IBM, an acronym for International Business Machines, is one of the largest information technology companies in the world. They offer a range of software, hardware, and services in the IT world.
Nicknamed “Big Blue,” IBM started as a hardware company that dominated that sector for decades as the top producer of mainframe computers. The company shifted from hardware to focus on software and offering services. IBM transitioned in the 2010s to focus on other sectors like cognitive computing and cloud-based services.
The company’s biggest offering in the cognitive computing industry has been the IBM Watson cognitive system.
Although IBM is still a big player in the IT world, it has never regained the dominance it once had in its mainframe heyday. As of the third quarter of 2016, it had experienced 18 quarters of consecutive declines in revenue, just as it was shifting into new lines of business and new technologies. The revenue in 2015 was $81.7 billion, as opposed to the $106.9 billion it garnered in 2011.
Early on, IBM was known for the punched card, which was invented by Herman Hollerith, who was part of the CTR Company (Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company). CTR was a conglomeration of three companies that sold time recording devices, store scales, and tabulators. When CTR brought on Thomas J. Watson as the general manager, Watson built up the company into what eventually became known as International Business Machines.
IBM first introduced its System/360 mainframe computer in 1964, which would eventually become the industry standard for large business computers. In 1974 IBM debuted Multiple Virtual Storage (MVS), which has remained the backbone of IBM’s mainframe OS for over 40 years. The IBM z/OS—the company’s current iteration of z Systems mainframes—can trace its origins back to the MVS.
The System/360 and subsequent models were so popular that IBM enjoyed an incredible market advantage. But competitors entering the market, such as Amdahl Corporation and the corporations known as the “BUNCH” companies (Burroughs Corporation, UNIVAC, NCR Corporation, Control Data Corporation, and Honeywell), challenged IBM’s hold on the marketplace.
To further complicate matters, IBM faced the enormous challenge of the midrange systems known as minicomputers, which were cheaper and aimed at the smaller departments within larger companies.
In the early 1970s, punched card machines began to be replaced by interactive display terminals like the IBM 3270. When Apple II arrived on the scene in 1977, personal computers gained popularity, which only grew with the introduction of similar machines from Tandy Corporation and Commodore International.
IBM finally introduced the IBM Personal Computer in 1981 and quickly became the business standard. But IBM-compatible PCs soon followed from vendors like Compaq, and when IBM chose the Microsoft Disk Operating System (MS-DOS) as the operating system for the IBM PC (with the PC clone vendors the following suit), Microsoft eventually dominated the PC software segment.
Late in the 1980s, IBM introduced the Unix workstations platform to its hardware catalog, and in the 1990s, the AIX, OS/2, OS/400, and MVS where the core platforms at IBM. The company also restructured its operations, but due to some of the large expenses in the restructuring, such as funding early retirements and shutting down some production lines, in 1992 the company showed a $5 billion loss.
Management consulting and IT outsourcing became an integral part of the IBM services and acquired PwC Consulting in 2002 for $3.5 billion. In 2011 IBM shifted once again to focus on cloud computing platforms and cognitive solutions and acquired infrastructure service provider SoftLayer Technologies Inc. in 2013.
In the fall of 2016 IBM’s Bluemix platform was introduced, incorporating SoftLayer’s cloud products and services into IBM’s growing portfolio of services, offering competition to Google, Microsoft, and Amazon Web Services.
The IBM Watson supercomputer, the company’s flagship cognitive computer, combines analytical software with artificial intelligence, which allows customers to perform such functions as embedding their applications with cognitive computing components. IBM also offers products that have cognitive abilities built in, such as the IBM Watson Analytics for Social Media and the IBM Watson Internet of Things Platform.
Today, IBM is no longer in the microelectronics manufacturing business, since it sold that operation to GLOBALFOUNDRIES in 2015.
Instead, Big Blues’ research and development are focusing on the research into quantum computing, the blockchain, and cognitive technology. It also is investigating semiconductor research as well as chips that can support big data systems and cloud computing.
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Jack Ma was born Ma Yun, a person that became a very powerful business magnet in China that became the founder of the Alibaba Group. This is a company that is representative of several successful Internet businesses that originated in China. Born in Hangzhou, China, he took college entrance exams which were very difficult for him to pass. Eventually received a BA in English in 1988 and subsequently earned another degree at the Cheung Kong business school in 2006. Although this may seem impressive, none of this actually led to the success that he obtained in his life. His primary focus was finding a way to make money on the Internet. Part of this was driven by the fact that he was denied work after applying to over 30 different locations, often being told multiple times that he simply wasn’t good enough. It was in 1994 that he first heard about the Internet, and from this brief introduction, he went on to create Alibaba.
