The International Business Machines (IBM) is a multinational company manufacturing and marketing computer hardware and software and offering consulting services. IBM is headquartered in Armonk, New York, USA.
IBM’s history is more than a century old. It was founded as the Computing Tabulating Recording Company through a merger of three companies in 1911, in New York. In 1924, it adopted the name International Business Machines to represent in its name its expansion beyond the US to Canada, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. In the 1930s, the US government became a client of IBM’s tabulating equipment, with which it maintained employment records for 26 million people. During the World War II, IBM controversially became the supplier of punched card technology to American and German concentration camps for record keeping. IBM also produced small arms for the US during the war.
In 1956, the first demonstration of artificial intelligence by a machine was conducted in an IBM laboratory in New York. In the early 1960s, IBM launched a semi-automatic reservation system for American Airlines and also a very successful model of electric typewriters. The 1960s also saw IBM supporting space explorations, like helping NASA track the orbital flight of Mercury astronauts, participating in the Saturn flights and also the 1969 moon-landing mission. Between 1964 and 1978, IBM sold its first group of computers, the IBM System/360. In 1973, IBM introduced a laser scanning barcode reader. In 1981, the IBM PC was launched and it immediately became the industry standard. However, in the 1990s, IBM suffered losses.
In 1998, IBM Global Network was sold to AT&T. In 2002, IBM sold its HDD business to Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. In 2005, IBM sold its personal computer business to Lenovo. In 2012, IBM sold its retail Store Solutions Division to Toshiba TEC. Since 2001, however, IBM has made an impressive series of acquisitions, including the Database Software of Informatix Corporation in 2001, Business Process Management of Holosofx, Inc in 2002, IT services from Maersk in 2004, Network Management business of Micromuse, Inc in 2006, Business Intelligence from Cognos in 2008, Data warehousing and analytics from Netezza in 2010, Cloud-based software-testing from Green Hat in 2012 and solid State Storage from Texas Memory Systems also in 2012.
IBM’s 12 member Board of Directors is responsible for the management of the Company. IBM has 12 research laboratories worldwide. In 2012, Fortune ranked IBM the second largest US firm by the number of its employees and fourth largest in terms of market capitalization. In 2011/2012, IBM was ranked the No.1 company for leaders by Fortune, the No.1 green company worldwide by Newsweek, the No.2 best global brand by Interband (its brand valued at $75.3 billion) and the No.2 most respected company by Barron’s.