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Invensys archives - December 31, 2011 and previous

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Invensys in decline - read the original article.
Invensys was formed by Allen Yurko, after UK-based Siebe merged with BTR. Siebe had previously acquired Foxboro, Wonderware, Eurotherm and several others. When growth eluded Yurko, he merged Siebe with BTR, another UK hodge-podge, and changed the name to Invensys. With further decline, Yurko bought BAAN, a bankrupt Dutch software company. Invensys continued a downward spiral.

Allen Yurko was booted out and Rick Haythornthwaite was brought in as CEO in October 2001. Haythornthwaite could not halt the slide and sold off the best parts of Invensys to raise money. In June 2005, Haythornthwaite exited, leaving Invensys in the care of hired-gun Ulf Henriksson, who joined as COO in April 2004 from Eaton, with a "golden hello" worth more than £2m in cash and shares. Invensys seemingly continues towards an eventual break-up and piecemeal sale.

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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Under the false pretense of strategic leadership, Sudipta basically destroyed the culture of IOM and also its ability to grow as a business. He brought in very incompetent friends and business contacts to run key parts of the IOM organization. Most of these guys have managed IT services organizations in Indian companies. They have no idea about how to run US or global organizations. They all know how to talk big. Fortunately, we still have a very smart workforce (although not motivated at this time) in IOM and we can still turn the corner.

Mike Caliel is not new to IOM but people still remember his failed bid of 1-by-6 initiative. Current, the people who are most thrilled with this appointment are from the Foxboro office. They think that Mike will solve all their problems and bring back Foxboro into the focus more than the West Coast brands. Mike probably has 12 to 18 months to turn around IOM from a very sluggish and dying organization to a fast moving and growing organization. If Mike fails in his effort, he will also be out. But it is worth giving him a chance and supporting his strategy to see if he can make IOM a growing business again.

IOM R&D is in a bad shape. VP of development is focused on some useless initiatives (he claims he mastered them in his previous jobs in India). The organization is now heavy on processes and key developers are focusing on analyzing useless data for improving the performance rather than focusing on the product development. The previous VP of R&D Operations left leaving a complete mess and the newly appointed VP of R&D Operations is from the Outsourcing Office. He couldn't figure out how to work with Cognizant so that we can get the value out of the large amount of money we are paying them every year.

The other organizations are also in the similar shape. LOB structure is confusing and the responsibilities are unclear. Nuclear projects are generating negative cash flow. This requires Mike to clean house as soon as possible. If he doesn't make sizable changes relatively quickly, he will suffer the same destiny as Sudipta. Let us wish Mike a good luck and support his strategy and initiatives.

Friday, December 30, 2011

New leader of IOM: Two things stick in my mind as the announcement was made. First, this guy abandoned Invensys once - his choice, and obviously his new company didn't see great long term loyalty. Secondly, he is the architect of Infusion - in my opinion the turning point that destroyed individual brand equity. I hope the BOD know what they have done and that he needs to be surrounded with people that know customers from the outside. My bet is this latest play will not succeed.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Crossfield is a bad joke. He prances around with a high and mighty manner, surrounding himself with cronies with no experience or feel for the business. He has no strategy, despite the pathetic tough guy image. All he wants is Riddet's job; it is so embarassingly obvious.

He has gone too far stripping costs out of IRNE. We are losing our critical mass and regressing to what we were 10 years ago - a legacy supplier to UK mainline railways. This is a shrinking market - at some point in 6/7 years there will be no mainline to re-signal, it will all be finished. The ETCS and modular schemes beyond this date have much less capital cost. By losing the LU work, having no real export opportunities and moving R+D control to Madrid, IRNE is a shrinking business. All for the personal ambition of Mr Nicholas Crossfield.

Shameful, and for those who say 'get out', you forget that people like me have more than 20 years of our lives invested here.

Friday, December 30, 2011 - Re: "So what if Invensys is sold? We all still come to work":

I can't work out if you are being sarcastic or are simply deluded. If Invensys is sold, Rail Group will be decimated as they remove R&D, manufacturing and all the support functions, leaving just the contract staff to service the home market (what's left of it). That will reduce the UK division to about a third of its current size.

Friday, December 30, 2011 - Re: "Mr Crossfield's view of the business as a vertically integrated suppler, must be good for the times ahead. (?)":

I really, sincerely hope that the (?) turns out to be a (!). Not sure if I should be holding my breath though.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

It has been a dramatic year for IRNE. Mr Crossfield's view of the business as a vertically integrated suppler, must be good for the times ahead. (?) Longer term, most of the competitors cannot compete for integrated solutions, so they are likely to be take-over targets or buyers?

So what if Invensys is sold? We all still come to work. It's a crap time if you are being kicked out. But for those remaining, this year must be the start of better times.

Friday, December 23, 2011 - re:" I don't even know who Guzman is":

Actually he is MD of Spain and is the egotistical maniac who persuaded the idiot Riddett that the only people who can do R&D are Madrid. He is now reaping what he sowed as they can't cope with the work and aren't as smart as he thought they were.

Friday, December 23, 2011

If what the person who claimed that Rail is agreeing to the onerous IP demands of the Chinese is true, it is certain verification that the company is preparing for sale, cranking up short term numbers at the expense of long term viability. Mortgaging the future. However, it would almost certainly backfire if the acquirer is GE, Siemens, ABB, or any company of substance. Their IP and contracts attorneys will uncover all of these messes during due diligence, with commensurate reduction in the deal value. It is almost a moot point, however, given the manner in which future value has been destroyed during the Ulf era. Cowardly and irresponsible behavior by the ISYS board for utter lack of oversight on strategic decisions.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Apparently Riddett does whatever Jesus Guzman tells him and R&D engineers are being made redundant in the UK and recruited in Madrid. This shows the level of leadership in Rail.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

NE Rail descends into further chaos. R&D engineers are being laid off when projects are short of resources. The excuse is "outsourcing" but there are no credible partnerships in place, certainly not Cognizant. R&D management is invisible and totally ineffective in IRNE and morale is at an all-time low. Nobody knows whether they will have a job in six months time. The illness of IRNE is terminal.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Re: "people aren't being forced to stay if they hate things so much."

OK wiseguy, YOU find me a local rail industry company that's recruiting. No? Didn't think so. Relocate? Yeah that's a good idea; I'll drag my kids from their school and my wife from her job and move us all up country somewhere and wait for a year+ for my house to sell. Great idea!

Did it occur to you that perhaps we essentially like the company for whom we already work, and that all we ask is for it to be run properly? For our management to show proper vision and leadership? Like they used to, years ago?

Oh, but of course, we gutless cowards should be discussing this with that very management, shouldn't we? Don't make me laugh. Just how far do you think that would get us, apart from the end of the nearest dole queue when the next round of redundancies are announced?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I can't believe the damage done to Rail in the year Riddett has been in charge. Rail was 70% of Invensys profit and almost all its cash. Now a fraction of itself, it is in free fall in IRAP and I'm told failed in Denmark and Spain. Safetran are struggling from Riddetts decision to ignore pricing errors to ensure bonus payments. Big repayments needed to customers in order to balance the books. Happy holidays to all !

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Well according to Kevin Riddett, Wayne Edmunds wants to give away all our IP to the Chinese in order to boost the share price. Apparently Jesus Guzman thinks Wayne is a fool and a simple accountant that doesn't understand the business. I don't even know who Guzman is but apparently he is a big cheese in the UK.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Thank goodness someone who understands the automation business is back in control at IOM. Hopefully Mike Caliel can restore integrity and professionalism into an organisation that has no respect for its business partners or distribution channels even when they have been loyal and hard working for decades and have built up the Invensys business from scratch.

All the marketing hype from Sudipta Battacharya about ecopartners and the importance thereof was just b...t. To be awarded top growth partner in one month and then terminated the next after decades of building up the Invensys business shows a complete lack of competence. No wonder IOM is losing market share and shareholder value rapidly - our customers are disgusted and now migrating to competitors. Running a business is simple: Treat your staff, distributors and customers like kings and the business will flourish.

Good luck Mike Caliel!

Monday, December 19, 2011 - Re:"So you think we should shut and just accept what we see as poor leadership and lack direction? That we should say, "Well the company's being driven down the toilet, but hey, at least I've got a job. For now, anyway.""

Actually I have to agree with his/her point; that is exactly what you should do. The reason why people whine and complain HERE in this blog is because they're too gutless and cowardly to discuss problems with their managers in face-to-face forums where legitimate problems can be addressed with legitimate solutions. Here you're just crying in your milk.

What I don't agree with what was said is that there are no jobs to flee to; there is no good reason to stick with Invensys; people aren't being forced to stay if they hate things so much.

The irony is that every company has the same problems and issues that Invensys has, every company has a percentage of malcontents, every company has people who move from company to company searching for some Utopian greener lawn when the realities are that the people who are happiest are those who shut the frick up, do their jobs with professional commitment, and ignore the irrelevant nonsense around them.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Rail will continue it's slow downward spiral under Riddett. This man is the least respected, incompetent and small minded individual to lead Rail. His lack of intellect has made him a joke-like figure. This is a great shame as the individual companies in Rail are good with strong individual leaders. However Riddett is so far over his head, it's embarrassing. My guess is that Rail will be way down on AOP for both profit and cash. Unless Wayne does something it will get worse.

Controls? It's only going to be a story of declining revenue in the current Market conditions.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Seems IOM will change with new CEO. What's the change for Rail and Controls? In Controls, most possibly we will miss FY2011/12 AOP goals.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

It was me who posted saying that when the share price dropped to 200 or less then the big sharks would swoop in and take the meat and leave the fat to dry up and disappear.

The share price has teetered on 200-ish for some time. This surely hasn't gone unnoticed by Siemens, ABB, etc. Can anyone confirm if the old pension liability has been taken on by someone else? This can only be the one sole stumbling block preventing a takeover bid. And Wayne is getting his house in order by getting rid of yet another high profile chap.

Final question: Can the individual companies function better or worse without Invensys lying on top of them?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Message to IOM and especially PLC management: Stop the nonsense around improving your "processes" and focus on customer jobs. You are spending way too much time and money on internal organizations, structures and inward focus. Same e-mails and meetings occurring over and over again with no traction and benefit to anyone. It's been going on for years. I hope Caliel will quickly see this. It's time to get focused on the customer and strengthen relationships.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The only silver lining is this ugly debacle is that the value of Ulf Henrikkson's shares continues to plummet. He'll still be filthy rich despite his complete incompetence, though. The Invensys board should be ashamed of the limp way they handled their responsibilities over the past few years. Shame on you!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Caliel comes with the final blessing to Wonderware. IOM showed that the only business that matters is Controls. WW is the black sheep of the family.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011 Gary Mintchell (Editor, Automation World) blog - extract:

The challenge is that IOM is smaller than its rivals. And Emerson and ABB especially have been bulking up. Rockwell Automation has been growing rapidly, although it doesn't offer instrumentation and final control elements to go along with its control and safety portfolio.

I've had some people call who think that merely a leadership change at IOM will make all the difference in the world. I know Mike Caliel and I have much respect for him. But expectations in some quarters are running very high right now. He has a challenge, for sure.

Click here More Analysis Of Invensys Leadership Changes

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 Gary Mintchell (Editor, Automation World) blog - extract:

Caliel was hugely popular at Foxboro, so the comments amongst the perennial complainers on Jim Pinto's Weblog showed delight and joy. But, I would caution them that there will be no return to "the good old days" because times have changed. And he was the leader whose strategy has led to much of what we see now. And many "Foxboro" people are in senior leadership positions. They aren't all Wonderware.

Click here Another Change At The Top For Invensys Operations Management

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

We had Mike Caliel earlier and he always cut development and then left before his actions could show the disasters of not investing in R&D. Under him people in Development were laid off to show profits and he took away fat bonuses. Hope he does not repeat the same.

Despite what IOM has shown as spectacular results, our budgets are cut and very little investment is being allowed by the accountant CEO at PLC who is surrounded by another bunch of accountants. So we have to live with accountants dictating how development should be done! Our share price is down because the market knows when there is no visionary at the top!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I remember the first time I met Mike. I was in the Houston office and a very low man on the totem pole. We had about a 10 minute conversation while getting coffee. The perception at the time was that I was surprised he wanted to get to know me a little.

I don't know if he is still that way or not or even if he is still personable it will help take Invensys to the next level or not.

What I do know is that Mike has one of the leadership qualities that you cannot learn from a book or in a lecture. To me, he has the It Factor. He looks to be the man in charge and it is easy to buy into what he is selling. Well, except for 1 x 6. Or was it 2 x 6? I don't remember. I do remember that was a little silly.

We have seen a lot of bad leadership come and go since he left. Only time will tell if this is a good move for Invensys. I am glad he's back and look forward to what's going to happen under his leadership.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

CONGRATULATIONS to IOM! Sudipta is Gone. Lets reverse his worst decisions to get out of this hole. Replace his buddies, sell Skelta, Disengage Cognizant and setup or buy out another IDC in India etc.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Invensys Announcement : Mike Caliel appointed President and CEO of Invensys Operations Management
13 December 2011

Invensys plc announces the appointment of Michael J (Mike) Caliel as President and CEO of Invensys Operations Management with effect from 1 January 2012.

Mike was previously with Invensys from 1993 to 2006, latterly as Chief Executive of Invensys Process Systems, the largest of the predecessor companies that were brought together to form Invensys Operations Management in early 2009. He has over 25 years experience in the industry and was until recently CEO of Integrated Electrical Services, Inc.

He is taking over from Sudipta Bhattacharya who joined the Group in 2007 as President of the Wonderware Software division and has been the leader of Invensys Operations Management since February 2009. Sudipta has decided to leave next year to take up a new role outside Invensys. In the meantime, he will be working with Mike to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities within the division and will also be assisting on group business development in the Middle East and Asia.

Wayne Edmunds, Chief Executive of Invensys plc, commented:

"I am delighted to welcome Mike back to Invensys into a role which is very familiar to him. He has first class experience in the industries the division operates in, our customers as well as our products and technologies. His enthusiasm and drive will now be directed to building on the division's strong market positions.

"I would like to thank Sudipta for his tremendous efforts over the past four years where we have continually shown double digit growth at Wonderware and then at Invensys Operations Management and wish him every success in the future. Invensys Operations Management has shown strong growth since its formation and Sudipta has built an excellent management team to take the business forward under Mike's leadership."

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Let us be real folks. Under Edmund's watch, the value of Invensys stock has fallen 40%. All he has done so far is just changing the BU presidents. In IOM, he forced his LOB's and now there are 3 LOB's without a lot of business!. Just wondering if the Board has any idea on what is going on. Hopefully the board will get rid of the bean counter CEO and put someone who knows about the products and services.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Good thing now that Sudipta and his merry country men and friends will be shown the door. The sooner the better. The ground-level people never really got on and along with Sudipta, simply because he puts his friends into good key positions. This is usual and you can see it happening everywhere often.

Getting Mike Caliel back may not be all that bad. I don't think Sudipta needs to show Mike Caliel "around" in the next few days or weeks. He knows his way around better.

A change is good now because under Sudipta IOM was not heading anywhere to greater things. It is just floating by and surviving. At least I feel now that it slows down the rot a little. The next phase for IOM is important.

We need to do sensible things in the organisation, developing and putting sensible products that the market that end-users wants to see and use. Re-evaluate and close down the failed R&D bed-sharing with Cognizant - the hare-brained schemes of Sudipta and his merry country men.

Stop pushing and forcing IOM projects offices to use senseless engineering centres in locations like Egypt. This is the worst place to be now. With the country in turmoil, how can you get in and out there safely, let alone the staff producing good engineering work without being affected by the political situation happening there daily?

Time will tell if the change is good now as IOM as under Sudipta. IOM is not heading anywhere to greater things. It is just floating by and surviving. Time will tell if Mike Caliel can steady the ship a little better...

Monday, December 12, 2011

It is a sad state of affairs. We write here and read this while others leave. Recently the head of HR in US left and she had some direct feedback on why people leave and she left. These are very senior execs and must know something. Two were company veterans and had been here a long time. This is experience walking away and customers and competition notice.

Monday, December 12, 2011

I think stockholders are going to be disappointed. Just bringing Mike Caliel back won't bring back the "good old days." Paulett Eberhart destroyed too much. But even before her, I think Foxboro was too small. Emerson is eating everyone's lunch. ABB bought huge market share. Rockwell is growing (might be catching up to Foxboro?) Of course, Honeywell and Yokogawa are in a holding pattern. Siemens is huge in some markets.

I think it might be good to sell or spin off Wonderware - the Foxboro people HATE the Wonderware people. But the Foxboro people are not winners. The best idea is that a Chinese DCS company buys IPS. But, who knows?

Monday, December 12, 2011

No one can really know the meaningof this change right now, but I'd guess that Wayne Edmunds does not want to invest in building IOM. So, he brings back the Foxboro guy. Probably looks to spin off Wonderware. Then pretties up IPS for sale.

Monday, December 12, 2011

With today's announcement of Sudipita leaving, Mike is back. Good thing for the business. The issue is Sudipita's gang has to leave and put the outsourced work back. Finance, IT, and all the senior level of his whole organization. He spent the past 2 and half years just getting his buddies in, without creating any value to the business.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Bloggers rejoice! Mike Caliel is back. Wayne has sent an email today saying, "He has great experience in the industries that the division operates in, our customers as well as our products and technologies. His enthusiasm and drive will now be directed to building on the division's strong market positions." Got it in one!

I have been at Invensys a long time and remember Mike running IPS. It is great to have him back.

Monday, December 12, 2011

So was Sudipta fired or did he choose to leave? I will tell you one thing though - I would not want to be one of Sudipta's "buddies" right now. They would be wise to start looking for their next job, because Caliel will clean house of them.

Monday, December 12, 2011

I am very excited to see that Mike Caliel will be back as President and CEO of Invensys Operations Management effectively Jan 1st 2012! I think there has been a void in management and I am excited to see that he's back.

Monday, December 12, 2011

BIG NEWS: Michael Caliel is replacing Sudipta January 1!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sudipta fired last week. Usual words of thanks. Who is next as Wayne must put his own people in place? Neither that idiot Riddett or Balcunas are his boys. Time real changes to the organization as opposed to minor adjustments.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Okay, everybody, the new social media policy has been released and every one of you who posts from now on is subject to being fired for violating the new rules. So stop it. Now.

Monday, December 12, 2011

What about a march on Controls Headquarters? "What do we want; We don't want the Management flying to Hawaii for a week of Beer Drinking when R&D Engineers are being retrenched. When don't we want the management flying around the World? Now.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Perhaps we could have own Arab Spring at Controls. Over throw all the incompetent rulers we have suffered under for all these years. We could march on Carol Stream, shouting "What do we want; not some washed up sales guy running the place. When don't we want him? Now".

Sunday, December 11, 2011 - Re: "stop your complaining about IR, stop your incessant whining."

So you think we should shut and just accept what we see as poor leadership and lack direction? That we should say, "Well the company's being driven down the toilet, but hey, at least I've got a job. For now, anyway."

What breathtaking arrogance. People don't blog about the good products and services because *that's what the company is supposed to produce*. What would be the point of blowing a trumpet and ignoring the fact that the trumpet is dented and falling to bits?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

It's clear that the cost of Cognizant engagement with respect to value added is much higher than what was anticipated. Sudipta needs to put forward figures of Value added divided by Cost for Cognizant Teams and its comparison with other Invensys R&D teams to justify this engagement.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cognizant is a complete FARCE. Shabby and costly work; Incompetent people; unproductive Project Managers and an onsite team consisting of a "Director", a "Senior Manager" and a handful of engineers who mostly sit idle! And on top of it a Senior Director!

Sudipta - accept that this relationship is failure.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Completely in agreement with several opinions on IOM and the HR in IOM. We have so many directors, senior(?) directors, VP's flying around the globe and wasting $. Added to that, HR is also flying around and giving sermons. IOM is completely rudderless, clueless on how to run the business. When we will get rid of the incompetent layer on TOP?

Friday, December 9, 2011 - Re: I cannot get decent PC workstations; lack of investment in tools and software"

I completely AGREE with the referenced weblog. It is the same in every country!

Resourcing Directors travel for 1 day visits and what are they achieving? Spend enormous $. IOM is STEADILY going down. Stuffed ex IT space guys everywhere incl. BU heads who do not have ANY idea of the market, customers and business. HR Director located somewhere keeps traveling around the country so that by weekend he can be at his place ( a distant city). BU head who keeps traveling all over the country with irrelevant people and other D's traveling continuously for their OWN personal gains! What an organization !

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Share holder said, "If I am evil for believing in your company, then I am uncertain why you want be there. Your shareholders are your biggest supporters."

Two things: First, MOST people remain at Invensys despite being hacked off because there are no jobs worth jonesing anywhere else that they can go to though many stay because they really are dedicated and still love this heartless conglomerate despite all. Second, if share holders really did give a bloody good damn about the health of Invensys, why are the share holders allowing IR to turn in to an outsourced third-rate corporation with all the inevitable sixes and sevens?

The last time Invensys Royals graced us with their omnipresence here in IRNE, we got the impression it was the share holders that are driving the failed attempt to outsource in a bid to squeeze more shillings out of this tea bag before share holders finally go crawling to China to dump the desiccated remains, waiting only for the ruling elite to sort out the pension mess among themselves.

Far from caring about the health of Invensys, share holders seem to be greedily sucking the life blood from the company in a vampiric glutton fest the likes of which that's got a couple of million Yanks screaming in the streets of NA about. Greed far too easily explains the state of the company far better than an endless series of hapless cock ups.

I may be a half soaked peon with the IQ of a Royal but it's greed, so far as I see, not incompetence.

Thursday, December 8, 2011 - Regarding the Shareholder comment -

I am the shareholder that posted the comment. I invested in the business for a number of reasons. First the company was undervalued when I purchased the stock. Second, the business was able to demonstrate that it could move the top and bottom line in the right direction. You can't have those things happening without good people working for the company. I am assuming that there are still good people in the business and the poor results are due to lack of focus and leadership.

