Thursday, January 29, 2009

Who is Growing despite Recession?

It’s IBM. In the news article, IBM has found a formula for Growth – Even During Recession, the analyst writes that IBM has emerged as a resilient company with flawless execution and Strong Profits.

While the rival Tech companies such as SAP remain extremely cautious and conservative in their spending for this year, IBM has announced a strong outlook for the year 2009 financials.

Not to deny the fact that IBM also figures in the layoff bandwagon, I believe it’s relatively minimal when compared to its rivals’ numbers.

Some of the salient points that I like to draw from this story:
- IBM has built a Strong, highly diversified and integrated business model over the past years. This brings shared customers, positive impact of one business unit on the other / cross-selling & up-selling opportunities / tremendous amount of credibility built over long years / Continued Investment in Technology / Highest Patent Generator year-after-year.
- Significant investments into Emerging Markets to capture their local markets
- Focus on High-Value Chain Software/Service offerings that maintains huge profit margins
- Well-thought out acquisitions in the past like ILOG, Telelogic, Rational, Webify and the subsequent integration into IBM family of products.
- Fantastic Cash Flow of $7.9 billion, an invaluable defense in the time of recession
- Solid Roadmap for the core products. Interesting to see the outlook for the WAS products including the ‘Rainmaker’ technology.

So, Is it all hunky-dory? Not really. I have observed IBM being very slow in responding to new trends like web 2.0/Mashups / RIA or Cloud Computing. They do have offerings in those segments, but not necessarily leading the market in terms of innovation.

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