IBM patent application diagrams method for offshoring

The world's largest IT services company is attempting to boost its creative cost-cutting techniques with a patent application -- number 20090083107 at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office -- for a "method and system for strategic global resource sourcing." (Yes, "resource sourcing.") In short, IBM wants to patent its math for deciding where to offshore staff.

A patented methodology for deciding where to send jobs overseas to cut costs would be a valuable tool that IBM could sell to its corporate clients. But IBM has plenty of opportunity to eat its own dog food: The company continues to slash its own payroll, starting with 4,600 cuts earlier this year and continuing with a huge layoff within its 180,000-employee global business services group leaked to the Wall Street Journal last week.

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Project Match, an IBM offshoring initiative the Standard reported on last month, offers U.S. employees the chance to stay with IBM by relocating to another country, to work in an IBM regional division at local wage rates. IBM has roughly 400,000 employees in 170 countries. As of early February, fewer than ten employees had shown interest in the program.

To be honest, I can't quite follow the application's dense language describing how the system works and what's uniquely special about it.

This story, "IBM patent application diagrams method for offshoring" was originally published by The Industry Standard.