International Business Machine Case Analysis

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Introduction

International Business Machine (IBM) Corporation is one of the world’s largest multinational computer technology and IT consulting corporation. In 2011 it celebrated 100 years in age and $100 billion in sales. Interbrand rated IBM as the fourth value brand of the 2013 (2013 Best Global Brands, 2014). The company is proud of its contribution to the “ideas that shaped a century” (IBM, 2014).
Fifty years ago IBM was a leader in IT technology and a sample of the multinational business model. It was developing autonomous mostly independent organizations in each market and struggled for optimization of supply chain and speed of decisions. Before 1993 the company was managing fragmented marketing investments lacking marketing expertise and marketing management system. When this approach has proven to become insufficient and reality dictated other business demands, the company carried out restructuring to become a leader in globally integrated operations.
From International to Global

First time “international” was introduced to the name of the company in 1921, when Thomas Watson Sr. changed it from Computing-Tabulating-Recording to International Business Machines. At that time the company operated in U.S. and had two supply contracts in Canada and Brazil. In 1923 it
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IBM followed localization approach hiring and training locals, giving autonomy to the markets with regard to the positioning, marketing, and communications. In 1991 objective was set to become “a world class service company” within three years, and restructuring undertaken by its new head Louis V. Gerstner followed (IBM Global Services, 2002). He praised the professionalism, technical and sales expertise, and individual performance of separate business units, but took a course on integration, which he believed could allow the company to consolidate all its might and face the customer in one

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