IBM Second-Quarter Earnings are out

by Volker Weber

Revenues from the WebSphere family of software products increased 55 percent year over year. Information Management software revenues increased 18 percent. Revenues from Tivoli software increased 9 percent. Revenues from Lotus software increased 12 percent, and Rational software increased 4 percent.

That's a rebound for Lotus from last year's second quarter, where they lost 6%, and the year before (minus 14%), Websphere continues its incredible growth. Last year 17%, this year 55% on top of that.

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What really matters is the overall performance of IBM, and the stock is trading at it's all time high (178) in after hours trading, someone is doing something right...... IBM has been a better investment than M$FT (far better) and Oracle (Slightly ahead) YTD, over a 1 Year period, 5 Year Period and even 10 Year period.

Joel Demay, 2011-07-18

That's what matters to shareholders. Which are not necessarily the same people that are invested in the ecosystem of particular brands.

Volker Weber, 2011-07-18

Do we know which products were still considered "Lotus" at this point?

Erik Brooks, 2011-07-19

Hi Joel, it depends how many shares you own... As you know I worked both for Lotus (then IBM) and now for MSFT. MSFT is not a financial company but more an entrepreneur like company. Maybe it's why its ranked #1 in best places to work.... Because employees are shareholders and receive stock awards, and feel they do not work to increase Wall Street shareholders' or pension funds investments...

Francois Cornely, 2011-07-19

It's a terrible investment though. Flat for 10+ years.

Volker Weber, 2011-07-19

Well, up is up. Congratulations IBM.

Henning Heinz, 2011-07-19

I so much agree with Volker on "That's what matters to shareholders. Which are not necessarily the same people that are invested in the ecosystem of particular brands"

Michael Bourak, 2011-07-19

Comon @Francois, as we say in French "Il ne faut pas vivre ds un monde de Bisounours" I actually have a lot of respect for Microsoft, they may not be innovators, but they tend to execute very well, but let's not kid ourselves, I think u have been drinking too much of your own coolaid, Microsoft is not a non-profit organization. They do care deeply about their shareholders, and that is exactly why they give employees stock grants, in order to align your personal financial interest with their shareholder's interest.

Let's face it: Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, IBM, Apple, Google are all pretty good companies to work for, but as much as they like u to think that their mission in life is to:

Save the world
Do no bad
Build a smarter planet

At the end of the day we are all in the business of making money..... Unless I'm missing something.

Now as an IBMer I have really nothing to complain about in terms of work-life balance, opportunities to fulfill my professional aspirations, and I will stand by my words, IBM is a great company to work for, and this has been acknowledged by a number of third party sources, we have been in Working mother magazine annual Top 10 list for the past 18 years, (

I'm sure your experience at Microsoft has been enjoyable, but I'm also hearing a lot about Stress in the workplace, issues with the employee performance rating system, policy of making the lower contributor redundant, and an overall not so nice climate.... I guess like all things your mileage will vary but these internal voices do not paint a rosy picture (in French)

Joel Demay, 2011-07-19

As a former IBM employee and now working for Microsoft, I have to admit that I enjoyed and enjoy working for both companies. Both are attractive globally working companies with all the Pros and Cons.
Having said that, I could copy the post of Joel citing nearly the same about voices of my former IBM colleagues... They often tell me that it is not the same company I used to work for until 2002. And that the pressure arising from shareholder value goals is immense. Yes, the figures are good - actually they are great and I would love to see this stock performance for MSFT - but the individual does not recognize anymore what's in it for him.

Isn't this rumours more about the fact that people tend to talk about the negative things... and not the good ones?

Ingo Seifert, 2011-07-19

Joel, as a last comment, @MSFT I do not fell my bonus is the variable to make the Kentucky retired lady happy. That's it. So I know you're among the happy few enjoying high pay and good life @ IBM but I know many people working for IBM and many people working from MSFT. Guess who are not happy with their work ? And as far as stress is concerned, as well as employee rating process, you know the story about IBM in the press in France. So I worked for both companies and so do many ex-IBMers and they can tell you the exact same thing... MSFT is #1 in 2010 and #2 in 2011 for great place to work in France, not IBM. And people can also work from home etc, and managers are rated by their teams, etc etc etc. So it's a different world, you should know it ;-)
As a Microsoftee my company gives me shares (that do not raise). But the average IBMer has no shares...
As an IBMer my bonuses (remember "RTR" and stuff like that) is the variable used by the management to give money to pension funds anyway, and to adapt the field's pay once the shareholders have been paid. I have always seen the IBM action raise, and the IBMers complain about their work and their salaries... Sorry about this, these are facts. I do not see this @MSFT, I never saw this @MSFT...

I know you are lucky enough not to belong to the IBM masses, but please don't show up here and make your exeptional case the average @IBM. It may work with some readers here, not with me.

Francois Cornely, 2011-07-19

Francois, unless I'm missing something, I don't think you have any indication of my compensation level (with IBM US, IBM FR, or my current employer, IBM Middle East), and to set the record straight, I'm not an influential IBM executive, but would rather characterize myself as a rank and file employee.

Now I did take advantage of IBM's global presence and was able to work in various geographies, but that is I guess exactly the point of working for a large global company such as IBM, these opportunities are open to everyone, just need to go for it.

Now I'm not disputing the fact that you are a happy employee at MSFT, but you also need to realize that not every single IBMer is miserable. And on the flip side, while u seem happy at MSFT, it seems that a lot of people have a different take on the company.

From an article in Business week.

"The pay disparity is exacerbated by Microsoft's rating system. The company uses a bell curve to rate employees in each group, so the number of top performers is balanced by the same number of underachievers. But Microsoft has a long history of hiring top-notch computer science grads and high-quality talent from the industry. Under the rating system, if a group works hard together to release a product, someone in the group has to get a low score for every high score a manager dishes out. "It creates competition in the ranks, when people really want community," says a former Microsoft vice-president. "

last but not least, please stop with the far left rhetoric about the evil mutual funds, and the American retirees exploiting the French workers..... You almost sound like Olivier Besanscenot.

Joel Demay, 2011-07-20

Joel, do you think you are on a winning streak?

Volker Weber, 2011-07-20

Not sure there is anything to win here, however the idea that IBM's success in the marketplace, that we see reflected in it's stock price is linked to the sheer exploitation of it's employees, is dishonest at best.

Joel Demay, 2011-07-20

It seems you could swap the IBM and Microsoft references in this discussion. Simple really, especially with that Business Week quote.

john wylie, 2011-07-21

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