IBM is moving beyond tier-I cities in India to find talent. With its biggest shift in hiring strategy, the tech company has gone beyond the metros to recruit from places such as Mysore, Coimbatore, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Kochi.
“We do have some other things coming in the future,” Nickle LaMoreaux, chief human resources officer, told Moneycontrol.
With many employees wanting to avoid the metro cities or having moved back home after the pandemic, IBM’s hiring strategy allows HR teams to focus on a bigger pool of talent, she said.
LaMoreaux explains what IBM looks for in a candidate when hiring.
What does IBM prefer in candidates?
Demand at IBM is still extremely strong in hardware, software, and consulting.
Other than core skill sets such as new programming languages, the number one thing that IBM looks for is continuous learning – the ability, drive and curiosity of candidates to learn.
“It’s especially true in the IT industry, where the half-life of skills is shrinking,” LaMoreaux said.
She said earlier, if one knew Java, COBOL or C++, the person would last for 30-40 years in their career. “That's not true anymore,” she said.
During interviews, IBM prefers candidates who have “substantial pieces of evidence” to showcase their skill sets.
“One is any prior experience that you have – maybe it’s a work product, maybe something you created,” LaMoreaux said. “I've seen some candidates study the company and bring a proposal to the interview.”
This can be anything candidates think the company should do differently.
“It gives the interviewer a deep understanding of ‘Wow, this person has taken the time, the effort to understand the company.’ It also demonstrates the point about continuous learning,” LaMoreaux said.
Situational questions for prospective managers
When hiring managers, IBM carries out behaviour-based interviews that are situational or role-playing, asking candidates what they would do in a given situation.
“These situational questions help us to understand candidates’ thought process, reasoning and whether the person can apply it to new situations that can’t be predicted,” LaMoreaux said. “Because in our jobs, particularly knowledge jobs in the IT industry, no two days look the same.”
It’s about skills
The drastic shortage of skills and pandemic-induced learning have led IBM to rethink some aspects of its talent strategy. In India, IBM now adopts a ‘skill-first’ approach, where college degrees don’t matter.
“The biggest example is Python, which is a relatively new skill in the data science field that 20 years ago, somebody would not have gone and gotten a degree in,” LaMoreaux said. “Now, why do I care if you learned Python at an IIT or in the military, or you taught yourself at night from your home? It’s all about whether you have the right skills and making sure that you’re not closing the aperture.”
IBM implemented the ‘skill-first’ approach previously in the US in 2012, when it removed the four-year college degree requirement from about 50 percent of its jobs. Ten years later, 20 percent of the present IBM US workforce in hardware, software, and consulting does not have a college degree.
Quantum computing will bring unimagined innovations to the world when it finally arrives in full glory. Still, quantum remains in the research labs at companies like IBM, Google, and Microsoft. While companies and research institutions are investing billions of dollars to increase the capacity of quantum systems, a time will come in the following years, or decades, when researchers will reach "quantum supremacy." But these large quantum marvels could also jeopardize the security of critical information systems. Researchers, including IBM are working to develop new security algorithms that will be resilient to these attacks.
While quantum can solve computing challenges far beyond what is possible today, its ability to find the factors of large prime numbers makes it the ideal cybersecurity safe cracker once quantum computing systems mature in their scale, quality, and speed. Every computer system and every bit of "secure" data could become vulnerable to attack from quantum-equipped nefarious actors. The World Economic Forum "estimate(s) that over 20 billion digital devices will need to be either upgraded or replaced in the next 10-20 years to use the new forms of quantum-resistant encrypted communication. We recommend that organizations start planning for this now.”
What constitutes "adequate size" might supply us some false comfort: a 2019 study suggested that a computer with 20 million qubits would take eight hours to break modern encryption. Today's quantum computers are on the order of only 100 qubits. But while that implies that the threat is in the distant future, one must consider that a bad actor doesn't need to wait for the massive quantum system to materialize. The "Steal now, crack later" approach leads to a latent future security threat. Consequently, organizations should deploy quantum-safe security as soon as possible to minimize future risk.