As I stated, it is time for change, IOM and Rail are moving in the wrong direction and neither leader has demonstrated the ability to change it. There are some large funds that control the ownership of Invensys, they need to apply pressure to Wayne to adjust. If I am evil for believing in your company, then I am uncertain why you want be there. Your shareholders are your biggest supporters.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Good contribution, things could be worse, come and work for Invensys Controls. A washed out sales guy running the place, washed out products, and all the wrong projects being undertaken. Yet there still seems to be money for senior management to fly around the world in Business Class.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Yes most of management know how serious things are in IR APAC. We are being told from Riddett in Kentucky to cover it up. Our COO here in Melbourne is waiting for his pay off. Damage to Invensys? Over 30 million Aussi dollars. Riddett or Obadia ? Never seen either.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

According to the Spanish the IRNE R&D redundancies are going to be over 100 people. Contacts in Spain also quote Riddett saying that Wayne is going to give all our intellectual property away to the Chinese in order to get business. Apparently both Riddett and the Spanish think Wayne is a fool to do this. To be honest they might be right.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I laughed out loud when I read the posts on Riddett. I came across this blog by accident and as a former Pirelli NA employee I have experience with this individual. Let me guess, he is completely confused by any complexity? Has no ability to lead or motivate ? Seems to have limited intellect? Is clueless on his financial data? Changes his mind daily? It was this that got him fired in Pirelli. I don't envy the Rail part of Invensys.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Forget about any leadership from Riddett. The man is the weakest leader of Rail ever. He still has, after over a year as firstly COO and then CEO, no idea about a contracting business. It's quite difficult to become a global joke, but from what is posted here and talked about openly, Riddett has achieved it. How long can Wayne ignore it? The results will show Riddett's inability. This will reflect on Wayne.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

You know what, stop your complaining about IR, all of you people who still have a job, stop your incessant whining. Good grief, you think it sucks working for Invensys? Well, step outside and take a look around. For every one of you complainers there are 150 qualified engineers who would love for you to step aside so they could have your job.

None of you bother to blog about the quality products and services that IR provides to customers, nor do you blog about the customers who appreciate quick and timely IR support and solutions to field problems, much of which IR provides to rail customers for free.

And another thing, look at you, everyone who is still with IR. You're with IR because you're dedicated, committed, and you have what it takes to develop products and provide services in an era where only the best quality engineers have survived, all of which places YOU at the top of the heap so far as engineers go.

Forget HR, ignore IPMS, work around Cognizant and smile because you should be happy and appreciative of where you are and appreciative of your skills that remain marketable.

I don't check this blog often - yet every time I do it's constantly negative. Well, this is the last time I'll bother checking the blog, I get enough complaining from my wife, ha!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Does anybody know how serious things are here in Australia? Forget about IPMS or our HR Directors bad behaviours. Major projects are deep in the red and nobody seems to be worried. Where is the leadership? I don't even know what Obadia looks like let alone Riddett. The latter seems to think he can lead a global organisation from Kentucky.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It is a quite strange the situation of IOM Brazil. While Honeywell, Siemens , Schneider, Rockwell and other big companies are growing at least 10% a year, Invensys IOM is falling down with poor management. Seems that they want to brake the company to sell quick to other big group.

Unfortunatelly we won RNEST refinery project 3 years ago. This project is causing terrible problems of cashflow and it will be a disaster in the end with the probably biggest loss of the company around the world. Invensys should investigate more this project regarding bribery and corruption and they will find that our Engineering Director made a fortune of more than US$ 2milion in the last two years protected by the Managing Director.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Seen the latest in the know for IRNE Technology. Whats with this company? Keeping the same failures in senior positions. Will these people ever learn to be leaders and managers? They need to change their behaviours: start to produce some valued output to the company. What about the interface from R&D : who are these people? Perhaps this exclusive club keep themselves in the jobs.

Pity about our customers not getting what they contracted. Pity about the 30% of R&D UK that will get the boot in the new year.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Well, if you think Sudipta was bad, then talk to the analysts that listened to Rail. Kevin Riddett is a laughingstock. What's with these CEO titles? I expect they are a leftover from Ulf's strange planet.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I worked for Invensys Plc 10 years ago during the Yurko and Haithornewaite tenure. It wasn't picture perfect, and even then things were often quite out of control. However what is going on these days, if the blog is to be believed, OMG!

I left the group in 2005 when Ulf installed a VP of IT in the business unit I worked for at the time. The guy wasn't just clueless about how to run an IS operation, but also managed to bring in his children as well as friends as temps, giving them tasks travelling the world doing simple tasks whilst clocking up airmiles. Stuff that the hard tried perm staff would have killed each other for, to get to do. I couldn't sit and watch this ludicrous behaviour of a senior officer, so I left and I have never looked back. Being part of Invensys though thought me a lot which I am still banking on as an independent consultant, and I can only say to the people who cares about their work situation as most bloggers here clearly do, GO somewhere else. There are plenty of companies around that need people who has a genuine interest in the running of a company, and who is prepared to do their bit. Invensys mistakenly became the playground for big guys with big ideas, and it has gone tremendously down hill ever since.

Friday, December 2, 2011

I see the sustained campaign against the IRAP HR Director in Melbourne. I'm wondering what she's done that is so dreadful. When you make your list, just be sure to exclude stuff that is just about doing her job, like handing out the rubbish she's handed down from HR disaster central.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Well, it seems that the investment community saw right through Bhattarachya's shallow pronouncements at OpsManage. Down 20% as a result. Emperor SB has no clothes.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I have worked for Invensys Rail in Australia for more than 20 years. Back then we were Westinghouse Brakes and Signals. Our business is falling apart with total mismanagement and absence of any leadership. Obadia is hardly ever seen and Riddett is completely invisible. The latter has been here once and made an idiot of himself. Embarrassing doesn't come close. How does Wayne put up with this?

Thursday, December 1, 2011 - Re: "As a shareholder of Invensys, there is only one problem":

Oh I'm sorry Mr.Shareholder. How selfish of us to be concerned about our job security and the future prospects of our employer, when your only real area of concern is the dent in your portfolio. Thank you for pointing out what we should *really* be worried about.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

"There is no progress without dissent". Do it collectively - Chuck out the HR Director, she is past it and do it pdq, and we'll be in pretty good shape going forward.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

As an IOM employee, I was wondering how Invensys as a whole can still function properly. There are so many things that are broken and under-invested for the engineering offices.

The basic list :

  • I cannot get decent PC workstations to load and test my systems software, let alone have a decent one myself.
  • Lack of investment in tools and software for the current day engineering office. The biggest embarrassment in an IOM engineering office is that it does not have decent basic document control management tools.
  • I have not seen or met any of my supervisor's boss. He is sitting on his bump in another city.
  • Strange for a company like Invensys that there are not any town hall meetings by VPs on general directions, strategies etc. The small panel shop supplier with a small staff does quarterly meetings by the owner to his workers. Sudipta doesn't even do any of this. All he does is to send e-mail messages. I hope he does not make another one of those laughable "SPIRIT WEEK" videos again.
  • Six months ago, after the employee survey, a list of tasks were generated chaired by a senior manager. Now it is end of 2011, has anything been implemented?
  • My engineering office has NO IT support. Period. The original IT support has been relocated elsewhere. We ended up with an unclear IT support plan. When a call is made to some IOM IT outsourced Indian company, most of the time, they are half lost.
All these lack of investment in basic tools started off before Ulf. It has been "in turmoil and transition" for so long time. When Ulf came, he steadied the ship, made some small money. Everyone feels so glad that he made some money but at the expense in the lack of investment for essential operation tools at ground level.

Money has been put in by the imbecile IOM management to churned out "IT initiatives" from iPMS, iHR, iConnect, iGrow, ibuy, isell, iForum etc. With so many websites, sharepoint sites etc...that we needs to have different password access. I am not sure what the UK based IT cooperate VP is doing but with such an unclear IT plan and confusion planning, I find it almost laughable.

Like all of our higher echelon leaders, we only get e-mails. Everything is "faceless and is in phantom and in spirit". You can only see these people in person during sales conferences like Ops-Manage events.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - In response of to the blog, "Shareholders aren't all evil monsters..."

I just like to add this:

  • Invensys is unable to attract better candidates as they can sense the incompetent leadership provided by these incompetent VP.
  • At the same time, incompetent VPs will most probably hire incompetent people, who will be of no future threat to expose their bosses' incompetentleadership.
In this respect, as an Invensys employees, the Invensys shareholders seems to me as equally sterile that they are doing absolutely nothing to remove these incompetent leaderships at the board level that sits in Grosvenor Place.

At this current level, if these shareholders are happy with the current share prices, then I would say they are incompetently evil to subject us, the few competent employees, to such imbecile leadership.

If you believe what Invensys' board of directors are saying about tough situation and it is difficult to make decent money, then think again. Look no further. Look at Emerson. It is a similar company to Invensy. Emerson has been paying dividends to shareholders I believe for the past 30 or so more years? As a shareholder, wouldn't that be your first and foremost aim ?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

That's rather unfair saying that Cognizant is pretty much worthless. Cognizant can help - provided what they do isn't R&D engineering and instead focus on something that they are qualified to do.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - Re the 'hark at the shareholder':

WHAT THE .... no wonder Invensys is in such a mess if it employs people who don't realise who their customers / owners are. Man - do you not realise Invensys wouldn't even exist without them? Shareholders aren't all evil monsters.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cognizant/IOM safety ODC Managers are paid only to talk about "Innovation & Innovative Ideas". One should be a very good A**licker to get promoted. If you are very good A**licker, you know when you will get promoted - may be 6 months in advance. Decisions are made in Smoking zones & Bars not in Team meetings. It is the only place where 15+ yrs & 5+ yrs got promoted as Managers in a revision cycle! 2 Sr Manager, 4 Managers for one/two projects!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

With the APAC restructuring now moving ahead, the question many staff are asking is what is to happen with the Melbourne office. They have little work on their books and are very reliant on our Queensland business to keep them a float. With changes having been made in Projects, R&D and Engineering, its time that Marketing & Sales, HR and Finance took a serious look at downsizing their numbers to a realistic amount of staff. What we need is quality staff, not quantity.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hark at the shareholder. The only reason you remain is probably the loss to you is so great. So don't pontificate on this blog. If you are big enough put pressure on the executive leadership. That's why we post here. You have a different avenue and frankly we probably don't care if you lose your shirt.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

IPMS very cute, but in LatinAmerica we are still waiting to receive SIP Q1, Q2 and Q3 ... The organization is completely destroyed, Brazil and Mexico are set on fire, the management does not respond, it hurts to see a region with such good talent this drift by their managers.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I think it is now time to remove the main obstacle to setting up a decent way forward for IRAP - make the HR Director redundant. In one go, costs will be cut, morale will improve, and the directors can get on and run the company without being scared to act. We in HR will suddenly have the freedom to support the company instead of confusing it and slowing it down.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

IRAP at last is making progress with its change management plan. We have lost a large number of talented staff (experience), we have lost a large amount of money key projects (mis-management) and now we are moving the staff responsible (Head of Projects & Commercial gone, Head of Engineering moved sideways and others to follow).

The staff we now have in control, don't know or what to do to win and deliver work. Except for Queensland that is where the Brisbane team is kicking goals and is the company's savior. It should be the head office, not Singapore

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Where is there so much talk about IPMS. The system works and is required to ensure that management get their annual bonus. Its one in the year that my manager actually talks to me, but leaves me to fill in the required fields. She then just approves it - and life goes on in HR.

Monday, November 28, 2011

There is a lot of complaining on this blog. As a shareholder of Invensys, there is only one problem - the value of the stock continues drop. I am sure there were lots of issues with Ulf at the helm, but the stock price increased during his tenure. Since his departure, the stock stinks. Sir Nigel and Wayne E need to get the share price moving in the right direction. There are a number of large shareholders that need to get pressure on the Executive Leadership. Sudipta, Kevin, etc... Start adding value, or step aside. I want a return on my investment and this team doesn't appear to have the ability to deliver.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The same issues apply to the Controls Division. Over the years we have lost all the talent as the business shrinks. It is easy for a so called manager to cut costs and reduce staff but it takes a different kind of talent to grow the business. Controls is now run by a washed out sales guy.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Well, that's the stupidity of the IPMS complete for another few months. Lets see if we can concentrate on delivering work now before another brainless email comes in. During the recent mid year a number of our team were in the middle of critical deliveries. We were told in no uncertain terms that the completion of the IPMS must take precedence over all other work. What a sad state...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

What is Invensys paying Cognizant for? Late, shabby and costly work; Incompetent staff; unproductive Project Managers and an onsite team consisting of a "Director", a "Senior Manager" and a handful of engineers who mostly sit idle!

The payment made to Cognizant should purely be based on productive work done and we should not be paying for every idle or incompetent Cognizant employee. As frustration grows, Sudipta needs to explain what productivity this Cognizant engagement provides us and at what costs.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Completely in agreement with several opinions on IOM and the HR in IOM. We have so many directors, senior(?) directors, VP's flying around the globe and wasting $. Added to that, HR is also flying around and giving sermons. IOM is completely rudderless, clueless on how to run the business. When we will get rid of the incompetent layer on TOP?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Wow - the number of director roles being created is out numbering the doers that make it happen!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

By talking to many people who work very hard for the business, they felt the HR reward system is totally a joke. People or business unit which has good result does not get reward properly. It is a flat reward system, at least were implemented that way. The APAC region is the worst area that the HR function there is totally a joke.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What future has the Controls plant got in Plymouth UK? Making commodity thermostats in England cannot be effective. Shame as I think the world will turn full circle and manufacturing jobs will be valued in Europe.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

With Invensys shares rapidly re-approaching a 5 year low, clearly no one with a brain is buying the 20% growth story as anything sustainable. There are fundamental problems with the company that need to be fixed, ones that go far beyond the pension issues. The current executive team has bled the company dry and now has no other way to sustain profitability. The product pipeline is virtually empty. The management team is incompetent. The customers are confused. All of these factors influence the share price, which reflects future value.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Anyone know what Wayne has been doing lately? Is Invensys being actively shopped around?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Can anyone explain the organisation in Rail? Who exactly is running R&D ? It was a global function with CoEs. We then had a VP for Europe and he has vanished along with the global SVP. Now apparently we have something called lines of business that report into Madrid and this includes R&D. I have yet to find anyone who knows what this means, how it works or can put a name to a role. It has been 8 months of confusion. Forget about IPMS we don't have any clear ownership or accountability. Riddett's amateurish announcement doesn't have a single named person/responsibility in it and is adding to the confusion.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Is there any future for us in Controls ? It's been over 5 years of closing factories in the US and Europe. Orders, sales and profit down each year. The global financial crises looks to be here for a while? Any interesting jobs seem to be moving to China. Looks like time to move on.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What ever happened to CSR, the Chinese train company that was apparently our partner in Asia? At one stage Ulf even spoke to the press about them buying Invensys. Well I'm a manager in IR APAC and am not aware of any business with them past or present.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The challenge with IOM is that they refuse to promote the good offerings they do have under the brands that have industry credibility. Foxboro, Wonderware, Triconix, Eurotherm were market leading names - and trusted. IOM has destroyed the go-to-market path for Wonderware across the world by mixing direct sales (via amateurs) with the proven distributor channel. They should look at their own "workflow" first.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The challenge at IOM is simple. We lack the Global talent to truly leverage our offerings, even if they are mediocre. We are even getting picked off in our sweet spot. See Rockwell press release regarding SK , an area that used to be dominated by Triconix. We hear lots of new people coming, yet we won't take the step. Our share price continues to wither. We are in a Global industry yet we refuse to accept and adapt.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Rail is in real trouble, only under a fool like Riddett doesn't know it yet. It took over 6 months for this idiot to even visit us in APAC after being made COO. During this time things here in Australia fell apart. It was clear to all even then that we're sitting on a A $20m problem. Riddett sat in Louisville for almost 8 months before visiting and then didn't see what he was told. APAC in Rail is rotten and the real hit will be A$30m. Our Indian operation is also totally ridden with corruption. What a mess!

Monday, November 21, 2011

IPMS has never worked since it was introduced. It changes every year so that you are unable to do a 1 to 1 comparison. A few years ago several depts. were instructed to drop all engineers‚ assessments by one grade. There has never been a clear process of the output and it is not reviewed by higher management or HR unless you end up on the "at risk of redundancy" then it is avidly used. I hear they want to bring in performance-related pay.Why should some be down graded when they are allocated tasks when project managers are already aware that the individual has more tasks than hours in a day, with support and resources are lacking. That does not equate to under-performing etc. As for growing skills etc, that's only applicable to the select few.

Monday, November 21, 2011

First half results were positive, probably better than most, and yet the price keeps dropping. What is it that the analyst are seeing that is driving down our share price considerably more than the FTSE?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

After all these "good news" with orders, will the lower end of the food chain get a little bit better pay increment? The last one I got was "insulting" to say the least.

The IOM HR in our world area thinks that salary scale survey data released by a professional engineering board is all "hog-wash". The HR (especially the HR VP) can continue "to ignore" this but the salary data surveyed are supplied and provided by employers and employees, factored in with market sentiments. The data surveyed are very valid and transparent as it was coordinated by the Engineering Professional Body.

You hire good people and then when they get a head turning offer, people will leave. We ended up an IOM engineering office with bodies but with no in-depth knowledge on the products. You have the blind leading the blind. People gets frustrated, they leave and the same hiring cycle comes on again.

So finally what's the point of having projects with no skilled people to work on them? The IOM HR, together with the hiring managers are really slow in making offers. I bet that this "Sudipta thing on hiring people that will not threatened their future" can have some basis.

Upper echelons VPs like to sit on these things and micro manage whether I can take this internal course or which airlines I can fly. That is why Invensys is a "stagnated" company, even though fortunately, Invensys still have one or two products that can still sell to the world.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Extracts from "Industrial Automation Insider" - November, 2011

Invensys half year results

The Invensys Group half year results were published on November 4th. Sudipta Bhattacharya, president and ceo of IOM, commented on these in his keynote speech and in separate discussions later. IOM is undoubtedly the star in the Invensys crown at the moment.

IOM sales revenues were up 21% for the half year at GBP 618M, driven by a doubling of the income from large projects, now 17% of the business. Orders were up 4% at GBP 599M: however, during FY2011, last year, there had been a significant order from China Nuclear in this first half, boosting the overall order intake level - by excluding this contract value, the 20% growth in base business orders shows the IOM position is "surprisingly strong" with the "order base distributed across a broader range of customers".

Saturday, November 19, 2011

While the Invensys management team is trying to tease the city with nuclear wins and rail potential projects in China, do not forget that the China rail is getting bankrupt and urgently asking their government for GBP100billion to pay for the vendors and keep the current rail running. So do not count on make any money on China deals. The China cards are outdated.

Friday, November 18, 2011 - Re: The Uk guy we should have offered the job to run IOM

I gave him the go-ahead too from the USA. I used to work with him and he is a real Global growth guy. I hear though that Sudipta thinks he may be a threat to his future and so he has just swept the issue under the carpet. That's what happens here at IOM.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Perhaps we are looking at IPMS from the wrong perspective. Managers were once an important bi-directional link between corporate layers. They provided feedback and advice to those above and below them. Then the managers became overburdened with demands from above. The two-way communications suffered between managers and the people they managed. They no longer provided the advice that guided employees to grow their skills in ways that mutually benefited both company and employee.

Along comes IPMS, a low-cost substitute for certain managerial functions. The theory may be good but the execution is a failure. Instead of helping the managers do a better job of managing their people, it seems this important facet of management has simply been abandoned. There does not seem to be any evidence that the managers are doing a better job. In fact, there seems to be less communication, rapport and common purpose than before.

IPMS is not the disease. It is a symptom of a mis- or un-managed company.

Friday, November 18, 2011 Re:"No sales mean jobs are going. No profit means jobs are gone. Simple as that."

That is not entirely true, or I should say, not the whole story. Whole companies under Invensys have seen layoffs and plant closures despite being profitable, some of them despite being profitable for decades.

It's greed that drives the layoffs. Already obscenely wealthy shareholders want more and more and more, and the health of the corporation is utterly irrelevant.

Friday, November 18, 2011

I think people are mis-guided when it comes to IPMS. The system is fine and the start process is fine. BUT when it comes to final grades, the top levels of management in IRNE order managers to grade staff according to a distribution curve rather than what is real. So a team cannot have 50% that exceed expectations. My question is: why not? If they are well led and managed and they are motivated to do a good job, then surely they should and would be above average. But to then be told to re-grade people downwards to suit a demographic is rather pathetic and ill conceived.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The stock declines because we can't get rid of the massive pension liability in this market and the fantasy profit forecasts made by Ulf and Co and sold to the City have inevitably run out of steam. These two things mean a break up is inevitable.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Recently there have been lots comment about IPMS. As a tool on performance appraisal and development plan, I think nothing wrong with its role. I think there are problems on implementation and commitment from managers, so stir defensive / negative reaction from employees. Back to something common in Invensys, sometimes maybe strategy is a right one, but we always are failed on execution. I don't think top guys who are sky-high thinkers will add true value to the company, show your values also on execution and commitment. Talking and meeting resolve nothing.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Riddett sent out a new "announcement" today indicating that he has put Jesus over the new Global Business Development Team In Charge Of Global Development Of Business (GBDTICOGDOB). I'm glad Jesus is taking this on and helping us.

I think most people are actually really happy with the Executive Staff here at Invensys and are really hoping they keep the same team in place for a long time, especially since many of us will be working for competitors within weeks!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Crossfield's presentation might not have been riveting. However it was about the results and so your future. You might want to listen more and try and understand this is a business not a charity. In manufacturing, no orders mean jobs at risk. No sales mean jobs are going. No profit means jobs are gone. Simple as that. Manufacturing has lost the equivalent of a whole regional office in jobs so far this year. It's tough right now and we need to cut costs to be competitive.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I'm not sure about the US or Australia, but in the UK today's HR function came from what was known as Personnel. An unpopular term today. Personnel were mostly people from the business functions that understood the business.

From the late 80's early 90's came Human Resources. Mostly the start of abstract and systematic approach to people management. Some good things and largely still in touch with the actual business.

Then in the last decade we've seen those that actually know the business in HR disappear. The function has become a proscriptive process model with no link to the industry, people, market or customer. Under self-obsessed lunatics like Larson and Henricksson this went to new levels where the target is to hit a number rather than a result. We are still living with this as HR are completely leaderless with no will to change.

