IBM outsources remaining network team to AT&T

This is a really interesting story as I worked in this team about four months back, before leaving to join Orange.

Back in 1998, about 90% of IBM’s networking was sold to AT&T, only the Local Area Network teams around the globe remained to provide the connectivity IBM needed either in or between it’s data centres. What this deal means is that those network guys have gone to AT&T, so AT&T now does all of IBM’s networking, both in it’s data centres, between them and out to client sites for certain accounts.

This move by IBM clearly shows where it want’s to go in terms of it’s core business, which is Consulting and Software and not outsourcing. I had the discussion with various people within the sales organisations and the alliance teams about where IBM was going in terms of networking and what it wanted to do with it before I left. It was clear to me and a lot of other people within IBM, that IBM was leaving money on the table in certain deals but not being willing or being motivated to pick up the network portion of the deal. The view was; we’ll do network if you want us to, but it’s not important to us.

This point was a key factor in me leaving IBM, I came to the conclusion that IBM didn’t really want to be in the Network business and this sale of the remaining network business proves I was right, IBM wants out.

I have to say, it’s a surprise to me that this has happened so soon after I left and I didn’t know anything about it, I found out today. I’m not going to give away any of the facts as to the numbers involved of either people or dollar size of the deal. I was the Business Operations Manager for Europe and worked at a Global level both on people numbers and the ABA, the Annual Base Adjustment and the soon to be replaced MSA, so I know the numbers.

My opinion is this is a great deal for the network guys, they now work for a huge networking company and it’s a real chance to grow network skills and experience. I’m not sure it’s a great deal for IBM’s customers as I don’t know whether all new network requirements will go to AT&T or whether they’ll go out to tender and companies like Orange can compete for them.

All in all, I’m stunned and pleased, I wish the guys all the best and welcome to telco land.

the greaterIBM connection

As you may know I resigned form IBM a month back and today was my last day with the company. So I made the trip over to Manchester in the car which I’d cleaned all the junk out of and met up with my UK manager and RussH.

Now I thought that was the last of IBM for me, but it looks like IBM want’s to retain a connection with all it’s former employees through the ‘greaterIBM connection – once and IBMer always an IBMer’.

So it looks like I was wrong and a small part of me will always be an IBMer.

Leaving IBM

The big news for me recently was that I resigned from IBM on Friday. I’ve been with them for 9 years, all of which have been great. All the people I’ve worked with across europe and the globe have been great. It’s always been a positive experience and I’m hugely grateful for all the experiences. skills and training IBM has given me.

My Linkedin profile has a pretty complete profile of what I did with IBM.

Where are you going then you may ask? …Orange Business Services.

I’m taking my Telecom’s knowledge with me to the Global Sourcing team within OBS and I start the beginning of July.

Top Talent

IBM in the UK is running a Top Talent program for future leaders for 100 people out of the 3000 in the UK Global Technology Services business. Basically a Talent management program for the top 3% of it’s employees in the UK and I made the list.

There had been Top talent programs in the past but nothing really happened it was just a tick in a box. This new program has a $1m budget, it runs for one year only and we’ve been told to be ambassadors for it, get people interested and wanting to be on the 2008 program.

So I have an advisor who’s assigned to me and three other TT’s, who you are encouraged to talk to as frequently as possible.

It’s all looking very interesting so far and I’m encouraged by the help I’m being given by Andreas my advisor. So if you’re working for IBM in the UK then work as hard as you can and ask your Manager about the 2008 TT program, it’s turning into a hugely beneficially program.

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Who needs a CIO?

Chris Anderson (author of the long tail) has written a post on his view of the CIO’s and their relevance moving forward.

This follows on from a post I wrote back in May 2004, “Will we need IT support in the future?” which was prompted from reading Peter Cochrane’s post “Are IT departments doomed”.

But I still agree with the idea, people will start to want direct unhindered access to the web and to their mail.

I’ve lost the link to a recent post about IT Security departments going nuts about people forwarding their email to Gmail etc to get easier access to their mail. This is because newer web2.0 tools give greater functionality than corporate tools can provide.

This is an interesting trend when you work in an IT Services business. [via Techmeme]


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Frankfurt, Germany

off to Frankfurt for a couple of days tomorrow lunch time. We’ve got our quarterly alliance meeting with AT&T covering the quarters operational issues and issues specific to Germany this quarter, hence the trip to Frankfurt.

Flying Lufthansa out of Manchester, not flown with them before, so it’s another carrier I can tick off the list.

is IBM in the Network business?


I saw this question, or a version of it, in an email today, we’re trying to renew a large contract and somebody had written that ‘networking wasn’t a core competency’

This drove me a little nuts, sure Networking is a core competency, how else do they think all the servers talk to each other?

Networking is a bit like Electricity, when it’s working it get’s taken for granted, when it stops people go nuts as they can’t do anything.

Anyway, yes we’re in the network business, we’re not going to build our own network like we did before and then sold to AT&T in 1999, but we’re in the network game for sure.


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back travelling

The traveling is starting to pick up again, this week has seen a day trip to Dublin and today and tomorrow in London and then Paris Monday. I always love the 4am start on a Monday to catch the 6am flight to CDG.

I keep meaning to write up more of the travel stuff. I spend enough time standing around in airports and now that I have a new SPV M3100, there’s no excuse.