Jack Ma’s Path To Online Success
His first interaction on the Internet in 1994 was to create a website about China, something that he could not find any information about with his initial searches. In 1995, he and his wife asked different people for a total of US $20,000 to create a business where he would create websites for different companies. The company was called the China Yellow Pages, and within three short years, he was able to generate nearly US $1 million. All of this was accomplished without writing a single line of code for the websites that were created, nor did he actually make a single sale. He then shifted gears, creating an information technology company, but by 1999, he decided to raise 500,000 yuan to go a different direction. He created Alibaba.
The Success Of Alibaba
He was able to take this company to high levels of profitability as a result of an additional $25 million in venture capital money from investors that saw the potential in this business. He was going to provide advertising, a platform where people could advertise products that they were selling on a global scale. He was initially offered a substantial amount of money from eBay to purchase the company, but decided to decline. Instead, he worked with cofounder Jerry Yang, a cofounder of Yahoo, with an investment from this company totaling $1 billion. Since that time, at least as of 2014, he was able to raise $25 million. He did so by taking the company public, creating an IPO, one that can be found on the New York Stock Exchange. This was at the time the largest initial public offering ever made in the US for a company. He now serves as the executive chairman of this company which is officially called Alibaba Group. It is also a company that has nine major subsidiaries, and the company itself has generated over 1 trillion yuan in transactions since 2012. After that, he became the owner of several other companies and in 2017 spoke with Pres. Donald Trump about helping to create a million jobs for the United States in just five years. This is an incredible success story, based on the belief of one man that he could use the Internet to generate substantial amounts of wealth by doing nothing more than providing a platform that people around the world could use to sell products.
In conclusion, Jack Ma became one of the most successful entrepreneurs in China, if not the entire world, despite having met incredible obstacles. After being told for years that he had no skills whatsoever, he defied all logic by becoming one of the most successful people in the world. It is this desire to prove people wrong that led him to become successful, realizing that he only needed to provide something that people all needed to use. By targeting commercial and industrial companies that were selling products, he allowed them to have a platform on a global scale by which to improve their businesses. There are always going to be success stories, but the ones that are the best are those that are the result of hard work and vision. Despite his humble beginnings, Jack Ma is now regarded as one of the most entrepreneurial individuals to have ever made his mark on the world by creating an Internet based business.
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Just like everywhere in the world, the people of South Africa are keen to ensure their food is nutritious. They want food that has the potential to aid their physical well being, as well as boost their mental health. Nhlayisa Nutrition Solutions is all about fulfilling that exact need. Let’s take a look at a few of the main elements of this passionate endeavor.
What Exactly Is Nhlayisa Nutrition Solutions?
Set up in 2007, Nhlayisa Nutrition Solutions has one main and clear passion; deliver on excellent nutrition that will benefit both physical and mental health for the people of South Africa. Their goal is to find a solution for the nutritional deficiencies seen within the locality.
What Type Of Nutrition Do Nhlayisa Nutrition Solutions Provide?
Ultimately, for a product to benefit a community, it must provide the right balance of nutrition, focusing on nutrition which is particularly lacking within the locality. That is why research was carried out within the rural communities of South Africa. The research showed that there were several elements of nutritional deficiency, in fact these were marked as being severe deficiencies.
It was as a result of this research that Nhlayisa Nutrition Solutions created a signature product, Nhlayisa Power Supply, designed to nutritionally benefit millions of people.
What Is The Passion Behind Nhlayisa Nutrition Solutions?
Alex and James Hendry were the ones responsible for conducting the investigation on nutrition. It was during this investigation, while visiting hundreds of clinics, schools and homes, that they realized one significant fact; the children and people of the area had huge potential and incredible talents, but these were lying rather dormant. It was this discovery that lay behind the development of Nhlayisa Power Supply.
Where Does Nhlayisa Supply To?
Up until now, Nhlayisa has supplied their nutritious food to outlets such as Spar, Pick ‘n Pay, Mopani Pharmacy, as well as farmers, feeding schemes and mines.
How Does Nhlayisa Nutrition Solutions Use The Profits?
It seems clear that Nhlayisa Nutrition Solutions is certainly all about helping people. That is why it is hardly surprising to learn that 50% of the profits are used to grow the distribution, further improve the products and create new connections and alliances.
How Are The Products Manufactured?
It again comes as little surprise to know that the product created by Nhlayisa Nutrition Solutions are manufactured to the highest level of health and safety as set out in the health and safety standards in South Africa. The facility used for manufacturing has a FSSC certificate in Food Safety Management.
