Jargon Watch: Say What? : Planet Money Further adventures in corporate speak.
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Jargon Watch: Say What?

Layoffs are continuing at IBM this week, says Lee Conrad, union organizer with Alliance@IBM. The job cuts started quietly on Wednesday, the day after IBM posted a 12 percent quarterly rise in profits and the CEO sent a companywide letter promising bonuses and raises.

Conrad says nearly 3,000 people have been sent packing so far.

Along the way, workers are wending through jungle of corporate jargon. Most of the laid-off workers have been Resource-Actioned. Conrad expects further cuts this year by Management-Initiated Separations (translation: You're fired.). "Believe me, you need a dictionary," Conrad says. After the jump, more IBM-ese.

An IBM worker forwarded this corporate e-mail, with an acknowledgment that years at the company hadn't made the acronyms any clearer:


This morning, Marc Lautenbach announced important changes to the way we work in North America. I would like to share these changes with you and outline what it means to our own GTS organization.

North America IOT

We are enhancing the S&D operating model with the introduction of the North America Integrated Operating Team (IOT) to improve how we integrate IBM for our clients. The North America IOT will consist of four Integrated Market Teams (IMTs) led by:

Phil Guido, General Manager, U.S. East IMT

Todd Kirtley, General Manager, U.S. West IMT

Todd Ramsey, General Manager, U.S. Federal IMT

Dan Fortin, General Manager, Canada, IMT

The IMT profit centers replace the current regional structure and have responsibility for brand and client set resource deployment for better integration of IBM capabilities. This, combined with optimal resource allocation, will ultimately improve our sales execution and drive more value for clients. An increased span of control for IMT sales managers and a streamlined IOT leadership team will boost our operational efficiency and speed decision-making.

The new design brings responsibility for IBM's business model closer to our client teams and aligns North America to IBM's global markets strategy. You can read more about the announcement on w3.

What this means for GTS

Our SO brand will continue to be aligned at the North America IOT level to optimize utilization across the IMTs. The SO organization will maintain its current Sector / Industry structure. GBS will also continue to be aligned at the North America IOT level. Because ITS had been aligned by the three US regions, we will adjust our model to align with the new dual East and West IMT structure in the US. Additional details will be provided shortly by John Visentin and his management team.

Despite the economic uncertainty, IBM remains uniquely positioned. We are ready to assist our clients with smarter solutions and strategies to lead in their industries and to help as they retool for efficiency and cost savings. I am counting on this team to remain focused as we implement these changes.