travel & lifestyle blog by ruth dela cruz


Bleeding Blue

October 30, 2017
IBM Corporate Service Corp 10 Years

Four years ago, I left IBM. I left while I still love the Big Blue. After all these years, I know I still bleed blue. 

Related Read: I Quit My Job to Travel the World; I Wish I Could Tell You to Do the Same
When people ask me if I have plans of going back to the corporate world or working for another employer, I always know that I could no longer find another IBM – the company that challenges everyone to work in a global setting and collaborate to achieve one common goal – and at the same time, helps understand people, culture, and their ways of work. The organization that stretches an individual to be always part of a solution and innovation – no matter how small or big one’s position or title under his/her name. 
More than having a flexible schedule and a good package stored in my 201 file, what IBM provided me is something worth more than a PBC rating of 1. IBM helped us become more responsible citizens of the world. 
It is funny and entertaining, how ex-IBMers would talk and reminisce the old days that we had with the Big Blue – there is always that nostalgic tone of how we missed working with IBMers (because we know everyone is an expert at what they do – it is not about the tenure, age or position), how we all worked to meet Service Level Agreements, pass corporate audits and ensure Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliance;  – setting aside differences in culture, opinions and preferences – because we accepted diversity and equal opportunities; – and simply because, we are bound with the same values that made us IBMers. 
Last October 26, 2017, I joined IBM to celebrate 10 Years of IBM Corporate Service Corp and witness the closing ceremony of the CSC Philippines Team 18 who is deployed in the Philippines. 
IBM launched the pro bono Corporate Service Corps in 2008 primarily as a vehicle for global leadership development. Teams of from eight to 15 members partner with government, business and civic leaders in emerging markets to address high-priority issues such as education, health and economic development. They spend one month in the host country together with other talented IBMers from all over the world.

Our team #TeamIndonesia3 Makasssar, March 9, 2012 to April 7, 2012

Shout out to Cheryl, Marcelo, Arun, Jessica, Vivek, Sabine, Javier and Tom

Since its inception, the IBM Corporate Service Corp has provided over $80M consulting service for free on over 1,200 projects in 38 countries delivered by over 3,300 of IBM Experts, making it the largest program in itself. About 30 Filipino IBMers have participated in the program, while the Philippines has received over $7M worth of free consulting service from 18 CSC teams composed of about 200 IBMers. 
This year’s CSC Philippines Team is composed of 17 of IBM’s most talented employees from the US, Mexico, Japan, India, Italy, Canada, Australia, Brazil and Germany who teamed with 3 of US Peace Corps Response Volunteers (as part of an innovative public-private partnership agreement between IBM and the US Peace Corps), to spend one month working with PHILVOCS and PAGASA. 
The event was attended by  US Ambassador Sung Kim and IBM Philippines President Luis Pineda. 

CSC Philippines Team 18 with US Ambassador Sung Kim and IBM Philippines President Luis Pineda

IBM Corporate Service Corp 10 Years
David Raper and IBM Philippines Luis Pineda
I only met Luis once and I was surprised when he approached me and told me he did recognize me from Twitter 😲
What I love about IBM, we do not have communication barrier – you can easily talk to Executives and Leaders. 💓

IBM Corporate Service Corp 10 Years
Amazing partnership with IBM CSC and Peace Corps

David Raper, Lead for Asia Pacific Corporate Citizenship also flew in to Manila to grace the event. I had the chance to talk to him after the event and he shared how IBM Corporate Service Corp continuously help communities – adding new sites for deployment, and how the program mold more inspired leaders and employees – especially after assignment. I think the best part is, even #IBMCSC alumni (who are ex-IBMers – like me!) can continuously help the program by taking part in community services and projects hosted by the local IBM Team. 
IBM Corporate Service Corp 10 Years
Looks like David is into vlogging too!
During the stint, the team made short and long-term recommendation in support of key initiatives at the two agencies tasked with disaster management-related missions. 
For the Seismological Observation and Earthquake Prediction Division (SQEPD) of PHIVOLCS, the team helped work on the development of an Earthquake and Tsunami Information System that automatically generates earthquake and tsunami bulletins and messages that can be quickly posted on the PHIVOLCS website, social media platforms and sent via text messages and fax. 

