Happy Earth Day: IBM Global Asset Recovery Services reaches significant milestone

In light of global Earth Day, we want to ask: were you aware that IBM Global Asset Recovery Services (GARS) provides IBM Certified Pre-owned Equipment and asset disposal and buyback services to customers in more than 40 countries?


IBM Global Asset Recovery Services achieves 1 billion pound milestone in IT asset recovery processing *

In 2013, IBM Global Asset Recovery Services reached a significant milestone.  The combined remanufacturing and demanufacturing operations processed 1 billion pounds or 472,245 metric tons of product, parts and materials for the period of 2002 through 2013, the equivalent weight of approximately 1,000 Airbus A380-300 airplanes.**

Additional 2013 Asset Recovery / Re-manufacturing Milestones* :

  • In 2013, IBM’s re-manufacturing operations processed 807,000 units of IT equipment.  If only the laptops processed were placed on top of each other, the stack would extend 4.9 miles — or 7.8 kilometers — high into the sky, 90% of the height of Mt. Everest.
  • In total, IBM Global Asset Recovery Services remanufactured and demanufactured almost 27 thousand metric tons or nearly 59 million pounds of IT equipment — the equivalent weight of 1/2 of the RMS Titanic.+  Of all IT equipment and material that GARS processed in its demanufacturing centers, over 99% was recycled or reused.

IBM is a recognized leader in IT asset recovery services, with operations in more than 40 countries and most recently recognized by Gartner as a Leader in their 2013 Magic Quadrant for IT Asset Disposition, Worldwide.  Additionally, the GARS business holds eight patents on IT asset recovery processes.

* Source: all GARS data has been compiled and reported by GARS Operations
** Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airbus_A380#Specifications
*** Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Everest#Comparisons
+ Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Titanic

- Posted by Noel Burke, Digital Strategist, IBM

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty Wins Global Leadership Award

IBM Chairman and CEO Ginni Rometty (center) is presented with the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) 19th Annual Global Leadership Award (Photo Credit:  Feature Photo Service)

IBM Chairman and CEO Ginni Rometty (center) is presented with the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) 19th Annual Global Leadership Award (Photo Credit: Feature Photo Service)

IBM Chairman and CEO Ginni Rometty (center) is presented with the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) 19th Annual Global Leadership Award by Institute board member Morris Offit (right) and president Jackson Janes (left) at the organization’s annual dinner at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City on November 11, 2013. The award recognizes business leaders who have helped strengthen the close partnership between Germany and the United States.

To learn more:



- Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection

Virtual Job Fair for IBM Research Africa on Dec 5

The African continent accounts for 14 percent of the world’s population and is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. With a growth rate expected to average 7 percent annually over the next 20 years, Africa is poised to become a leading source of innovation in a variety of industries. With this growth comes many challenges spanning traffic congestion to the delivery of fresh water.

If you have what it takes to help solve these grand challenges, the IBM Recruiting team invites professors, scientists and qualified university students to participate in a Research Virtual Recruiting Event for several open positions at our new lab in Nairobi, Kenya.  The event will take place on 5 December and you can participate in several ways.

For details visit:




- Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection via Chris Sciacca, IBM Research Communications

Africa: The Next Frontier for IBM Research Innovation

by Solomon Assefa, Research Scientist, IBM Research

The continent of Africa is emerging as one of the last great global growth markets and one of the fastest growing economies in the world, with a growth rate expected to average 7 percent annually over the next 20 years. Forecast this out and Africa will become a leading source of innovation and opportunity. As African countries prepare to advance their economic capabilities, IBM is committed to the region’s future with the opening of a new lab in Nairobi, Kenya.

IBM Research – Africa will be IBM’s 12th global laboratory and the first science and technology research lab on the continent conducting both applied and far-reaching exploratory research.

IBM has long had a foothold in Africa and its presence today spans 20 countries, including Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya. IBM has also deployed several Corporate Service Corps groups, an employee volunteer program modeled after the U.S. Peace Corps, across Africa to make contributions to the communities in which it does business.

IBM’s new lab is a further nod and commitment to this important growth market. IBM has long recognized the possibilities that could be reached by research and collaboration, and IBM’s expanded presence in Kenya will encourage and strengthen innovation, engaging local entrepreneurs, universities, governments and innovators to develop solutions to the challenges faced by the people of Kenya and beyond.

