Welcome to consulting careers at IBM
‘Consulting’. It’s such a dry word. But why should it be? We believe the imagination and insight of our consultants can consistently and noticeably improve the world around us. Whether you’re new to the industry or an experienced professional, this is a career where you can develop in many different ways and turn your hand to a wide range of projects. If you’re the kind of person who seeks out opportunities and takes charge of your own development, IBM is the place for you.
You probably already know that we’re a successful, global company. You may have heard about some of our work. But what is it that makes a career as a consultant at IBM truly different? Here’s what the people who actually work here have told us:
We make a point of partnering with creative, high-profile organisations – in fact, globally, we work with more than two thirds of the world’s 50 most innovative companies. In the UK, our clients include the BBC, Shell, the MoD, United Utilities, Marks & Spencer, BSkyB, O2, DVLA, DWP, Defra, Lloyds TSB and Barclays – to name just a few.
This isn’t just about the big projects. This is about projects that excite, inspire, push things forward. Projects that matter – not just to us, or our clients, but to the wider world. In Galway Bay, for instance, we launched our Smart Bay initiative (00:03:44), installing special buoys that analyse weather patterns, water quality and sea conditions to help predict tidal storm surges and protect the local marine environment. We worked with the BBC to revolutionise their finance function - allowing 50% of their finance budget to be put back into creating great programmes. We helped the DVLA - one of the busiest government agencies - to improve the services they offer to customers and free up capacity equivalent to around 220 full-time jobs. We’ve worked with the British Library to safeguard millions of webpages for posterity, and with Brawn GP to streamline their design process for new Formula One cars. And we’re also collaborating with energy providers to make a mass market of low-emission, electric cars a possibility. That’s just the start of course - there’s a great deal going on all across the business.
If you’re not careful, niches can become trenches. Not here. The sheer scope of what we work on means you’ll have the opportunity to explore new types of projects, across nearly every industry area. Here, you’ll have the freedom to align yourself with the kind of projects that interest you – if you’re proactive and committed enough to seek them out.
The sheer breadth of IBM’s capability means your projects need never be restricted in scope. We’re home to expertise in everything from software and hardware through to construction and ecology. We also benefit from the backing of a global, highly-funded and highly-regarded research and development department – IBM Research – which regularly delivers breakthroughs in a range of areas, from studying solar energy in the Middle East to developing systems to help improve safety on city streets. So, if you believe your client could benefit from taking a broader look at the challenges they’re facing, you can speak up with confidence.
In 2009, Fortune magazine ranked IBM as the best company for leaders – probably because we’ve worked hard to create an environment where you can constantly add to your expertise. First, we’ll put together a personalised career development plan that’ll map out a path to where you want to go. Then, you’ll be able to take advantage of the vast range of training available – from e-learning courses, to classroom tutoring. And the best thing is, where you take your career is entirely up to you: you can develop vertically, horizontally, across different specialisms or within just one. Whether you want to grow your expertise in consultancy, sales, delivery or the technical side of projects, we can help you.
If you want advice on a project, it’s never far away. After all, our culture’s built around collaboration. Rest assured, too, that you’ll have some inspirational people to turn to: some of our colleagues here have won Nobel Prizes, Turing Awards and countless industry accolades – including, recently, an MCA IT Consultant award. Even in their lives away from work, our people accomplish amazing things. One of our consultants is an acclaimed photographer, who regularly shoots behind the scenes at Wimbledon. Another works with a charity that supports South African street children through education. Others are studying diplomas or post graduate degrees; are established writers; or have developed technical expertise in their own time – such as a carbon tracking or social network analysis. All of which, we find, makes for a far more interesting place to work.
