Big Blue offers staff Apples
Hey, You! It's Macs not ThinkPads
IBMers used to be famous for filing lots of patents and for uniforms of dark blue suits and white shirts, but an internal email seen by the Reg suggests black turtle-necks, faded jeans and berets might be more in order now.
Admittedly IBM flogged off its PC business to Lenovo some time ago, but we didn't expect them to so quickly embrace over-priced fondleware from Steve Jobs.
An email sent to the Reg reveals that IBM is considering offering staff discounts on Apple Macs.
As part of Big Blue's "You" benefits package the company is considering offering discounted Mac hardware. Staff are currently voting on whether this is a good idea or not.
Even more shocking for the reputation of that most staid of hardware giants - IBM isn't just considering letting its staff muck about with the machines at home.
As part of the tax rules regarding the purchase the machines must be used for two years as the recipient's primary business machine.
We called IBM for comment and got a muffled response. As far as we know staff are still being polled on whether Macs should go on the benefits list. If you know more, please tell us in comments below. ®
Would you be interested in a You* offering for Apple Mac machines?
IBM is considering making Apple Macs available through the YOU* flexible benefits scheme. In order to gauge whether there is an audience for such an offering we are running a short poll amongst UK employees. Outline of the potential offering
This offering would provide employees with an opportunity to purchase a discounted Apple machine over two years from their Pre-You* income. The employee would benefit from a discount from Apple and the tax saving's offered from You* salary sacrifice payments.
The machine would be IBM property until the 2 years of payments had been completed and would need to be used as the employee's sole business machine (with incidental personal use, in accordance with IBM business conduct guidelines). At the end of the 2 years the machine can become the employee's personal asset or be returned to Apple.
Please complete the poll on the right hand side and forward this onto any colleagues who would like to vote on the idea.
IBM sent us the following: "IBM operates a Flexible Reward scheme called You* which allows employees to personalise their reward package by electing benefits which are individual to their lifestyle. Benefits include workplace, child care and insurance offerings.
"As part of the scheme IBM is surveying employees to gauge interest in the option of an Apple Mac computer. Discussions are ongoing and no decisions have been made."
Lotus Notes makes baby Jesus cry
Yes, they have Mac versions too.
"IBM are still evil fuckers"
My team was working along-side a consulting team from IBM, they were clueless; typical bodyshop consulting, loads of bodies and not one with a clue or any idea but lots of big fees to the client. Their managers liked what we were doing, an analysis which was a different project to them although somewhat related, and after a large multi-group meeting their most senior guy on their team asked me for an electronic copy of our piece. Instead of telling them to "fuck off" I naively thought "what harm could there be?"
I soon learnt when our entire piece of work came back to me, forwarded by a client, but plastered in IBM logos because they had simply applied their slide-master to our work (not even bothered to change from our colour palette to their or anything else, it was blatant), and then they'd pitched to take over the project by demonstrating (with our work) that they knew what they were doing.
So yeah, "evil fuckers" sums it up for me nicely.
Oh, we've had the "opportunity" to help out our beloved employer by paying for our own business machine for quite some time. Aren't the benefits generous? We also get to pay for our own broadband if we work form home, or connect from an airport or somewhere while travelling. And if we buy a blackberry and are prepared to get our work emails forwarded to it, we are allowed to pay the company £10 a month for the privilege.
Musn't grumble though.
... so IBMers will be able to pay for their work machine instead of having their employer pay for it? Awesome.
(IBM's HR department seemed quite upset when I turned down a job offer from them some years ago. There were things in the employment contract I really disliked.)
Making employees pay for their laptops
This is just IBM's first step to making employees pay for their own laptops. They'll start with shiny pretty Mac's and then make the employees pay for thinkpads and later their chairs...
Can you run the awful, awful Lotus Notes and Sametime on a Mac? As part of the soul destroying process that is working for IBM you have to use these "productivity" tools so this could be a show stopper.
Then again, it would be wonderful to have a laptop that worked and wasn't subject to all of the IBM crapware you get on a standard corporate Lenovo.
Not that it makes a lot of difference, IBM are still evil fuckers and working for them is beyond awful so a nice laptop won't make things better.