Expanding in Africa requires a long-term outlook.  Before IBM can do business throughout the region, it must aid in strengthening the capacities of Africa’s people and institutions— including knowledge, technology infrastructure, business sophistication and governance.

There is enormous growth potential across the continent, but that potential won’t

be realized unless the underlying physical, economic and societal infrastructures that permit markets to develop and endure are in place. Success will only come through a patient, long-term approach. An example of this is IBM’s plans to lay a foundation for skills and innovation growth in Africa by establishing a resident scientist program aimed at attracting top Kenyan and other African talent to work side-by-side with IBM researchers. These applicants will be top-tier scientists and researcher from pre- and post-doctoral backgrounds as well as from academia, government or industry.

As for research focus areas, one particular issue across Africa is the challenge of multiple government organizations to communicate with one another and share information. To that end, IBM Research – Africa will work on Next-Generation Public Sector solutions so that information is automatically collected and analyzed from various sources to improve planning, scheduling and tactical decision making within and between agencies. Armed with the right information technology, government agencies can reduce the cost of social services, improve efficiency and productivity, deter fraud and abuse, improve citizen access to services and enable digital interaction between citizens and the public sector.

Smarter Cities is another area of focus. As the world’s second most populous continent with more than 955 million people, Africa’s urbanization rates are the highest in the world and more than half of all Africans will live in cities by 2030. IBM scientists will work on improving access to and quality of city services, initially focusing on smarter water systems and transportation solutions for the region.  For example, the use of predictive analytics has the potential to solve traffic congestion in Nairobi by using real-time insights to model and anticipate traffic jams. IBM’s recent global Computer Pain Survey of 15 cities ranked Nairobi as the fourth most congested in the world.

The goals of IBM Research – Africa underpin IBM’s Smarter Planet initiative where advances in sensors, networking, telecommunications and analytical software are enabling organizations to manage more complex systems.  In fact, Africa may have a big advantage. Due to the current nature of the physical, governmental and economic infrastructures, Smarter Planet solutions have the potential to produce even greater impacts than they have in more developed countries. Indeed, Africa has the potential to leapfrog some of the world’s more advanced economies. African countries have the opportunity to include instrumentation and information-gathering capabilities from the start as they build out new systems and services.

IBM stands ready to collaborate with African governments, universities and businesses to work jointly on research that will uncover new breakthroughs in science and technology and that build the platform for Africa’s future.

Join the conversation on Twitter:  #IBMAfrica


Womengatheringsm2_2We did it! Last Friday at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time, Greater IBM women came together from around the world for our first Women’s Leadership Gathering. It was an online dialogue event hosted by my company’s Global Dialogue Center CONFERENCE CENTER. The theme for our first conversation was Leadership Lessons: Missteps, Miracles, and Milestones. Shara Sokol, Greater IBMer (1999-2004) from New York and president of s2 Creative Communications, joined me as co-host. We were also very blessed to have Nancy Margulies, who worked with us in the initial pilot (see "related article" below) and is well-know as "the godmother of graphic recording". She did live illustration to bring our dialogue to life. It wasn’t just the two-hour conversation experience we shared together, there was a magic in the preparation in the days leading up to the event that counted too.

As women from around the world, including Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Spain, and from every region of the United States, made their way to the gathering, some were stepping up to put their fingerprints on our dialogue in meaningful ways long before the actual day. It started with three Greater IBM trailblazing women, who volunteered to serve as "conversation starters." Each of them found a unique way to share their thought-provoking messages.

Linda Griffin from Virginia started the dialogue by telling us, "I spent 30 wonderful years in my career with IBM. I loved my job!" She followed with her story of how she turned her experience into a leadership coaching career in 2006, as founder of ClearWind LLC. Her warm and generous sharing provided  "pearls of wisdom" for all of us to take home.

Orsoyla Selley, Greater IBMer from Hungary, wasn’t able to be with us for the event. However, she gave me the honor of carrying a message from her to the meeting. This demonstrated how even when we can come to an event, we can still make a contribution by sharing ourselves.

