very crucial for computer performance and are usually applied in technical and scientific analysis. It has components like Dual 2GHz AMD Opteron Processor, 1GB RAM, upgradeable to 12GB, Supports up to two hot swaps IDE and Integrated dual Gigabit Ethernet or Ultra 320 SCSI hard drives (Salois, 2011).
The third category of IBM’s major products is software which consists of two products. The first product is enterprise/desktop office which is designed in a way that it has high level of availability and reliability (Salois, 2011). It has a high end and high capacity and includes the management software that is meant for simplifying deployment. It has components like Intel Xeon CPU of 3.06 GHz, 512 KB cache and GPFS software among others. The second product of this category is suite/productivity which includes word processing, database management, and spreadsheet program and graphics/presentation software (Salois, 2011). It has components like Lotus1-2-3, Lotus word pro and lotus freelance graphics among others.
IBM has plans to provide products which are up to date with technology and be used world wide (Korzeniowski, 2003). Some of the expected products include; Purify Plus, Tivoli Identity Manager (server), WebSphere Service Registry and Repository, WebSphere Business Monitor and workplace Collaboration Services
Claerr, J. (2011). The History of IBM. Retrieved on May 13, 2011 from http://www.ehow.com/about_4587931_history-ibm.html
IBM. (2011). IBM Product and Service Framework. Retrieved on May 13, 2011 from http://www-304.ibm.com/isv/tech/validation/framework/pdif.html
Korzeniowski, P. (2003). IMB’s Future Strategy: Grid Computing Everywhere. Retrieved on May 13, 2011 from http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/31269.html
Salois, B. (2011). IBM’s Major Product Areas and Competitors. Retrieved on May 13, 2011 from http://www.processor.com/articles//P2546/22p46/22p46.pdf?guid