I'm not looking to the past. But if we are to have a future then HR need to know they are a support function and it's no use filling an engineering company with HR people from financial services.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

No one should be surprised that Crossfield is a complete luddite. He was always a hatchet man for Network Rail. No real feeling or empathy for the business or what our true value is. A pure numbers man with no clue about people or how to motivate them. No idea about technology and not a strategic bone in his body. He has also brought in a very strange bunch of commercial and financial types in his image who do not deserve to be senior managers of this great company. He is clueless about R&D and the value it brings. And no, I don't work for R&D. It's interesting that Crossfield is dismantling the IRNE organisation bit by bit. When he took over we had issues but were growing and had ambition and focus. Now he presides over a sinking ship, inevitably becoming a legacy supplier to Network Rail. Perhaps that was always his plan, and the senior people in NR who sponsored him to get the job in the first place. Sad, sad times.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

So many negative comments and it's easy to see why - the Invensys share price compared with the FTSE 100 is an indicator of something not being right. I think the demographic within certain business units is a problem — a predominantly middle aged male engineering team and a [relatively] youthful female HR team aren't exactly going to gel nicely: theory and practice colliding head on. The IPMS issue is also a serious one — local objectives that bear no relation to the overall business goals and not knowing who else has the same / similar or even conflicting goals is a problem. The idea that we should all have measurable objectives is a good one but make them team goals and change the system — remember Deming said that 95% of failures are caused by the system and not the individual

Thursday, November 17, 2011

An employee appraisal and development program is a good thing. The HR driven box ticking system does not add any value as the vast majority, I bet almost all employees use it twice a year, i.e. MYR and FYR. Box ticking does not add value. Being driven to complete all employees simultaneously to some meaningless date is pointless. As per usual the Invensys HR machine has no real idea of employee motivation or development. Just a mechanistic approach to people management. Doesn't work. If this was the only HR problem we'd be relieved but the organisation is basically corrupt, recruiting friends as consultants at extremely high rates, and acting extremely 'flexible' when it comes to managing their own staff. The HR leadership is totally incompetent and out of touch.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The share price is now below 200. First half results were respectable. What is causing the stock to continue to decline?

Thursday, November 17, 2011 - Re: "…HR isn't driving this; business best practices are simply being followed."

Oh puh-leeze! First off, IPMS is worthless, it's not a "best practice," it's a costly, useless fad that derives zero benefit to anyone. There is zero actual benefit in IPMS.

Secondly, if HR is not driving IPMS, we need to find out which of our company's competitors sabotaged us with that thing so we can see if we can saddle *them* with something equally hideous to kill *their* morale as fitting punishment.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I am a UK employee and three months ago there was light at the end of a tunnel. Finally we were going to employ a real good guy to run IOM . I even gave him a reference. Now we haven't gone back to him - no yes, no no. We have missed a golden opportunity to employ a global guy that really could make a difference.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The IPMS issue seems to be a serious issue for a few employees. It takes very little time to complete the IPMS and it is one of the responsibilities that come with my job. When I see people bitching about it over and over again, I have to wonder if all they ever do is complain. It is really quite simple. This is your job. Do it or quit. It's not as if you were pressed into service at Invensys and forced show up every day. Things change. Businesses mature. Every company I've ever worked for uses a system just like IPMS except for the grocer where I carried bags to cars as a boy.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - To the previous post on IPMS/ HR.

You mentioned that the only person who would think IPMS would be a HR Exec OR an imbecile. Surely they are both one and the same? An HR exec is always a common sense imbecile.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I'm resolutely not HR, but there's nothing intrinsically wrong with IPMS. In particular the competency section is excellent, and the new development plans are well conceived. It's hard to do a development plan because it needs self scrutiny but it creates an excellent means of structuring training.

Where there is a big problem, and I think this is really what is at issue with the comments, is that managers are so pushed with the day job that IPMS comes as a major imposition and there isn't time to get the reviews done properly. And then HR are coming in with threats and nagging reminders and so the whole thing is done as fast as possible and not well. The process changes every year so no-one has a clue what the process is (the training is 2 hours of someone reciting a powerpoint in a dull monotone on a webinar).

Also there is the suspicion that development plans won't be backed up with actual cash for training - individuals don't even have a budget to buy books, why not give everyone $100 to buy material against a dev plan? The iGrow system is a waste of money from top to bottom and the standard courses usually irrelevant or poor, and the only way of finding out is to do the courses so no-one bothers, there is no guidance or review. And as for the iGrow development path: well personal board of directors? Puhlease! No-one has the time to do that consistently, result = no-one bothers at all. Junk it and train properly against dev plans. Goodness knows what we pay for iGrow, but let's save the money and have a party with it, would be better for everyone.

Probably counterproductive to put dev plans and competency assessment into the review leading to raises too. That puts the employee immediately on the defensive when criticised, and you need constructive criticism to develop people. But there has to be normalised scoring in any raise review system which has an overall budget, and exceptional performance is, well, the exception. Good performance should be expected.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Yawn! Got to say that the constant whining and moaning on this blog is becoming extremely tiresome. Anyone that actually tries to say something positive about Invensys is instantly labelled a member of the exec.

Major changes are needed at Invensys; could do a lot worse than getting rid of all the dead wood and the moaners and start populating the business with people who have a 'can do' attitude.

And before the accusations start, no, I'm not on the exec and I'm not HR. I'm an engineer who has experience of working with several suppliers. Invensys has a lot of potential, but all the negativity simply holds it back. It is becoming endemic.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

All this negative talk about IPMS is depressing. Typical of Invensys and IRNE in particular. There is nothing wrong with setting goals and measuring how we are doing against them. Sure the tool may have issues but at its core its about line managers sitting down with their staff on a regular basis and getting the best out of them. No I don't work for HR; could not care less about HR or the people who work in that department. I am an engineer who wants to improve and be the best I can be. The negative stuff about IPMS comes mostly from 'past it' middle band engineers who have been here too long and do not want to take responsibility for the people who work for them. Pathetic, grow up and take responsibility or step aside and let someone else have a go.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The IRNE MD made it very clear today in his incredibly boring business briefing that he just sees R&D as an overhead and that he is quite happy for it all to go to Spain.

He will rapidly find out that Spain only ever serves Spain, and the contracts he has to deliver will fail through lack of local knowledge and second in the queue support. By which time the competent engineers in IRNE R&D will have left, and I include myself in that group. Tragic, absolutely tragic. What a waste of so much knowledge.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

IPMS is like a scam get rich quick scheme that was 'sold' to an exec. Instead of get rich quick the metaphor was 'steer your rudderless ships' and get 100% loyalty from all employees/ corporate 'citizens'. In years to come a book will be wrote about this and the true wastage disclosed, although it will probably come from the genius who 'sold' it to the idiot.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Why the racist comments about the IRAP President and his town hall speech? You native Aussie accents aren't as easy to understand as you might think, 'mite'. Give him a break. He's trying hard to make things better.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

We are all slaves to the IPMS tool. Hitting our numbers for compliance metrics is much more important that actually having a decent conversation with our team members.

Assuming HR are actually professionals who want to add value, they should take the hint and back off the control freak settings and all that creating the document trail to make it easier to fire us. Just make it simple to comply and people might actually spend their time talking to each other rather than deleting the corporate spam.

Monday, November 14, 2011 - Re: "I don't understand all the complaints regarding IPMS."

That must be a HR exec and from the wording 'ship without rudder' it must be the IRAP HR director. Seriously, do you really think anybody will buy that post. Only a HR exec or an imbecile would believe that IPMS is a good thing.

Please will someone in a position to stop this finally take it on the chin and kill this thing before it truly kills any morale left within the group. If I put my true 'Medium term goal' in this nonsense it would read 'leave the company to avoid this'. Seriously, myself and many others complete CPD folders as part of our profession, why oh why make us do this BS!

Monday, November 14, 2011

"Any business groups or regions are really benefitting from HRSD? etc. With ex CEO and CHO leave, we local HR expect something will be improved really to support business, as well to make HRs work more efficiently. While till the date, there's no any change indeed at all. We just observe that new hires coming to fill the holes by previous redundancy. Seems HRSD is a do-and-redo approach only."

Marvel at the English! Astonishing how this person made it into HR and has the gall of talking about business strategy. IPMS - Is HR driven contrary to the HR person who likened it as an opportunity to re-assess and target goals etc. It is a KPI driven monopolistic exercise purely for the exec to earn brownie points and secure bonuses. The employee reviews and results are pre-determined based on a quota. In fact it is all about ensuring employees do their "day job" as one recently departed exec put it.....

Town Hall talk and empire building in Singapore - Complete balderdash....

Monday, November 14, 2011

So here we go again. R&D goes from it's 100+ year history in IRNE to Spain. Stupidly it's going under the previous leader that totally failed to deliver. Clearly Riddett is just all talk and Jesus Guzman is really running the business. What a lack of leadership we have!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Unfortunately the HR machine developed by Ulf and Paula hasn't been disbanded yet. In IR we have almost daily instructions from a faceless HR SVP who knows nothing about our business. The result is that boxes will be checked and the reviews will be a waste of time. Quantity not quality. Shame.

Monday, November 14, 2011

I have now heard it all (for a second time too!) Ex colleagues who still work for Invensys (IRNE) who I e-mail out of friendship (I left a year ago) are now saying 'please e-mail me at home because my e-mail account is being monitored'

I know it is happening but haven't the so called leadership got anything better to do than be paranoid - we are not talking about you in e-mail for gods sake, we do that in the pub. It is a really sad day when a simple one liner to a friend can no longer happen. Does that mean all the workers get their lunch breaks back? I doubt it.

Sad place Invensys - real sad

Monday, November 14, 2011

Person in England was moved up to Senior VP. General Manager and previously Director was by passed; a few technical directors will be moved up within 2 months.

This company has a problem. Upper Management is not technical. The Chinese are not happy with progress. They need to bring in top level people on contract at Director level. I have a list of people who are top level consultants managing projects ON TIME including myself. The email I gave I seldom use but I will talk to someone senior level or above; if someone wants to fix the company please leave me a phone number. Believe it or not you even have people in the company who can do the job but I am not sure HR or upper management knows who they are.

HR takes to long to hire the best people most of whom are gone by the time they make an offer that is often far to low. Some person up top is preventing the company at Management level from hiring contract consultants as Project Managers and Directors which means the best people will not work for Invensys Systems because it is all about money. Money makes money and it takes the best people to make money.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Any business groups or regions are really benefitting from HRSD? With ex CEO and CHO leave, we local HR expect something will be improved really to support business, as well to make HRs work more efficiently. While till the date, there's no any change indeed at all. We just observe that new hires coming to fill the holes by previous redundancy. Seems HRSD is a do-and-redo approach only.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Continue on IPMS. It's becoming a process and tool demotivating employees instead of motivating them to work hard for company. It seems an advantage for the manager to control some of his reports, especially when he wants to be dominating the process to screw them out. We are out of track on quality performance management and motivation.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I don't understand all the complaints regarding IPMS. HR isn't driving this; business best practices are simply being followed. This gives us all a chance to check our own progress and ensure we are on target for the year. I actually look forward to it (mostly) as a time to assess and reset my priorities. Sure it can be a pain, but any ship left without a rudder will simply drift (sweet metaphor if you ask me).

Monday, November 7, 2011 Re: "…Look in the mirror and ask yourself how is the morale at IRNA? POOR!..."

That is *so* untrue and unfair! We haven't had another suicide for three months now, so long now that the carpets have not needed to be cleaned since then. Morale is improving!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The IRAP President gave a town hall on Friday. It was a total joke. He thought he was funny, but it was impossible for us native Aussies to understand him. He must accept his empire building in Singapore is a drain to the business. If he will not listen and tighten his belt, why should he expect the real workers follow him? Mr. President, please practice what you preach or don't bother to give another town hall. If you do, many of us wont come (tune in )and listen to your garbage.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

According to the article in Businessweek, it looks as if it is only a railway software and washing machine controls company! That much is the visibility for Sudipta's IOM. And CFO says"Invensys hasn't received any approaches from the likes of Siemens, Chief Executive Officer Wayne Edmunds said". Another bloomer. Saw lots of stuff on IPMS. There is a "development plan" which needs to be filled up. And the manager is expected to discuss this and finalize during the MYR. The BOSS just looked at it and signed off. No discussion AT ALL. So why do this?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Who the hell said we like IPMS at IRNA? IPMS, another brilliant brain fart. That is right up there with outsourcing of payroll to NGA, who continues to screw up and remains the payroll vendor.

Friday, November 4, 2011 - Re: Aaaaaaaaaaarghhh. This IPMS nonsense has arrived again!

Just a word of warning: It might seem like nonsense, but it is used extensively when your job is at risk and then followed by redundancy.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

So then, revenue up 7%, profit up 2%. While there are problems, are you going to update your absolute negative statement in the summary of the business. Anyone who reads your summary would have completely the wrong perception of the business. Bet this won't be posted!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

What is it with HR in this company? I am being threatened to ensure we meet irrelevant mid-year review numbers, yet nobody is bothered that we are behind in sales, profit and cash! What is important? HR seems to still have a priority well above their importance.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Click here Invensys Pension Deal Hampered by Market Conditions, CFO Says

According to this article in Businessweek, it appears that yes, Invensys is for sale. It also appears from this article that Invensys is only a railway software and washing-machine controls company.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

This chart says it all:

Click here Comparison of Invensys shares versus FTSE 100

Massive amounts of shareholder and employee/retiree value are being destroyed on the watch of the current leadership. It is time for a housecleaning before there's nothing left of what was once a proud and valuable organization.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Aaaaaaaaaaarghhh. This IPMS nonsense has arrived again. Is there anything more morale destroying and wasteful as the 'emperors new clothes' which is IPMS.

Looking at the recent email from the IRAP president it seems the only sector who has shown any interest in this crap is IRNA. If they like it thats fine but please save the rest of us from it. And no more talk of it 'helping us to deliver to customers needs'.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Poor R&D seems to be an Invensys Core Value. At Controls all the engineers who knew what they were doing were sacked and all the R&D is being moved to China. Nothing against Chinese engineers, but they have no experience and hence nothing is produced. Then they move the guy who ran China back to run North America. They put a washed out sales guy in as President. The end result is a company run by idiots.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Heard recently about the new Intelligent Marshalling Product to be revealed at Nashville OPS Manage. Will that change Invensys Game in automation?

Monday, October 31, 2011

So next week Sudipta and his band of value-destroyers blow smoke up customers' rear ends about the amazing developments within IOM. What a group of BS artists they are! It is painful to watch how they have been to able to destroy so many good brands. Wayne, you have a fiduciary responsibility as CEO to assemble a team that enhances and grows shareholder value, not destroys it. So do something and prove that you're not just a custodian CEO.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Outsource works fine providing it is managed and a fully detailed requirements specification is issued which in most case is lacking - hence why it never delivers. R&D do have some very skilled design engineers, but lack any form of backup and unrealistic goals set. As for SIL 4, could not agree more. But how many IRNE staff actually understand what SIL ratings are? This does assume that the data/results are not manipulate to show what management wants it to show as to the true picture. Only have to look at the IMPS system and appraisals.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The post about moving R&D to Madrid being a good thing is not too far from the mark. Chippenham R&D has always been expensive and unfocused. We have spent around £90m on DTGR and £20m on Westlock. Both products that have no long-term market and our competitors have better alternatives. All of this has been hidden from view by clever manipulation of the balance sheet over many years.

Sunday, October 30, 2011 - For the loser who wrote the Tuesday, October 25, 2011 IRNA good jobs quote:

They must be one of the non-performing, how-high-do-you-want-me-to jump leaders. IRNA is under paying the employees who make a difference and I have been told that the grass is greener at other companies. The person who is responding on this weblog must be doubting themselves to even comment. Look in the mirror and ask yourself how is the morale at IRNA? POOR!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

What is it that everyone here doesn't understand? A CFO is put in charge to maximize the return to investors on the sale of the company. Outsourcing, bad management, no investment, how much more evidence do you need?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Complete agreement about APAC HR. The APAC HR Director flies in and out of the country for half day/one day visits. What is the achievement? NONE. There are so many HR advisors, recruiters etc in the region. But the axe of 'head count reduction' falls on other people and NOT HR!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sadly, as a member of IRNE R&D, I have to agree with the blogger who says we are in decline. We have had three years of inept management with heads of R&D who just don't know how to develop products. Now we have a "Head of Technology" who knows nothing about technology and a "Head of R&D" who knows nothing about development.

The Spanish aren't actually that competent, but they just know how to sell themselves better than us and have a leader that actually has some respect from his troops.

Friday, October 28, 2011 - To the IRNA poster saying that "... IRNA has good leadership .... change jobs and you will see":

Many of us have (changed jobs) and have seen. Thank you. Several more top people are also planning to follow quite soon. My suggestion to you is to wake up and look around. Since 2008 you have seen a regular procession of some of the best people (across Marketing, Applications and R&D) leave IRNA and continue to do so. Many posters here have stated this over the past year.

The problem, quite simply, is the lack of integrity, truthfulness and honesty displayed by some of the senior company managers, who are pretty selfish, caring only for their own bonuses and promotions. There are still many good people left in IRNA; but as they say, a few bad fish in a pond...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Funny how all you losers who post on this blog with your unfounded, playground, vile abuse of staff in Invensys go very quiet when there is successful news to share of the company. The two wins for Rail this week demonstrate customer trust and belief in the company, the product, the delivery of it and importantly the staff within Invensys. Including management. Isn't it about time you grew up and put as much effort into the continued success of this company instead of trying to shoot people down with your pathetic, childish diatribe - which does nothing but serve to damage the company and ultimately your prospects of retaining a job. Smell the coffee.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I think everyone in Invensys senior management should be required to read Steve Jobs. Just read what the Harvard Business Review had to say about his management style.

    "They can do it because Apple hasn't optimized its organization to maximize profit. Instead, it has made the creation of value for customers its priority. When you do this, the fear of cannibalization or disruption of one's self just melts away. In fact, when your mission is based around creating customer value, around creating great products, cannibalization and disruption aren't "bad things" to be avoided. They're things you actually strive for - because they let you improve the outcome for your customer."
If for 30 seconds someone on the ELT would pay more attention to what we were doing to our customer base instead of the dividends they expected to collect in their own pockets we could be a great company again.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What is the Invensys obsession with outsourcing? Even when the business case doesn't stack up, it is still pursued. Invensys needs to have a good think about what it wants to be. Blindly outsourcing, in some cases reducing customer service and increasing costs, is nuts. The HR fiasco has become legendary. Why do we believe we can no longer develop and manufacture products competitively? We can!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

IRNE's R&D function has been out of control for years. Developments late with lots of technical problems that get fixed in the field in full view of the customer. Over-spend is also accepted with the function growing by 50% in the last 3 years. No leadership or direction. Crossfield might be on to something. Move it to Madrid, as it can't be worse than it is.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

People! You have good paying jobs in a recession. Trust me, you are fortunate. Stay positive. IRNA has good leadership that is doing the right thing for the business, in an environment that forces companies to cut to the bone. Change jobs and see for yourself.

Monday, October 24, 2011 - Noted below, "The big criticism of Invensys is that it's run on airport bookstall book ideas very largely..."

That explains IPMS and other unworkable HR-department initiatives that don't provide any value or benefit to the family of companies under Invensys. Hype and un-evidenced belief is used to rule Invensys while demonstrably observed failure and success are equally ignored in favor of fads and bumper-sticker notions that "business improvement insiders" produce from their rectal I/O devices and sell to HR believers.

Products Invensys provides as well as services and assistance, still rank as very, very good across the spectrum of Invensys companies. Despite all our problems we still produce high quality solutions, most times less expensive and more understandable for customers than anybody else.

Imagine how excellent Invensys could be if, instead of eliminating engineers and trying to outsource, it instead focused on reducing unhelpful distractions and doubled its focused on customer needs. Profits come first, I understand that; but we're seeing share holder greed adversely impacting the health of the company as a whole.

Monday, October 24, 2011

R&D have been hopeless in Rail for years. Over spend and late is the norm on every development. We then have reliability issues to sort out that add to the costs. I can't think of any recent products that have been innovative and put us ahead of the competition. If Crossfield wants to get rid, then it's probably not going to make things worse!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Very insightful post on outsourced R&D. To my mind there are two good reasons for outsourcing. First one is to get specialist contractors with deeper domain knowledge than the host organization. Second is to scale up development capacity without adding overhead to get more done when there is an opportunity. This can be the work that's been described - regression testing, or it can be actual development.

It is never a good idea to try to cut costs with outsourcing, because you don't - you certainly don't with Cognizant - and an engineering company in today's world must generate its own IP because that fundamentally is all it has, so it MUST retain core engineering skills.

The big criticism of Invensys is that it's run on airport bookstall book ideas very largely, and that when it takes on an idea it does it without looking very specifically at how business units can get maximum benefit, it just sets a "big rule" as a dictate. There is a beneficial model for outsourcing, but we don't do it yet.

Friday, October 21, 2011 - Asked below, "How does the company move forward between employing skilled staff at reasonable rates and engaging LCC's to perform the more repetitive/simplistic work?"

You do it by not trying to outsource R&D yet instead try to outsource low-experience functions that LCCs have the possible ability to do, provided they are well managed with oversight from experienced employees.

Software regression testing utilizing written test procedures is one area that an LCC could do successfully, relieving the burden from engineering, yet I don't see any companies anywhere being successful trying to outsource R&D. Not ever. Maybe someone here could post a success story and, if so, explain how that outsourcing R&D to a LCC successfully was accomplished.

We read a lot of hype, wishful thinking, and outright delusion from management and from outsourcing companies and HR people who think it has worked, yet it would be informative to hear from R&D engineers about successful outsourcing that actually worked to see HOW it was accomplished.

If outsourcing R&D to a LCC can actually work, a document describing how would be useful. Frankly all I have seen is BS, wishful thinking, ignorance of the fact that engineers retro-fix outsourced engineering efforts, and flat-out denial that it failed. Details of how to outsource successfully that can be verified would be useful.

Friday, October 21, 2011 - Someone notes below "There would be very few qualified Engineers with experience in Rail (IRAP or IRNA) on less than $ 125k."

I find that surprising, though are we talking about differences in currency value exchange rates? I cannot imagine any engineer at IRNA being paid anywhere near 125K in U.S. Dollars. If they are, then I'm either not an experienced engineer, else I'm not paid as well as I thought I was.

In IRNA, annual wages are typically from $90K to $100K for working whatever hours are required, 2 weeks of paid vacation a year, and that's for a high quality engineer. Medical insurance and 401K matching and other benefits add to an IRNA engineer's true income, maybe that's what you mean when suggesting 125K is typical.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Yeah, they ran FASCO DC Motors into the ground. Totally out of business. I had a great 2 yrs. there. Unfortunately I was there a total of about 5 years. They just made a lot of really bad decisions, from corporate to the incompetent local manager who, when I asked about an Engineering position [befitting my Engineering degrees], responded with "what's wrong with your current position? - indicating he either did not know my position [incompetent], or was playing games [unethical]. Maybe both.