Innovation’s not something new to us. In fact, we’ve been pushing boundaries for over 100 years. We were behind the personal computer, the first ever calculator, the mainframe computer, the memory chip and games console chips. We’ve even developed NASA technology that enabled man to land on the moon, speech recognition and supercomputers that are used for everything from monitoring climate change to beating people at gameshows. Ours is a business with strong roots - and a healthy future of growth. Not because we want to tread the same paths to success. But because we’re intrigued. We’re fascinated by the future. And we’re constantly looking for the next big thing. Much like you.
We live and work by strong ethical standards here at IBM (in fact, we’ve been ranked #1 in Covalence’s EthicalQuote assessment of 581 large companies worldwide). So, as you might imagine, there’s a lot you can get involved in. Every year, thousands of our employees give up many hours of their own time to volunteer and help local communities, schools and charities. But for us, all that isn’t enough. We want to arm our people with the tools and skills they need to become inspirational volunteers. So, we launched On Demand Community, a website for IBM employees (and retired employees) that hosts a vast range of tools and information to help you improve as a volunteer, as well as a searchable link to volunteer opportunities near you. You can even organise your own event, and draw on the skills of IBM consultants around the world. Find out more.
IBM Global Business Services in the news
The Wimbledon App transforms the fan experience at the tournament by combining GPS location data with analytics and live-action feeds of all the tennis action.
BAT rationalises global leadership development.
The DVLA joins forces with the Motor Insurers Bureau and IBM to tackle uninsured driving.
Nationwide transforms its online banking with IBM.
Global Business Services is part of Global Services, the world's largest services company - we have consultants and professional staff in more than 170 countries. As you might expect, we have developed vast amounts of expertise, across many different industries. We’ve driven growth in the telecommunications industry. We’ve managed the multichannel world of media. We’ve optimised complex supply chains. We’ve helped build intelligent oil fields.
What will you do? Broadly speaking, our consultants work within various different service lines, which are defined by the services we provide to our clients and the industries in which we go to market. You can build your career in one or more of these areas, focusing deeply in a particular discipline or developing expertise across several. Here’s how it breaks down:
Service lines you can join
We bring together strategy and process consulting skills, change management expertise and industry insight, to help clients transform their businesses. In Strategy & Transformation, you’ll be part of a multi-disciplinary team organised around one of our clients’ business areas: Business and Customer, Operations & Supply Chain, Organisation & People, Finance & Risk, or Technology. You would be working closely with colleagues from other service lines, and from across IBM, to create that fusion of business insight and deep technology expertise that differentiates an IBM solution.
In today’s market conditions, there’s a lot of opportunity to help clients improve the way they work, make efficiencies and predict their future performance. This is why we’re investing heavily in Business Analytics. Our expertise helps clients see patterns in vast amounts of data, and make intelligent, fact-based business decisions. We have five areas of focus here that you can be part of: Strategy, Business Intelligence and Performance Management; Advanced Analytics and Optimisation; Enterprise Information Management; and Enterprise Content Management.
Simply put, we’re the largest SAP integrator in the world. We’re also the only SAP partner that holds all three certifications – global services, technology and hosting. We’ve more than 10,000 SAP practitioners; we’ve helped some 5000 clients worldwide; and we’ve a broad range of capabilities – consulting, infrastructure and applications, in-depth support, and operational and management processes. What does this mean to you? Well, you’ll play a key role in developing, selling and managing complex, groundbreaking projects. You’ll be able to draw on a broad portfolio of skills and services. And you’ll be part of a team that’s won many awards for its work (in fact, we were named SAP Partner of the Year in 2009).
We have one of the largest and most knowledgeable groups of Oracle, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Siebel consultants around. Here, you’ll have access to top-tier clients and benefit from our ongoing investment in innovative solutions, people development and intellectual capital. You’ll also have the benefit of working with dedicated technologists, who collaborate on new Oracle and PeopleSoft solutions, tackle R&D technology issues and develop educational materials.
In Application Innovation Services we’ve a single mission: to help IBM clients innovate and grow by applying advanced technologies, developing applications and bringing together complex systems. Our consultants bring wide-ranging expertise – in everything from wireless and mobile technologies, to web-based application development and enterprise integration. For you, this is a chance to join the leader in the application services market and one of the fastest growing service providers in the industry.