What Are The Products Of Nhlayisa Nutrition Solutions?
The products produced are for bulk feeding and for the retail market. Below are a few examples.
Fortified Instant Porridge – Power Supply
Yabhusta is an instant porridge that is fortified with vitamins and minerals to give some one everything need in their day to day activities. Prepared with either milk or water and taken as a meal or simply as a drink, Power Supply is soy, sorghum and maize based. The product has been designed to cater for the specific nutritional deficiencies within the local diet. Hence the vitamin and mineral content is tailored for the needs of the people.
Instant Mageu: Yabhusta Mageu
This instant fermented maize based drink is the product of many years of research into the development of something exciting and highly nutritious.
Can Nhlayisa Nutrition Solutions Provide A Way To Care For Your Staff?
Absolutely! Nhlayisa Power Supply provides an excellent food choice for your staff. In fact, your staff can hope to enjoy the following benefits:
Improved breakdown of carbs, protein and fat due to the B Vitamins.
Healthy functioning of the nerves, muscles and heart due to Vitamin B1 and B2.
A strong anti-oxidant due to Vitamin C.
Immune system response improvement due to Vitamin D.
A healthier nervous system.
Increased energy production.
Is it clear that Nhlayisa Nutrition Solutions certainly does have the answer to providing better care for your staff? It would certainly seem so! In fact, as well as the above specific benefits, Nhlayisa Power Supply also boasts a lower carbohydrate and added total sugar content than much of the competition. In addition, it contains around 33% less fat than other similar products.
How Does Nhlayisa Power Supply Deliver On Taste?
Perhaps it is easier to let the facts speak for themselves. A blind test carried out using Nhlayisa Power Supply along with all of the competition, showed that Power Supply was the preferred taste.
Indeed, Nhlayisa Nutrition Solutions is clearly passionate about what they do. Motivated by the need to awaken the talents and potential of the people of South Africa and the necessity to address nutritional deficiencies within the locality, Nhlayisa Power Supply comes with an abundance of advantages. In fact, it could be said that this is a product that is passionate about delivering on quality and promoting exceptional physical and mental well being.
Amazon started as an online bookseller and has grown to become a behemoth of an online retailer, carrying virtually every product that is possible to ship to homes.
Reaching into every sector, founder Jeff Bezos has taken over the eBook industry, the home shopping industry has made inroads in the tablet industry, and has plans to move into many more, with fresh food delivered to homes and goods transported by delivery drones.
How did this Internet mega-company begin?
Jeff Bezos, a high school valedictorian and computer science and electrical engineering graduate of Princeton, originally wanted to start his own company. Instead, he joined a Wall Street startup company. In 1988 he again wanted to start his own company but took another position with a Wall Street company.
Six years later in 1994, Jeff Bezos was 30 years old and had a job working on Wall Street in New York City. His life-changing moment came when he read a statistic that web usage in early 1994 was growing exponentially at a rate of 2,300 percent per year. This jaw-dropping statistic told Bezos that the internet had incredible growth and income potential, and he decided to quit his job, move to Seattle, and start his own internet company.
He pondered what type of business might perform the best in light of that kind of industry growth. He made a list of 20 products that he thought were ideal for internet sale, and chose books, for their low cost and universal appeal.
Bezos turned to his parents for his initial funding. Despite his father not knowing what the internet was, both parents hopped on board with the plan and handed over $100,000 of their personal savings. This, even though Bezos warned them that there was a 70% chance they’d lose their investment. They would later invest another $145,000.
Bezos initially called his company Cadabra, but within 3 months he decided to change the name because over the phone it was too often mistaken for the word “cadaver.” The company was renamed Amazon.
Although Amazon ran ads that implied Amazon had huge warehouses full of books, in the beginning, it was just Bezos working in his garage, ordering books after customers ordered from him, then hand-packing the books himself and shipping them out to customers.
In 1995 amazon.com raised 8 million dollars in capital from Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers. Amazon went public at $18 per share in 1997, for additional funding. The investment by the Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers firm resulted in an astounding 55,000 percent return on investment.
By 1999 Time Magazine named Jeff Bezos as “Person of the Year” for pioneering the dramatic popularity of online shopping.
Over the years, the corporate giant has assimilated more than 44 companies, including Tony Hsieh’s Zappos in 2009 via a stock swap and the Washington Post in 2013.
Jeff Bezos credits his company’s stubbornness with its success. Despite taking three tries to get third-party sellers on Amazon to work, he never gave up. That determination has paid off well, as today Amazon is one of the best-known internet companies in the world.
