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IBM Global Business Services - Career Path & Prospects?

 
#1 IBM Global Business Services - Career Path & Prospects?
27/08/2011 12:20

Thomas

Dear all,

I would welcome your thoughts on what it is like to work for IBM in the Global Business Services division. I have been offered a role as a Technology Consultant on the IBM Graduate Programme.

What career prospects should one expect?

Will I have much control over my career development? i.e. what projects I am involved in.

What career options exist once you have been at the firm for 2-4 years?

What career paths could be open to me?

Any IBMers out there, I would appreciate your views/experiences in working for IBM and whether working for the company would be a positive first step in my career?

Many thanks.

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#2 RE: IBM Global Business Services - Career Path & Prospects?
27/08/2011 19:46

anon1 to Thomas (#1)

You will be doing a dog's job as a Band 7(if you are lucky) consultant for the next 4-5 yrs. Most graduates get inducted there. Depending upon which service line you get allocated to (AIS, AMS, SAP, Oracle, Technology Strategy) you could be doing the same for a lot longer. Projects will use you like toilet paper-put you in any project regardless of your skills match if you can not find one through your partner/practice lead. Remember that in GBS, you are a virtual nobody till you are a Band 10 and a transition from Band 7 to Band 10 could easily take anywhere from 12-15 yrs. at an average - especially if you are a graduate inductee with no prior work experience

You are fresh blood, have you got nothing better to look at than be joining a third rate company like IBM? Remember, you will find it extremely hard to find a job in a proper management consultancy if you decide that IT Services Consulting is not for you (which happens a lot mid career and I speak as an ex Band 9 consultant with IBM)

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#3 RE: IBM Global Business Services - Career Path & Prospects?
30/08/2011 12:21

rdjmoose to anon1 (#2)

A graduate will not go in as a band 7. I believe it is a graduate scheme and then into a band 5 or 6. Yes you will likely be doing all manner of work but that is how you build up experience and it gives you options to focus and specialise.

After 4-5 years (18 months grad scheme) I would expect you to achieve a band 7 level and then think about specialising in a service line or a technology. I know people that have gone from band 6-8 in 18 months, I know people that have gone from band 8-10 in 5 years.

Some more experienced band 7 and most 8's tend to be team leads or project managers.

In terms of IBM being 3rd rate? I sense a little resentment somewhere, in terms of Management consultancy I can't comment but as an IT consultancy I think you are mistaken.

If you want to be a management consultant it might not be the best first move but if it is IT consultancy you are looking to get into then you shouldn't worry about it being a career damaging move. I picked IBM over Accenture and can't say I regret it at all, especially seeing as IBM keep winning all the projects they both bid for.

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#4 RE: IBM Global Business Services - Career Path & Prospects?
30/08/2011 20:18

dinoisout to rdjmoose (#3)

Sorry rdjmoose-have to disagree there - the resentment is probably coming from someone who has spent time with IBM and that includes myself.

A large majority of IBM GBS consulting revenue comes from accounts like Shell, Defra, DVLA etc. - dog's jobs all in all - hardcore commodity stuff that is hard to make look good on your CV. As for winning work, not too sure about that either - GBS is too expensive for the kind of commodity stuff that they do and gets beaten by the likes of TCS, Wipro etc. and lacks the brand to do any strategic work which gets picked up by the likes of Deloitte and Accenture.

As for band 8-10 in 5 yrs...yes sure there are Nobel Prize Winners but then why waste time with IBM ?(GBS not their Product/SWG teams which still do a lot of cutting edge engineering work)

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#5 RE: IBM Global Business Services - Career Path & Prospects?
31/08/2011 12:47

rdjmoose to dinoisout (#4)

I currently work for IBM and I think everything in a large organisation depends on the project and people around you more than company itself. It also depends on the area within IBM you are positioned, growth areas are obviously better for opportunity.

There are, as you say, project that have been running for years and you could end up bored and stuck doing something you don't want to do but there are also good projects and new clients. I am working for a fairly new client in the financial sector and we are doing actual consulting work rather than body-shopping as some areas do (and I wouldn't want to get involved with).

In terms of career you need to really focus on what you want and network accordingly and also push back on things you feel are not good for your long term.

As for going from band 8-10 in 4-5 years, well the AP on my current project managed it so I don't think it is drastically unusual, again depends on the area you work in.