Here it is about 10 years later, and that building is occupied by a metal stamping company with whom we do business- a thriving company at that. Just a shame the way Invensys handles things. Perhaps they should have kept talented folks such as myself, paid them what they are worth, and made some more-intelligent directional decisions.

Meanwhile, I now have a real Engineering job with a real company that provides the basic resources needed to perform the job - and pays 2x what Invensys ever did.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Only a moron would outsource core skills such as SIL 4 specialist R&D and very specialist almost one off manufacturing. Basic things should go to cheaper sources. From what we've seen our manufacturing makes almost half the IRNE profit. I'm told we have some of the best R&D skills in the organization. Without the systems business and the little known manufacturing external sales the UK projects business is around 10% return on sale. Less if you include problem projects. I can't wait until the BIP shows this up. I wonder if Crossfield will come clean. Guess you don't know what you've got until you've lost it. By the way I work in finance and am impartial. I deal in numbers, they have no spin. Show me the data that says I'm wrong and I will show why I am right.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Invensys Controls is now a terrible place to work. I have been with Invensys for many years. Invensys has purchased all these companies and then closed then all down. I blame the management. All R&D is moving to China, but what have they ever produced from China? All the engineers who had been with the business for years are all now gone.

Invensys Controls R&D is now operates like this "Customer: we want a water valve with a different thread", "Invensys: we will R&D a water valve with a new thread". The cost of the R&D engineer is not the issue. The issue is how much money does the output of the R&D engineer generate. This is why Invensys Controls Management is incompetent.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Heard it all before. R&D done by Cognizant, application engineering by Infotech and outsource all of manufacturing. So what is Invensys ? A finance house? No just a joke!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 - Re: All development work is going to Madrid

Where was that announced? Is that official? That's so sad - all those years of WES products, and now it's all gone WESt.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Crossfield has sold out IRNE R&D. After over a century of major innovation and development, it's all over. Apparently all development work is going to Madrid because he thinks we are incompetent. That's a quick decision after just a year as MD. Riddett has destroyed R&D in IRNA now it's obviously IRNE's turn and Crossfield is the axe man.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Again, for all of the salary speculators, please do realize that the rail business is really almost never spoken of here in the US unless it is with respect to you guys in the UK. The same goes for Wonderware. The comment about salaries below $125k was made with respect to the Controls division.

Monday, October 17, 2011

I left BTR/Invensys in 1997,and see that nothing has changed. Felt like the weight of the whole world had been lifted off my shoulders. Looked and felt 10 years younger within weeks.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Invensys USA just recruited three non-performers into Sales group from Yokogawa with salary over $150K each to go after REC silicon customer, knowing that there is no opportunity for our company. The same account manager was sacked for partying over $100K without winning any order more than 4 years is now with our company.

I hope our senior management / HR in USA is aware of these Non-Performers. I was told by a friend here in Europe that REC has pulled the plug on all the capital projects, which means our company will spend $600K ~$750K during next one year for these Non-Performers depending on the level of partying.

What will happen to our share price by end of next year? No Brainer!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Agree with the Wonderware poster. This debate has got silly. There would be very few qualified Engineers with experience in Rail (IRAP or IRNA) on less than $ 125k. I am not sure about IRNE and that was the point of some of the early posts.

Forget about looking at statistics that are likely to be outdated, just contact a sourcing agent and ask them what the market rate is today. I am damn sure it is not less than $ 125K.

The question is: how does the company move forward between employing skilled staff at reasonable rates and engaging LCC's to perform the more repetitive/simplistic work. It seems that, if the IRNE posts are true, they have now fallen into a new class which is in between the 2.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

At Wonderware, $125k is probably the median salary including senior engineering staff, so whomever is claiming salaries below that is misinformed. Of course, Sudipta wants to replace all of them with a cadre of unqualified but cheaper people. How ironic, given that Sudipta is the most hopelessly unqualified of the lot!

Friday, October 14, 2011

When will we be rid of Riddett? When will he be fired again for bringing down a company? Wake up and smell the coffee. Riddett is truly a train-wreck for Invensys Rail employees. No loyalty to the people.

Friday, October 14, 2011

No, nobody in the United States is getting paid $125K, at least none of the engineers are. The US economy simply does not allow for that kind of wage.

I also found it amusing that HR person suggested that buying an Indian "engineer" costs half that of an actual engineer in the UK. That's wrong. You get poor quality and maybe 25% of an actual engineer when you try to outsource to India, China, Mexico, or any other LCC and whatever UK engineers are left after layoffs are having to pick up the slack and fix what the LCC tried to do, usually doing so during either paid or (increasingly) unpaid extra hours donated to the company that tried to outsource.

The cost of outsourcing a UK job always without exception ends up being more than the cost of an actual engineer in the UK. Always. The outsourcing myth survives because UK company managers refuse to factor fix-it costs to project overruns and delays since they don't want to admit outsourcing UK jobs was a mistake.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Cue the Spartacus parody with multiple people standing up: "I'm Kevin Riddett". "No I'm Kevin Riddett". "No I am, of course, Kevin Riddett". "I am Riddett". "NO, I AM KEVIN RIDDETT" and so on and so forth. You get the idea!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

As for all of the salary speculation, unless they are at the Principal level or above I doubt very seriously that engineers in the US are earning $125k+ per year. The actual salaries are likely much lower (30 to 35 percent easily; more for younger engineers with less than 5 years experience), and we haven't received raises in 2 years or more nor do we receive a bonus. Even for those at the Principal level, I doubt all of them are at that level of salary.

These days all the moneys seems to get spent on hotel rooms and baseball games.

Thursday, October 13, 2011 - Re: "You are Kevin Riddett and I claim my five pounds."

The funniest post in weeks, but oh so true. It has to be either Riddett (or Crossfield) that scripted that. If it was Mr Riddett, I would like to say that it is the company is behaving like a prostitute. Should we behave likewise and fleece the company for everything? Town hall meetings do not address real issues (Mr) Riddett.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The APAC HR Director would be more suited to running a prison. The poor HR staff are afraid to give anybody solid answers; instead they just refer people to her. Ridiculous. Engineering seems to be in disarray as they wait and wait for those at the top to make a decision on the structure. Projects are over budget. Meanwhile the clueless Sales Manager keeps on smiling. Surely this is all going to come to a sticky end very soon?

Thursday, October 13, 2011 - Re: 'QUIT YOUR WHINING!'

You are Kevin Riddett and I claim my five pounds.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

We in Rail had hoped that when Ulf was fired we'd lost his legacy of the Stalinist purges. It was one leader after another. However Ridditt has continued in the same fashion, getting even and settling scores. Small minded and inappropriate. It's a shame because the good people are now starting to leave to the competition. For our customers, people are leaving the industry, shame. Having spoken to people in Union Switch and Pirelli, it's obvious that Riddett is a worry. However his racism was a shock to us all and we are amazed such views exist in Invensys!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

One might argue that it's the complete lack of courage and the failure to respond in any venue you're commenting on that is the endemic problem many of us are complaining about. I'm not sure that this is necessarily the right venue for management to respond in, but a better approach is definitely needed. The continuing rah-rah and the push to work more hours because we've got to make "this next deadline" doesn't cut it when it happens for years at a time with no end in sight. That's bad project management and it has cost us dearly.

It's the sign of a very weak manager to push the idea that "you should be glad you've even got a job" as a motivation for whatever. But that's an underlying theme of IOM these days. Sorry, there *are* other jobs out there as many of us have found out.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Good Lord, people... go find a good publican or a priest or a therapist or a prostitute... or better yet... FIND A NEW JOB AND QUIT YOUR WHINING!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Invensys Controls is a terrible place to work. After working for Invensys Controls for many years I am happy that I will able to retire soon. Anyone who walks into Carol Stream will see glass cabinets with all of Invensys' products. Many of these products were old when I joined the company. There is no innovation. The best the so-called managers can do is shaft each other. What has happened to the good companies Invensys purchased, Paragon, Eliwell.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

This was once an amusing read in turbulent times with fairly accurate posts. Now it is inhabited by some very sad and sick people. I am giving up reading this, life is far too short. I am tired of the disgusting OTT personal attacks on people past and present by folk who probably spend too much time indoors. I suspect that it is a small core of bitter small-minded staff who could not get a job outside if they tried. They should be ashamed. This is a shabby dead end and I want no part in it. It's a pity none of the senior management in IOM or IRL have the necessary courage to post on here publicly. I think that would change the tone and make it more constructive. Senior managers, where are you?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I am an ex Invensys Rail HR business partner and now in a different industry sector. There are a lot of misinformed posts regarding salaries. The truth is there is a difference in engineering salaries between the US and UK. It also depends on the Market sector. A chartered Engineer in the depressive automotive sector could be paid less than £40k. Rail tends to pay above the average but, for example, the average IRNE qualified signal engineer is paid around £40k. An Engineering Manager in his 40s is in a pay band between £55-70k. Equally this would be around £50k in a manufacturing engineering function.

In the US it's around 20% more but again varies dramatically by region. The rural south is cheaper than the Northeast.

Then again the mad panic to rush to India is because engineering there is 50% cheaper than the UK. However a warning: labour inflation for engineers in India is around 20% a year and we are seeing deflation in the west. We saw this in China where now a good manufacturing engineer in say Shanghai, is around £32k, the same as or even more than in some parts of the UK. We saw the same in Eastern Europe. Those old enough will remember when Japan was a low cost country, as was Malaysia and Singapore. All three now on par with the West.

Ironically the UK is in a reasonable position as generally cheaper than the US, Germany and France. Just needs a government to recognize that engineering and manufacturing are vital to our future and to stop relying on the failed financial services sector.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I posted the note about the role of HR in Invensys, and the quality of the HR team in Invensys, and the potential that they have to add huge value to your business if only the leadership team understood how to utilize their skills and experience. Predictably, this prompted the usual vitriolic response from managers in Invensys who don't 'get it' and believe that HR should be mopping after them and fulfilling their role as manager.

I am not the person to whom you refer; I am an engineer, who wanted to pursue a role as an engineering leader, and thought, rightly, that I would not gain the skills and experience that I need because that role is not valued in Invensys. Most engineers in Invensys only want to follow a technical route to develop their career and fail to realize that to be successful in today's world, you need a combination of leadership and technical skills. And I am not at Thales either.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

As a UK based Engineer I can only surmise that the post stating such low figured for UK engineers is either misinformed or a member of the HR exec. Your figures only encourage bad feeling with the Invensys group as a whole. UK, Australia, Europe and US Engineers rates vary little and we simply do not have ANY Engineers in IRNE on such a pittance. There may well be designers, technicians, laborers or the like on that kind of renumeration but simply no Engineers. One of the most disparaging things is that Engineering is not a protected profession.

PS: I am a registered CEng.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sudipta's days are clearly numbered now. With Gary Freburger encroaching on his areas of responsibility more and more each day, he's basically tightening the noose, learning what he needs to learn, and preparing for the day when he'll be named CEO of IOM. Hopefully Sudipta is smart enough to realize that his number is up, just like Mike Bradley before him, when Sudipta cuddled up close only to steal his job. Comeuppance finally.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Invensys Rail will never grow under Riddett's leadership. Edmunds and Rudd appear inept and indecisive. The latest embarrassment in Spain is just a continuation of what we've seen here in the US for 3 years. Safetran has been forced to outsource some of its main business strengths and any down turn in sales will leave it stranded. Note the date of this post. I will repost it when Ridett's legacy inevitably becomes clear.

Monday, October 10, 2011

After reading recent comments on cost expenditure and organizational issues, let me give a suggestion. Why can't all those support functions like EHS and HR be shared services across the three business divisions in the same region and existing leverage resources at the same location? Just take IRAP for example. We have in Singapore a HR VP, one EHS director and one EHS manager. IOM already has a well established team led by a HR Vp and a EHS director. Do we need IRAP to bring more high cost personnel? Ask yourself: if IT and GIS can be a shared service across the entire Apac, why can't others do and think the same to help Invensys save some $$?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Wow, if Engineers salaries in the UK really are that low then I feel for you all. I guess the recession has hit hard. But it begs the question that if engineers are so cheap in the UK, then why have people been made redundant as part of your BIP? You would have thought that you could attract work from overseas if you can bid with labour rates like that. Incidentally I am from Australia, not the US.

Sunday, October 9, 2011 - Re: "The guy who says 'elite' engineers should work for 41k GBP is obviously delusional and so very British in his arrogance."

I think you (and several others) have misunderstood my previous post, in particular where I stated "CEng status is reserved for the elite engineers". My intention was simply to demonstrate that (in principle) CEng status can only be obtained by 'elite' engineers. I categorically did NOT state that only those with CEng can be considered elite.

Furthermore, at no stage did I suggest that I was one of the 'elite' engineers. In fact, I am not a Chartered Engineer. I was merely giving an example to illustrate a point. You seem to have assumed a "very British arrogance" that quite simply has no foundation.

The real arrogance in this discussion lies with the original poster, who made a sweeping generalization that any professional who earns less than £70k per year is 'incompetent'. Isn't it a bit arrogant to assume that pay scales worldwide are directly in line with US salary expectations? Or perhaps we are to believe that the vast majority of engineers in the UK (and Europe) are incompetent? After all, I can assure you that most UK and European engineers are not earning £70k per year. Some basic internet research clearly demonstrates this fact.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Just to add on to the high cost wastage at IRAP: do you blokes all know that the new HR VP and EHS Director are earning at least US$ 12k per month plus a US$ 800 transport allowance? Recently, they visited offices all around Asia, flying to places like India, China, Thailand, Malaysia including meeting in UK, etc. What value did they add to my projects? NONE! We were all doing so well without them previously and we don't need another two to add to the baggage to our cost structure. What a big waste!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Are people seriously suggesting that the average salary of 'competent' IRNE engineering staff should be around 70k?! If all our 'competent' engineers were paid that much then we wouldn't have a business left!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Recently one of the regional HR Directors visited the BU. Organized a "leadership" meeting. The BU head flew down to meet the HR on lunch! HR Director's statements, the arrogant talk made all the people yawn in disbelief. Pathetic show. Flew from Regional country to BU for just 1 day. The cost was very high. Perhaps somebody could explain why money is wasted like this?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The guy who says 'elite' engineers should work for 41k GBP is obviously delusional and so very British in his arrogance. If wearing a Necktie, being a 'CEng' and earning 40% of what a professional engineer earns makes you 'elite' then I am sure an average professional engineer is so very happy that he is not elite.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

In IRAP you don't have to be an Exec Manager in order to travel overseas business class. Things must be looking up, as my manager and 3 others from engineering head off on an all expenses paid trip to Singapore & KL. Not for work, but to attend a weeks conference whilst we are left to sort out the project mess just when we needed their help the most. Where is the justice? It is no surprise that more of our good staff are looking for other opportunities outside.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The average age of a controls engineer in the UK is around 58. if you are a Chartered Engineer and hard worker I'd love to employ you on £41k. As the earlier blogger wrote, you are being had! Wake up, smell the coffee and move on. £60k+ is available anywhere you want to look. PS: Don't let your wife see this blog!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Even a HR director in IOM China makes RMB1+ million annually, while they are paying a sales at average RMB 200k. He is doing great to destroy the organization. His primary G&O is to become the GM bouncer to screw the employees and he is surviving well.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Freburger is man with the velvet touch. He is now also the head of Nuclear. Has the man even seen a Nuclear plant? Or a refinery? Or a development lab? He manages IOM development, and nuclear now, with zero domain expertise in both. Competition must be salivating while competing with us. It decapitates all the work and hours we put in the trenches.

COO, head of development, head of nuclear - all go to show how well he has managed Sudipta after having being managed by Ulf. They are the old gang. I thought Wayne had mentioned domain expertise as deciding factor. As usual a lot of new CEO talk and no action. I will wager he will outlast all of us and move on to help Riddett and Rail can have 3 in 1 and then land at PLC to succeed Wayne. Watch this prediction.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Seriously if an 'elite engineer' will work for "circa 41k" then I can only say that the UK should be an LCC (Low Cost Country). But it's not. Therefore it goes back to my original point (pay peanuts, get monkeys). I have met many good UK Engineers across the world and none of these guys would work for peanuts.

So, the UK needs to define itself as an LCC and therefore become a production line for simple application data, mass hard wiring etc. or really try and attract guys who can win and deliver contracts properly. If the 2nd option, then paying 'circa 41k', my friend, will continue to deliver the results of the past (lots of carpet-slipper engineers shuffling around and not adding value). Like I said, there are many good UK engineers but from what I have seen they are working for countries that pay a professionals salary (not based in the UK).

Saturday, October 8, 2011- Re: "CEng status is reserved for the 'elite' engineers"

Here in IRAP that represents a kick in the teeth for the uncharterized engineers.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The last post about US salaries isn't wrong, but it's probably not the engineers that are the problem. Here in IOM it's the management costs that are nuts. Take our completely incompetent COO. When you take his salary, long term incentive plan and bonus you are looking at about a $1000,000 a year. Basic salary is nearly $500,000. Incentives and shares double that. Then add all the first class travel and hotels, as Freburger has preferred to live nowhere near an Invensys office, and the all in cost of a clueless COO that does not understand our technology is more like $1.2m a year. Not bad for a person who started work on the factory floor. You decide if he's worth it.

Saturday, October 8, 2011 - Re: "there are no skilled staff worth their salt who would work for less than $125k."

What a ridiculous post! Hopefully you are not a reflection of the general calibre of our North American colleagues.

To put it into context, the average salary of a Chartered Engineer in the UK is circa £41k. And becoming Chartered takes many years of dedication to the profession, a commitment to personal and professional development, and successfully completing a peer reviewed application process. CEng status is reserved for the 'elite' engineers.

Perhaps the troubles of Invensys are due to inflated US salaries. Maybe we should move all our operations to Europe to lower our cost base!

Saturday, October 8, 2011 - Re: "Invensys' quality HR people would be welcome here!"

Let's hope they all go and join you in Thales then, with blueberry muffin, who almost single handedly destroyed IRNE. I expect Thales' budget for coffee mugs, T-shirts, videos and pointless, ineffective training, will need a major increase.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The last post on US salaries explains why it's not a good idea to bring US employees to Europe or Asia. They are just too expensive. In Rail, the newly appointed SVP for HR is paid more than some of the BU Presidents! Then again, who decides on salaries? I imagine that would be HR. LOL.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The recent post complaining that some HR staff will be earning 70k (GB pounds). What?!! That is only $110k and of course a professional should be earning that (and more). I am an engineer although anybody who is a professional and earning less than $125k can only be described as either being incompetent (they are only worth paying peanuts) or they are overcharged on emotions (I want to work with my friends boo-hoo).

Seriously guys, in order to build a business we need to attract and hold skilled staff and there are no skilled staff worth their salt who would work for less than $125k.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Invensys sold its business unit in Hyderabad to Cognizant, only to open a new one in Bangalore. How smart! God help their engineers in Bangalore.

Probably Invensys shareholders are getting punished for letting Sudipta keep his Job. Justice is finally being done.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Larson was to blame. Ulf was a strange choice as CEO, with his 'visionary' ramblings, but at least he was business-oriented. Larson was a complete fake. She was a low level GE HR manager and got into Invensys by default. The HR out-sourcing plan was a disaster, costing millions. She also had a taste for the high life, with very expensive global get togethers for HR in exotic locations. Good riddance to her and the odd Swede. I think Steve Hare saw the writing on the wall in 2009. What credible FTSE100 has lost a CEO, CFO, HRD and 2 x Division CEO's in 2 years? Invensys is a bad joke.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Being a recent IOM/GIS "leaver", I can tell you that it's not a matter of the grass being greener - it's simply a matter of there being grass. Each of the LOB's was a wonderful microcosm with high morale and true customer interaction and product innovation. The first big smash, IPS, was a disaster and now IOM has made it that much worse. I had hoped that the LOB discussions would bring Invensys back to the pre-IPS days, but so far it seems like it doesn't seem to have helped at all.

I can honestly say that I would return to my original LOB in a heartbeat if they would have me back. However, I would never work for Invensys again. I wish you all luck, until the cancer at the highest levels (Sudipta, Raja, Rudd, Riddett, Grant, Freeberger) is eradicated there is no hope. When was the last time any of you heard a sincere "thank you" or "good job" from a VP? It's just a matter of respect for the people you work with and the people that work for you; the current management doesn't respect their people, as evidenced by the morale, and "Sprit" week is just a cheap ploy and lip service to the underlying issue.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Let's stop flogging Riddett. It's not his fault he has attention deficit disorder and other behavioral problems. You can continue to beat him up, but he cannot respond as he isn't capable. I'm sure he is a plant manager or even a level higher. To expect more is unreasonable. This is down to Wayne and Sir Nigel. Poor old Riddett has been promoted well above his capability by Ulf. That was before Ulf got fired and a vacuum was left. Leave Riddett to blunder on and try your best, without getting fired to stop him doing stupid things. It won't be easy; he is an idiot. Just humor him.

Friday, October 7, 2011

We in IRNE have had our fill of HR. We've even had a HR VP who was found giving all recruitment to a company at 20% above average fees. Then it turns out the company is owned by her husband and the VP is also a Director! You expect complete transparency, integrity and support from HR. We get nothing. The post from the ex-IRNE HR Training, business transformation manager and then fired individual that went to Thales is responsible for a lot of it in IRNE. She may try to defend her position but good luck to Thales!

Friday, October 7, 2011

The sick smell of HR pervades IOM. Invensys Spirit Week is another example of their work. E-mails from on high, echoed by the local cheer leaders, games, free food, etc. The same techniques were tried in ancient Rome in an effort to distract the populace from the rot and corruption. Do they really think we are so stupid? What an insult!

Friday, October 7, 2011

I left Invensys Rail mainline going to our number 1 competitor. The grass is not greener may I tell you. The Invensys Rail employees don't understand how good things are and how strong the resource pool is over there. Getting resources with the right skill is an asset Invensys takes for granted.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

HR at Invensys has always been a joke, and Paula Larsen, Ulf's handler, is to blame. She was a CEO wannabe who built her own little empire to rule. She and her team spent astronomical amounts of money and accomplished nothing. Even worse was the hypocrisy and shallowness of virtually ever initiative they undertook. Good riddance.