Consequently, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a bureau of the U.S. Department of Commerce, has been conducting an ongoing search for quantum-safe security algorithms that are both secure and efficient. After all, we need our laptops, cars, and mobile phones to also be able to resist attacks from quantum-equipped bad actors. After four rounds of submissions, NIST selected four algorithms from a slate of 82 candidates. IBM Research had submitted 3 of the four chosen algorithms. All submissions have been subjected to research by industry scrutiny by government agencies, academic scientists, and mathematicians. This process is now reaching its conclusion; the NIST is expected to publish standards based on these 4 algorithms sometime in 2024.
The NIST contest covers the two aspects of security that could be vulnerable to quantum computing: public key encapsulation (used for public-key encryption and key establishment) and digital signatures (used for identity authentication and non-repudiation). For the former, NIST selected the CRYSTALS-Kyber algorithm. NIST selected three algorithms for signatures: CRYSTALS-Dilithium, FALCON, and SPHINCS+, with CRYSTALS-Dilithium as the primary algorithm in the signature category.
On September 29, GSMA announced the formation of the GSMA Post-Quantum Telco Network Taskforce, of which IBM and Vodafone are initial members, to help define policy, regulation and operator business processes to enhance protections of telecommunications in a future of advanced quantum computing. Since virtually all organizations and sectors conduct commerce on the internet, and the 800 providers whose pipes that carry all the internet traffic, the Telco industry is a good place to start. We expect other sectors to follow suit, perhaps starting with banking, government, and health care.
Given the magnitude of the potential risks, and the predominance of IBM Z systems in security-critical applications, IBM has included future-proof digital signature support in its latest z16 mainframe using CRYSTALS-Kyber and CRYSTALS -Dilithium algorithms selected by NIST. z16 implements this algorithm across multiple layers of firmware to help protect business-critical infrastructure and data from future quantum attacks. IBM has said it is also working to bring these new methods to the broader market.
In addition, IBM has developed a multi-step process to assist clients toward rapidly making institutions quantum safe. The company works with clients to identify where they are vulnerable to quantum-based cryptography attacks, assess cryptographic maturity and dependencies, and identify near-term achievable cryptographic goals and projects. The risks clients may face vary substantially based on the type of applications and data an organization handles and the state of its current cryptography.
Quantum computing's potential threat to global information security may seem to be a distant and abstract risk. However, the inevitable advances of quantum technology and the "Steal now, crack later" approach bad actors are undertaking to make quantum-safe a genuine and pressing matter for vendors and IT organizations. IBM wasted no time bringing that technology to market in the IBM z16. IBM Research has contributed three of the four algorithms the NIST quantum-safe contest has selected to be the most viable, secure, and efficient of the 70 techniques evaluated.
Beyond the NIST-approved algorithms, IBM Is working to provide “crypto agility”, helping organizations not only replace the soon-to-fail existing algorithms but also transform their security practices to remain resilient as new threats emerge in the post-quantum world. Creating crypto observability, enabling ongoing monitoring and actions on crypto-related security items, will help keep the world safer from bad actors with virtually unlimited computing capacity at their disposal.
More information can be found at here.
Disclosures: This article expresses the opinions of the authors, and is not to be taken as advice to purchase from nor invest in the companies mentioned. Cambrian AI Research is fortunate to have many, if not most, semiconductor firms as our clients, including Blaize, Cerebras, D-Matrix, Esperanto, FuriosaAI, Graphcore, GML, IBM, Intel, Mythic, NVIDIA, Qualcomm Technologies, Si-Five, SiMa.ai, Synopsys, and Tenstorrent. We have no investment positions in any of the companies mentioned in this article and do not plan to initiate any in the near future. For more information, please visit our website at https://cambrian-AI.com.
By The Valuentum Team
International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE:IBM) has become a fundamentally different business in the past few years, one focused on providing hybrid cloud computing offerings. The company is a stellar free cash flow generator which enables IBM to reward investors via generous dividend increases, with shares of IBM yielding ~5.1% as of this writing. Substantial near-term headwinds remain, largely due to the various exogenous shocks seen of late (such as major inflationary pressures, rising interest rates, supply chain hurdles, and raging geopolitical tensions), though IBM is still worth considering as a high-yielding income generation idea.
