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International Business Machines Corporation, IBM, the US based technology and consulting giant completed a hundred years of operations on June 16, 2011. Founded in 1911, IBM has its operations in most of the world's countries and employs nearly 300,000 people. IBM is also the second-largest publicly traded companies dealing in technology and consulting. With most employees pledging to dedicate themselves to charitable causes, the organization itself looks to building a better future for its employees.

Inception

In 1911 IBM was born as a Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company with the merger of the Tabulating Machine Company, the International Time Recording Company, and the Computing Scale Company. Thomas J. Watson, the company's first CEO was a visionary and a gifted leader. He developed the slogan ‘THINK’ which became synonymous with IBM. The name International Business Machines Corporation was formally adopted in 1924. But the name that would stick and propel the organization to fame was IBM. With its headquarters in Armonk, New York, IBM quickly earned an unshakable reputation in the production of software and hardware and through its hosting and IT consulting services.

IBM's early machines were used extensively for calculation and computation across the world. The major stronghold of the company, though, was mainframes. Mainframes from IBM powered businesses across the world. In the 1960s IBM spent over US $5 billion in research and design of efficient and smart mainframes. The expanding organization built up a great work culture. IBM started to offer employees a host of benefits including insurance and country clubs when such perks were unheard of. With over 300,000 employees in most of the countries of the world, IBM still offers very competitive emoluments and is a preferred employee worldwide. IBMers, as the employees of IBM are referred to, participated enthusiastically in the centenary Celebration of Service events held through 2011. The employees organized a number of CSR initiatives and charitable drives including Go Green and Caravan of Safety. The key sentiments that reflected in most of the programs were sustainability and volunteer work.


Famous IBM Inventions

Reports claim that IBM holds the most number of U.S. patents. Five of the company's employees have been awarded the Nobel Prize for physics. IBM's Research Division with research facilities across the world is accredited with some pioneering inventions. In 1966 IBM intentioned single transistor memory units called Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM). The use of DRAM revolutionized the memory capacity of computers such as laptops and workstations. One of the major inventions of IBM is the automated teller machine, the ATM that allows the clients of institutions to remotely complete their financial transactions. ATMs are now widely used by banks and other financial institutions across the world. IBM also invented the magnetic stripe card or swipe card setting a trend in financial and security standards. With the invention of the hard disk drive and the floppy drive IBM was a trendsetter in memory storage and computing. These IBM inventions have shaped computer technology.

IBM developed its relational model for database management into its open source initiatives. A leading exponent of the open source enterprises and of Linux, IBM is also credited with inventions that have revolutionized commerce as we know it. The popularly used SABRE airline reservation system and the barcode UPC are all IBM inventions. IBM at 100 As it completes a hundred years of operations, IBM has had to reinvent itself many times to keep pace with competitors such as Microsoft and Google. Though it no longer is the sole dominant player in the industry, 'Big Blue' IBM is still one of the technology giants of the world.

The organization now holds the fourteenth position among the technology companies of the world. The market capitalization of IBM stands at US $197 billion vis-à-vis Microsoft’s US $201 billion and Apple Inc.s $304 billion.

In the United States, IBM is the seventh most profitable company as per Fortune 2011 rankings. It is also the eighteenth largest American company and the twelfth most admired company. In 2011, its hundredth anniversary, IBM was also ranked the second most popular brand by Interbrand. IBM is an environment-friendly organization and was rated the top green company in the world by Newsweek. Fast Company has rated IBM the eighteenth most innovative organization in 2011.

The next year promises to bring a lot of changes to the organization. With current CEO Sam Palmisano set to step down on January 1, 2012, the new leadership of Ginni Rometty is likely to bring in a new direction to IBM.



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