Thursday, October 6, 2011 - To the person supporting HR:

From a high level and also from the perspective of the employees I think the attacks on HR are spot on. This does not mean that you or other HR employees do not/did not do a great job, just that HR (in Invensys) has acquired a standing that does not match what HR should do within a company. Some examples may help:

  1. On a trip to Bangalore, I found that the head of IRAP along with his HR Director were also there. While the IRAP MD had definite reasons for being there, the HR Director really had no work. The "reason" given was that the BU in Bangalore were hiring a senior manager and she needed to be in the interview. She stayed for 3 days and during this time stated herself that she was bored and did not need to be there. She flew in on Business Class from Australia, stayed in a $400/night 5 star hotel for a 1 hr interview. The person being hired was not even that senior.
  2. There have been many meetings in Louisville, IRNA HQ where, even though it is a operations/sales/business/technical meeting, the HR VP will be present. Though she has nothing to contribute, she will say something and then suddenly you find everyone in the room deferring to her. Decisions get made that are very clearly incomprehensible from a business/technical perspective but no one dare challenge because the "HR head said so".
  3. This kind of behavior is found across IR. HR is a SUPPORT function. They should be HELPING/SUPPORTING to build a sustainable business. Not running the business. Key people should not be having to second guess themselves just because they are "scared" of HR. This is why people across Invensys dislike HR. They have become too interfering in the business. Not that HR is not an important function. It is. But it is a SUPPORT function. Leave business, technical, manufacturing decisions to people who are experts in those fields.
  4. Lastly, the area where HR is supposed to shine, they do nothing. I don't know ANYONE who has been mentored/helped/guided by anyone at HR or where HR have ** SUCCESSFULLY IMPLEMENTED ** strategies for succession planning, promotions etc.
At IRNA, who will get promoted or get good pay raises has more to do with who you know rather than a balanced, equitable and fair performance evaluation. Most of these decisions get made by line managers. HR does not really do anything. If ratings do not make any sense and you talk with HR they do NOTHING. If people are working inordinate hours and you talk with HR they do NOTHING. I can go on. So what does HR do other than create more work with IPMS?

In fact, at IRNA, nearly no one trusts the current HR leadership. They have probably the worst reputation (from an Integrity perspective) of any functional area. And this is HR, who should be above board at all times.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I agree with my colleague in Invensys Dimetronic who posted today. Mr Riddett was embarrassing, sitting at the front laughing at nothing and playing with his iPhone when Mr Edmunds and Mr Rudd were speaking. I am told he has acted like a fool all week. What a drop in standards we have seen for Rail. We have read all the posts over the last year but now we see for the first time they are correct. Unbelievable. How is Riddett in charge? If many people can see this across the global business why can't Mr Edmunds?

Thursday, October 6, 2011 - Re:"The business has been galvanized by Crossfield to dig deep, and for employees to put their shoulder to the wheel and deliver."

Good heavens! When I signed up with the company in the middle of the last decade, there was a "C'mon, my lads, there's only one more trench left to go!" attitude being pushed by management. People were working an awful lot of hours to get products out the door... and then seeing that their reward for lots of work was still more work. People would kill themselves making one unrealistic deadline and then be thrown into the next project immediately. (The paltry 2% raises for us in IOM were a real motivator, eh?)

It sounds like things haven't changed a bit after 6 or 7 years: people are still being asked to pick up the slack for bad management and put in lots of uncompensated time for the sole reason of making an incompetent management look good and to bulk up the bottom line. When the company is broken up, I guarantee all those extra hours aren't going to be remembered by anyone.

I'm glad to be gone, and billing clients by the hour. Bad project management means money in my pocket.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

This morning here at Dimetronic Invensys (IRSE) we just had our "informative meeting" with "The Three Musketeers" (Rudd, Edmunds and Riddett). I can just say that Kevin Riddett is stupid. I really don't know how such a dumb person could climb so high on a company. In the middle of Sir Nigel or Wayne speeches, Riddett started laughing alone. He was all the time playing with his phone and he almost didn't say a single word. Wayne Edmunds seems a clever person, although he didn't say anything concrete about Invensys Rail's future. And Sir Nigel - well, he talked only about money; that it's really what he wants from us.

After the speeches, during the questions & answers time, one colleague asked about the possibility of Invensys buying Ansaldo (an Italian Railway Signaling company), but they discard this chance, although if the company price is low, Invensys can afford it.

Other important question for us was about all the rumors of Dimetronic selling (maybe to China). Sir Nigel didn't discard this opportunity if our buyer could pay well, so I guess they are open to hear any good offer from abroad (CRC, Siemens, etc).

Thursday, October 6, 2011

All that narcissistic rambling on Ulf's blogs is surprisingly reflective of the real person. Not the way he describes himself, but the narcissistic rambling! In my encounters with him, I generally found him to be very "fake" - feigning interest in what someone is saying, but clearly having already made up his mind to pursue his own agenda. His ability to assess talent has since been proven to be disastrous to the company, sacrificing short term gain for long term value. Sadly, I don't think the current leadership is a whole lot better. Maybe the new bosses post-acquisition will be an improvement - they certainly can't be any worse.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The ongoing attacks on HR in this blog seem to me to be unfounded and typical of Invensys' short term thinking and general lack of modernity. I left Invensys earlier this year (thank goodness!)- one of the reasons being a lack of focus in the business on building the capability of people in the long term, i.e., developing individuals, strategic talent management and succession planning, etc. The HR guys that I talked to were nearly all high quality individuals, with integrity, and innovative ideas about how to develop the business from a people perspective - people being the most valuable asset that the business has. They faced huge obstacles with the leadership teams in building commitment to their ideas and integrating them in business processes, with the leaders, especially in IR / IRNE, not being of sufficient intellect / strength / quality of experience to understand the importance of doing these things well as a key driver of value. Most managers in IRNE are out of the ark, and think that their job is only to manage the day-to-day tasks and not lead and manage their teams. These things combined will be a big factor in why Invensys will fail. And by the way, one of IRNE's competitors for whom I now work, do this stuff really well, and are attracting and developing the best talent, not just in engineering (which means we'll steal a march on Invensys) but also in support function. Invensys' quality HR people would be welcome here!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

If the share price of Invensys decreases much more, never mind a large multi-national company acquiring them, I will soon be in a position to take them over myself with the money I've just found down the back of the couch!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - Re: Rail looking for COO:

IOM has a COO we can pass to rail. How do expensive people like him survive flying all over the place from Arizona and lavish office in 3 locations. IOM has many jokes and he is now the best joke in IOM - leading to participate and add intelligent-sounding comments in technical discussions with the development staff and talking about CIing development to death. The comments in Lake Forest and Foxboro on his development discussion participation are now top-10 jokes and his desperation to write down acronyms is laughable. He calls System Platform a mid-size DCS and says InFusion is an open DCS. So we now have mid-size DCS, Open DCS, Large DCS, Closed DCS. Think what a customer would have to say meeting him! He also is acting head of sales for North America and the word "acting" says it. As if it's not enough to have a development head that understands only services, we also have to deal with a COO who understands only CI. Maybe we combine DCS and CI and have DCIS as our vision of distributed continuous improvement system and sell. The Hendriksson Honeywell legacy is alive and kicking. Is Wayne asleep at the wheel?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

HR remain the poorest performing part of all Invensys businesses. They are a massive distraction and a major cause of facing internally and not at the customer. For some reason HR think they are a separate operational business and even have their own STRAP and HR Ops reviews. Can HR please stop sending daily emails out on values, competencies, MYRs, i-whatever and then some. We have more focus on these than orders, sales, profit and cash. Some of us are trying to actually make the sale, deliver to customers and collect the cash. Remember what that used to be like? Perhaps we should all work from home and use the HR team to develop new products and face the customer?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - RE: Close the Invensys - Congnizant deal:

I hope we can do this. Even employees in Cognizant are not happy with the Invensys attitude. First they make products that are White Elephants and then they expect Cognizant to maintain it cheaply!

The Current Cognizant Management for IOM is the same that Invensys Management once handpicked in IDC. This again goes to show how incompetent Invensys management really is.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

There are enough good things and also bad ones at IOM. The good is excellent brand, performing products, good people (not at the top which is filled with ex-IT-space guys. The problem is IOM's reflex to point inwards perpetually - restructure and integrate, again restructure and integrate, again and again, and the saga goes on. We are completely internally focussed.

Fixing the customers' problems or attempting to engineer top of the market, competitive solutions against external customer needs. This is prevalent in every BU - the company as a whole. Quality of of some of the leadership is a BIG question - too many of the software (IT) guys. HR is a completely failed area in IOM, especially in some BU where the number of HR people are overwhelming, with ZERO quality and many working from home (or hotels)! One failed initiative after another, and now the so called MID-YEAR-REVIEW - which is a complete JOKE!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The morale in still down at IOM and no one feels stable in their jobs. IOM has a leadership team that is absent most of the time. Sudipta is on his ego trip, and it seems like he is clueless about what is going on in IOM. He has distanced himself with the new LOB structure. There are number of unhappy customers in IOM, but we are focused on more processes and useless initiatives - i-deliver etc. etc.

In some BU's, the bosses fly up and down every week, stay in fancy places. But the engineers' daily allowance while on commissioning sites or customer visits is cut down to a paltry sum with which one cannot sustain. All this is supposedly due to margin pressures(!). Added to this the so-called "Spirit Week" celebrations! Complete breakdown of enthusiasm, initiative. Now oNE delivery initiative!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Interesting but unsurprising that Ulf Henricksson remains in the wilderness. Still after what Invensys paid him, he can afford to be sad and delusional!

Riddett also spent a year where nobody would touch him. On his return to the US, he was fired and unemployed for over a year. To hide things, he set up a consultancy business but nobody hired him. A quick glance at his resume and you can see why. And that's before you actually meet the guy. Things must have been getting desperate as he accepted the Safetran job on a third of the salary he was getting at Pirelli. Clearly he now appears to be in over his head and sinking. He'd better strap on his parachute nice and firmly as he should be one of the first of many out the door.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

After 25 years at Controls, the same desk but three different companies, or is it four - the focus is now all about building little fiefdums. Every one is trying to grab the little bits of business we have left. 20 years ago we had good products and made good profits, so where did it all go? Poor vision, lack of acknowledgement of the commodity markets we were it, lack of a strategy for the rise of China.

The corporate planes are gone (yes we had a corporate jet) but we keep doing the same old things. We keep changing Managers ( I actually liked Chan, at least he saw that there was no money in selling gas valves to Rheem) but nothing else changes.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

So what happened to the great Ulf Hendricksson? The world leader in management and leadership. After being fired from Invensys, due in large to becoming a self obsessed and somewhat delusional embarrassment, he has vanished. Eight months after his sudden departure nobody will touch him in any market. Obsessed with his visions as a global leader he even has a website that nobody reads and still calls himself a CEO - even though he is unemployed. Very, very sad, but sick individual.

Click here The blogsite of Ulf Henriksson B.A.

This has an article, "A Philosophy of Leadership", dated May 3, 2011, with a photograph of Ulf, and a link to:

Click here www.ulfhenriksson.net Who is Ulf Henriksson?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The posts about HR in IRNE are spot on. The problems (as usual) are in Chippenham. I understand many of them earn more than £70k per year and get to work from home half of the week. Larson is gone but the gravy train continues.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Is it true that Riddett wants all manufacturing out of the Union Louisville plant? Rumour has it that the manufacturing in Melbourne is also to close. Visionary or just the usual follow-the-pack, short-sighted, don't-know-what-to-do leadership?

What's with all the rumours of a COO role and lines of technology P&L? These have been around for months now. I can't wait to see how that would work in a systems business. Rail needs to reduce its Executive team as both revenue and profit are declining under Riddett. If we are at the stage of golden parachutes, Riddett had better get his sorted as he is the least-value-added leader in Rail's history! If Wayne doesn't see it, surely Sir Nigel can ? Talk is getting cheaper as business sinks around us.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

' Do we have the option to work from home in IRNE? I've worked here 7 years and never seen such a policy. I'd love to work from home - lie in each morning, save hundreds of pounds a month on petrol and see more of my family. Is this option only available to HR employees or do we have equality for everyone? Why do some offices have flex-time and regularly work a four day week? I can't see the company pulling together as one with this situation.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

All your competitors must be reading this and rubbing theirs hands in delight! It would appear that Invensys is unified in only 1 way: every bit of the organization is in an ever-increasing death spiral. I've said it before - it won't last 2011 out. The only reason it hasn't been taken over already is that it will be cheaper to buy after it collapses.

The iceberg has been hit, some people have already used the lifeboats and the deck is beginning to tilt. Does anyone think the 'captains' will go down with the ship?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It's clear that the people in Invensys Rail are unhappy. It's clear that the top management is preparing to slash and burn. Face the facts people! Complain to your barber.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I doubt IRNE even needs an MD. the business is in effect the old 'Core Markets'. All that had was a GM and some Head of's. Cant see why we need the Rolex bunch?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Three Musketeers (Ridett, Edmunds, and Sir Nigel) will be in Madrid during this week for an "informative meeting" with IRSE staff. Prepare for the worst!

Monday, October 3, 2011

A few weeks ago some blogger said that the Southern Delivery Director won the Thameslink package. There was already an existing outstanding working relationship thanks to the hard working Invensys staff in that area. Great expertise and genuine dedication to the client - the client knows that. Please don't insult people's efforts and make out that Superman came in at the winning line to save everyone.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Well, if he is good or not I hope either the VP Delivery, or some other VP, gets hold of HR. This function has been a joke for years but seems to be getting worse. Why can't they just do what they are paid to do? There was a view that when Paula Larson was fired then reality would dawn.

Apparently not. The business has been galvanized by Crossfield to dig deep, and for employees to put their shoulder to the wheel and deliver. I see project, engineering and manufacturing people going beyond the normal call of duty. For example, the recent locational case required for Moorethorpe where 24 hours were worked by all the teams. Meanwhile the HR team work from home and live in a different world. It's embarrassing. Do they actually know what they are doing? The recent post about the IRNE Exec was accurate. All we need is MD, FD, Delivery Dir, Ops Dir, R&D and Commercial. The rest are passengers and should be managers not Exec. I actually thought that was what was presented originally.

Monday, October 3, 2011

From my two decades career at Invensys Controls, I can clearly see we've moved our focus away from the customer and close to our own navel...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The IRNE VP Delivery will be caught out. He doesn't believe things need to change and his main priority is to get all functions reporting through him. He thinks Crossfield is a joke and won't last. Just wait and watch as his delivery operation fails to deliver.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I am amazed by our lack of leadership. Here in IRAP we seem to have completely lost the plot and for the first time in memory are making a trading loss. We have a write-down of over $16 m Australian on the Auckland contract and apparently Riddett's plan is to get Plc to fund the loss through a special provision, so as to hide the problem to prospective buyers. This borders on fraud.

Sunday, October 2, 2011 - Re. Is IOM on track and in budget?

For IOM to be on track here are some useful tips:

  1. Close the Invensys - Congnizant deal
  2. Take back the money spend (for last 2 to 2.5 years) on Invensys - Congnizant deal.
  3. Hire good quality programmers in US and bring back IOM on track.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Re:Saturday, September 17, 2011 - "It was genuinely good to notice all the support of the new V.P. delivery post on this site"

Did the new V.P. delivery write this himself? It would not surprise me.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I am a former customer, then employee, customer again. The products are still good. But I do not influence within my company because of being unsure of Invensys leadership commitment to the company and how much offshoring happens. Two finance people with no domain experience managing group from London as a financial body and both new in roles. Shareholders that want EPS and so cost cuts and then three businesses that have all new leaders less than 3 years with company. Makes it difficult to decide any stability as compared to other choices. It will be watched how effective the leaders work to stabilize workforce at all levels.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wow. The quiet structuring of golden parachutes I'm hearing about makes me both nervous and nauseous. What on earth has the current leadership done to deserve a generous payout in the event of an acquisition?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I wonder if we are still so keen on doing business with a Chinese "partner" like CSR ? There have now been 2 serious accidents this year with the latest involving a Chinese -Alstom JV. The previous high speed train crash was a CSR train. Chinese shortcuts are killing people. Is this what we want Invensys to be associated with? There is a price to pay for being a western prostitute.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Couple of points here. Just obviously keeping an eye on the current share price; have not invested in the current share shave catastrophe. It's now apparent that the people that didn't invest wouldn't be getting a return on their invested money every month.

Again on the subject of the share price: This will have the wolves watching for the door to open so they can jump on the little-red-riding hood that is Invensys. I think the fact that Invensys are still making good numbers but isn't reflected in peoples salaries is an abstract way to get people out the door to cut numbers - speaking on the behalf of rail. Granted jobs are hard to come by, but you approach any other signaling firm and the difference in digits is hard to believe.

Hearing that Crossfield is living like pop-star doesn't surprise me. He and Riddett are here to stable the ship and get their part of the business in shape and ready to sell.

Lastly purely aimed at the R and D and implementation. Is it worth continually investing in this modular nonsense? Now, granted should it be fully developed before going to trial, it would be very good and the ideas going round are inspiring. But as always, it's a rush to get it out as quick as possible, that reason for this. Our management team drop the ball and don't think innovation is worth while. The same can be said for WESTcad and ARS. (ARF) At the time that Westcad was new and shiny, it was deemed not worthy to invest in an automatic route-setting facility. Then the IECC comes along and wipes the floor with Westcad, now that has hampered sales of Westcad Europe wide. Its the same with modular.

Signalling solutions (Alstom) developed their system, whether better or not is meaningless. Their system was properly developed and is now being trialled in the UK.

Back to Invensys exec. - their crowd of vp's for this and that. Having got rid of quality workers, the exec in their wisdom bring in more exec staff, bringing the numbers higher than they were before the mass exodus they had to apparently make to save money. Now they surely must be spending more on useless exec salaries.

Are you taking notes, Siemens or Alstom?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Can anyone comment on how IOM is doing with the execution of the nuclear business in China? Is IOM on track and in budget? Based on the deal requirements, if this project is tracking it would be a huge positive; if it is failing, it will sink IOM and the parent Invensys.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Employees here in IRNA all know what Riddett really is: A foul mouthed, uneducated and crude individual. Known for his far right political views and knee jerk decisions. With him in charge Rail's fate is inevitable.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

China Railways is due to spend $5m in setting up their HQ in Melbourne, Australia as part of their push in High Speed Rail. Interesting how our IRAPs Australian office is also headquartered there. Just one step closer in the change plan. Maybe it's time to get some Chinese lessons ready?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Forget about leadership. It's all about the break-up value. We all know it. Here in the US Riddett is a known fool. Nobody would employ him apart from Invensys. With time, the reasons will become clear. Shame for the talent lost and not recovered.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

We know all the problems with Invensys Rail as well as IOM. The board is doing nothing because they are focused on the solution: Sale of the company. I have a strong feel that the sale it will be announce by end of Dec 2011.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I agree that in IRNE it's all about short term financial performance for personal gain. I work in R&D and apparently our MD admitted it this week in a leadership event. I'm told that in a question-and-answer session with the leadership team, Crossfield stated that he only wanted success so he could improve his salary, have a new car and better holidays and his leadership team should think in the same way! Apparently they don't.

All this from a man that apparently has a new Aston Martin, a Lamborghini V10 super car and an AMG Mercedes. Add an ocean going yacht, exotic watch collection including a gold Rolex and no doubt exotic holidays.

From what we've heard the leadership team he was with are not exactly impressed by his 1980s greed. Management is out of touch. We are laying people off right now for short term gain for Riddett and long term disaster for the business.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I agree with the previous posters assessment about people like Riddett not really knowing what is happening. At IRNA, recently the next generation product development cost to went up by 4 or 5 times but this has not affected the local management at the time under whose watch this happened. They continue unaffected, albeit in a different role.

This reinforces the fact that all that matters is the "impression" that Riddett has rather than hard facts, unless you mess up royally. They tend to be more dollar focused here rather than caring about "your length of service or friends". In the recent IRNA R&D lay-offs where about 9 people were laid off, there were people with over 30 yrs. service, including the only person with detailed knowledge about a key IRNA product that has over 50,000 units installed base. Go figure !

Tuesday, September 27, 2011 - To the poster below, "The raft of ...":

Sorry, mate, as a former IRNA employee I can assure you that you've got this wrong. The current US leadership of IR (is that an Oxymoron ?) is much more focused on the bottom line i.e. $, rather than your feelings of "thousands of hours of unpaid work or your friends". This is business and none of that is relevant - to them.

This thought process tends to be much more hard-nosed in the US way of thinking than it is in UK, especially among IRNA managers. With Riddett in charge, you'd better get used to it. These are not people who necessarily think long-term or who will take the time to understand what skills/experience you bring to the table. You are mainly a number and they will rely on your senior managers to tell them about you. If that person does not talk about you in glowing terms (does not matter if this is lies or the truth) you are just a number. Unless you screw up royally, people like Riddett don't have the memory to really keep track of what they were told about you and just form a "good" or "bad" impression based on what they are told by others. So you can have a "good" impression but not do much work and be safe.

These leaders have been given a task(s) and a large bonus tied to it. THAT is their focus. Not your feelings. I am not saying that your feelings are not important but rather just informing you that the current crop of IRNA managers tend to be much more hard-nosed and care mostly about themselves.

Just look at what is happening at IRNA and you will see it for yourself: All the best marketing people have resigned in the past 10 months and gone to the competition. Several good IRNA R&D people have left and more will leave. Search for IRNA R&D posts below and you will see what is happening there.

BTW, I do agree with your opinions ("trust your employees...") - but that is not how Riddett or the IRNA leaders think. They are the ones driving now.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The raft of apparently self-destructive emails on this blog from Invensys Rail employees is indicative of the level of frustration and bewilderment that exists in the company. I have worked for IRNE for a very long time and never before have I felt such a lack of confidence in the management team, such a level of uncertainty about the future of the company or such frustration at the ill-judged decisions being made on how to bring the company back to profitability.

It's easy to say "get a new job" - but why should we be pushed out in this way? We, the "coal face" have just as much investment in the company, both physical (thousands of hours of unpaid work over the years) and emotional (the people at work are also my friends). Senior managers seem to forget this and think that the workforce are expendable idiots who can only see their next pay packet. Get a grip IR directors! Start trusting the employees, let us know what is going on and how we can help, and you might just be surprised by how much backing you would get.

