IBM: Checking The Corporate Temperature

| About: International Business (IBM)
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After reviewing IBM's (NYSE:IBM) recent quarterly earnings report, I wrote two articles for Seeking Alpha aimed at understanding what is ailing IBM.

IBM acknowledged poor execution, and I became concerned that something worse was at hand after reading Arne Alsin's IBM: A Disaster In The Making.

In response to the poor execution, CEO Rometty held a company-wide call and encouraged employees to "step up." During this call, Ms. Rometty implemented a 24 hour customer response policy.

On Thursday morning, April 25, I contacted Michael Loughran listed as the primary media contact for IBM Research and Technology via email and phone call. I spoke with a woman who answered his phone. She confirmed that Michael Loughran had received the email, and she said she would have him call me ASAP.

Late in the afternoon on Friday, April 26th (more than 24 hours but still the next day), I received an email from Colleen Haikes, Global Communications for IBM Cloud Computing, asking if she could be of assistance. I explained in my email response to Ms. Haikes last Friday evening that I was attempting to rebut Mr. Alsin's article, and I asked her if she could read Mr. Alsin's article and provide me with a response from the company regarding IBM's Cloud Strategy.

On Monday, April 29, I received an email from Sharon Solomon-Bouchard, Vice President, Technical Sales, which was sent over the weekend. Ms. Solomon-Bouchard had read one of my IBM articles, and she offered to help me in understanding IBM's Cloud Strategy. I called Ms. Solomon-Bouchard and explained my intentions to her over the phone. After checking internal records, Ms. Solomon-Bouchard acknowledged that Colleen Haikes was the correct person to speak with, and Ms. Solomon-Bouchard said that she preferred that I speak with Ms. Haikes to get the company's opinion versus her individual opinion.

As of Friday, May 3, I still have not heard a word from Michael Loughran, and I have not heard back from Ms. Haikes (other than an email clarifying my question which was sent shortly after my conversation with Ms. Solomon-Bouchard on Monday, April 29th. Ms. Solomon-Bouchard called Ms. Haikes and requested she get in touch with me.) I sent Mr. Haikes a follow-up email on Thursday, May 2.

What is the point to all of this? I'm trying to determine how efficient and effective IBM is as an organization.

At one time, IBM was probably one of the most efficient and effective organizations in the history of mankind. I don't want to jump to conclusions, but it's clear that the organization is not functioning at that level right now. I'm trying to determine whether or not IBM is healthy. If IBM is sick, does it just have a common cold, does it have a case of influenza or has IBM has developed a critical illness.

I look forward to conducting more research once Ms. Haikes responds to my inquiries, and I plan to keep you posted.

Disclosure: I am long IBM. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.