IBM solves business problems via integrated hardware/software solutions that leverage IT and its knowledge of business processes. Its solutions help reduce a client's costs or enable new capabilities that generate revenue. The company was founded in 1924 and is headquartered in New York.
Back in 2019, IBM bought Red Hat (a top provider of open source cloud software) through a ~$34 billion deal which made IBM a contending hybrid cloud provider. IBM is looking to seize what it describes as a ~$1 trillion hybrid cloud opportunity, and latest growth in this area has been encouraging. IBM's revamped management team is working hard to turn things around after the company made various blunders during the 2010s decade. Its current Chairman and CEO, Arvind Krishna, has done a solid job righting the ship at IBM since taking on the top role in 2020.
In November 2021, IBM spun off its legacy business tax-free to shareholders as a new publicly traded entity, Kyndryl Holdings, Inc. (KD). Initially, IBM retained a 19.9% stake in Kyndryl though the firm intends to exit that position within 12 months of the spinoff.
On July 18, IBM reported earnings for the second quarter of 2022 that beat both consensus top- and bottom-line estimates. Its GAAP revenues rose by 9% year-over-year to hit $15.5 billion with strong growth at its Red Hat, various consulting services, and hybrid infrastructure offerings being key here. When removing foreign currency headwinds arising from the strong US dollar seen of late from the picture, IBM's non-GAAP constant currency revenues were up 16% year-over-year last quarter. IBM's portfolio optimization efforts are having a very powerful impact on its financial performance.
The firm's GAAP gross margin fell by ~185 basis points year-over-year last quarter, falling down to 55.4%. However, economies of scale helped drive its GAAP income from continuing operations up by 81% year-over-year in the second quarter, rising to $1.5 billion. There is some noise here due to the separation of IBM's legacy businesses (via the spinoff of Kyndryl) from its core operations. Keeping that noise in mind, IBM's underlying operations have performed quite well of late.
During its second quarter earnings call, IBM's management team noted the firm now forecasted that its full-year free cash flows would come in near $10.0 billion in 2022, at the low end of its previous forecast. IBM generated $3.6 billion in free cash flow (defined as net operating cash flow less 'payments for property, plant, and equipment' and 'investment in software') while spending $3.0 billion covering its dividend obligations during the first half of 2022. Its modest share repurchases during this period were related to tax withholding purposes as the new IBM is focused on retaining cash to invest in the business. We appreciate that IBM's dividend obligations remain well-covered by its traditional free cash flows.
The company exited June 2022 with a net debt load of $42.8 billion (inclusive of short-term debt, exclusive of restricted cash). One of the biggest risks to IBM's dividend is its large net debt load. IBM had $7.6 billion in cash, cash equivalents, and current marketable securities on hand at the end of June 2022 which provides the company with ample liquidity to meet its near-term funding needs.
IBM continues to expect that its constant currency revenues will grow decently this year (in the mid-single digit range), though sustained foreign currency headwinds are expected to offset strong demand for its offerings, to a degree. Over the long haul, we forecast that under its new management team, IBM will return to stable revenue growth which in turn should see the company's free cash flows swell higher. That would allow IBM to boost its dividend in a sustainable manner going forward, though we caution that its net debt load could limit the size of any future payout increases.
The Dividend Cushion Ratio Deconstruction, shown in the image up above, reveals the numerator and denominator of the Dividend Cushion ratio. At the core, the larger the numerator, or the healthier a company's balance sheet and future free cash flow generation, relative to the denominator, or a company's cash dividend obligations, the more durable the dividend.
The Dividend Cushion Ratio Deconstruction image puts sources of free cash in the context of financial obligations next to expected cash dividend payments over the next 5 years on a side-by-side comparison. Because the Dividend Cushion ratio and many of its components are forward-looking, our dividend evaluation may change upon subsequent updates as future forecasts are altered to reflect new information.
