Business report for IBM products and Services
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 a computing tabulating recording company which offered a 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 and desktop PCs (Edge-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 (Edge-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 (Edge-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.
The third product is SAN storage system which has a fiber channel host used for driving technology. It has components which can be redundant and hot swappable (Edge-Salois, 2011). To make duplication of data faster, it is equipped with flash copy software. The fourth product in this category is entry level and midrange servers which has a high storage capacity (Edge-Salois, 2011). It can support storage for many systems like WinNT/2000/XP/2003 and Linux among others.
The fourth 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 (Edge-Salois, 2011). It has a high end and high capacity and includes the management software that is meant for simplifying deployment.
Services offered by IBM
Global Technology Services
According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (2006), a number of large IT and Equipment firms are earning their income from the generation of services. In 2004 alone, IBM raked in a whole $46 billion in service revenues.IBM has witnessed rapid growth in the area of global technology services which has made the company to extend its services to include human resources, call centers and also finance and accounting.
The IBM global Technology Services offers services to assist clients in the installation, configuration and delivering of cloud computing software within the user’s datacenter (Velte et al, 2009).The work of the cloud computing services is to enable businesses to take advantage of IBM’s computing model. Cloud technology is also aimed at assisting businesses in reconstructing their IT environments and improving operational efficiency and return on investments.
Global Business Services
Global business services is another service that is offered to businesses by IBM (Gerbag, 2008:53).The global business services model uses an economic model for evaluating the total amount needed in the ownership of building private clouds or moving data and applications offsite in a public model. It is also another service offered under IBM’s cloud computing services.
The IBM global business service helps in the development of insight for senior executives around critical, public and private sector issues (Gerbag, 2008:53). Through innovation the businesses are able to experience business value.
IBM has business experts in more than 160 countries. The company’s global business services are meant at providing clients with deep business process and industry expertise across 17 industries (Gerbag, 2008:53).Through the service IBM enables its clients to become more creative and to implement solutions designed to deliver business outcomes.
Software, Systems and Technology
Software has always been a part of IBM and has always been produced as a component of its hardware.IBM initially built computers and every one of them needed operating systems, databases and other forms of software (Cusumano, 2004:105).Initially IBM built most of its software but never thought of it as its core business. This created a problem in that there was no order in the process of software generation and the company lacked the necessary skills in the vending of software (Cusumano, 2004:105).In 1994 IBM fixed this problem through the centralization of IBMs software management system and the merging of its 60 software brands into six brands. Furthermore, most of IBM’s software resources were changed into internet middleware and open systems.
In 1995 the company also ventured into collaboration software and internet servers (Cusumano, 2004:106).The company also has suite/productivity which includes word processing, database management, and spreadsheet program and graphics/presentation software (Edge-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.
IBM has experienced growth in its services revenues through the use of its management consulting and e-business practices (Cusumano, 2004:108) .The Company has also made use of its open source systems and integration work. Today IBM is a strong player in corporate computing and services.
Global financing is another branch of the IBM Company. It assists in the provision of loans to both external and internal customers (Kock, 2007).This is done through providing contracts in which the amount can be paid back in a period of 2 to 5 years. The global financing project starts when an IBM sales representative wants to sell IBM products or services (Kock, 2007).The individual would have to call the company with a request for financing from IBM on the customer’s behalf. The details of the client would then be noted down and sent to the credit department.
In the credit department, the request would be taken up by a credit specialist who would input the client’s details into the computer system and check the client’s credit history and their ability to repay the loan (Kock, 2007). Once the credit check was through the business practices department would process the request further and the details entered into a spreadsheet (Kock, 2007).The output would then be the overall interest rate that the client would incur.
IBM is one company which has grown over time providing different services and products. Products provided include PC, servers, SAN storage system and software. The services offered include; Global Business Services, Software, Systems and Technology and Global finance. All these services and products have been very crucial and have been improving with improvements in technology.
Kock.N,(2007).Systems Analysis & Design Fundamentals: A Business Process Redesign Approach. California:SAGE
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Velte et al,(2009). Cloud Computing: A Practical Approach. New York: McGraw Hill
Professional Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, (2006). OECD Information Technology Outlook 2006.Paris: OECD Publishing
Korzeniowski, P. (2003). IMB’s Future Strategy: Grid Computing Everywhere. Retrieved May 13, 2011 from http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/31269.html
Edge-Salois, B. (2011). IBM’s Major Product Areas and Competitors. Retrieved May 13, 2011 from http://www.processor.com/articles//P2546/22p46/22p46.pdf?guid=
Claerr, J. (2011). The History of IBM. Retrieved May 13, 2011 from http://www.ehow.com/about_4587931_history-ibm.html
IBM. (2011). IBM Product and Service Framework. Retrieved 13 May, 2011 from http://www-304.ibm.com/isv/tech/validation/framework/pdif.html