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The Silverlake Project: Transformation at IBM Hardcover – April 2, 1992

ISBN-13: 978-0195067545 ISBN-10: 0195067541

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (April 2, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195067541
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195067545
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,317,671 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In recounting the history of the Silverlake Project and the development of the AS/400 computer, the authors, who were involved in the project, make a credible start at examining the problems that Big Blue encountered in staying with a "product-driven enterprise." They describe how an IBM design lab in the "wilds of Rochester" suddenly rediscovered the "market-driven" approach (listen to your consumers) as the key to IBM's salvation. Not to be disrespectful, but did the heavens suddenly open up and pour forth this wisdom? Or have the people at IBM been reborn ? The book has some valid arguments for studying what's wrong with a sinking business, but maybe it's too late for the Big Blue Machine (this idea was begun in 1988, four years ago, before the layoffs of thousands of workers). While titles such as this one are needed, at $24.95, it's not a steal, it's highway robbery. Pass on this.
- V.A. Munch, Montville Twp . P.L., N.J.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

An insiders' exuberant, albeit candid, account of how a backwater outpost in IBM's empire managed to overcome its shortcomings and produce a new family of computers that not only proved a bestseller but also earned its creators a prestigious Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award. Bauer and his associates were all involved in the Silverlake Project, a crash program undertaken in the mid-1980's by Big Blue's Rochester, Minn., unit to retrieve its flagging fortunes in mid- range systems--a protean category encompassing machines whose price tags run from $15,000 to $1 million apiece. At the outset, according to the authors, the outlook was bleak, mainly because IBM Rochester had lost touch with its prospects as well as customers and was turning out hardware designed to please in-house engineers. By applying a ten-point set of operating principles, however, the facility was able to build and introduce the AS/400 series in just 28 months (against a normal cycle of five or more years). Among other valuable insights gained from the project, the authors cite visionary leadership, empowerment of employees, and close working relationships with buyers. By their account, error-free design, market research, and realistic priorities are also musts if schedules are to be met and goals achieved. IBM Rochester clearly did a lot of things right, since AS/400 revenues alone would make it the world's second largest computer enterprise (trailing only the parent organization). Whether the lessons to be learned from the Silverlake Project are applicable to other concerns lacking Big Blue's researchers is an open question. There's real interest, though, in the possibility that Rochester could serve as a paradigm for the restructuring to which IBM publicly committed itself last November. (Two dozen line- cuts.) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peter de Toma sen. on April 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
"The Silverlake Project" recounts the successful development, manufacturing and marketing of the best-selling IBM AS/400 business computer announced in June 1988 - rooting in the IBM midrange computers S/36 (announced in 1983) and S/38 (announced in 1978). Over time AS/400 evolved into the IBM e-server family called "i-series".
The authors' background is "Quality Management" and "Market Analysis" cooperating with a professor from the Wharton School of Business and a freelance writer. They present the whole project like a case study complying with the leading business management concepts with a testimony provided by Tom Peters and with references to leading best business books authors e.g. W. Bennis, Tom Peters, R. Moss Kanter, P.F. Drucker, P. Kotler, A. Ries, J. Trout, K. Ohmae, M. Porter, E. von Hippel and P. Crosby.
Proudly the authors quote IBM Rochester as "Fortress Rochester" without any mentioning of Professor G. Soltis, IBM's Chief Scientist for the System i and known as the "Father of IBM AS/400".
Readers interested in the outstanding and unique fundamentals of the IBM system generations S/38, AS/400 and i-series should read and study Professor Solti's books "Inside the AS/400 - Featuring the AS/400 series" and "Fortress Rochester - The Inside Story of the IBM iSeries" providing fascinating insights into the revolutionary and successful IBM computer architecture and product line satisfying the needs of large, medium and small businesses worldwide with approximately 500.000+ installations.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 27, 1999
Format: Hardcover
An insightful review by people who have actually done it themselves
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