In the context of the Dividend Cushion ratio, IBM's numerator is smaller than its denominator, which suggests weak forward-looking dividend coverage. However, given IBM's strong and stable cash flow profile, we view its forward-looking dividend coverage favorably when considering IBM's ability to tap capital markets into account. Should IBM stumble for any reason, its ability to make good on its payout may be in danger.
The best measure of a firm's ability to create value for shareholders is expressed by comparing its return on invested capital ['ROIC'] with its weighted average cost of capital ['WACC']. The gap or difference between ROIC and WACC is called the firm's economic profit spread. IBM's 3-year historical return on invested capital (without goodwill) is 41.6%, which is above the estimate of its cost of capital of 9.2%.
In the chart down below, we show the probable path of ROIC in the years ahead based on the estimated volatility of key drivers behind the measure. The solid grey line reflects the most likely outcome, in our opinion, and represents the scenario that results in our fair value estimate. Assuming IBM's latest portfolio optimization efforts go as planned, the firm's ability to generate shareholder value (which historically has been impressive) should continue to improve.
Our discounted cash flow process values each firm on the basis of the present value of all future free cash flows, net of balance sheet considerations. We think IBM is worth $136 per share with a fair value range of $101-$171 per share. Shares of IBM are trading moderately below our fair value estimate as of this writing.
The near-term operating forecasts used in our enterprise cash flow model, including revenue and earnings, do not differ much from consensus estimates or management guidance. Our model reflects a compound annual revenue growth rate of 3.4% during the next five years, a pace that is higher than the firm's 3-year historical compound annual growth rate of -10.3%.
Our model reflects a 5-year projected average operating margin of 17.6%, which is above IBM's trailing 3-year average. Beyond Year 5, we assume free cash flow will grow at an annual rate of 2% for the next 15 years and 3% in perpetuity. For IBM, we use a 9.2% weighted average cost of capital to discount future free cash flows.
Although we estimate IBM's fair value at about $136 per share, every company has a range of probable fair values that's created by the uncertainty of key valuation drivers (like future revenue or earnings, for example). After all, if the future were known with certainty, we wouldn't see much volatility in the markets as stocks would trade precisely at their known fair values.
In the graphic up above, we show this probable range of fair values for IBM. We think the firm is attractive below $101 per share (the green line), but quite expensive above $171 per share (the red line). The prices that fall along the yellow line, which includes our fair value estimate, represent a reasonable valuation for the firm, in our opinion.
The steady decline in IBM's legacy business since 2010 represents a major reason why the firm spun off Kyndryl in November 2021. Going forward, IBM will need to prove that as a leaner and more focused enterprise, it can maintain solid revenue and operating income growth over the long haul. We think that will be the case, though substantial near-term headwinds remain. Investors looking for an income generation idea backed up by a strong cash flow profile should take a closer look at IBM.
There's no denying it: This year's been a pretty lousy one for the market. The S&P 500 (^GSPC 2.65%) is down 23% year to date, and is sitting within easy reach of a new 52-week low. Blame the rout suffered by several key technology stocks, mostly, paving the way for most other equities.
There's a curious exception to this market-wide and tech sector weakness that's worth noting. IBM (IBM 1.23%) is holding up surprisingly well in the otherwise miserable environment. And it's arguably doing so for all the right reasons despite the specter of a recession. Here are the top three reasons.
If the economy sours enough, it will take a toll on all businesses, with corporations being forced into extreme austerity. That's a worst-case scenario that doesn't seem a likely threat to IBM, though.
The company might not be positioned for significant growth, but it is positioned to generate revenue in almost any economic environment. Around one-third of its revenue stems from consulting work, while more than one-third comes from software sales.
These aren't your typical consulting and software businesses, however. Much of it is contractual, meaning its client companies have pre-arranged access to employees or software for a specified period of time. Its annualized recurring software revenue, for example, now stands at $12.9 billion, making up roughly half of its current yearly software sales. Moreover, its software includes cybersecurity, data analysis, artificial intelligence, hybrid cloud computing, and transaction processing. These are service-based software suites that most of its customers rely on in a big way.
