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IBM Agent Reviews

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IBM CEO Virginia Rometty
Virginia Rometty
6 Ratings

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Pros
Cons
  • "At times difficult work life balance" (in 1061 reviews)

  • "Low salary increments since last 2 years" (in 505 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "cubicle workplace drone"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Purchasing Agent in Raleigh, NC
    Former Employee - Purchasing Agent in Raleigh, NC
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at IBM full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I like working with people and this position allowed me to talk with clients and assist in meeting their needs.

    Cons

    workplace environment was not warm and friendly, you just went about doing your work in your cubicle like a drone

    Advice to Management

    promote team camaraderie


  2. "Call Center Agent"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Call Center Agent in Boulder, CO
    Current Employee - Call Center Agent in Boulder, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at IBM full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    There aren't any pros to working here.

    Cons

    100% lack of qualified management; decisions made on a short-termsurvival basis only with no consideration given to the stability of the business in question, the employees, or customers. Agents swapped from account to account depending on call volume or account need without regard for the state of the account they're taken from. Boulder building is colossal, mostly empty, cold, poorly lit from room to room. Training is generally completely insufficient, pay is below average with starting salaries just over minimum wage. People approaching official retirement will be let go, forfeiting all benefits owed to them and there are occasions where, instead of firing people to improve the bottom line, they will mandate miserable schedules in the hope that the employees will quit of their own accord. There is no overtime for night shifts or holidays. There are no advancement opportunities available from the call center agent position despite the generous description found in job postings.

    Advice to Management

    Management? Get some, for starters.

  3. "Patent Engineer/Patent Agent"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Patent Engineer/Patent Agent
    Current Employee - Patent Engineer/Patent Agent
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at IBM (More than a year)

    Pros

    Flexible hours and manageable location

    Cons

    Low salary and poor location


  4. "helpdesk agent"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Helpdesk Agent in Armonk, NY
    Former Employee - Helpdesk Agent in Armonk, NY
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at IBM (More than a year)

    Pros

    9-5, fun coworkers and good pay

    Cons

    bad training and management lack of growth

    Advice to Management

    better quality control and structure


  5. Helpful (6)

    "Expendable - Immobile - Ignorant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Advanced Teleservices Agent in Boulder, CO
    Former Employee - Advanced Teleservices Agent in Boulder, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at IBM full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    You are almost impossible to fire for gross misconduct, you will likely be given significantly less work than you can do, and the company is developing a significant amount of interesting technology (Watson).

    Cons

    You will never get a "1" on your annual review which is the key to getting any form of promotion/raise/bonus. These will be reserved for people who have hung out in your job position for more than a decade and came up with your manager.

    You will not be paid nearly as much as anyone who has been with the company for a long time, despite education/qualification/etc. This has nothing to do with seniority, the company just used to pay a lot more and long ago cut entry pay for everyone joining after a certain date.

    You WILL be paid the same as your peers in the same job role. This entirely disregards how much work you do, your annual rating, or any other factors compared to their annual rating or effort. For example at the time I quit, I was doing the work of 2.5 people in my position while I had co-workers who were doing half of their actual work and getting on just fine.

    Continual Education only has value if it's IBM's continual education, and even then, you'll have to pay for it. I have a masters degree and put in more than 1200 hours of continual education in the last two years on my own time and time. Upon completion I was told by management "That's great" and received zero recognition, advancement, or acknowledgment for it. To add further insult to injury, I was then told I could not train in their "program manager" career track because I wasn't qualified (pay grade).

    Nepotism is rampant. This may be restricted to my division, but several managers have siblings, kids, or _____-in-laws working for them. As a result, these people will take a remarkable amount of vacation, leave early and arrive late, get the best assignments, and somehow rack up a lot of Overtime despite never seeming to be in the office.

    The career track is a meat grinder. To get to my position and to advance beyond my position is this: Join the company as an extremely underpaid contractor via CCI or Kelly Services. Get worked to death for an unliveable wage. Prove that you're somehow special (maybe) and get the opportunity to interview for a Long Term Supplemental position (a 3 year contract at a flat pay rate that hasn't been adjusted in 5 years and if/when it does, will NOT be retroactively bumped), where you will then compete against about 100 other LTS staff for a chance at getting converted to an IBM "Regular" (the odds are about 1-3%). If you make it, you will not receive any raise or special recognition, you're just not going to get fired at the end of 3 years. Beyond this point, there is a layer of managers who have all worked there for at least a decade and who have no career motivation, so your only hope at advancing higher than this is that one of them gets fired or quits, and even then they tend to just double up over the accounts rather than leaving the position open.

    Advice to Management

    Re-work your services business model. You have annual attrition of 95% and it's a huge waste of talent and effort. Your emphasis on "speed to answer" makes it so that the vendor contractors will hire almost anyone so long as they have a pulse so they pick up the phone, resulting in huge wastes of training, coaching, and HR effort to keep these borderline retarded people still "working".

    Your emphasis on "think 40" for your staff is stupid. You force staff to educate themselves in things that have nothing to do with them (teaching HR about Cloud Infrastructure is akin to teaching field workers astrophysics; is it interesting? Sure. Is it going to help them do their jobs at all? No.) Your strategic initiatives are great ideas but your are executing way too slowly (by the economic definition you have been in two consecutive depressions).