How can we help clients add functionality and manage the cost at the same time? This is the conundrum our Application Management Services consultants answer. They deliver expertise across the entire applications spectrum, and apply a range of technologies, from the traditional to the most-leading-edge web capabilities. There are a number of areas to tackle: new solutions, enhancements of existing applications, end user support and application maintenance – giving you the opportunity to turn your hand to a variety of challenges.
Where you can specialise
It goes without saying that our clients want us to build intricate knowledge of their businesses. This is why we’re constantly on the lookout for people who have, or can gain, deep industry expertise. Below are the areas of specialist experience we look for – and the kind of areas you can develop knowledge in when you join us.
So, whether you're an individual contributor or large-scale project leader, a business process or technical professional, a deep industry specialist or someone who has worked across industries, we can offer you an ideal home for your expertise.
Like every business, we’ve got competencies and skills for our roles. But the deal-breaker’s something far more personal: we want to see qualities that inspire us. Clearly, everyone’s different; but we’ve found that the very best consultants – whether they’re experienced hands or new to this – have a few things in common:
Great things aren’t achieved by keeping your head down and simply getting on with your work. Join us and we’ll want you to look up. Ask questions. Share your opinions, ideas and knowledge. And benefit from the intelligence, imagination and experience of the people around you – because there’s a lot to take advantage of.
It’s impossible to exaggerate how important relationships are here. Personal networks are key to exploring all the opportunities available – and getting the best results. Our projects are often complex and multi-layered, and they’ll inevitably involve a broad team of people with varying specialist skills – colleagues and clients. You’ll need to bring all these disparate talents together. You’ll take responsibility for making things happen. And you’ll inspire trust from everyone you work with.
Brilliant ideas can come from anywhere – not just what you’ve learnt at work. That’s why we’ve created an environment where people can draw on and pursue things that interest them. We have consultants here who are artists, scientists and Nobel Prize winners. We have students and parents. Some of our people run charities and small businesses in their spare time. The fact is, everyone here is all different. And they all bring wonderful and diverse interests to the workplace. So that’s what we’ll look for from you: a background that says you’re intrigued by the world around you and eager to learn and explore further. Because part of what makes IBM IBM is that we’re not just interested in our results; we’re interested in the wider world too.
In a nutshell: you’ve got gravitas, you’re able to influence people at every level, and you’ll always make sure we deliver. You take a disciplined, methodical approach to your work – and always push for quality. It can be demanding: there will be a fair bit of hard graft and travel, and because you’re partnering with some of the top companies in the world, the bar will be set high. But then, why would you want it any other way?
Essentially, what we look for in our consultants is a depth of expertise. Do you need specific consulting experience? Absolutely not. We’re always on the lookout for industry experts to join us, and if you can bring specialist knowledge in any of our service lines, we can offer you the training you’ll need to become a fantastic consultant. That’s not to say we’re not demanding: whatever your background, we like to speak to people who’ve consistently delivered truly great results. People whose achievements will inspire us.
When you join Global Business Services, you become part of a far-reaching network of expertise. One that has developed and evolved over more than 100 years. Needless to say, then, that you won’t need to look far for advice, insight and support. But what else can you expect from us?
Our consultants are extraordinary people: they balance client commitments, travel, education, family and outside interests. And that’s why we’ve worked hard to create a workplace culture and environment that enables this to happen. So, we’ll give you the opportunity to work longer hours some days, shorter hours others; the ability to work from home or an IBM location nearer to home; and options such as part-time employment, leave of absence programmes and flexible work-week schedules. All of which means you can balance the demands of your job with your interests and home life with far more ease.
We all have different lifestyles and needs. And that’s why IBM has created an award-winning flexible benefits program that’s been praised for its “maximum flexibility, choice, value, personalisation and responsiveness”.