Monday, September 26, 2011 - Re: There's an old Indian proverb that says, "The nail that sticks it's head up gets nailed down".

Correction! This is really a Japanese proverb. Google it. Whatever the nationality, the meaning stills applies at IOM.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Well we have had Chinese proverbs and now we have an Indian one. This weblog is both entertaining and educational! I would almost miss it if we get taken over!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The morale in still down at IOM and no one feels stable in their jobs. IOM has a leadership team that is absent most of the time. Sudipta is on his ego trip and it seems like he is clueless about what is going on in IOM. He has distanced himself with the new LOB structure. There are number of unhappy customers in IOM, but we are focused on more processes and useless initiatives.

The Invensys stock price is at the bottom and will continue to go down because there is no clear business strategy for any of the business units. The Market is confused about the direction and Wayne is adding more confusion by not doing anything. The possibility of take over is more and more likely now as we are running out of options being a small player in the market. No one would come forward to acquire us until the board resolves the pension issue.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Here in IOM, the behavior exhibited under Ulf remains with IOM COO Freburger. Basically, you get fired if you have an independent opinion. Ulf may have been fired, but his legacy is alive and well.

Sunday, September 25, 2011 - Re: Why no input from the IOM folks...

There's an old Indian proverb that basically says, "The nail that sticks it's head up gets nailed down".

Saturday, September 24, 2011 - Re: Where are all the IOM people?

We are smart enough to keep our heads down, work and get our CV's updated, rather than airing our dirty laundry for all the world to see.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Everyday the share price is falling faster than the market and eventually it will be an easy decision for someone to acquire Invensys. Then the IOM will become just another notch on the bedpost of Siemens, or worse still ABB. At least then the CEO will not be able to take family holidays in Hawaii at the expense of every single worker at Invensys.

The destruction of the last British Engineering icon will be complete and some in senior leadership will try to find their way back into the hairy-fairy software world. Let's see if the Indians reciprocate and give Sudiptas such a senior job. It's not a matter of "if"; it's a matter of "when". Pity because this blog has been amusing for years.

Friday, September 23, 2011 - Re: Where are all the IOM people?

Many of us at IOM are scared to say anything. You never know what may identify you.

Friday, September 23, 2011 - Re: "After reading all of these posts, I now say this to you all. Find a better job."

Ok. Can I borrow your magic wand, please?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Spend baby spend! The end is near and the executive team(s) know this, so you can expect a continued acceleration of the "events". Be sure to keep yourself valuable to customers in order to ensure your survival after the buy-out.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Interesting - how Rail has taken over and is dominating this Invensys weblog, originally intended to serve the Invensys Automation (IOM) comments/news. Where are you all, IOM?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The reckless spending can be demoralizing. Recently overheard from this same team, cutting into costs, that at sales-excellence circle for top sales employes in Hawaii he was not allowed to take his handicapped child despite request to bear his own expenses. He was demoralized, seeing our CEO Mr. Edmunds with his children in a luxury suite for the high-price event. How can executives be noncompliant like this? Where are our strong UK board rules that board responsibility demands? Sir Chairman please intervene!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I left IRNA (idiot set of initials!) for a new company a few months back. It is smaller than Invensys, but my pay increased and I am much happier, without all the lunatic ravings and presentations we had to endure before.

I was based in California and watched a revolving door of incompetent Directors and VPs come through. We finally got a great Director, who actually cared about people (he once said in a public meeting, "your quality of life means more to me than any schedule"!) and they put the most incompetent VP to-date over him. Our Director shielded us from this madman and the corporate stupidity, so they forced him out and into a parking-lot job in Sales. Within months, the buffooon VP ruined R&D, laid off a bunch of people (one guy had 38 years and was escorted out!), then "resigned".

I tell all my former co-workers to find somewhere else to go. They deserve much better than this set of fools can deliver. After reading all of these posts, I now say this to you all. Find a better job. Life is too short to stay with such clueless people.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The order book at IRAP is very strong and helping to carry to the Rail Group. What still confuses many of the staff is our structure which continues to be unclear. We don't know who is on the Executive and what direction the company is taking given the rumors that are circulating about the selloff.

Most of our senior management don't take the time of day to speak to us, the workers. They are always traveling around on planes and don't even follow the Invensys travel policy of "Cheapest Flight"! How does this look to staff who slogging their hearts out delivering on the promises they have made without the real knowledge of what is involved?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The recent post is, unfortunately, true. Delivery Directors for Scotland and the South keep the VP looking good. They keep delivering unlike the new one for LUL. The southern chap personally won Thameslink and that's from the customer, who are wary of the VP. He just produces make believe reports. The VP spends his time mainly traveling first class at what must be costing thousands a week and enjoying life. Crossfield will be relaxed until the VP tells the truth. It's all about timing.

There was an articulate post a week or so ago that hit a nail firmly on the head. Can we have a business within a business? In other words five or more self-supporting units, i.e. project delivery, engineering, supply chain, commercial etc. just for the UK? I and our customer NR don't think so.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I just got back from the annual RSSI show in Minneapolis. This is the major railroading show in the US, so it has a large presence of signaling, communications, construction, etc. presence and all the major companies like Ansaldo, IRNA, Siemens, Alstom, GE etc exhibit here.

For the 2nd year in a row I noticed that IRNA displayed mostly their old products, pretty much nothing new. But GE, which a few years ago had hit rock bottom (in the US), definitely had some very innovative and new products, especially in the PTC arena - which is the future of railroading in the US. Even Ansaldo had new innovative products.

It is evident that GE are resurgent and now have the strategy, talent and drive to get back to being the top supplier in the US. This is a very good comeback considering that Safetran (IRNA) had them beat from 2003-2008 (when we released the GCP4000).

The egg on IRNA's face was that they arranged a presentation of their "new" products in the Innovation Theater, by invitation ONLY, but not a single customer showed up. They were also the ONLY supplier to have a "by invitation only" presentation. Everyone else's presentations were open to all.

I guess this is what happens when you create a "fear" environment and huge uncertainty within R&D. As others have posted here, there are just 35 R&D engineers left in California (down from 80+), and none of them know if/when the plant here will be closed. Way to go Safetran Marketing leaders, who have created this situation. Everyone knows who they are.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

From what I have been told the IRNE VP for Project Delivery spends his time in First class trains and expensive London hotels and restaurants. Meanwhile the two main Delivery Directors, who are way ahead of the VP in capability and knowledge, keep things afloat.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Stop complaining. We do ok every year and why should we not do well again? What is the point in fighting amongst ourselves. We have delivered on numbers and let's focus our energies there. Who cares and why bother about the execs and their lifestyles. Read the other blogs and find they all live well and our executives are not the only ones. It's the corporate world, friend.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

There appears to be overwhelming distrust and even disgust at Kevin Riddett's behavior in Rail. This is a shame as this group was, under Drummond, the jewel in the Invensys crown. The fact that this opinion seems to be universal across the UK, US, Spain and Asia is telling. Rail has been half the total profit and almost all of the cash!

I won't prejudge Riddett as I have never seen him, let alone spoken to him. As we approach his first year in charge (COO then CEO) can anyone tell us one change Riddett has implemented? One bit of value he has added ? Any significant contribution to Rail's growth and profitability? These are genuine questions, not criticism. I'm reliably told that orders, profit and cash are all down. Customer confidence is at an all time low. All this on a global basis. Now this is hearsay, so only the results will show if it's true or not. I expect the half year guidance will tell us what's really happening.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The new VP of Project Delivery has yet to be proven. He is only responsible for completing the almost complete LUL work and the business-as-usual Network Rail. The difficult Taiwan work and Singapore projects are being done elsewhere.

Had he duped Crossfield? We shall see. He has reduced his prices significantly without reducing costs. Even then he has failed to win some recent major Network Rail bids. This VP is unproven and his mates who are posting on here should be holding their breath. So far they seem to think that reducing prices is all that's needed.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The new IRNE VP Delivery is a dictator and is aggressive in his approach, not really different from the old regime. He is building his empire by appointing his mates who have no experience or proven record to key positions. He has built a clique and if you do not fit in the core and the periphery of that clique you are not good enough.

This business is build on false numbers, e.g. meeting H1 commitment on cash flow means putting a stop on paying supplier invoices until the figures are declared in the City, often with serious consequences to the suppliers' cash flow and survival. Nearly every Supplier and subcontractor out there is now refusing to deal with IRNE because of late and poor payments. Is this being a responsible business? I think it's criminal and illegal. Project teams are constantly under the cloud of redundancies, yet they are having to negotiate deals with suppliers and even beg time after time to get services or materials critical for weekend possessions and commissioning.

Monday, September 19, 2011- Re: "IRNE could not run a bath. Spain is great. We will be the only ones left when all others fail. You are all losers!":

Oh yes, very grown up. Very constructive. Are all your colleagues as enlightened as you? Take a look at the technologies you are using. Noticed how the names start with 'West' rather than 'Dim'? When YOU have co-developed a product as time-proven and hugely successful as SSI, then you can come crowing. Until then, keep your football-terrace inanities to yourself.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Most Rail posts are missing the point. Both IRNE and IRSE have a huge hole in their order books. Without taking work from IRAP, IRSE would need to lay people off now. Meanwhile IRNE already have people in the York office with no work. Meanwhile IRAP is going nowhere with huge losses in Australia and New Zealand. IRNA is what it has been for years, a nice little manufacturing business but somewhat irrelevant. Rail has made huge investment in India that has yielded nothing. Under Drummond Rail was growing over 10% each year. Now under Riddett it's a different world, and all Rail BUs need to scale back until somebody who knows what they are doing takes charge.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

At Controls, it is all about changing the names on chairs and the managers flying to endless conferences. No new products, all the R&D dollars wasted on pet projects, we now have products scattered across many segments but weak in all. In Europe for instance Eliwell was the market leader in digital controls; now it is possible to purchase similar products out of China for about half the cost. The managers of Controls have been watching this happen for years.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

After Siemens announcement to quit all their nuclear industry activities, will they still be in the running to buy Invensys?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

There's good and bad at IOM. Excellent brands, decent products, good people. The problem is, as ever, IOM's reflex to point inwards perpetually - restructure and integrate and follow magic-bullet fashions, rather than attempt to engineer solutions against external need. This is what Wayne appears to be trying to fix. I'd have some question marks about the quality of some of the leadership, but then again Invensys is a second-tier company so you're not going to get the best of the best.

There have been rumours of takeovers by Siemens for years; I don't think anyone really thinks about it day to day. You could see Foxboro could be a good way into process apps for them, Wonderware has a good ERP integration story on the Ops Management direction, there's maybe a fit with Triconex and parts of Eurotherm. If it happens, it happens. Siemens would be buying to find incremental business, not buy market share in their own space, so presumably they'd look at continuing investment.

You can't also not mention HR in any discussion of IOM though. One failed initiative after another, and breezy attempts at cool being met with stubborn indifference.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Frankly, I am still very puzzled and unconvinced why the IRAP headquarters should be moved to Singapore. For some projects in Asia-pac, they still come under the management of technical people from Spain, UK and Australia. It seems all the expertise are coming from there and not Singapore which is not strong in Rail expertise; unlike IOM which has strong local project managers. If that's the case, the value add of new Singapore management team are frankly diminished and expensive to maintain. These could actually be more better serviced out from Australia using Australia resources as much as possible . Not to mention the cost of office rental, taxes, other support personnel. Maybe this model needs review. And by the way, I am not from IR Australia, in case you are wondering why I say it makes sense the HQ remains in Australia.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I've been reading this site with great interest. Recently, this site has been dominated by INRE folks. Since I am a customer of IOM and my professional future is fairly well tied up in IOM's products and services, I was wondering what the IOM folks have to say.

What have you been hearing? Are Siemens or Schneider still the leading candidates for a takeover? What do you think are the future of IOM's offerings - history's dustbin, integration with the buyer's products, or are IOM's solutions good enough to survive a takeover?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I am one of the 25-30 IRAP people who has been asked to leave this month. Why is Singapore putting on more and more VPs? This just doesn't make any sense. Good luck to the new recruits; you will need it.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Let's see if we can get this blog out of the gutter.

So what impact will the sale of Ansaldo have on the price of Invensys? Italy: Finmeccanica to sell AnsaldoBreda and Ansaldo STS.

    La Repubblica, 15 Sep. 2011

    Italian engineering group Finmeccanica has confirmed that it plans to sell its rail transport engineering subsidiary AnsaldoBreda and its railway signalling and systems subsidiary Ansaldo STS. While AnsaldoBreda has a negative net worth, Ansaldo STS is estimated to be worth EUR 1.5bn (USD 2.06bn). Analysts predict that a fair price for the 60% of Ansaldo STS quoted on the stock exchange would be between EUR 9 and EUR 11 per share. US company General Electric (GE) is thought to be particularly interested in the takeover, while rivals Siemens, CAF and Bombardier are said to be watching events closely. If GE does bid, it seems likely that it will ask for a reduced price for Ansaldo STS in order to take on AnsaldoBreda as well. After the sales, Finmeccanica will be better placed to focus more closely on the defense and aerospace sectors.

Saturday, September 17, 2011 - RE: "loss of SSR and the BIP you would expect to see exec heads roll":

Did we loose the BIP? Did someone put a lower price in?

Saturday, September 17, 2011 - Responding to: "The problem in IRNE is the conflict between the personal ambition of the Project Delivery team and what is best for the business".

This is not the current problem one bit with the former UK westinghouse business. The actual difficulty is the authors of these blog reports. MD plus VP project are working real hard together to fix the legacy mess. They are not fighting for each others jobs, or anyone else's - they are trying, and succeeding, in building a stronger brighter future for all here and in the local network rail regions.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

It was genuinely good to notice all the support of the new V.P. delivery post on this site - he is the one who has being traveling around & rebuilding goodwill with network rail chiefs, and is the one who has got us back in the good books with most of the UK network rail clients, which cannot be an easy ride. If it's hard and needs doing properly it seems to be given to him. From where I am sitting - fixing client relationship - winning work - sorting commissioning weekends - managing safety - sorting the overheads - LU /SSL - estimating teams - manufacturing problems - all goes to him to fix.

Whilst doing that - also concentrating on regrowing the remaining internal discipline areas which will be needed for the IRNE UK rail business to operate properly.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The recent posting on IRNE is spot on. Compared to 2 or 3 years ago (when the business was growing) our overheads must be way too big a percentage of our total costs. With the loss of SSR and the BIP you would expect to see exec heads roll, but we have just as many as before and (I am reliably informed) all their salaries are higher than the people they replaced. Fat cats. Surely if the business is shrinking we need fewer chiefs?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The problem in IRNE is the conflict between the personal ambition of the Project Delivery team and what is best for the business. The VP of Project Delivery has totally duped Crossfield and this will ultimately be seen in the IRNE results.

Friday, September 16, 2011

IRSE sabe que IRNE no podía correr un baĖo. EspaĖa es grande. Vamos a ser los únicos que quedan cuando todos los demás fallan. Todos ustedes son los perdedores!

Approximate translation: IRNE could not run a bath. Spain is great. We will be the only ones left when all others fail. You are all losers!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The problem in IRNE is the conflict between the personal ambition of the Project Delivery team and what is best for the business. The VP of Project Delivery has totally duped Crossfield and this will ultimately be seen in the IRNE results.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I left the IRNE business a year ago after quite a few years successfully delivering projects. Even before I left, we had come to the end of the road with the existing delivery model. It was impossible to be competitive with regional delivery directors each having their own engineering managers and support functions. The overhead burden was too high and hidden by classifying everyone as a direct booking to a project.

Recognizing this, some good work was done examining the extraordinarily successful delivery process in Dimetronic. In this model, projects are delivered by a Project Manager and all other activities such as engineering, supply chain, commercial etc. were provided by functions which leveraged their capability over all the projects. I was skeptical at first, but eventually realized how cost effective it was.

However, the big problem from the start was the existing Delivery team. In their simple world, that meant a huge loss of status, the latter being measured by the number of people working for them -i.e. the Delivery function would of consisted 20 or so people instead of the 500+ business within a business it had become.

Your current VP of Projects was opposed to this change because he saw it as career limiting. He openly stated that he intended to be MD and that this would happen by controlling the largest part of the organization when Crossfield got fired. Something that looked likely 6 months ago.

So former colleagues. Your BIP is a sham. The overheads are way too high and you remain uncompetitive.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Noted below, "Riddett is an invisible axe-man with people losing jobs in Safetran, the UK and soon in Australia."

Mr. Kevin "Chupacabra" Riddett, we call him, written up in legend, lore, and song, an invisible mystery man so hideous he's the cause of all of Invensy's woes. It's not San Andreas' Fault, it's Riddett's.

Puh-leeze! Stop blaming the man for the lingering, smelly, inevitable death of Invensys. It takes more than one man to derail a mega-multinational corporation (pun intended!) with as much inertia as Invensys has, and no one man is responsible for this slow moving train wreck (pun also intended!)

'Twas greed that killed the beast. Mr. Riddett and many other Invensys people are merely trying to find ways to increase profits for stake holders who already have more accumulated wealth than Smaug who demand even more wealth -- customers be damned, quality be damned, the health of Invensys be damned.

Welcome to the way global conglomerates operate around the world now. Invensys is not unique and seriously, it's not all the fault of one or two people, ultimately it's the fault of stake holders who demand ever more profits with zero regard for the consequences.

As a one-time English teacher in Edinburgh, birth place of Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle, I often told my students upon graduation that given the advent of globalization, they had best learn how to speak 5 important words in as many languages as they can muster. Specifically, "You want chips with that?"

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I left IRNE last month and it seems I got out at just the right time. What was a very good business has been let down by a bunch of yes-men and weak management. The UK has been very poor in standing up for itself at group level over the last few years and now we are seeing the results.

Singapore is the best example; a project originally won by IRNE and in my opinion IRNE was the best company to deliver it as IRNE has a number of highly skilled people with extensive experience on delivering large mass transit projects (including the previous SMRT Singapore Contract). Yet a large proportion (and significant) pieces of the work was sent elsewhere to people with little experience in this arena (e.g. Australia) and now after realizing their mistake (eventually) the work was all sent to Spain! The group hijacked the project from the people best placed to deliver and gave to people with far less experience.

If IRNE wants to redeem itself (especially in R&D) then they need to pull in some senior managers who have the balls to stand up for their business unit like they do in Spain.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

It's not worth waiting for. Here in Satetran there was no warning just chaos and confusion. Seems it's now being applied globally. Riddetts way.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Our new IRNE VP Delivery has told his team not to worry about the business improvement plan and to just say positive things. Apparently Riddett won't last and our MD won't be a problem. The plan apparently is just to get control of every function, as he expects to be MD within a year or two! Apparently our current MD is on borrowed time. That would be the third MD in 3 years.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Controls soaring again? Nobody who knows about this business can believe it. In all regions turnover is going down and more dramatic competent and motivated people disappeared, most fired many others left. A disaster! And the remaining are trying to defend their positions. Here in Europe there is a troupe of incompetent and well-paid salesmen who never understood what they are supposed to sell. Balcunas? Making money and playing golf.....

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

WRT the "beloved" IOM VP: when was the last time he said something that we didn't immediately peg as false, drivel, or just plain uninformed? I always thought of him as a weathervane that pointed the wrong way: you could still use him to tell what was going on. You just needed to know that you'd never get the true direction the wind was blowing directly from him.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

IRNE ERP and LN what is that all about? Who is responsible for the development and roll out of the worst business tool in history (ERP). This is the product that is supposed to save us all loads of time which in turn will enable the BIP headcount reductions. I can think of a better BIP efficiency - remove this ERP team immediately, fire the responsible VP and pick up the phone to Oracle. Stop throwing more good money after bad. You have been sold a pup! Why would anyone develop a new product like this on a package originally produced by BAAN 12 years ago?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Great to see the IRNE VP Delivery being mentioned. If you have noticed or listened to anything in the past 6 months all the successful ideas have been produced by him and his mates. He is the only IRNE Exec member who actually delivers or does anything as the rest are too busy fighting with each other to get Crossfield's attention. My advice would be to stay close to this IRNE Delivery VP and his Directors as they are the future of this business. Stay well away from the rest as when the hurricane lands in Chippenham they will not survive.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Riddett has created chaos by dismantling Drummond's legacy but with no new ideas and nothing to replace it. Now we have the Southern Europe business doing projects in Spain, South America, Middle East, China and Singapore. Even bidding in Northern Europe and apparently Vietnam! The Northern Europe business seems to be UK only? Apparently the Australian business is in free fall.

So the chaos you feel comes from the total lack of strategic intent, the organization not fit for purpose and in some cases employees not actually having a known management reporting line! R&D is a shambles with a Drummond global centre of excellence organization but with no global leader and inter company feuds. The results will speak volumes about this mess.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

So the Spanish want 95% redundancies in the UK. Presumably so they can keep their jobs as the Spanish Market is in meltdown? Over 20% unemployment in Spain and a government bail out likely. No money left for expensive rail investment. Dimetronic are living off past glory and the inevitable is coming.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I can't see any impact from the UK Business Improvement Plan. Figures of 20% reduction in headcount were briefed. So where are the 260 jobs that have gone? Here in Projects we have a new VP that has appointed all his mates as Directors and from what I can see it's business as usual. Apart from changes in reporting lines, what has changed? What are we doing differently?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I've worked in Rail for 6 years and have never once seen or spoken with this character Riddett. In fact I don't even know anyone in the company that has even seen him. This includes colleagues in Spain and Australia as well as the UK. Apparently he has been in charge as COO and then CEO since November last year. During this time we have had multiple town halls from our Executive team and even Wayne Edmunds. Riddett is an invisible axe-man with people losing jobs in Safetran, the UK and soon in Australia. However despite a drastic slowdown in Spain, there has been no restructuring. If he dislikes his UK and Australian employees so much, then why is he CEO?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 - Re: "It is not termed "redundancies" in IRAP state offices. Its called "reorganization":

In IRNE they don't call it redundancies either - It's called "Business Improvement Plan".

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Gosh, is that what a worried IRSE is reduced to? Asking for 95% redundancies in it's sister company? First time in history. We have had great Spanish managers over our R&D in the UK without a problem; but now hatred? I suppose this sums up Riddett's lack of leadership. How is this guy still in charge? It's been a year?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Under Drummond's leadership we had a unified Rail organization, inter company co-operation and a common purpose. Not perfect, but at least clear direction and strategy.