    Your system for promotions/retention is insane and borderline abusive. You will hire someone off the street right out of college and pay them six figures, but if someone works for you and gets the same degree, you will not promote them or shop them around to other managers, nor provide them with any raise. This will *always* result in you losing that employee when they get tired of your "See this as a learning experience" BS.

    The ivory tower viewpoint of the company is killing the employees. I had two mentors who were 20+ year employees who received the fabled "1" ratings for years in a row, and both were placed on the "Developmental Plan of Action" in which you cut their pay by 10% and give them a day off during the week to "educate themselves to improve". This was done to save the company money in a year that it was going to fail to show a profit in 3rd quarter (2014), and resulted in you losing both of them. Don't insult your employees.

    Specifically to Ginny: Resign. Your tenure as a CEO cannot be excused under the "we're undergoing a strategic transition" blanket. It is 100% your responsibility to make the changes in a timely, efficient, and effective manner. It never occurred to you that the divisions you believed were "low margin" were still producing a margin, whereas firing thousands of talented staff to get rid of these low margin divisions has pushed them into the hands of our competition. You can't get away with giving little-to-no-raises at the company and then pay yourself a multi-million dollar bonus (yes I know the board awarded it to you, but I also know you're super-chummy people). You and your hairband have lost touch with the pulse of the company in a deeply fundamental way. You use and abuse the staff and expect them to be grateful to work at IBM, despite it not being the same company that it was when you were down in the trenches 20+ years ago. You live a charmed life atop your tower, and I'm pretty sure you thought Marie Antoinette was spot on when she said "let them eat cake."


  6. "Contract employees treated like second class citizen of IBM."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Call Center Agent in Boulder, CO
    Former Employee - Call Center Agent in Boulder, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    They have the technology to get the proper training and get the job done. Only take job if you're a full time IBM employee, not a contractor.

    Cons

    Contractor has to follow different rules than IBM employees. Contractors have no perks, no personal growth opportunities. You're there just to work and nothing else. Any manager can complain about contractors. Especially happens when the managers are incompetent. They have nothing better to do than walk around and complain. Unwritten rule that contractors can't be hired on as full time IBM employees. Even if you leave a contractor position then get hired on two years later they will hassle you about how they don't do that and insinuate you worked behind their backs to to get that job. You literally have to tell the person that you've done nothing wrong and unless they have some proof you'll officially file a complaint against them. Pay was good (~$15)until they went with lowest bidder (~9).

    Advice to Management

    managers, especially new ones are so anxious to apply six sigma that they get blinded when it becomes detrimental to the employees. Take care of your employees and you'll less turnover and a harder working staff. Saving a few $$ looks good on paper but then moral goes down and productivity/quality suffers.


  7. "High waste, low salaries, very "old school" management systems."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Advanced Teleservices Agent in Boulder, CO
    Current Employee - Advanced Teleservices Agent in Boulder, CO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at IBM full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    It's easy to shine among all the dullards, they have tons of free education available, and the work load is usually pretty light (they over-employ).

    Cons

    Promotions are "open season", so even if you've been on your team for several years, there's a very strong chance someone from another team is going to steal your promotion (even with lateral moves). They outsource their interviews to other managers constantly, meaning that "surprise surprise", that manager's subordinates get the promotions. They hire almost everyone as a "long term supplemental" meaning that your contract ends after a few years no matter how well or poorly you performed during that time, and getting converted to a regular is an act akin to resurrecting the dead.

    Advice to Management

    Quality is greater than quantity, even in a Service Desk. You need to take accountability for the development of your employees, just letting people skate by is a complete waste. The LTS system is currently broken: You regularly lose talented people because you never get around to advancing them, and you keep horrible people because you know they'll just time out eventually and don't feel like doing the hard thing and cutting them loose.

  8. Helpful (2)

    "IBM HelpDesk"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - TechConnect Service Agent in Markham, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - TechConnect Service Agent in Markham, ON (Canada)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at IBM full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Comfortable, non-physical, good to expand skills, constant learning, challenging, average pay, lots of co-workers, both high-paced and lively as well as can be slow depending on preference.

    Cons

    24/7 hour SLA, average pay, rude customers/angry, difficult issues, systems proprietary software, not enough training, long hours, sometimes must take odd shifts you really don't want, no benefits, contract based so no promotions, no statutory holidays, no bonuses, no vacation pay, holiday pay is 1.5x salary if worked on that day only otherwise 0

    Advice to Management

    Applicants should at least have basic PC knowledge and prefer Comp TIA A+ cert with CCNA plus ITIL and some sort of active directory knowledge.


  9. Helpful (5)

    "Sad but True"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Agent in Sofia (Bulgaria)
    Former Employee - Agent in Sofia (Bulgaria)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The office building SAC is nice location nearby the airport

    Cons

    Bad Management, no good training, they promise you a lot but nothing is done afterwards.
    Most bad work experience over there. Underpaid and terrible shifts to do.
    No respect for motivated people there, It's a shame for IBM to arrange such a mess.

    Advice to Management

    Look into the mirror first and than be honest !!! The way it's going now there is many will also leave


  10. "Career development"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Service Desk Agent in Brno (Czech Republic)
    Current Employee - Service Desk Agent in Brno (Czech Republic)
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Big experience
    Fast career development
    Work/Life Balance

    Cons

    Salary below market conditions
    Expensive Canteen
    No meal voucher