IBM, nicknamed 'big blue' for its official corporate colour, is a global technology and innovation company with headquarters in Armonk, New York. IBM is the largest technology employer in the world, with more than 400,000 employees serving clients in 170 countries.
By using its business consulting, technology and R&D expertise, IBM helps clients around the world become 'smarter' as the planet becomes more digitally interconnected. This includes working with organisations and governments to build systems that improve traffic congestion, food safety, the availability of clean water, and the health and safety of populations.
IBM is a hub of innovation and invests more than $6bn a year in R&D, holding more patents than any other US technology company. IBM Research has received recognition far beyond any other commercial technology research organisation and is home to five nobel laureates, nine US national medals of technology, five US national medals of science, six Turing Awards and ten inductees in US national inventors hall of fame.
Semiconductor technologies, products and services
IBM offers a full range of semiconductor technologies, products and services throughout the value chain from product development and manufacturing, to supply chain and marketing, sales, and service.
The company's global capabilities include services, software, hardware, fundamental research and financing. The broad mix of businesses and capabilities are combined to provide business insight and solutions for the company's clients.
IBM's business model is built to support two principal goals: helping clients succeed in delivering business value by becoming more innovative, efficient and competitive through the use of business insight and information technology solutions, and providing long-term value to shareholders. IBM was founded on 16 June 1911 and is celebrating its 100th year anniversary in 2011.
Globally integrated enterprise for productivity and investment
IBM's business model is flexible, and allows for periodic change and rebalancing. The company has exited commoditising businesses like personal computers and hard disk drives and strengthened its position through strategic investments and acquisitions in emerging higher value segments like service oriented architecture (SOA) and information on demand. In addition, the company has transformed itself into a globally integrated enterprise, which has improved overall productivity and is driving investment and participation in the world's fastest growing markets. As a result, the company is a higher performing enterprise today than it was several years ago.
IBM believes that a smarter planet, while global by definition, happens on the industry level. It is driven by forward-thinking organisations that share a common outlook: they see change as an opportunity and they act on possibilities, not just react to problems. Since introducing the smarter planet concept, IBM has collaborated with more than 600 organisations worldwide to help make this vision a reality.
Magnetic storage, chip architecture and magnetic stripe technology
IBM was influential in the invention of the PC and many other innovations, including, the fortran programming language, magnetic storage, the relational database, DRAM (dynamic random access memory) cells, the RISC (reduced instruction set computer) chip architecture, magnetic stripe technology, the UPC barcode, the scanning tunneling microscope, the SABRE travel reservation system, and much more.
IBM has pioneered the corporate operating model for the 21st century, changing from a classic 'multinational' (with smaller versions of the parent company replicated in countries around the world) to a global integrated company with one set of processes and broadly distributed decision making, carried out by a highly skilled global workforce managed by a common set of values.