It is such a massive organisation with so many areas that one part could be completely different to another, for me I feel I am in a growth area and am lucky that new projects are appearing and opportunities are there, I do know that other areas are very different and I suspect I would think IBM 3rd rate if I was in there. GBS is one of the better places to be imo.

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#6 RE: IBM Global Business Services - Career Path & Prospects?
31/08/2011 21:32

anon1 to rdjmoose (#5)

@rdjmoose

Ok, so you are happy with IBM-good for you.

What makes a company's external reputation though is not isolated individual opinions but collective experiences and market impressions. There is a reason why IBM is widely regarded as lower quality than Accenture or Deloitte on the value vs. volume scale and in my opinion should not be thought of as a destination by young graduates-in fact it ISNT.

But good to hear someone taking IBM's corner too. Yay.

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#7 RE: IBM Global Business Services - Career Path & Prospects?
01/09/2011 10:23

rdjmoose to anon1 (#6)

I was trying to balance the argument a little as there seems to be a lot of bashing of companies by ex-employees on boards like this.

I know of many colleagues who have worked for Accenture and Deloittes and have come to IBM for many different reasons. I also know some that have left. Consultancy is, as most who work in it know, a fairly transient business.

I still stand by my statement about a persons (especially a grad's) experience of the company being their role within it and the projects and people you work with. As I said before, I had a offer from Accenture at the same time I was offered a role with IBM, I took the IBM offer for reasons that suited my career best, I wouldn't discount an entire organisation on general market reputation, it is far more complex and personal than that.

I think you do make a good point that Accenture and Deloittes do have a more polished reputation on paper (I don't think IBM's is awful) and if it is strategy consulting you wish to work in then IBM is not the place to be.

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#8 RE: IBM Global Business Services - Career Path & Prospects?
12/03/2012 12:24

johnnelvine to Thomas (#1)

I had gone through the site. The site was very interesting and the threads provided in the site were very useful and even there are many new things that many of us should get aware of. The IBM Global Business Services are not established today. I had a fed back of it which is positive towards the customers. Please send some more attachments for the detailed view of the site.

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#9 RE: IBM Global Business Services - Career Path & Prospects?
14/03/2012 18:33

apm412 to johnnelvine (#8)

What's the reputation of IBM BAO (Business Analytics & Optimization)? It's a more quantitative group so is it stronger like the IT groups, or not so strong? Would you characterize it as first tier, second tier, or third tier?

Thanks!

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#10 RE: IBM Global Business Services - Career Path & Prospects?
15/03/2012 11:29

I to apm412 (#9)

I would like to know the answer to that question too. I have heard their analytics team have very bright people. This is what I found from their website (would be happy to hear what people have to say to this):

Part of the Business Analytics & Optimisation (BAO) Practice, the fastest growing part of IBM, they represent 25% of its capability in the UK with approximately 40 specialist consultants, the group is the foremost of its kind in the UK.

The BAO practice worldwide has over 6,000 practitioners. It partners with IBM Research, IBM’s software and IBM strategic technology services. IBM has made an investment of $12 billion to support analytics including the purchase of the SPSS and iLOG companies. IBM has more mathematics scientists than the top 10 global universities combined.

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#11 RE: IBM Global Business Services - Career Path & Prospects?
20/04/2012 09:06

JackerWilliams to Thomas (#1)

The IBM Global Business Services is one of the best International company. It produces career paths for many of the people through various branches and in various sectors. The company is one of the outstanding one. It is in different places in India too. The categories in various business sectors and services provided by the company is really appreciable.

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#12 RE: IBM Global Business Services - Career Path & Prospects?
16/05/2012 17:15

kit to Thomas (#1)

I joined IBM right out of grad school because of the competitive salary ($30k over Accenture and Booz), and have found myself really enjoying my time there.

The practice you're in certainly makes a difference, and because GBS is a very virtual culture, it's important that you find a mentor who will protect you from all the politics. If you build the right relationships, you'll have your choice of projects and opportunities to demonstrate your capabilities.

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#13 RE: IBM Global Business Services - Career Path & Prospects?
14/10/2012 04:30

hemgai to Thomas (#1)

Hi,

Do you have any idea about SAP SD jobs at IBM,UK. Can you provide any contact reference from recruitment or HR team?

Thanks

Hemant

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