Jane Scandurra, Greater IBMer from New York, and contributing author to the Greater IBM BLOG, wrote to say she wouldn’t be able to attend as she was heading out on vacation — but this didn’t stop her from "being there" with us. You see, Jane Scandurra is owner of Go Pictures and Films, LLC with a new documentary film just launched, called "SINGLE". A few days before our Women’s Leadership Gathering, a video arrived in my email from Jane. As I watched her clever message — I was so touched at her efforts to support our first gathering. In the great tradition of IBMers, she "leaped over a few buildings" to deliver her brand of excellence as she talked with us via video at the event.

Here is a small sampling of the words Greater IBM women chose to share about the experience before leaving the event…

– "So refreshing to meet in a place where everyone had your best interest in mind."
– "Gave me lots of food for thought when I really needed it!"
– "Appreciate the experience so much. It was wonderful!"
– "Invaluable. Please continue. Taking home some great pieces of wisdom."
– "
A suprise due to the original and fun format!!
I will promote this forum!!!
– "Appreciate IBM offering us an opportunity to network with
IBM and IBM alumni women; we share a common link."

In one of my cherished books, I re-read this passage the week before our first Greater IBM Women’s Leadership Gathering: "…miracles always will happen if you believe them to be possible." This was truly a small miracle for which I am so grateful to have been apart.

We recorded the event to share with other Greater IBM women. It will be available shortly for replay with visuals, video and audio too! Watch for an announcement on Greater IBM on Xing; I will post on our forum. Most of all, there will be more! This was just a first in a series. Our next event Greater IBM Women’s Leadership Gathering will be announced shortly. It will have wonderful theme that emerged from ideas during our dialogue at the first event. You won’t want to miss it!

Have joined the Great IBM Connection?
…our a business and social network for current and former IBMers


Dkatdesk2Debbe Kennedy
Contributing Author
Greater IBM Connection
Founder, President & CEO
Global Dialogue Center and
Leadership Solutions Companies
author, Putting Our Differences to Work (Berrett-Koehler June 2008)
IBMer 1970 – 1991 L.A.; Anchorage; Seattle; San Francisco

"Women’s Jam — just a beginning of online synergy"
Greater IBM Connections eMagazine

The Friendly Skies in Frankfurt

Our work introducing The Greater IBM Connection to IBM’s European consulting partners at a two day event in Frankfurt has been very productive.

Many of our business colleagues seemed to quickly understand the value proposition of a social network that brought current and alumni

IBMers together for mutual business benefit: in short, IBM becomes both a more responsive organization, and being an IBMer becomes more than a matter of job status, but a professional and personal affiliation that has greater value.

After a day of demonstrating greaterIBM to our consulting colleagues, the group of 300 hopped on buses to an exciting evening event held at Lufthansa’s Flight Training facility.

Between wonderful food, drink, music and more of the business social networking that greaterIBM hopes to engender, our group was treated to virtual flights in a variety of state-of-the-art simulators for many models of commercial aircraft.

Meanwhile, we continued to describe the greaterIBM and get feedback and insights from the cream of our business service leaders on how the program can drive business and innovation opportunities.

During the course of the evening, groups of attendees were ushered onto the flight simulators and given a demonstration of how the multimillion-dollar mega-machines are used for safety training of pilots and crews.

As we prepare for the global greaterIBM program to take off, one lesson from our feedback in Frankfurt stands out…as IBMers, current and alumni, better understand how a social network for a large corporate ecosystem will operate, the more they seem to appreciate its potential.

We’ll continue the campaign in small exploratory events with current and former IBMers in Frankfurt, Vienna, London and Amsterdam.

Greater IBM in Frankfurt, Germany

IBMers Kevin Aires and Jack Mason are bringing the Greater IBM story to a meeting of senior IBM consultants in Frankfurt, Germany.
To accelerate the network’s growth as we prepare to become a live program, we’re showing our European colleagues the program’s portal, ibm.com presence, blog and virtual worlds frontier.

We’re also using a nifty little Bluetooth broadcasting widget to send a greaterIBM “electronic business card” to the phones and mobile devices of the 300 or so consultants milling about the two-day event.

During breaks in the main room presentations, we’re also discussing the Greater IBM Connection’s strategy, and comparing notes with our colleagues on opportunities for this network to support business goals in key current markets, such as Germany, as well as emerging ones like China, India and Brazil.

The heart of that strategy is to empower alumni IBMers to stay connected with current IBMers, as well as each other.

