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April 18, 2020


Pasquale Di Cesare

Thank you for this post Irving. I joined IBM in early 1994 and lived in first person IBM transforming and rising again, going through most of what you write about. I still recollect people discouraging me in joining but what a bad choice would I have made, had I listened: I would not had the privilege, beside working with my Academy & Research (A&R) Clients, CERN in particular, of meeting you in person, be inspired by your work and be concretely supported. In my former Clients environment, several of the technology you mention and for which you played such a disruptive role in IBM, were in use or being experimented and foreseen for the future. Your and several other enlightened technology leaders’ actions were instrumentals to my task, despite the uncertainties. I early retired in 2015 and the importance the A&R Client environment is to my eyes again emphasized today, 26 years later since I joined. I strongly feel, when reading with interest the recent Arvind Krishna’s letter to employees, strategic technology choices such as hybrid clouds, AI, Linux, open source, RH OpenShift etc … constitute in large part the ground of those A&R Clients daily work or are evaluated for the future. I greatly appreciate the support IBM has provided. Clearly to me the “Talent and R&D investments”, e.g. with IBM Research, was absolutely key and Lou Gerstner’s “Wise leadership” of paramount importance. The book you cite contains many of the communications I still recollect receiving as young IBMer, a precious resource I enjoy revisiting from time to time. And I hope and think to some extent I contributed to that “Trustful relationships” with the Clients you emphasize: I am extremely grateful to you, IBM and many of my former colleagues and management!

Z. Sarah

Thank you for sharing all this insight and background story for IBM in the 90s towards today and the future. Always looked to IBM as a leader in technology. To make high end technilogy you would need a strong backbone of all these elements mentioned.

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