How does it work? When you join, you’ll enjoy a core set of benefits:
- private medical insurance, which you can extend to cover your spouse or family
- group life assurance (at twice your annual salary)
- our Smart* Pension
- flexible holiday entitlement – you can buy up to 10 days’ additional? holiday or sell up to 5
- sickness and accident plan
You’ll then be given an Additional Benefit Fund, which you can either choose to take in cash, or use to add further benefits including childcare vouchers, health assessments, travel insurance and emergency care.
Your pay will be influenced not just by the success of the business, but by the results you deliver. As well as your monthly base salary, you can earn extra rewards from programmes such as profit-sharing bonuses, incentive plans or awards – depending on your role and the specific compensation programmes we have in place for a particular period. So, for example: when our business objectives exceed the plan and you perform at the highest level, you'll have the chance to be among the best-paid employees in the marketplace.
Consulting is collaborative effort: most often, you’ll work as part of a project team. Early on in your career, you’ll learn from senior members of your practice and working side by side with other business and technology professionals from around the world. It is a fast-paced, stimulating environment. It’s full of challenge, but also filled with opportunities to grow, learn, develop and achieve. The potential is there for those who proactively seek it out.
We help our people take ownership of their careers and build their expertise. Every year, we’ll work together to document your goals and establish a Development Plan based around your aspirations. This helps you identify the skills you’ll need and see what prospects are available to improve those skills. It’s also a great opportunity to discuss your career ambitions, job satisfaction, priorities, skills and competency gaps with your manager.
While most traditional consulting firms offer a single route to a leadership position, we have four career paths that focus on our consulting, sales, project management and technical competencies. This works by focusing on your strengths and interests in one or more disciplines:
- Partner – client management, practice development, engagement sales and delivery
- Sales Executive – client relationship and sales
- Delivery Executive – project management
- Distinguished Engineer – technical capabilities
What’s more, because you’ll be joining a large global organisation with many different business units, you’ll have access to career opportunities throughout IBM – including strategy, marketing, sales, finance and human resources, and many others. That’s something our competitors simply cannot match.
We want you to use your knowledge and expertise to help our clients solve their most-important business problems. And we’ll give you a comprehensive support network to enable you to do this. Your Career Manager will be there to guide you in planning your career and improving your performance. A Resource Manager will work with you to get you placed into assignments as soon as possible and, when you’re working on a project, you’ll of course have a Project Manager to set day-to-day objectives. We’ll also give you a ‘buddy’ – someone to welcome you into IBM, show you the ropes and be there for any questions you have.
Broadly speaking, we offer our consultants two types of education. Professional Development Education focuses on core consulting capabilities, delivery excellence including project management, leadership development and sales skills. Industry, Service Offering or technical education, meanwhile, focuses more on specific areas that are crucial to the industry or service offering you work within. As well as that, there’s a broad curriculum of training available. Everybody here has access to e-learning – allowing you to take the training you need, when you need it. There’s also classroom training and instructor-led workshops to help support and accelerate your development every step of the way.
Not only is diversity the right thing to do, it makes good business sense: after all, diverse ideas and approaches give our clients the best solutions. This is why we’ve developed a number of innovative programmes and policies, and created a culture that helps us all understand and appreciate the rich diversity of thought and perspective it brings.
Our networking groups are one of our biggest strengths. Many companies implement their diversity strategies and policies via their managers or HR department. Here, it’s our people who identify issues and then work on solutions. For example, we’ve developed a Blue Talent programme, a unique Development Programme for High Potential Women and Ethnic Minorities.
Diversity is an integral part of our make-up, and from the very top down, considered essential to our future success. It’s the way we’ve always done business, and it’s the way we intend to do business in the future.
There are a vast range of opportunities available for you at IBM. Varied projects. Diverse clients. And a number of different roles to suit your qualifications and interests. You can start exploring them right here.
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