The kicker: CFO James Kavanaugh said a couple of years ago, "[For every $1 worth of business on a hybrid cloud platform], another $3 to $5 is
spent on software and another $6 to $8 on the cloud services." In other words, sales of hardware drive long-term software and consulting revenue, yet IBM's unique software and consulting offerings also drive hardware sales. It's a self-powering virtuous cycle.
IBM's solutions aren't something major enterprises can easily replace or simply stop using. In fact, the company argues that technology becomes an even more important growth driver when stagflation stifles traditional growth efforts.
Many companies make acquisitions to increase their revenue without much thought about where or how they fit in. But IBM's deals are made with purpose rather than rooted in status and stature. For instance, in July, the company announced its purchase of Databand.ai, adding the ability to spot errant digital data to the company's data-management arm. Earlier this year, it bought Neudesic, which operates a hybrid cloud consulting business specializing in Microsoft's Azure cloud platform.
None of the six deals the company has made this year have been particularly high-profile acquisitions. Neither have any of the other 20-plus acquisitions CEO Arvind Krishna has directed since taking the helm from Ginni Rometty in early 2020. IBM hasn't made any large-scale deals since buying Red Hat in 2019, in fact. But the smaller companies it's scooping up make its products more marketable.
While the latest acquisitions have been relatively small, analysts at Evercore ISI (EVR 1.29%) suggest IBM could be mulling an acquisition worth as much as $30 billion, potentially pushing the company into an all-new line of business that creates synergy with its existing ones.
Lastly, IBM might never dish out enormous organic growth again, but it offers something even more valuable to investors amid economic weakness: a healthy dividend. It currently yields 5.2%, and given the consistent recurring revenue of much of its business as well as how well its payouts are covered, there's no reason to fear this dividend is in jeopardy.
Investors in tune with the company's fiscals might not completely agree. Last fiscal year, IBM dished out $6.55 per share in dividends, but the company only earned $6.41 per share. That's clearly not sustainable.
But it was a year complicated by COVID-19 and more corporate restructuring. In November, IBM completed the spinoff of its managed infrastructure business now called Kyndryl (KD 5.59%). While spinoffs don't technically incur direct operational costs, they can often take an indirect toll on a company's focus and ability to adapt to changing market conditions. IBM hasn't exactly escaped inflationary pressures and the fallout from broken supply chains, either.
Regardless, the company's bottom line is growing again. Analysts collectively expect per-share earnings of $9.34 this year, followed by an improvement to $10.05 next year. That's far more than enough to continue funding the dividend and extend its 27-year streak of annual dividend growth.
Dividends may not be your thing. Amid economic uncertainty, though, collecting good income becomes a pretty big deal.
Here is STAT’s biotech scorecard, our regular ledger of stock-moving biotech events, for the fourth quarter:
Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals and partner Takeda Pharmaceuticals are nearing the completion of a mid-stage, placebo-controlled clinical trial of an RNA-based drug called fazirsiran in patients with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, or AATD, an inherited disease that causes severe liver and lung damage. Participants in the study have undergone liver biopsies at baseline and one year to determine if fazirsiran improves disease symptoms, including liver fibrosis.
IBM continues to spend millions to buy hybrid cloud companies, as the company makes its sixth acquisition in 2022 with Dialexa.
IBM continues to spend millions on buying hybrid cloud companies with the unveiling of its acquisition of engineering consulting specialist Dialexa to boost its cloud charge.
Since IBM CEO Arvind Krishna took the reins in April 2020, IBM has acquired more than 25 companies, including many hybrid cloud businesses.
In February alone, IBM acquired cloud consultant services standout Sentaca, as well as Microsoft Azure consultancy all-star Neudesic—with the two purchases squarely aimed at boosting IBM’s hybrid and multi-cloud services capabilities.
[Related: UK To Probe Amazon, Google, Microsoft’s Cloud Dominance]
Looking at the Armonk, N.Y.-based company’s purchase of Dialexa, IBM will gain 300 skilled product managers, designers, full-stack engineers and data scientists. Dialexa will become part of IBM’s Consulting business unit, which spearheads the company’s digital product engineering services in the Americas.
