Marina Abdul Manaf learns that the real values behind IT giant
IBM are its people and passion for innovation.
“iBm is a company of human beings
not machines, personalities not products,
people not real estate.”
When one thinks
50 Years of innovative practices
of IBM, the first
IBM has been in Malaysia since June 1961 as
things that come
a whol y-owned subsidiary of IBM World Trade
to mind are
Corporation. One of the world’s largest and leading
IT companies, IBM operates in 170 countries and
employs 400,000 highly-skil ed professionals.
the real value of
this IT giant is its
Over the years, IBM has evolved from a hardware
people. As former
company to a solutions-based company offering
various Information and Communications
Technology (ICT) services. Eager to heed the cal ing
Watson Jr aptly put it, “(IBM) is
of service-based economies, IBM has moved out of
a company of human beings not
the commodity business and expanded its role as a
machines, personalities not products,
global y-integrated enterprise.
people not real estate”.
IBM prides itself on providing innovation that
“While the world has become increasingly
matters. In Malaysia, it has contributed half a
technology-dependent, the human touch is also
century of innovation and IT expertise.
becoming more important as global markets
are fast turning into a connection of service-
Like its holding company, IBM Malaysia is
based economies,” says IBM Malaysia’s Country
committed to playing a major role in cultivating the
Recruitment Manager Bryan Jasper Balangue.
use and development of ICT in the country. Thus
far, it has set up 19 Centers of Excel ence that
“IBM looks for people with skil s in one speciality,
support the global and regional operations of IBM.
as wel as sufficient understanding of a broad
range of related disciplines. These interdisciplinary
Collaborating for success
skil s al ow people to see contextual linkages,
In a country which recognises the importance of
to constructively participate in cross-functional
innovation and creativity, IBM faces little chal enge
teams and to continual y adapt their visions and
in changing the mindset of its staff on the
contributions to rapidly changing conditions and
importance of ICT, both as an industry as wel as
“These skil s are necessary in order for the
Bryan does, however, lament the chal enges the
company to be more versatile and more adaptable
company faces in trying to get the right workforce
to market conditions and requirements.”
for its many Centres of Excel ence.
“Our approach to this chal enge is to develop local
Customer Fulfil ment, Software Development,
capabilities through a string of al iances, both from
Human Resources and for its Team Blue Top
academia and industry,” he says.
Talent Training Programme.
The Team Blue Top programme is IBM’s crème de la
IBM works with several local institutions of higher
crème nurturing plan. Those who are recruited under
learning to groom talents through its Service
this programme wil have the privilege of working with
Science, Management and Engineering (SSME)
IBM’s finest brains and be a part of the company’s
future product development programmes.
“The programme is a growing, multi-disciplinary
“IBM al ows you to be creative and to cultivate your
research and academic effort that integrates
innovative nature,” Bryan says. “The company also
aspects of established fields like computer science,
gives you the experience to work with the best and
operations research, engineering, management
brightest in the industry, al owing you to col aborate
sciences, business strategy, social and cognitive
with like-minded people in an environment that
science, and legal sciences, with the goal of
embraces individual differences.
nourishing quality and productivity, as wel as
learning and innovation rates, across the service
“Another advantage is our numerous customised
professional development and leadership training
programmes that are designed to build one’s
In this regard, IBM works with Universiti Sains
career and personal capabilities.”
Malaysia to offer the country’s first Executive MBA
programme on SSME. The company also offers
Doors of opportunity
the SSME programme through Universiti Malaya,
“When fresh graduates join us, they are looking
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Putra
for opportunities to learn from their seniors and
Malaysia, Universiti Pahang, Multimedia University,
predecessors. But, in actual fact, IBM can learn
Universiti Teknologi MARA, Universiti Teknologi
much from these new graduates as wel ,” says
Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, APIIT and
INTI Col ege.
In 1973, IBM Chairman Frank T. Cary said, “The
“From the industry side, we seek the assistance of
younger generation has given the rest of us, along
our business partners to represent the company in
with moments of uneasiness, many good lessons
key industry segments, offering open, integrated,
in honesty, idealism and courage of conviction. I’d
end-to-end solutions that help clients innovate for
like them to know those qualities are very much
competitive advantage,” Bryan explains.
welcomed in the IBM company.”
Together, these organisations are able to deliver
Nearly 40 years later, Bryan echoes Cary’s invitation
innovative solutions and services which are
by emphasising that IBM’s doors are open to
“interconnected, instrumented and intel igent to
anyone with the right mix of qualifications, attitude,
build a smarter Malaysia”.
drive and perseverance.
Be iBm’s next Great hire
As an IT giant, IBM can be the ticket to many
Bryan confirms that the company is hiring in 2011
possibilities. The question is: do you have what it
in the areas of Finance, Accounting, Consultancy,
takes to become IBM’s next great hire?