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Today Google is one of the most known names in the world, however, it wasn’t always that way. In fact, not even 20 years ago Google wasn’t even a thought. However, most people don’t know how Google got started, how it can inspire them to reach for their own dreams, and how Google has managed to stay on top for so long. The real story is truly amazing and shows that sometimes a good idea is all that you need.
While attending University at Stanford University, two students had an idea to make a search engine that would connect the world. They started it as a research project, to see if they could improve upon existing search engines. They felt that if they could invent a better algorithm that they could produce better search results. However, the project was only supposed to be on a small scale, used to demonstrate their ideas.
Once they saw that they were right, they began to work on it more and more over time. They specifically created their algorithm to collect more information, even when they weren’t online, and to keep learning from itself. This meant that within a few months of its creation, Google was actually out pacing the other search engines that had been in business for years. It was delivering better results, finding results faster, and actually being able to sort results by relevance, rather than displaying them in the order that they were submitted.
Like many tech start-ups, once it moved from the servers of the school that it was developed within, it was hosted and work on in a garage. This brings it in line with companies like Microsoft and Apple, both of which enjoyed inventive periods in garages that did not belong to the founders.
After the engine had begun to perform well under stress, it was time to take it wide. However, to do this they needed investors, and they needed more bandwidth than they currently had. Thankfully, they found support among many of the elite within silicon valley, with companies seeing the possibilities that this search engine could offer to their companies. It took a little under a year to get enough funding and enough shareholders to truly open the Google that we know and love today.
They slowly started hiring employees, bringing them on board with their algorithm and benefiting from the ideas of many different people in relation to the search engine. This is also when they began to realize that Google could branch out and use the information that they had collected to create new and better solutions to other software that was already in use.
Over the next 10 years, the company began to offer e-mail services, messaging, information for advertisements that paid more than anyone else, and search results that could not be beaten. Their slow ascent to kings of the internet was not complete until the beginning of the 2000s, but their name was quickly becoming a household name.
Over time they shifted their focus to improving other technologies such as maps, communication, spreadsheets, and more. Their entire company has been focused around the idea of taking something that people already use and making it better. Creating solutions that keep the most relevant information in the hands of everyone who works in a given industry and opening up products to people who would otherwise not be able to access them.
Google started from a small idea, to improve upon something that already existed. They have kept true to their ideals, and this idea is one that can help others succeed as well.
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If you are a fan of Apple products, you probably believe that you know everything there is to know about the company. Chances are, you know far less than you think. Here are eight random facts that most people do not know about the technology giant.
1. The screen that is on the iPad device is not made by Apple at all. This was actually created by Samsung. This means that they pay a company to help them create a product that they are in direct competition with.
2. You can find Apple Stores all over the world, but many of the ones in China are counterfeits. There have been about two dozen stores that were closed down for being frauds. While many employees are aware that the store is not genuine, there are some who actually believe they work for Apple Inc.
3. Smoking near your computer can void the warranty. If you bring in your unit to get repaired by someone at an Apple Store, there is a huge chance that service may be refused. The company also voids warranties when the unit is clearly showing smoke damage and/or residue.
4. Their first laptop was invented in 1989. This was much earlier than many people believe. Not only did it weigh in at more than 16 pounds, but you could not get your hands on one for less than $6,000. This is probably why no one ever heard of them.
Whether you believe it or not, there are people out there who love this system and they have tinkered around with it. Some users have actually found a way to have these devices access the Internet.
5. Everything you say to Siri gets sent to the company, so you should probably think before you speak. The information is analyzed and stored. They have not been clear about why this is stored, but there has been no evidence that this data has been used in a legal case or anything like that.
6. No one is sure about why the logo depicts an apple that has already been bitten. There are a couple of theories out there, but the founders have never offered any explanation for it. The initial logo was a rainbow, which was chosen to point out the fact that the Apple computers that were available early on would display an array of colors.
7. Steve Wozniak is still considered an employee of Apple. While he does not have to report every day like everyone else, he is considered an official employee. He receives more than $100,000 from the company every year. Basically, he gets a great salary without having to clock in and do any work.
8. The original computer offered by the company was priced at $666.66. This may sound a little devilish to some, but there was actually some logic behind this. Apparently, Jobs felt like this price was very easy to type. It was also considered a round number that could be remembered with ease.
These days you can buy some systems for far less than that. On the flip side, there are others that cost more; they offer a wide range of products.
Now that there are so many people out there who use Apple products, you are certainly not in the minority. The best way to make yourself stand apart from all of the people who are out there buying the same products would be for you to have some hidden knowledge. Having all of these facts available can help you do just that.
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