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IBM - A Fighting Force in Uncertain Times

By Galvin Niu & Birgit Siegel Allison

In light of COVID-19, how has this impacted day to day operations at IBM?

IBM Canada has seamlessly shifted to a remote work approach. Approximately 95% of all IBM’ers around the world are now working from home; providing the help their clients need. IBM would like to thank their colleagues who are working on the frontlines during this unprecedented time. They have continued to work at IBM’s manufacturing facilities and onsite at client locations to ensure clients have the support and resources they need. IBM’ers have access to many tools and resources that allow them to successfully work from home. They are able to rethink their strategies, support each other and seamlessly continue to do business.

How has your sales strategies differentiated during this time?

IBM spent the time to understand clients’ challenges and see things from their point of view. As a trusted advisor, IBM is educating their clients about the right solutions that can help them navigate uncertainty, adapt to changing conditions, and become more resilient during this global crisis. They offer business solutions to address new cybersecurity risks, support health and human services, accelerate agility and efficiency with cloud and AI, and many more to tackle the Covid-19 disruption.

How do you see sales evolving over the next few years at IBM?

It is undoubtedly an uneasy period of time for everyone around the world. There has been a sharp increase in demand from clients to help them be more digital and agile while protecting their core business and information. IBM has a role right now to help clients show resiliency and expertise to support and safeguard clients’ business. Internally, there has been some recent leadership changes at IBM, a new CEO, Arvind Krishna and President, James M. Whitehurst have been appointed. Both leaders are excited to shape the company and will take this opportunity to adopt forward-thinking principals for modern workspaces and employee development. Arvind Krishna shares his vision for the future of enterprise technology in an era of digital transformation at the 2020 Think Digital Event Experience – take a look here: 629307/replay/126600956/

How has IBM been supporting new businesses during this crisis?

Since the declaration of the global pandemic, IBM has been providing support to clients, government agencies, and partners for their mission-critical operations. In collaboration with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the U.S. Department of Energy and many others, IBM is helping launch the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium. This supercomputer has worked around the clock to help researchers better understand COVID-19, its treatments and potential cures. IBM worked with the weather channel to build an interactive dashboard where you can use the aggregated data to track the spread of COVID-19, help others collect insights, and show how cases are trending over time. Also, nine cloud offerings are available to clients at no charge for 90-days (source). These include security, supply chain, remote workforce, and business continuity. IBM is also offering Watson Assistant that is trained to understand and respond to common COVID-19 questions at no charge for at least 90 days. IBM has published a COVID-19 Action Guide that provides a framework organized around seven key imperatives that will be useful for any organization’s Executive team. Anyone can leverage the capabilities of these offerings and help themselves through this pandemic. You can find complete coverage on the company’s efforts here:

What do you look for in a sales candidate at IBM?

A potential sales candidate would have a real passion for client success, sales achievement, and daily collaboration with clients and other IBM teammates. Essential skill sets and experiences that would be evaluated include:

- Aptitude to learn and use innovative selling technologies (e.g., analytics, social media) to network, engage clients, identify new business opportunities, and translate business requirements into technology solutions

- Conversant and knowledgeable about technology, trends and how technology is being applied to address business challenges

- Team collaboration and leadership

- Experience demonstrating business insight for long-lasting client relationships and results

- Motivation to accomplish sales and business objectives

- Professional verbal, written, and interpersonal skills

- Empathy and skills to achieve high levels of customer satisfaction

For additional information about the Summit Program, please visit:

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