“Dialexa’s product engineering expertise, combined with IBM’s hybrid cloud and business transformation offerings, will help our clients turn concepts into differentiated product portfolios that accelerate growth,” said John Granger, senior vice president of IBM Consulting, in a statement.
Dialexa marks IBM’s sixth purchase in 2022 with the goal of boosting its hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence abilities.
Along with buying Dialexa, Sentaca and Neudesic, IBM has also acquired Randori, an attack surface management cybersecurity specialist that helps protect hybrid cloud environments.
Earlier this year, IBM’s CEO said hybrid cloud and artificial intelligence are top of mind for his company in terms of investment and the future.
“We are integrating technology and expertise—from IBM, our partners and even our competitors—to meet the urgent needs of our clients, who see hybrid cloud and AI as crucial sources of competitive advantage,” Krishna said in March. “And we are ready to be the catalyst of progress for our clients as they pursue the digital transformation of the world’s mission-critical businesses.”
In 2021, IBM’s hybrid cloud revenue jumped 19 percent compared with 2020, comprising 35 percent of its total revenue.
Based in Dallas and Chicago, Dialexa delivers a suite of digital product engineering services to help customers create transformative products to drive business outcomes.
Dialexa’s 300-strong engineers and skilled IT experts advise and create custom digital products for customers, which include Deere & Company, Pizza Hut U.S. and Toyota Motor North America. Financial terms of the Dialexa deal were not disclosed.
IBM said Dialexa provides deep experience delivering end-to-end digital product engineering services consisting of strategy, design, build, launch and optimization services across cloud platforms including Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.
“Digital product engineering represents the tip of the spear for competitive advantage,” said Dialexa CEO Scott Harper in a statement. “IBM and Dialexa’s shared vision for delivering industry-defining digital products could be a game-changer.”
IBM (IBM) closed at $127.73 in the latest trading session, marking a +0.36% move from the prior day. This move lagged the S&P 500's daily gain of 0.69%. At the same time, the Dow added 0.64%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.2%.
Coming into today, shares of the technology and consulting company had lost 8.02% in the past month. In that same time, the Computer and Technology sector lost 14.62%, while the S&P 500 lost 9.94%.
Investors will be hoping for strength from IBM as it approaches its next earnings release. On that day, IBM is projected to report earnings of $1.88 per share, which would represent a year-over-year decline of 25.4%. Meanwhile, our latest consensus estimate is calling for revenue of $13.75 billion, down 21.96% from the prior-year quarter.
Looking at the full year, our Zacks Consensus Estimates suggest analysts are expecting earnings of $9.39 per share and revenue of $59.9 billion. These totals would mark changes of +18.41% and -15.38%, respectively, from last year.
Investors might also notice latest changes to analyst estimates for IBM. These revisions typically reflect the latest short-term business trends, which can change frequently. As such, positive estimate revisions reflect analyst optimism about the company's business and profitability.
Our research shows that these estimate changes are directly correlated with near-term stock prices. To benefit from this, we have developed the Zacks Rank, a proprietary model which takes these estimate changes into account and provides an actionable rating system.
The Zacks Rank system, which ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Over the past month, the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 0.88% lower. IBM is currently a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Digging into valuation, IBM currently has a Forward P/E ratio of 13.56. This represents a no noticeable deviation compared to its industry's average Forward P/E of 13.56.
Meanwhile, IBM's PEG ratio is currently 1.94. This metric is used similarly to the famous P/E ratio, but the PEG ratio also takes into account the stock's expected earnings growth rate. Computer - Integrated Systems stocks are, on average, holding a PEG ratio of 1.77 based on yesterday's closing prices.
The Computer - Integrated Systems industry is part of the Computer and Technology sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 162, putting it in the bottom 36% of all 250+ industries.
The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our individual industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.
To follow IBM in the coming trading sessions, be sure to utilize Zacks.com.
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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – In a move to enhance its hybrid cloud and AI capabilities, IBM will buy the digital product engineering consulting services firm Dialexa in a deal that will close later this year.
