This research paper is a project proposal to IBM Corporation. It starts with the brief overview of the history of the company, then proceeds to the description of its activity, followed by the analysis of financial and marketing information.
The second part of the proposal describes suggestions to the IBM Corporation, description of challenges, options to resolve them with the help of software, list of advantages and disadvantages of each proposed suggestion.
IBM is one of the largest enterprises in the world that operates globally and provides some products and services across the globe. The company was founded at the beginning of the past century, in 1911, as the Computing tabulating recording Co, as a consolidation of three other companies, and in 1924 changed its name to International Business Machine Corporation, or IBM, as we know it today.
As I have mentioned before, the company is global, continually growing and perceiving a vast variety of industries.
In general, the company’s activities may be divided into six major sectors:
- Financial Services (Banking, Financial Markets, Insurance)
- Public (Education, Government, Healthcare, Life Sciences)
- Industrial (Aerospace, Automotive, Defense. Chemical, Petroleum, Electronics)
- Distribution (Consumer Products, Retail, Traveling, Transportation)
- Communications (Telecommunications, Media, and Entertainment, Energy and Utilities)
- Small and Medium Business (complies with less than 1,000 employees) (IBM Annual Report, 2004)
The enterprise besides efforts to imply three significant values to these segments: Business Value, Infrastructure Value, and Component Value. A detailed description of what they understand under these values may be found in the first part of their annual report.
Another Important issue that I find necessary to mention is that the IBM corporation reported, that it had been recently reorienting from the customer market to the enterprise one. As we can see from the financial statements of the company, the profits from continuing operation had shown a constant growth for the past five years, as a matter of fact, it almost had doubled. From the statement of earnings, we find that three major means of revenues for the company are: Global Services (48%), Hardware (32,3%) and Software (15.7%). The profits from Global Financing, Enterprise Investments and Other items of the Statement of Earnings for the year ended December 31, 2004, have proved to be insignificant comparing to the previous three.
These revenue amounts consist of the following:
1) Financial Services ($24,339 mln)
2) Small and Medium Business ($21,162 mln)
3) Public Sector ($14,258 mln)
4) Industrial Sector ($12,582 mln)
These profits have been mostly derived from the territory of Americas ($40,064 mln), Europe/Middle East/Africa ($32,068 mln), Asia Pacific ($21,276 mln). (IBM Annual Report, 2004).
This information allows us to assume that new systems are also going to be popular mostly in these territories unless the company is eager to spend some of its resources for research and development to discover potential market on other regions.
After conducting a thorough analysis of the company’s goals, values, strategy and recent financial data, I have decided to put forward several proposals for the company, that from my point of view correspond to the overall approach that the company had designed for itself in the nearest future.
For this proposal, I have identified two business challenges, which from my point of view is going to be an excellent contribution to the development of IBM Corporation. Besides that, these projects are going to be highly demanded by the IBM customers. Below I will present my suggestions in the tabular format, where I am going to Indicate the challenge, then I will suggest what type of software could help to resolve this problem, then I will list advantages and disadvantages of the idea, that I have presented.
Description of Challenge #1:
|In the modern world of business there is an abundant number of opportunities to start a new business, or develop a new branch of ones own business. Especially challenging situations occur when people have an idea, they find it perspective and filled with advantages, however they lack experience to fairly evaluate the risk. The person might also be willing to start franchising of his business abroad, however, he may not be fully (or generally) aware of certain legal or social issues of a given country.||The challenge might be easily solved by creation of the software, that would be able to evaluate risk till a certain extent in order to be able to decide whether or not it is a rational decision. From my point of view, IBM could easily manage to deal with this problem due to the fact that it operates globally, has its IT specialists, business consultants and others all over the world. Systematizing their knowledge together It is going to be realistic to design a software, that would have a number of databases on countries: the laws, economic and political information, micro and macro factors, etc. In order to evaluate risk of one or another business the entrepreneur will need to input the information that he possesses and let the program to evaluate the risk rate.
The software might work with the principle of open source.
|1. IBM is one of the few companies that has an opportunity to collect all the necessary information for this project.
2. The price of the software is planned to be cheaper then the precise consulting service on certain business project, and therefore would be more affordable for the public, especially for the representatives of the Small and Medium Business.
3. the software will give an opportunity to economize significant amount of resources for the preliminary research and development.
|1. The legal, political and economic issues are unpredictably and rapidly changing, therefore the software will need to be frequently updated on the new information.
2. Some of the consumers will still prefer a detailed and thorough analysis of the situation and will not be interested in buying the software.
Description of Challenge #2:
|E-commerce is rapidly developing. It is fair due to many factors, which are not the topic for this discussion. At the same time the promotional strategies for many types of e-business are rather vague. There is a certain set of suggestions, such as paid promotion, through internet commercials and banners. At the same time, the more companies advertise their products and services form that approach, the more difficult it is for the customer to pick what he needs. The companies, that had just started some business and have invaded the market with a good service or product, however having limited budget, might be unfairly lost in the market.||For the solution of this problem , there is another software solution suggestion. This software also might work on the basis of the open source. There are certain strategies that allow web-site promotion with the help other strategies, then straight commercial through spam and banners. I suggest that this information was systematized in one software, and operated similarly o the risk evaluation software, suggested above. The customer enters all the information about his business, the software processes and analyses it, and then suggests the consumer the blueprints of the strategy for the promotion of the e-business.||1. The software will systematize existing promotion strategies for the e-commerce.
2. The software is going to be highly demanded due to the growing rate of new internet business projects.
3. The software would allow to cut down the number of mistakes and trials, while implementing certain promotion strategy.
4. As well as in the previous case, IBM is one of the few corporations that posses such a huge base of experience in the effective promotion strategies for the e-commerce.
|1. business, including the internet based one, and its strategies develop quite fast, there is going to be a definite necessity to update to information from rather frequently, including the innovative approaches to the promotional strategies in the internet commerce.|
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