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Interesting article in IEEE Annals of the History of Computing
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David Boyes
2017-10-05 15:23:09 UTC
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How things used to be done. Interesting perspective on process and benefits to the organization.


IBM Branch Offices: What They Were, How They Worked, 1920s–1980s

James W. Cortada

Abstract:
IBM branch offices were the company’s local face around the world in the 20th century. Its sales and customer support came out of these organizations, which are described here, using the example of one branch office as a historical case study. Additionally, personal perspectives on their role of having worked with these during the 1970s and 1980s are provided.

Published in: IEEE Annals of the History of Computing ( Volume: 39, Issue: 3, 2017 )


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Anne & Lynn Wheeler
2017-10-05 19:02:01 UTC
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Post by David Boyes
IBM Branch Offices: What They Were, How They Worked, 1920s–1980s
James W. Cortada
IBM branch offices were the company’s local face around the world in
the 20th century. Its sales and customer support came out of these
organizations, which are described here, using the example of one
branch office as a historical case study. Additionally, personal
perspectives on their role of having worked with these during the
1970s and 1980s are provided.
Published in: IEEE Annals of the History of Computing ( Volume: 39, Issue: 3, 2017 )
one of the issues after 23jun1969 unbundling announcement was how to
handle the training of new SEs ... previously it was sort of journeyman
training as part of large SE group at customer site. Unbundling started
to charge for SE time at the customer ... and they couldn't figure out
how to *NOT* charge for the SE trainee time. past posts mentiong
23jun1969 unbundling
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/submain.html#unbundle

The solution was HONE ... hands-on network environment, online to
(originally) CP67 virtual machine datacenters (later moved to vm370)
... being able to practice with running guest operating systems in
virtual machines. I provided highly customized & enhanced CP67 operating
systems (and later VM370) to HONE from just about the beginning until
sometime in the mid-80s. One of early enhancements was to provide
simulation of the newly announced 370 instructions ... so guest
operating systems generated for 370s could be run under CP67. some
past posts mentioning HONE
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/subtopic.html#hone

The science center (besides doing CP40, CP67, CMS, GML, internal network
... technology also used for the corporate sponsored university BITNET
... where ibm-main mailing list originated) ... early on, also ported
APL\360 to CMS as CMS\APL. HONE then started offering CMS\APL based
sales&marketing support applications ... eventually the sales&marketing
support applications started to dominate all HONE activity (salesmen
edging out trainee SEs at branch office terminals) ... and the original
HONE use for guest operating systems dwindled away. past posts
mentioning science center
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/subtopic.html#545tech
post mentioning internal network
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/subnetwork.html#internalnet
posts mentioning corporate sponsored univ network
http://www.garlic.com/~lynn/subnetwork.html#bitnet

Mid-70s, all the US HONE datacenters were consolidated in Palo Alto
(trivia when FACEBOOK originally moved to silicon valley, it was into
new bldg next door to the old HONE datacenter). Their VM370 systems were
enhanced to support single-system-image ... possibly largest in the
world, eight large POK multiprocessor all operating as single complex
with load balancing and fall-over across the complex. In the early 80s,
this was replicated first in dallas and then in boulder ... with
fall-over for disaster survivability across the three datacenters.
Also, by mid-70s, mainframe configurations were getting so complex, that
all new customer orders had to be first be run through HONE
configurators.

Also by late 70s, various IBM factions were demanding that HONE be
migrated to MVS, the corporation's "favorite son operating system"
... and periodically all HONE resources were being devoted to MVS
migration, eventually fail ... and then things would settle back to
normal for a little while ... and then it would start all over. After
several of these failed attempts, in the first part of the 80s, they
started blaming me (and my enhanced vm370 operating systmes) for all the
failed attempts to migrate to MVS.

During the late 70s period, head of POK had made some internal
proclamations that VM370 was being killed as product (part of the
initial motivation for migrating HONE to MVS) ... which initiated huge
protests from HONE & marketing ... and POK had to spend several months
walking back the proclamation (reassuring HONE and marketing
organization).
--
virtualization experience starting Jan1968, online at home since Mar1970

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