Now, we have employees taking pot shots at each other on public forums. Very negative and destructive. This speaks volumes on Riddett's lack of leadership and the chaos he is creating.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Controls is not a good company waiting to soar again. All the products are old and outdated. Chan Galbato closed most of the loss-making gas business and was given the sack for making a decision that should have been years ago. Hence Invensys is now stuck with the likes of Balcunas.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The R&D team in Chippenham contains many talented engineers and the fact that leadership will come from Madrid won't change or damage that group. The problem with Chippenham R&D is that, with the loss of SSR, there are no serious developments required for the UK. ERTMS and ATO will come from Spain and all the UK Mainline business really needs is a new object controller that's mostly finished anyway.

Years (and countless millions) were spent on DTG-R and it's time to slim the group down to a small collection of high quality engineers controlled by Madrid. This is no bad thing and an opportunity to get rid of the dead wood. As for the factory, they are a small, low-volume, niche business. Not very exciting, but are efficient and will always make money; I would keep it. Attempts to outsource will end in lost margin and poor quality.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Rotten apples? Westrace, SSI and Westlock. On board ATP and ATO. Relays. This makes up around 90+% of technology used by IRSE. All designed and manufactured in Chippenham.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

IRSE's success over the past 15 years has been based almost solely on Westrace technology. The name might indicate it's origins as it was developed by Westinghouse in Chippenham.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The arrogance of the IR SE team never ceases to amaze us! Claiming that IR NE are the "rotten apples" when IR SE's core technology is all built on the developments produced by IR NE. And then putting forward such a clapped-out second-rate solution that IR lost the London SSR bid. They really are starting to believe their own lies and the top IR management are so stupid they believe them too.

The IR SE president (known as the "great dictator" and widely tipped to be the one to replace the idiot Riddett soon) has only one agenda: to eliminate the rest of the company and preserve Spanish jobs, which is why he encourages this kind of arrogance.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

You can give any of the Madrid team global or COO job titles, but at the end of the day they will do what's best for Spain and do not care about Rail or Invensys. With the Spanish market in free fall, they should be restructuring. There is no money in Spain, the government is only slightly better off than Greece. Instead Dimetronic are planning on doing work in Northen Europe and Asia and expecting the existing local workforce to be made redundant to protect jobs in Madrid. Meanwhile clueless Riddett, who appears well out of his depth, sits in Louisville and watches the damage happen. The Rail CFO left on Friday after a year in post. You can guess the rest.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

For many years R&D Westinghouse has failed to accomplish anything. Why the whining about R&D being moved to Madrid? They have proved to deliver; results are the best proof. They are imaginative, they work hard and their love for the rail industry and being always one step ahead is what has saved rail from disappearing. Same with manufacturing, I wonder why the Chippenham factory hasn't disappeared when it is so much cheaper anywhere else. IRAP and IRSE are really fed up; they are just paying to maintain those unproductive jobs. Close it! Rotten apples have to be removed from the basket.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

More redundancies coming in Chippenham R&D because work is moved to Madrid. Clearly this Riddett character does not like us Brits if he is willing to pay redundancy payouts to get rid of UK talent and at the same time recruiting in Madrid. I wonder what Invensys' biggest customer, the UK's Network Rail, think of that ?

With manufacturing and R&D shrinking, are we becoming a Project Management company like Atkins or Amey? Nothing developed in Madrid will be of any use in the UK.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Whoever created this collections of Hapless leaders did do a good job because you only have to dispose of them once - and the time is coming. It's difficult to judge really who is the worst; but for me its Sudipta because he is destroying something that is still worth something.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What still baffles me in the UK Rail business is the layer upon layer of non-value-add executives, or should I call them SVPs and VPs. They don't make any decisions and they are not held accountable for anything.

Hurry up and sack anyone not adding value to the business and then you will have a viable business.

I am glad I bailed out and took the money a year ago.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Invensys rot started way back with Alan Yurko who, in his infinite wisdom, decided to buy a bankrupt Dutch software company called Baan. It has always been downhill since for Invensys.

If there is a pattern about management and leadership in the process control business, especially in the UK :- eg what happened to the UK based and led ICS Triplex based in Crawley? That speaks so much for UK based companies having UK board members. Most of the members are "bean counters" with Chartered Accountant designation.

In a bigger picture, that speaks so much about the quality UK engineers finishing schools in the UK tertiary institutions and also those in higher management.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lacking all credibility, someone on September 4th said in part, "Every organization has got issues, problems, some worthless people, some worthless leaders, et al."

Since Germany will eventually be taking over Rail, I simply MUST quote Wolfgang Ernst Pauli, "Das is nicht einmal falsch." (This isn't even wrong.)

Prior to Invensys buying and taking over Safetran, Safetran was a perfect company that somewhere along its 90 YEARS of profitability (never a red ink year) managed to achieve sainthood. We had market share, respect in the industry, a kennel of high quality mechanical, hardware, and software engineers, sales and manager people who knew what customers needed and what customers wanted. It was children's smiles and fluffy kittens and spicy tamales for everyone.

Then came Invensys. Now look at what's left of Safetran. Come on, it does not take a ritual kick in the crotch to wake up and recognize why the Irish will never rule the world, nor why Rail customers cringe when they hear the name "Safetran" or (god help us) the name "Invensys."

Pointing at Invensys and suggesting "all organizations are like this" isn't even wrong. A great many are nothing like Invensys.

Flee, abscond, beat a hasty retreat, blow this town, bolt, cut and run, decamp, depart, desert, fly the coop, get the hell out, jump ship, make a getaway, make oneself scarce, make tracks, retreat, scoot, scram, skedaddle, take a hike, vamoose, vanish, or (my favorite) take a powder.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

It is amazing that Wayne appointed Riddett to a CEO role in a UK Plc. Mr Riddett is quite open regarding his dislike of both the UK and in particular British people. Describing the UK as a "truly awful country that even Sir Nigel avoids by living in Portugal" and British people as "arrogant and ful of s**t, who think they are superior by wearing a tie." The British currency, the pound, he describes as "pretend money and only the Dollar real". What kind of global Executive is this?

Apparently Rail's performance continues to slide and now the Rail CFO is suddenly leaving this week, refusing to work with an imbecile like Riddett. This is no longer a Riddett issue. Wayne and Sir Nigel who appointed him, have had long enough and now own it.

From other posts, sounds like a similar problem in IOM with Sudipta.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The fact that Wayne has not looked into Sudipta's hiring and promotion practices is proof that he is a spineless accountant, not a leader and certainly not a CEO.

Tuesday, September 6, 201

Controls Division products are old and outdated. There would be maybe five product lines which have a future.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011 - Re: Rail Spanish R&D

I agree it would serve the Spanish R&D right if Siemens took over and took all the work to Germany. Reap what you sow IRSE. You're doomed to failure!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Controls is a company with good Engineering and Sales teams. With proper leadership and direction this company can soar once again. The lack within this company lies squarely in the eyes of Upper Management. Balcunas has title of CEO however, the man running the show is no other than the CFO Hubert Gassner and all the cronies he brought with him. Balcunas is just riding high and fat until it's over. Week and a half Hawaiian trip, week of drinking and eating in downtown Chicago. Now I understand Controls is sponsoring three tables at the Ryder Cup. Not to mention the Short term incentive plan (STIP) for senior leadership. Yes that means bonus' people. Roughly $10k per head. Yet the ones that are left in the trenches are fighting with the rats for crumbs. I say bring on Siemens. Once they place the proper people up top, all will be fine.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A few months back, the "beloved" IOM VP, nursing a nose-block told us that there were no basis that Invensys was up for sale. But the fact is that other side of this telephone conference town hall call, we were all rolling our eyes upwards and were sniggering. No one believed a word he said.

Invensys has been up for sale for a long, long time... To those imbecile board members in London, quickly sort out what is required to be done. No point prolonging the inevitable.

Spare us the pain the current Invensys employees have to live through seeing bad and laughable management decisions made by Riddet, Sudipta and their merry men with MBAs, six-sigmas certifications...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Oh well, at least if Rail get sold to Siemens they will decimate the arrogant power-mad Spanish R&D organization and take it all to Germany. Every cloud has a silver lining...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Is Riddett still with Invensys? This is a first. Have you guys not yet figured him out? I guess some folks just need to learn the hard way. Problem for the shareholders is it's also the expensive way.

Riddett is a percentage guy. In Union Switch he was about always forcing some lame idea through, and as long as most of it was right that was ok with him. He has no idea about organizations and effective working. He believes its all about him and his dominance over others. Problem is business isn't like that and he hasn't a strategic view of anything. While short term savings are welcomed the long term damage can't be ignored. Look at what happened to Union Switch as a result of Riddett's short spell at the helm. The business halved after he was fired. Even with his father as Chairman, he couldn't be saved. Such is his arrogance he probably doesn't recognize that this was down to him.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The only issue I really agree with on this blog is that Senior managers need to get out and know your staff and the projects on the ground.

So, if senior managers really read this, then please get out talk to your engineers, technicians, buyers etc. You will learn something for the better.

Monday, September 5, 2011

End of the month figures exceeded the forecast equals a free doughnut, YIP! The sky is the limit at INVENSYS. LOL

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The latest JimPinto.com eNews - 5 Sep. 2011 - is on the web. Read this analysis, largely gleaned from the Invensys weblogs.

Click here Invensys for sale

It is clear that the path is being prepared for sale of the company. Ex-CFO, now CEO Wayne Edwards' main focus has been to carve out the pension liabilities, hitherto the primary blockage to any buyout. According to its annual report, Invensys has £ 5.46 B pension obligations, about £ 437 M more than the value of the plan's assets. Analysts value the company at more than £ 3B if the pension liabilities are offloaded. So, that's what Wayne Edwards is doing, clearly blessed by the Board.

The company will be sold, either as one piece, or the dis-similar businesses will be sold separately. China's CSR is supposedly interested and sorely needs Rail; and Siemens wants IOM. Who would want to buy leaderless, unprofitable and non-growing Controls?

All three Divisions remain in a holding pattern, awaiting the news of who the new bosses will be. Most employees wisely welcome the change.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Regarding the point on business travel. I agree, but also think that those preaching about cost should listen to themselves! Riddett is a typical example. He was over in the UK last week and now back here in Louisville for Saturday and Sunday. Guess where he is flying to tomorrow, Monday? First class back to the UK. At around $10,000 a week it's more than we can save from any Kaizen work. How is this adding value? Is this an example of good cost control?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

At Business School we were taught that a company should be valued on the profit it generates, not its assets value or sales turnover or anything else. So the Controls Division is worth exactly nothing.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

We have been hearing about the acquisition of Invensys by Siemens etc. right from day one in this company. Every organization has got issues, problems, some worthless people, some worthless leaders, et al. Honestly in the current situation where some European economies are in a pretty bad situation, US economy has another recession staring at it, there may not be any body to come and takeover Invensys.

Yes, if Siemens buys IOM, quite a good number of people will be out in the process of integration with Siemens organization.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I laughed at the comment on the 'traveling chaps'. Another in a long line of ignorant twaddle, taking pot shots on the basis that business travel is fun and some sort of perk. Only people who don't travel on business could possible make such a stupid crack. If you like being away from home, working (or wasting your time, whatever) around the clock and generally letting your life slip away, I can only imagine how bad your home life must be. I have no respect for the SLT whatsoever but even I don't imagine they travel through choice.

To paraphrase Patton or some-such who said that war isn't dying for your country, it's making some poor sod die for theirs. I'd like to think that if ever I got the power and position I'd use it not to travel; instead, I'd send some other poor idiot to do it for me.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Just like the days before the fall of the Roman Empire, the traveling chaps are on the eat-drink-and-be-merry phase as they know these "good" days are numbered

Friday, September 2, 2011

I agree Invensys will be broken up and sold piecemeal when market conditions are right. In IRNE there is still a profitable UK mainline business, although this will inevitably shrink as competition takes market share and the Network Rail spend slows down. The issue for IRNE is we are out of London Underground for at least 8 years. Maybe no bad thing. We never made any money and projects like the Vic line upgrade are not going very well (big problems this week on this line). So the future of IRNE is secure, although we will be a much smaller business focused just on Network Rail. As for R+D it is about time it was dismantled in the UK. Under the previous Head of R and D it became bloated and never delivered anything. We have made more money out of local developments like WestCad than the millions spent on DTG-R, ERTMS etc all expensive white elephants or vanity projects.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

IRNE Engineering is getting more farcical by the minute. We now have a "Head of Technology" who wouldn't recognize technology if it bit him in the leg. The Head of R&D sits in his office looking grim and communicates with nobody - worse than his predecessor. The development work is all drifting over to Spain who haven't got a clue how to handle it but love the power. Still, we hear that our IRAP friends are just as badly off so at least we don't feel singled out. Time to go.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Good god what were they thinking? We now have a Kentucky-based American CEO (I won't even go into the comments on Riddett as it's well documented here) but I hear he has appointed his Safetran HR VP as the global HR SVP! I'm told from HR she is a person who has never worked outside Cincinnati or Louisville! Have we finally gone nuts?

Let me explain. I understand that Safetran is a small manufacturing company headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky. It makes up about 20% of revenue and less than that of profit and now is trying to run the whole business. The UK R&D team are now leaving in numbers as everything seems to be done from Spain. What a mess!

Wayne and Sir Nigel, are you at the helm or just watching the damage done by your appointed amateurs?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Whether Siemens or not, it's unlikely to be a single buyer. I believe Invensys will be broken up for sale. It's worth more that way. The urgency is to get the UK pension liability sorted. Unfortunately incompetents like Riddett and Sudipta will continue to destroy value with screw ups in APAC projects and China Nuclear. These "leaders" are not capable of the consistent performance that Wayne needs in the run up to a sale. Sudipta living in his make believe world of theoretical concepts and Riddett asking the wrong people the wrong questions. The former very intelligent but totally impractical; the latter intellectually challenged with behavioral problems.

I also think that Controls might be a blocker for the break up. Who would want that shrinking business?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

In response to the Generation-X'er - I hope all of you Generation-X'ers are incredibly successful and make tons of money. I also hope you contribute the appropriate amount of OASDI and Medicare deductions so that I can enjoy my well deserved retirement after 45 plus years of employment. Good luck and Godspeed to you as well.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Du warst ein Invensys Mitarbeiter, nicht einer von euch daran erinnern, was passiert Moore!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

No you're right of course. The Germans and hostile takeovers certainly don't go together do they? It's just not in their nature!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I don't think we will need the German dictionary just yet. I'm sure Siemens are interested. However the UK pension is still to be outsourced and with Invensys stock close to a 52 week low and possibly under valued, Sir Nigel will want a better price. I doubt Siemens will launch a hostile bid so I'd say we are looking at 6+ months. If it's sooner then I'd bet that this years results are going to be below par. We shall see.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I will tell you what's changed. Under the leadership of James Drummond we had a clear strategy and organization to support it. We were growing and winning market share. Then 10 months ago Riddett was promoted, out of his depth to COO and then CEO. Now we have a partially dismantled organization, no strategy and cost cutting that is destroying capability. I'm reliably told that there are now 7 major projects, globally, that are in serious financial trouble. Rail needs a credible and capable CEO. Until we get one, expect the slide to continue.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It is not termed "redundancies" in IRAP state offices. Its called "reorganization"....Get that HR Director out in the open for a flogging.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ich bin ein Invensys angestellte. Yes, that's right guys. Get those English-German dictionaries ready.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Has much changed in the post-Ulf era? His cronies such as Freburger, Riddett and Sudipta are all still with Invensys. So apart from Wayne's urgency to offload the UK pension and then sell the company, little has changed.

Monday, August 29, 2011

If you think you have it bad with Sudipta, you need to meet Riddett. Embarrassing doesn't come close. In Asia and Europe he has been received as a jackass. Here in the US he is the least respected leader in memory. I just have to think that we are being sold and it doesn't matter who leads. Nobody would chose this idiot. Riddett himself openly says that Wayne will sell us off.

Monday, August 29, 2011

This here "baby boomer engineer" can out-innovate, out-code, out-sell, out-last, and probably just about out-everything you. So watch your generalizations, punk.

Monday, August 29, 2011

To the Generation-X guy, when most of the money isn't being made from products that were developed 10+ years ago you may have a point. Until then, the evidence is that the older guys did it better and more sustainably.

Monday, August 29, 2011

IRAP has gone into further damage control with the news that further redundancy‚s in Melbourne and Sydney on the way.

Many of the good staff have already left and with a less than satisfactory project delivery performance, how long will it be before it returns to being just a signalling design company.

Even the days of the local manufacturing is on its way out, so watch this sapce for more news in the next round of changes to be implemented.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The coming purchase of Invensys is being orchestrated by Ulf and his people. He needed to be out of the equation for legal and regulatory purposes, but when the deal is done all will see his pay out. His supposed departure was never explained.

Rail will be purchased by CSR, IOM and controls by Siemens.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

I too am shocked, surprised, and saddened at the cadre of yes-men and old buddies that Sudipta has brought into IOM. Let's not even get started on the lack of - ahem - cultural diversity. When Ulf promoted Sudipta to the WonderWare helm, it was a stretch then. Heading up IOM has pushed him far beyond his capacity to lead, and his key personnel choices are demonstrative of those failings. Tragic not only for IOM but for Sudipta as well, who simply needed more time to develop before being thrust into this role. He is not a bad person, just in over his head.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

All I hear is people crying and complaining about Invensys. Well people, this is how they are and how most all other companies are out there. They looking for engineers that can do it better, faster, and cheaper. You baby boomer engineers are the dinosaurs of technology. The generation-X is here. So stop your crying, stomping, and dragging your feet and get with the game or accept the inevitable and join your fallen comrades. Try to keep up. The days of handouts and milking your job are over. Good luck and Godspeed.

Friday, August 26, 2011

IRAP has now announced redundancies thanks to Dimetronic taking away all the Asia pacific business for themselves. 27% reduction in staff in primarily the Brisbane office. Fault lies squarely with the leadership. No vision, no balls!

Friday, August 26, 2011

What a mess Sudipta has created. New organization with no leaders leading to the chaos we now see. Does he really know what it means to drive a hardware-based business? We need a big name to come in and drive some growth. IOM is going nowhere at all. Our competitors will eat our lunch.

Thursday, August 25, 2011 - Re: "There are 4 of us still left, and at least 2 of us are sticking around until the bitter end."

I agree that stating that *all* the best people had left was a bit of a stretch and there are about half-dozen good staff still around in IRNA California. Most of them are looking for new jobs very actively. Keep in mind that at its peak R&D was > 80 people and there are about 35 left. Out of these a previous poster said that 2 will stick around to the bitter end ? Well .... need I say more?

I can also assure you that putting the blame on Invensys for this decline is very unimaginative. I fully realize that blaming Invensys R&D leadership is easy because then IRNA managers do not have to take any responsibility. Blaming Invensys (in this case) is just not factual though it is a good pass-time for IRNA managers.

The decline is directly attributable to 2-3 internal managers. You know who they are. In an *engineering* company when politics becomes more important than engineering and there is a loss of personal integrity, the result is not pretty. That is what you are seeing. Don't blame Invensys for this one!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Looks like the madness continues. More IRNE redundancies. Will the last one turn off the light please?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The company that is now known as Invensys was founded by a German-born British engineer named Augustus Siebe in 1819. So nearly 200 years later it seems as though it may well be repatriated back to its spiritual home of Germany. The question is will CSR take this lying down? Or will they put up a significant fight to acquire Invensys themselves? Are we seeing the beginning of the shift of power from the old industrial powerhouse of the West to the new in the East?

Monday, August 22, 2011

"Invensys Plc may be worth 80 percent more in a breakup, as Siemens AG circles the maker of software used to run the London Underground’s subway trains."

Read the article in Bloomberg Business Week:

Click here Siemens Circling Invensys in Breakup Means 80% Boost: Real M&A

Sunday, August 21, 2011 - A posting below reads, "Your best leaders and engineers have left."

No I haven't! There are 4 of us still left, and at least 2 of us are sticking around until the bitter end. After all, Safetran could recover from Invensys. The attempt to outsource might eventually be accepted by upper management as a dismal and expensive failure.

All you people who have worked for Safetran prior to Invensys taking over, you MUST agree that working with Safetran has been your best, most rewarding job ever. Think back to before Invensys. Yes, there was nonsense and yes difficulties to overcome but that's true of ANY company that's as large as Safetran - yet I can not imagine that anyone did not enjoy working with Safetran before Invensys.

We made a difference saving lives and reducing customer liability and costs, something that Safetran employees should be proud of. Our customer service and response was top notch, our products work, we had industry respect and top-ranked domain knowledge. We were #1 and to all you nay-sayers out there, we can be #1 once again if we don't give up!

None of us are clairvoyant and can predict the future. Safetran could be sold to another company that understands that outsourcing R&D rarely works, or Invensys management may eventually be forced to accept the fact. Quality engineers and leaders who have abandoned Safetran or have been laid off might possibly return, if so.

So don't give up on Safetran just yet. The company still has quality engineers and management people who know what customers want, what customers need, and know how to manage projects and people to get it done DESPITE Invensys.

You don't walk out on your family just because a family member gets sick! And before you say to yourself, "Well Safetran has been kicking people out of the family" I have to say no they have not. Invensys has been, not Safetran. Nobody can be loyal to Invensys considering the company's horrific ethics but Safetran is family. Good family.

Those who are left should not be giving up hope. There's still a good company hidden in there and if you join the thundering herd trying to leave, you may regret it once Safetran recovers.

I say stick with it. Be professional, focus on the customer's needs, ignore the BS and GET ON WITH IT. And if the hatchet comes around and falls on your neck, you can be proud that you did your professional best.

Damn. Listen to me preach it. LOL. I need my own cable show.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

IOM Split. See the last mail from Sudipta. Seems it is the time to know how much each portion of IOM cost, ready to be sold in pieces! Need to know how if the Mid level delivery team will live, or will vanish!

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Controls Division is indeed run by an ex-Account Manger. I only hope he was not the pick of the Account Managers.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Well I hear what you say about Riddett - but in reality he is a weak and effective leader that only gets air time from his position. Watch the leaders leave him; he is a loser and if not resolved then Wayne is accountable. You cannot have a racist leader like Riddett in a modern business.

Friday, July 29, 2011

IRNA Cucamonga R&D staff: Did you really expect any different? Just look at the past 2 1/2 years, since 2008: Your best leaders and engineers have left. The only reason most people still work here is either you are waiting to get the pay-off when they close the facility next year, OR you live close to work with most jobs farther away so you are dragging this out as long as you can before having to commute.

