IBM Europe Virtual Career Exploration for Graduates – Nov 15 and Nov 20


Greater IBMers, is your son or daughter getting ready to graduate?  Or do you know a forward-thinking graduate who might be interested in a career with IBM?

IBM Career Exploration is an exciting virtual careers fair aimed at forward-thinking university students to give them an opportunity to engage in an information exchange with IBM, and learn how they can make a difference for themselves, for IBM and for the world.

The events will be held on November 15 for Germany, Austria, and Switzerland and November 20 for UK and Ireland.  Virtual doors will open at 10am for students to log in, and the event starting with the first webcast at 10.30am. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore career development and continuing education programs at IBM; understand how to build and apply their expertise and further their networks; and learn how to best position themselves in a highly competitive job market.

If you know a forward-thinking graduate who might benefit from this experience, please direct them to the links below to register in advance:

Why Work at IBM?



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

Looking Backwards and Forwards

newsletter header

In this issue:

  • Backwards – World’s First Smartphone, Music from Mainframes
  • Forwards – IBM 5 in 5, The Era of Cognitive Computing
  • Forwards – IBM’s Green Initiatives


Looking Backwards – World’s First Smartphone, Music from Mainframes

Our December theme for The Greater IBM Connection is ‘corporate history’, and Paul Lasewicz, IBM Corporate Archivist, has shared with us some very interesting highlights from IBM’s history such as the fact that IBM invented the world’s first smartphone.  It was also fascinating to learn of the musical compositions done from mainframes, perhaps the forerunner of the digital music trend of today.  Here are the some of the highlights from looking backwards:


Looking Forwards – IBM 5 in 5, The Era of Cognitive Computing

Each December, IBM unveils the 5 in 5 — five predictions about technology innovations that will change the way we work, live and play within the next five years. The ideas come from the thousands of biologists, engineers, mathematicians and medical physicians in our Research labs around the world — IBM has the world’s largest industrial research organization.

In the next five years, computers will begin to mimic and augment the senses, helping us become more aware and more productive.  Today, we see the beginnings of sensing machines in things like self-parking cars–and the future is wide open.  From the company that built Watson, the Jeopardy!-winning computer, here are five upcoming technology advances that will change your world:

Touch: You will be able to touch through your phone
Sight: A pixel will be worth a thousands words
Hearing: Computers will hear what matters
Taste: Digital taste buds will help you to eat smarter
Smell: Computers will have a sense of smell

Read more about it here:


Looking Forwards – IBM’s Green Initiatives

Building a Smarter Planet is a fundamental part of who IBM is as a company, and green initiatives are a key part of the focus for the present and future.  Here are a few highlights from the past week:


Stay Connected with The Greater IBM Connection by:

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

Insights From Core Connectors Events: Vienna, UK

We recently spent some time in Europe talking to current and former IBMers about the Greater IBM network.  I wanted to share some of what we heard and learned from the several dozen people who took the time to meet with us in Vienna, Frankfurt and IBM’s Hursley Park lab.  (Many thanks to Sandor Barany, our social network’s ultra-connector, for organizing the Vienna event, and reaching out to so many current and former IBMers, especially in the important emerging market of Eastern Europe.)


Wonderful Wien

The good news: in listening to hundreds of IBMers, past and present, from all parts of Europe, there seemed to be genuine appetite to be connected to the human network of people who share an IBM heritage. In some sense, the culture of being an IBMer does transcend the business organization.

There was also broad consensus, among both current and former IBMers, that new Web technologies, and the interactions they enable, could provide benefits to all participants. The majority of people seemed to perceive that there was an essential benefit to enabling current and former IBMers to connect with each other.

Many good ideas and insights on how to improve greaterIBM surfaced in our discussions in Vienna. Three examples:

1) Develop some kind of automated match-making based on profile comparisons to introduce people to one another
2) Make Premium Accounts Opt In: offer them to all who say they are willing, on their honor, to build the network by inviting in others, and enriching it by active participation: contributing to dialogue in the forums, creating events, introducing members to each other, etc.
3) Give members a set of clear, simple value prop talking points to use in persuading others to join

Food for Thought in Frankfurt

The challenges:  For former IBMers, trust in an alumni social networking program is a real issue. They want to be part of a network that offers them very concrete, and crystal clear, value proposition, and are, at least initially, wary of such a program being more for IBM’s benefit than their own.

As strongly as many alumni IBMers may identify with Big Blue, in some cases from careers spanning decades, there is understandable skepticism….”if in the past, once someone left the company they effectively fell off IBM’s radar, so what’s different now?”

The short answer is that many social and business trends have made many organizations realize that their former employees are an important constituency in today’s incredibly networked economy.

if IBM can show that it is serious about creating a new kind of relationship between alumni and current IBMers, and offer substantial services and features that will benefit participants,  many of the people we talked to seemed to hunger for such a redefinition of the IBM ecosystem, and the opportunity to leverage the global fraternity of IBMers.

In fact, one of the surprising things I heard was that alumni wanted to have a real inside perspective on IBM…”give me access to BluePages (IBM’s intranet directory) and w3″ was a common refrain.

As my colleagues have noted from a range of sources, alumni IBMers have high expectations for IBM. If the company wants to really create a meaningful community with its large pool of “graduate” IBMers, it will have to dig down deep and really deliver on every front with rich features, services, content and commitment.

I think we can deliver on all kinds of reports, events, promotions, research projects, collaborative projects and the like, to make this case, and to show that being part of Greater IBM will be an enormously beneficial experience and asset for all.

(Of course, members of the network have to be part of that productive equation, and are equally encouraged to start initiatives that will feed the interests and needs of other Greater IBMers.)

When we succeed, the Greater IBM Connection will be a step toward turning IBM “inside out” for those such as corporate alumni who want to have a productive, interactive relationship.

This mixture of interest and uncertainty was echoed in questions about how serious IBM was about reaching out to alumni, and whether the company’s culture really could be open enough to involve them in activities, projects and innovation efforts.

On a more optimistic note, most we talked to recognized that IBM can drive great societal level innovation when it sets its mind it.  They only hoped that the ideal for greaterIBM was backed up by a plan to match it.

Sandor Barany, superconnector

Of course, some of those who have been involved in the network during its pilot phase these last few months pointed out that most people are time starved, and will only participate to the degree that they feel that their time is wisely invested, which puts further onus on the network having immediate and personal value.

We are conducting as much serious research as we can, but all members can help Greater IBM become what they need by sharing their thoughts…in Greater IBM’s forums, in email, and in disucssion with other members.

Finally, our listening tour reinforced the notion that greaterIBM has the opportunity to be a global program, but it must also have a local focus to make the service most relevant to clusters of member, and that the program needs to create regular in-person events to feed the creation of the trust and social capital that only face-to-face, real human interactions can engender.

To that end, in Vienna we discussed how the growing group based ther could be the spark for a kind of regional initiative to drive innovation and business throughout the emerging market of Eastern Europe. Fortunately, there has been strong growth of members joining Greater IBM throughout the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and the rest of this exciting region.

Making Virtual Connections in Hursley Park

All this, and similar, effort needs is a spark, and a few enterprising people to step up and get such a open source  type of innovation community rolling.

2007 is fast approaching, and our network is growing toward the tipping point that will help it become a proactive organization fueled as much by the energy of its members as it is by the support and commitment of IBM.

So let’s create something Great, together, as we roll into that new year.

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, 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.