Posted by: Adam Deane | 11/05/2010

IBM enters the BPM market

I’ve been reading up on IBM over the past week.
I stumbled upon IBM’s history archives. Interesting reading.
Love them or hate them – IBM has an impressive history

IBM HistoryIn 1914 the use of accounting machines begins to spread. IBM’s accounting product line included the mechanical key punch, the hand-operated gang punch, the vertical sorter, and the tabulator. Customers include railroads, chemical companies, utilities and life insurance companies. IBM had 1,346 employees and a revenue of $9M.

In 1931 IBM introduced new products including the IBM 400 series alphabetical accounting machines, the first IBM machines to print alphabetic data; and the IBM 600 series calculating machines, the first IBM machines to perform multiplication and division. In addition, IBM releases the Public Utility Billing Machine, the Electroprint Time Stamp, the first automatic multiplying punch, and the first automatic reproducing punch.

IBM HistoryIn 1933 the IBM Schoolhouse and Engineering Laboratory Building is dedicated at Endicott, New York. The schoolhouse featured Thomas J. Watson, Sr.’s famous “Five Steps to Knowledge” carved into its front entrance: “Read, Listen, Discuss, Observe, Think.”

IBM HistoryThe Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator, also called the Mark I, was completed in 1944 after six years of development with Harvard University. It was the first machine that could execute long computations automatically.
Over 50 feet long, eight feet high and weighing almost five tons, the Mark I took less than a second to solve an addition problem but about six seconds for multiplication and twice as long for division
IBM gross income reaches $45 million and net earnings are $9 million. The company declares a five percent stock dividend There are 12,656 employees.

IBM HistoryIn 1952, the company introduced the IBM 701, its first large computer based on the vacuum tube. The tubes were quicker, smaller and more easily replaced than the electromechanical switches in the Mark I (1944). The 701 executed 17,000 instructions per second and was used primarily for government and research work. But vacuum tubes rapidly moved computers into business applications such as billing, payroll and inventory control

IBM HistoryIn 1953 Thomas J. Watson, Jr., publishes the company’s first written equal opportunity policy letter – one year before the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Board of Education and 11 years before the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

IBM HistoryIn 1959 IBM introduces the IBM 1401 data processing system, the first computer system to reach 10,000 units in sales. The system included the IBM 1403 printer, the industry’s first commercial “chain” printer. The 1403 printer — four times faster than any competitor — launched the era of high-speed and high volume printing, and was not surpassed for print quality until the advent of laser printing technology in the 1970s. Even today, it remains the standard of quality for high-speed impact printing.

IBM HistoryIn 1962 IBM develops the SABRE (Semi-Automatic Business-Related Environment) reservation system for American Airlines, the industry’s first to work over phone lines in “real time.” The system links high-speed computers and data communications to handle seat inventory and passenger records from terminals in more than 50 cities.

IBM HistoryIBM computers and personnel help NASA put the first men on the Moon. An onboard computer in the Orbiting Astronomical Observatory II operates for a full year
IBM announces the IBM System/3 for small businesses, the first IBM system to use Monolithic System Technology (MST) logic circuits and feature a new, smaller punched card

IBM HistoryIn 1977 IBM announces the IBM 3033 processor, a top-of-the-line, high-capacity computer for customers requiring large scale systems; the 3895 Deposit Processing System for banks; the 2350 graphics display system, offered to help shorten product design and manufacturing time; the Cryptographic Subsystem programming to safeguard information stored and sent by computer; and the System/34, a low-cost data processing system with multiple workstations, designed for both experienced and first-time data processing users.
IBM has 325,517 employees and has a revenue of $21.07 B

IBM HistoryIn 1981 IBM announces the IBM Personal Computer, the smallest and — with a starting price of $1,565 — the lowest-priced IBM computer to date. An immediate success, the IBM PC quickly becomes the industry standard, and was one of the reasons Time magazine chose the “personal computer” as its 1982 Man of the Year. The PC also launches a whole industry of “IBM-compatible” clones, software and accessory equipment.
IBM has 354,936 employees and a revenue of $29.07 B

New business organizations, called Independent Business Units, are formed to take advantage of new business growth areas, such as telecommunications and industrial automation.
IBM announces the IBM System/36, a business computer with data and word processing, business color graphics, and office management functions. Emphasizing ease of use, the system was designed to be installed without IBM service assistance and featured 2800 help screens.

IBM HistoryIn 1995 IBM acquires all of the outstanding shares of the Lotus Development Corporation, whose pioneering Notes software enables greater collaboration across an enterprise and whose acquisition makes IBM the world’s largest software company
IBM continues to add to its network computing hardware, software and services, including: a worldwide network offering supporting Lotus Notes, enabling businesses to implement Notes applications on the IBM Global Network
IBM has 668,931 employees and a revenue of $71.94 B

The 21 century

LombardiIBM invests in service oriented architecture (SOA) and BPM with WebSphere and builds on its recent acquisitions: Guardium, iLog, Cognos, InfoDyne and AptSoft
IBM expands BPM capabilities with the acquisition of Lombardi.

2010 – Of course, probably one of the most dramatic events in IBM’s history… IBM comes to my attention


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