Another team gave recommendation on the Data Management and Integration project of the Geology and Geogrhysical Research and Development Division (GGRDD) of PHIVOLCS, to improve GGRDD’s data management (storage, retrieval, protection, maintenance and monitoring) through development of system, architecture and dashboard. This is particularly important to PHIVOLCS when it assess the risk of hazards prior to infrastructure and development projects. 
For the PAGASA team, they helped developed a Strategic Communications Plan to assist the agency in identifying effective approaches on how it could utilize information and communications technology, particularly social media and other communication platforms, in providing weather information and advisories to the public. 
The other team helped enhance PAGASA’s IT Security capacity through a vulnerability assessment and gap identification in the agency’s system and network infrastracture. 
These improvements will help PHIVOLCS and PAGASA with timely and accurate response to clients and stakeholders, help in risk assessment, disaster preparedness and communications to the public which will minimize damages during natural disasters. 
IBM Corporate Service Corp 10 Years
I got to sit down and talk to two of the CSC Philippines 18 participants – Dr. Paul Muller, Senior Technical Staff Member and Eli Dow, Research Scientist and Master Inventor who have both submitted several patented inventions – I was amazed. But I was more amazed with their stories about their assignment in the Philippines – from the discovery of different local fruits everyday (they love lanzones and calamansi), to their trek to the Taal Volcano (they haven’t seen such an amazing view), and the warmth people in their hotel (they stayed at B Hotel in Quezon City). 
Eli shared how greatly he appreciates the guy he had work with in PHIVOLCS who is very open to learning new things. He absorbs knowledge and information so he can also share with his team. He is like an adopted, honorary IBMer because of the values he has shown. Half of me is a proud ex-IBMer, the other half is proud to be a Pinoy! 

IBM Corporate Service Corp 10 Years
with Dr. Paul Muller, Senior Technical Staff Member and Eli Dow, Research Scientist and Master Inventor
Paul, on the other hand, shared how amazing this experience is to him – to be able to provide assistance and support to the challenges that local agencies are facing to help them in their decision-making. 
Five years ago, I was in that very same feeling of happiness, fulfillment and inspiration – that feeling when I wish I could not go back to reality. But reality is, I am part of the group  that help shape the future and the world. My IBM Corporate Service Corp assignment is one of the stories that I would never get tired of sharing (read my interview about my assignment here) – and I am happy to be sharing their stories now. 
IBM Corporate Service Corp 10 Years
Not afraid of Commitment 😜
I love that IBM always welcome me like I am still part of the family. I love seeing the same old faces and seeing them happy at what they do – and being supportive of the things that we (ex-IBMers) do now. I will always have respect to the people I got to work with. I may not have been the best employee at that time, but I know I became better. 

IBM corporate service corp

Michael dela Cruz (Brand and Communications Lead), Mei Parbo (Corporate Citizenship Specialist), Marian Castillo-Cuevas (ASEAN External Relations Lead), Ruth dela Cruz

If you are feeling nostalgic reading this blog, I feel you. I am still bleeding blue.
For those who are still under the wings of the Big Blue, Hello IBMer, I hope this post make you feel proud to bear the stripes.
So what happens now after IBM? 
Even after we permanently signed off from Sametime , I know that each and everyone of us, still live up to the values that made as a #TrueBlue. We value trust and personal responsibility when we deal with new clients, co-workers and partners; every action and deliverables that we do is something that we do because we are that dedicated to each and every client’s success; and in own our little ways – deep in our hearts, we still look for ways to make a difference that matters to the world. 
IBM Corporate Service Corp 10 Years
OOTD for the ‘gram!

PS. Taking this precious space to share my little project. The #bloggermailproject where I send gifts to friends and kids (read about it here). If you wish to help and be part of it. Let me know. Tweet me @ruthilicious.

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