IBM announced the deal in a statement, which also notes that the purchase of the firm will “deepen IBM’s product engineering expertise and provide end-to-end digital transformation services for clients.”
When the deal closes, Dialexa will become the sixth company bought by IBM in 2022.
But Big Blue has been on a buying frenzy since April 2020, when Arvind Krishna became the company’s CEO. According to the company, IBM has acquired more than 25 other firms, with 13 to bolster IBM Consulting.
The latest acquisition of Dialexa points toward how IBM may grow its consulting services presence.
“In this digital era, clients are looking for the right mix of high-quality products to build new revenue streams and Strengthen topline growth,” said John Granger, senior vice president, IBM Consulting, in a statement. “Dialexa’s product engineering expertise, combined with IBM’s hybrid cloud and business transformation offerings, will help our clients turn concepts into differentiated product portfolios that accelerate growth.”
The company’s 300 employees are based in Dallas and in Chicago, and will join IBM Consulting, according to the statement. Among the firm’s clients is Toyota Motor North America, which will invest $2.5 billion in North Carolina to build the company’s first U.S. electric battery manufacturing plant in Randolph County.
“The 360” shows you diverse perspectives on the day’s top stories and debates.
For much of modern American history, debates have been seen as a more or less essential part of any major political campaign. As much as candidates might squabble over the details ahead of time or claim they were mistreated after the fact, it was broadly assumed that they would at some point — or, frequently, more than once — meet in a formal face-off in front of the voters.
But that tradition has over latest election cycles to the point where it’s become a genuine question whether some of the most important races in this year’s midterms might feature any debates at all. In state after state, candidates have been squabbling over the timing, circumstances and number of debates.
The has been a central theme in Senate races in two of the most closely watched current contests. In Pennsylvania, Republican Senate candidate Mehmet Oz has repeatedly accused his Democratic opponent, John Fetterman, who in May, of trying to avoid debates. A similar dynamic is happening in Georgia, but with the party affiliations reversed. Incumbent Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock had called out GOP challenger Herschel Walker for “dodging” several debate opportunities before the two campaigns came to an agreement on a single date next month. Both and eventually agreed to debate at least once.
The debate issue has emerged in a number of other races across the country. In Missouri, the Republican Senate candidate at a candidate forum last week. It’s still unclear whether there will be any debates in the race for . GOP candidate Doug Mastriano, who was at the Capitol during the Jan. 6 assault, has refused to participate in a traditional debate with an independent moderator. One key contest that definitely won’t include a debate is for governor of Arizona. has said she won’t debate “conspiracy theorist” Kari Lake, a Republican who has enthusiastically endorsed former President Trump’s lies about the 2020 presidential election.
There are a number of theories for why candidates have become increasingly skeptical of debates, including a belief that the potential risks of gaffes greatly outweigh the rewards of a strong performance and the lack of perceived consequences for skipping them. Some also point to the GOP’s general rejection of the mainstream media, which typically provides a platform for political debates.
There’s also disagreement over whether this trend really matters. Debate advocates say the events offer a critical opportunity for voters to learn about the candidates and their policy positions outside of hyper-calculated campaign ads and stump speeches. They say debates can serve as a proving ground for those who voters may have questions about the aspiring politicians’ fitness for office. Many also worry that the decline in debates is a troubling symptom of a much broader shift in which lawmakers increasingly feel they don’t have to be accountable to the people they represent.
But others make the case that it doesn’t really matter whether candidates debate in person. They point to a significant body of research that suggests debate performance has little to no effect on the results of even close races. Some also argue that skill at debating is in no way representative of how someone will perform in public office.
Debates have been scheduled in many of the high-profile Senate races across the country, all of them set to be held in October. It remains to be seen whether those events actually take place and whether they’ll play any role in deciding which party controls Congress for the next two years.