Such richer relationships promise to benefit all involved, and to transform what it means to be an “IBMer” into something bigger and better than just being a current employee.

Of course, enabling current and former IBMers to interact — online, through live events and even via the exciting new from of virtual worlds — is very much in line with the emerging principle that the greatest societal innovations are the product of rich collaborations, collective creation that is increasingly empowered by Web 2.0 trends and technologies.

Of course, the real power of greaterIBM will not be a matter of technology, but of empowering people with new abilities to connect with each other.

One learning from this immersion in IBM’s global business culture is that virtually all IBMers get the premise and promise of the business social network we’re preparing to soon make public.

Meanwhile, our pilot network is growing briskly, with more than 800 members. Current and former IBMers who would like to become part of this group of groundbreakers are welcome to join via this link:


And Greater IBMers are equally welcome to share this invite link with alumni IBMers they think would want to join this network for collaborative innovation.

More Alumni Core Connectors For Global Rollout

IBMer, Jack Mason, IBM Strategic Communications, The Greater IBM Connection Executive Producer

As we’re gearing up for the launch of the full Greater IBM program throughout the fall, we’re continuing to beat the bushes for IBMers past and present to become part of our elite group of Core Connectors, the heart of our launch strategy.

Please contact us if you’re interested in joining this vanguard, or know people who would be good candidates. We’re especially interested in engaging more IBM alumni, and more Greater IBMers beyond the U.S. Send us a note at gibm@us.ibm.com.

As we’ve learned from our social networking expert colleages, people like Kate Ehrlich, the key to igniting a robust and sustainable community is to start with a few hundred well motivated and gregarious people who will serve as the seeds for this human ecosystem.

Kate also pointed out that the value of a social network depends more on the number of interconnections between members rather than on just on the number of members. So one of the goals with the phalanx of Core Connectors will be not only to invite current and former IBMers into the network, but to introduce and interconnect members, and build up the “social capital” that comes with actually getting to know and trust other members.

Another insight we’ve heard from many quarters is that for a corporate alumni network to succeed–especially one that aims to bring current and former IBMers together–it must first be of great practical and personal value to alumni…because without serving their interests, well, there is no network. As always, this blog is a platform for surfacing those interests and ideas from alumni, so fee free to share yours here, in comments or by submitting a full post.

That’s not to suggest that IBM has no self interests in reaching out to the hundreds of thousands of Greater IBMers around the world, whether working or retired, merely that we need to think of the alumni community as a kind of client, and live one of IBM’s core values –dedication to every client’s success–as we create this new vehicle for collaborative innovation.

To give alumni strong incentives to become part of Greater IBM, we’re reaching out across the company to develop attractive features, such as job opportunities with IBM partners or with IBM itself; ways for alumni to plug into IBM’s Venture Capital Relations network and our Emerging Business Opportunities unit; and even the pontential for Greater IBM to offer services to help companies or organizations lead by IBM alumni to more rapidly test, prototype or pilot new services, global IT infrastructure or even business models.

But all of this still comes back down to bringing current and former IBMers together to connect, communicate and collaborate.  And that’s where the call for Core Connectors needs to go out around the world.

Finally, to give some specific sense of what’s expected from core connectors, we’ve been sharing this checklist with our virtual team.

Connect With Other Connectors

  • Attend one of the core connector briefing events/mixers planned for EMEA, AP & Americas in Sept/Oct
  • Nominate alums and current IBMers who should be invited as core connectors

Drive Viral, Organic Growth Through Personal Invitations

  • Invite former and current IBMers into the network, especially those with large social networks (Super Connectors), interests in using net for business innovation (Sales/New Business Drivers) and those interested in social networking itself (Mavens)
  • Encourage new members to invite their contacts into network

Build the Network’s Practical Value Through Introductions & Advice

  • Make introductions  to connect members for business and innovation opportunties
  • Help new members take advantage of network features like events, member searches, job opportunties, and other IBM innovations we’re planning to integrate into the network

Catalyze Collaborations & Create Projects

  • Start Innovation Initiatives related to one’s work (i.e. I’m going to focus on building two subcommunities: one around nanotech and another related to virtual communities such as Second Life)
  • Start and participate in the forum dialogues, post news, share ideas