Healthy debates make a healthy democracy
“The value of debating in a democracy shouldn’t be understated. It’s a proven part of the process that helps voters become informed and make decisions on who is best to represent them in government. Voters deserve to know where candidates stand on certain issues, and debates and candidate forums are one of the best tools we have.” — Geoff Foster, executive director of Common Cause Massachusetts, to
Debates aren’t as enlightening for voters as many seem to think
“There’s not a lot of evidence we learn that much from debates in terms of policy content because the people who tend to watch debates are those who know a lot about the candidate and are tuning in to see their candidate win the same way you watch a sports game.” — Megan Goldberg, political scientist, to
Voters deserve a chance to see candidates as they really are
“The knock on debates is no one cares about them except the press. That they’re purely platforms for media outlets and media members. But they are more than that. They can show a candidate’s demeanor and temperament. How a candidate responds when challenged. They supply voters the chance to hear candidate views. In their own words. In real time. Not through handlers. Not with press or pundit interruptions.” — John Baer,
Good debaters don’t necessarily make good leaders
“There is campaigning, and there is governing. Two different things. … Campaign choices make a big difference, and the public cannot be expected to follow issues as closely as political professionals. And yet … in the end, it is governing that really matters.” — Nelson Morgan,
Most debates are unimportant, but they can occasionally be decisive in close races
“General-election debates are usually dry affairs for which the competing camps have spent weeks preparing each candidate on how to avoid walking into political traps and rehearsing a few zingers that they hope the media will focus on in their post-mortem stories. But in very close races, small mistakes can prove decisive, or at least knock a campaign in the wrong direction for a few days.” — Paul Kane,
Without real punishment for skipping them, a lot of candidates will see debates as unnecessary
“I like debates. I think candidates should do them & they risk bad press by not doing them. But from a campaign's perspective: 1. Debate prep takes a LOT of time 2. On an event with your opponent that rarely moves the needle 3. unless you screw up. So … if it's the case that you can skip debating, and the bad press doesn't matter because voters don't really care, then campaigns have every reason to skip them and spend more time on their own campaign activities.” — , political analyst
The debate over debates allows candidates to distract from issues that really matter
“The debates themselves are shaping up to be major campaign issues. It’s tedious, and it does not serve the voters.” — Editorial,
The decline of debates is a sign of how badly partisanship has splintered the country
“I don’t know how much utility they have … on the other hand, I do think it’s just a sad symptom of where we are in terms of polarization and candidates willingness … to even be in the same space with each other and talk about the same issues. It feels a little depressing to me.” — Amelia Thomson-Deveaux,
Debates could play an important role in helping restore civility to U.S. politics
“I am hopeful we can get back to the ideal of debate, which allows citizens to be informed on the issues they need to confront. We are in a serious crisis of democracy, and we need to be able to figure out how to disagree without moving into the language of civil war.” — Tom Hollihan, political communication researcher, to
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IBM has announced the latest version of its Linux-focused mainframe - the LinuxOne Emperor 4 as the company leads with promises of reduced energy consumption and increased sustainability.
While the z16 mainframe, which was announced by the company in April 2022, is optimized for IBM’s z/OS operating system, the LinuxOne Emperor 4 is designed to support Linux operating systems in a bid to obtain a significant portion of the Linux market.
Big Blue’s latest mainframe supports 32 Telum processors and can provide up to 40TB of RAIM. The Emperor 4 also provides “seven nines” of availability, which should translate to three seconds of downtime per year.
Mainframes for Linux distros are increasingly popular among financial services organizations, with Citibank being a user of IBM’s LinuxOne mainframes, combined with the MongoDB database.
With its latest iteration, it’s clear that IBM’s focus is on increasing environmental pressures. In a release, it claims that the Emperor 4 “can reduce energy consumption by 75%, space by 50%, and the CO2e footprint by over 850 metric tons annually.”
This expression of commitment towards creating more sustainable products goes hand-in-hand with IBM’s own research which suggests that around half of the CEOs that took part saw sustainability as their highest priority, and indeed one of their greatest challenges.
The integration of artificial intelligence inference should also serve to Strengthen latency.
Availability for the IBM LinuxOne Emperor 4 is scheduled for September 14, 2022, with entry- and mid-range models set to follow in the first half of 2023.