After having closed Manufacturing last year, do you really expect they are going to get a new facility for the 30-40 of you that are left ?

Friday, July 29, 2011

My 2 cents is that we should not blame Kevin Riddett from being a one-trick pony. Everyone knows he is and has known this for at least 2 years, since he has run IRNA for at least that long. He is going to cut costs. Period. In some cases this will make sense and in others it will not. That is who he is. If you know this to be true then, certainly, many in your management know it as well. People can read other people reasonably well.

The real questions are : Knowing the above, he was still put in charge of IR. So, why ? I believe, it tells you that that is what senior management are expecting i.e. cut costs. If you feel that this "cut costs" is at the expense of future growth then that tells you they are planning to "pretty up the bride" before sale. It is as simple as that.

Keep the context in mind - All told, James Drummond was a pretty good leader in the 5-odd years he ran IR; we had pretty good growth. So, there has to be a reason for his departure and for someone like Kevin to be brought in. Maybe he declined from doing the dirty deeds?

Friday, July 29, 2011

It is certainly not inconceivable that Invensys could be seen as a "quick fix" for the issues surrounding the rail industry in China at the moment. Whether it makes a bid from CSR more or less likely though is of course open to debate.

RE:- "May you live in interesting times": Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't that supposed to be a Chinese curse? Very apt for Invensys!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

    "O Oysters," said the Carpenter
    "You've had a pleasant run!
    Shall we be trotting home again?"
    But answer came there none.
    And this was scarcely odd, because
    They'd eaten every one.
      Lewis Carroll
Every time Rancho Cucamonga Invensys carves off another slab of bleeding meat and hands the tasty delicacy over to its wealthy owners, the quivering remains are told to bind their wounds, run faster now with just the one leg, smile and buck up because the layoffs this time really are the last.

It's just a matter of time until all the oysters are eaten, and Invensys will find it scarcely odd since that was their intention all along.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Does Invensys, especially the rail division, suddenly seem a very attractive target for the Chinese?

Excerpt from the BBC News website. 28th July 2011:

    "Serious flaws in a signalling system caused a fatal collision on China's high-speed rail network, officials say. Thirty-nine people died when a train ran into the back of another which had stalled on a viaduct near Wenzhou after lightning cut its power supply. The system "failed to turn the green light into red", said An Lusheng, head of the Shanghai Railway Bureau.

    The accident is seen as a blow to China's hopes of selling trains abroad in a bid to become a high-tech exporter. Shares in Chinese rail and train builders have fallen sharply since the crash."

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Invensys Rail teaches and develops good leadership & people skills. It's a shame that some management are so insecure that they have to walk around the business telling everyone how great they are and who they know.

Our National Sales manager in Australia has more of his staff leaving with 2 recent resignations. All he is worried about is himself, rather than how unhappy his staff are. Isn't it time that his boss took an interest in what is happening here before no one is left?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

It's IRNE's turn next, with Riddett pushing for 20% of the UK staff to be let go. How this clueless one-trick-pony got to be in charge is astonishing. Rail needs to grow and this won't happen if we continue to lay off engineering and development staff. Short sighted ineffective "leaders" like Riddett will slash and burn to cut costs and then find out that we no longer have the capability to deliver projects.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

As predicted, the layoffs occurred today at IRNA; some made sense, some didn't make sense; more to come in the coming weeks and months. The CEO extolls the virtues of a leaner, meaner, company whose best days are still ahead. No one really believes that, not even his drones. Everyone is looking, some are not even trying to hide it. The remaining employees feel like the band who kept playing until the final moments of the sinking of the Titanic. Is it possible IRNA will suffer the same fate? At this point, if you ask most of the remaining crew, the answer is a very sad yes!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

You saw it here first! As forecast, the "Wrath of Riddett" swept through IRNA California starting at just after 9AM PDT and continued for two hours as boxes of termination notices were delivered to the unfortunate recipients. When the smoke cleared, five jobs were cut which is 10% of the ever shrinking work force. In recent weeks two engineers and one project manager resigned and went off to the competition job. The new Director of R&D starts his third day watching his work force disappear.

An all hands meeting was called at 2PM to start damage control. Paljug, by phone, said California will not lose any more jobs then followed with "Never say never."

Just when morale was beginning perk up, the Wrath of Riddett comes to town. Rumors say Jacksonville is next but most likely California has taken a hit for the team this time.

There is no joy in Cucamonga.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Does Saturday's terrible train crash in China make it more likely that CSR will want to acquire Invensys to appropriate the Train Division to allow it access to better signaling, communication and control systems? The CSR share price has plunged recently due to one of the trains involved being built by CSR despite CSR revealing new contract orders of well over 1 billion dollars.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - Re: Melbourne Engineering Team:

I'd have to contradict the commentator regarding the engineering team being the backbone. That may be true for signaling-only projects, but your record on delivering control systems is very poor. In fact, these projects are all currently over budget and late. Perhaps this is why the supervisor was moved sideways and a new one brought in. Hopefully he'll break down the existing barriers which are currently making delivery of these projects very difficult.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The next wave of layoffs in IRNA start tomorrow morning and should wrap up by noon PST. The employees thought they were overworked before; it can only go down from here. Riddett has encouraged an atmosphere of chaos and increasing expectations. Praise is never given as the management style is one that only criticizes employees failure to meet unrealistic expectations. Everyone is expected to be "accountable" for failures incurred by those above them. Those beneath the top management tier can't help but feel like serfs serving at the beck and call and displeasure of the lords above them.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

IRAP - The Head of Engineering should have been dispensed with a long time ago due to his complete lack of people management skills and insecurity (he never looks you in the eye when in conversation). Don't forget that he came from the UK and has created a comfortable position to globe trot and ensure that he is available to attend world sporting activities such as F1 races in Kuala Lumpur and 6 nations RFU matches in Europe to name a few - all arranged around meetings! OUT with the useless and IN with the new.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I don't know to much about Invensys' rail business; however for the people on IOM who might say it's better for the company to be bought, just remember Fisher & Porter , Leeds & Norhtrup, Moore Products, Bailey, Taylor, etc... They were all dismantled and many people lost their Jobs. Imagine people from their 40's and up trying to get a job now. With this economy, no one is hiring now.

Everybody complains about Invensys. I have been in Siemens and ABB and problems are the same or worse because of the size. I saw good people from Bailey, Taylor, Moore Products, Miltronics left with nothing, after working almost half of their life for these companies. The older you are, the faster they tell you good bye! Now-a-days at 40 you are old. I imagine being in your 50's and 60's.

They buy the companies for the Market Share not for the people. They will continue selling their solutions, thats why they spend money and time to develop them. The first thing they will do its to close down and move production lines. Then they will eliminate executive positions and duplicated sales teams and offices.

Triconex and Wonderware might do better, but Foxboro, Eurotherm, Control Division, etc.? These companies already have similar new solutions, excluding GE who might need more Process Automation Solutions (field equipment perhaps although its old IA might do it for them in refinery and oil business). However GE wants to get more into this kind of business?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Re: "I sincerely hope this reborn and totally transformed company, yet with a long and distinguished tradition of engineering excellence, is not sold cheaply to foreign predators."

Well, you just described Foxboro in 1990.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Melbourne engineering team was the backbone of the company and getting into shape to face new challenges with a sound management and supervisory structure across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. They were not perfect but delivered projects on time and thru hard graft with no help from the PMO or projects. Well, the people in charge have just decided to change all the good work and move the Engineering Manager "sideways" and recruit a unknown to his position. How to screw up a perfectly good section the Invensys Rail Australia Executive way. The grass is looking greener on the other side.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Let me clarify my earlier comments about Globalization being a problem for The Controls Division. Globalization is a big problem from Invensys Controls plus the lack of any strategic vision, the lack of innovation, the lack of new innovative products, the lack of any understanding of customer needs, the lack of investments, the lack of a strong, competent and visionary management.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sometimes I just wonder how a VP of Operations can ban all his people to attend a workshop organized for IOM global participants for advanced internal tech personnel, just because it is his belief that it is useless and does not have anything to gain for his people?

Since I am so far down the food chain, I just question his mental faculty as a VP. It is just as well to ban all his sales people from attending annual sales conferences. As we all knows, sales conferences are also run along similar lines sometimes even have nothing more to offer in terms of contents and "watered down" versions of technical information.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Well, with the sale of the Invensys pension scheme going through this week, this heralds the start of the bidding process proper on the company itself. With recent contract wins such as the Thameslink programme and year-on-year profitability, I sincerely hope this reborn and totally transformed company, yet with a long and distinguished tradition of engineering excellence, is not sold cheaply to foreign predators.

I know it is too much to hope that an engineering company would actually stay in British hands, but if it has to be sold the full value of the company must be realised. Personally I feel it may well go to the Chinese, as if it is purchased by Siemens for example that would give the German company a major presence and foothold in China which I feel would be contrary to China's increasingly aggressive economic global strategy of expansion, (and perhaps, in time, dominance?). Only time will tell. Just two questions remain. How much? And who? As the Chinese say "May you live in interesting times".

Monday, July 25, 2011

I hope this company will be bought by someone who knows the industry and the importance of the products instead of being run by people who have no clue on how to invest and redirect the company. The only thing they know is how to talk and build dreams with no vision on how to get there.

For the sake of giving them the chance that these dreams can be fulfilled, definitely not in the near future, will they be around to be held responsible for the results of such plans and dreams? Or will it give them time to fill in their pockets and leave after few years of service?

Sunday, July 24, 2011 - News from London The Sunday Times News paper today 7/24 - Financial News

Specialist insurers bid for Invensys pension liabilities

Pension Corporation, Lucida and Goldman Sachs-owned Rothesay are all said to have tabled final bids for a so-called "partial buyout" of Invensys - £4.2bn (4.76bn) pension scheme that would cost the engineering group almost £500m.

If the deal materializes, it will likely be the largest transfer to date of an occupational retirement fund out of a UK corporate, and could set the stage for a takeover offer from suitors such as ABB, Siemens and GE.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I quote the previous blogger: "Invensys needs Vision, Trust and a focus on execution":

Well, we lack two of the three (Vision and Trust), so I guess we're screwed. And our "focus on execution" is purely on cost, not customer value. So we're doubly screwed.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Riddett has messed up in every role he has held, so why are you in IRNA surprised? Union Switch, Pirelli and Rail. Universally hated and disposed by his employees and considered an irrelevance by customers. Expect confusion, rapid changes in course and 180 changes in direction. Random organization changes with no idea how to make it work. He was and still is clueless.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Invensys is not for sale. It's too complicated to separate the parts. It's only a tweak away from being a great company and that tweak just needs Vision, Trust and a focus on execution. Invensys is way ahead of it's competitors. It has survived the pain barrier and is ready to perform as the best.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

No false alarm this time; Riddett is continuing with the cuts this week. This time however it hits his home base of origin, IRNA. The promotion of Paljug to President has been kept low-key until the IRNA reorganization. This will be a busy week for internal reorganization happenings. The new Director of R&D starts on Monday; layoffs happen mid-week; with the remainder of the week spent on letting the dust settle. The only area that seems to grow with IRNA is HR. IRNA is still trying to correct errors in how much they reported for withholding in 2010. Of course it had nothing to do with changing payroll in mid-year, and was completely the fault of the previous payroll company, ADT. Whatever happened to oversight and taking responsibility for actions. Like the gross mishandling of offshore resources. All of this though stems from Riddett and his slash and burn leadership style. He only know how to create division, chaos, and cut the organization to the bone. Who knows what the aftermath will be when he is finished.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Not only about IOM hiring practices of certain nationalities, what about putting the put best practices offices and manufacturing facilities?

This "man power supply" office is located in a country of high volatility and shaky instability. Traveling into this corrupted country from the time you get off the plane to the time you get out of the country, makes life frustrating. At the same time (No offenses to the quality of the people there) their passport makes life difficult not only to get traveling document, let alone work visas.

IOM puts a major manufacturing factory across the US-Mexico border, were the drug cartels are fighting day in and day out on the streets. How can a visitor visit this factory? Or is it a ploy to prevent visitors from coming?

You can see where our competition puts their "manpower" supply offices and factories. To say the least, IOM leadership (even the UK based board top leadership) is one-dimensional and incredibly myopic.

Friday, July 22, 2011

If the pension (which is a ginormous albatross) is truly sold, then the bidding war will start in earnest. My money is on CSR or Siemens for Rail. Siemens, Schneider or GE for Operations Management and Private equity for Controls. My guess is discussions with suitors have been underway for some time and I would bet there is an announcement by the end of September or December at the latest.

Friday, July 22, 2011

I overheard someone discussing a potential lawsuit on behalf of IOM employees based on discrimination due to their national origin. I think the frustration with Sudipta's hiring practices on his leadership team has reached the breaking point. I guess it was probably just a matter of time before someone got fed up.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Selling the pension fund tells the market and competitor's that a buyout is the only way out. Will be interesting to see who ends up buying Invensys. For sure it won't be Honeywell or ABB. No visionary at the top. Both Companies have purchased firms that didn't produce growth or increased market share. Surprising fact is that Invensys is probably years ahead of Honeywell, Yokagawa, ABB in terms of software platform. Schneider Electric has been buying everything else so maybe they will snatch up Invensys.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

My manager showed me an article in the current Track & Signal Magazine which show cases IRAPS new Melbourne office. Whilst a major step forward for the business, it was over 6 years in the making. We had a number of false starts over the last few years and communications and management of the shift was very poor.

It was only a select few staff who were invited to the official office opening where they were wined and dined with guests. What the visitors didn't get to see was the way we have been packed into the new offices which is now all open plan.

What has made it even worse, has been having to share our space with an RRL Alliance team which includes a major external constructor and consultants. Whilst there a lot of probity around this bid and we have been told not to talk to them, you can't but hear all of the discussions going during the day and the lunch time discussions where people are sharing information.

Why couldn't the RRL bid team have been set up on a separate floor away from everyone or even at another location all together, just as the competition has?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Now that the Croydon office has merged with the Euston Office and our Management team has yet again applied the apartheid rules to them and us by dividing the office space, and that the contractors are finally being terminated, I hope that all of the IRL direct non-management employees can get together and finally boot out the company council cronies and elect a trade union (RMT my preferred choice) before our 90 day redundancy notice is initiated.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

IRAP have just announced that they are making further changes to the business by pushing the Head of Engineering sideways. "Strength and Capability" is central to our ability to support the required growth and to do this another manager is being imported from the UK to manage the Engineering Team.

Who will be up next? Will it be the Head of Projects for his poor performance, or R&D who have been spending up big, but not delivering on promises?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

IRAP project reviews uncover major management deficiencies with how they are being managed, or the lack of and mismanaged delivery. Despite having a PMO process of sorts, even the Head of Projects wasn't able to explain why we have lost so much money on some major local projects.

If it wasn't for the engineering team going the extra mile, Auckland would be a complete disaster. We can't even implement a train control system and make a real profit, which is evident in the Melbourne office. Thank goodness for the rest of the business that keeps us a float. But for how long?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Guys, it clearly doesn't matter who Riddett is bdecause the Rail group will prosper without him. The real question is, how much damage will he cause before Wayne steps in?

Friday, July 8, 2011

The issue with Invensys Controls is not globalization but simply the lack of any strategic vision, the lack of innovation, the lack of new innovative products, the lack of any understanding of customer needs, the lack of investments, the lack of a strong, competent and visionary management.

If you think that Controls is now managed by an ex-key account manager who has found his own gold mine, if you look at the sales managers of all regions, if you think how few competent engineers are remaining within Controls, then you easily realize why Controls is constantly losing market share and credibility. This company is simply disappearing!

Friday, July 8, 2011

The China nuclear projects are indeed running into all sorts of problems. A new leadership team has just been announced, following the removal of that GM who was not well received both internally and externally. He did not go down well with the staff and worse of all antagonized the big Chinese customer. That was a big no-no. A wrong choice right from the start with someone incapable and now have to pick up all the broken pieces. What a waste of time.

Friday, July 8, 2011

To suggest Invensys should have won SSR because of a grater number of UK jobs is ridiculous! How much of the work would have gone to Madrid, India and so on? The winner's may be international, but they have a much more proven product, with a better integrated team having worldwide experience of installing their system. We were blown pout of the water, end of story. Our product is at least a generation behind what our competitors not only offer, but what they have been installing worldwide for several years.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Well, I have no idea who this Riddett person is and have never seen him. I have however worked for Westinghouse (now IRNE) for 20 years. It's good to see the return of real Directors, and you will know who I mean. Those that both grow the business and look after their employees. It's not a coincidence that we have just won a major framework agreement with the biggest Invensys customer NR. The Ulf legacy is almost gone except for Riddett.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Please do not even suggest that Riddett meets our customers. We are just staring to fix things and the last thing we need is a racist red-neck that knows little about the business and has had poor feedback from the few customers he has met. He is a liability.

Thursday, July 7, 2011 - Re: "The UK's economy is built around bankers shuffling money around in London."

I couldn't agree more with that statement as well as if you substitute "UK" with "U.S." and "London" with "New York", perhaps "Chicago" you'd be making the statement about situations back in the States.

In talking about manufacturing, the previous statement regarding Germany "...It is regarded as the life blood of their economy, and German engineering is highly regarded throughout the world..." I wish this was true about North America. But the powers-that-be believe in the "service" economy, which essentially allows more ease of transferring jobs out of the country, Invensys Controls NA included.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

At last, the much unwanted Singapore GM/VP for China nuclear delivery is gone. We all know there are lots problems with timelines and customer dissatisfaction. Does anyone know where he's gone to? Anyway, good riddance to him. Finally can concentrate on my work. But all of you out there should know things aren't going well. Now our dear COO is getting involved into the fray as part of the nuclear organization. Wonder if he can spend the time. Beats me.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Personally I see nothing wrong with Siemens getting the Thameslink order. Bombardier were planning to shed 1200 jobs irrespective of the Thameslink decision. They have now announced 1400 job losses. Siemens, in contrast, will create 2000 jobs. So you could argue it comes down to this: give the contract to Bombardier and save 200 jobs, or give it to Siemens and create 2000 jobs.

Fair enough, they are different types of jobs. But the demise of train building in the UK is not down to Thameslink.

And frankly, all this talk about Germany being protectionist is simply xenophobic nonsense. Bombardier is huge in Germany. Their transportation HQ is in Berlin. The main difference between Germany and UK is that the Germans have continued to invest in manufacturing and engineering, ensuring they remain competitive on a global scale. It is regarded as the life blood of their economy, and German engineering is highly regarded throughout the world. The UK's economy is built around bankers shuffling money around in London.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Luckily for us Riddett has yet to meet a single UK customer (itself strange after 8 months as either COO or CEO). Now I hear we just won the biggest and most complex signalling framework order in Network Rail history. So please continue to keep Riddett away from our business. If 10% of posts on here about him are true, then he is a serious danger to the Rail business. Interestingly many of the posts go back to the damage he caused in Union Switch and Pirelli. So a consistent track record of making a mess.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Well I give up! Days of Riddett input leading nowhere. Customer feedback is, "Redneck American idiot". How much longer?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I can't see any significant impact on Invensys Rail. I do think the UK is mad to give the train order to Siemens in Germany causing job losses at home. To compound things, they then also gave the London Underground signaling contract to Bombardier who with no capability other than train building in the UK (now in trouble due to Siemens) and will do the work in Germany and Canada. More job losses in the UK. Can you imagine French, German, Italian or Spanish governments doing this?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011 - Breaking News 16:30 GMT

Bombardier job cuts. The axing of posts follows the Government's decision to award a lucrative carriage order for the Thameslink route to Siemens of Germany rather than to Derby-based Bombardier. The company said the job cuts would affect 446 permanent staff at Derby and 983 temporary staff.

A consortium led by Bombardier had been competing with one led by Siemens over a contract for 1,200 new carriages as part of a GBP 6B upgrade of the Thameslink route, which runs from Bedford to Brighton through London.

"It is a blow for the workers. In this case, it was clear the company was going to make significant redundancies even if they had won the contract," said Mr Cable."But other countries seem better much at keeping orders within their own domestic suppliers.

So what now for Invensys?

Monday, July 4, 2011

The problem for Controls is that none of their products make money consistently. Qingdao makes cheap thermostats and normally you would just close Qingdao. However you will find that somewhere in the world there is an office and the only product they make money on is Qingdao thermostats.

When Invensys was formed the product portfolio just did not make sense. Now Controls have scattered products in different markets, different regional requirements, no synergy.

It is a house of cards. Move one card and part of the house falls.

Monday, July 4, 2011

IPMS is a tool of limited potential. It can help both managers and employees to assess their objectives and progress. It should be used in conjunction with other management techniques. If your manager does not know what you are doing, or does not understand your work well enough to know if you are doing it well, then you have a manager problem. IPMS may hide the problem for a while, but the ultimate solution is to remove the manager.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Controls Division problem is Globalization. Forgive me if I state the obvious. There is considerable consolidation in the appliance industry. So when Electrolux purchases a small competitor in Brazil, South Africa, Australia or where ever, that small competitor then gets the Electrolux price. So the higher margins previously enjoyed by component suppliers disappears.

Secondly, when a major White Goods manufacturer moves production to China, say, that White Goods manufacturer will re-tender all the components used in its products. That White Goods manufacturer will then expect to pay a lower price, a China price, for its components.

So for all components there will eventually be one low Global price. This is happening now and it cannot be reversed. That is the problem for the Controls Division. If the Controls Division is not profitable now it can never be profitable as prices are only going lower.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

IPMS is fundamentally flawed because it directly ties development needs to salary review. That puts the employee on the defensive when development needs are discussed, because any weaknesses are perceived as reasons to reduce raises, not opportunities to grow and develop.

And there's a big problem with the system in that it changes every year so no-one really feels it's a process they need to buy into. In fact the behavioral competency ratings this year are excellent and anyone engaging in self assessment using them will find it improves their self awareness and guides them to improvements. Any assessment system incidentally gets normalised and baselined, and the methods used to do that in IPMS are sound.

I'd also agree that where it's arguably most needed, at the higher management levels, it's largely ignored. Invensys management is inconsistent in quality, prone to low level tactical tinkering, and has a limited strategic sense.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

I agree with the IPMS comments. When I was a manager at Invensys, I was told by my manager I could not give an EE (for the uninitiated, "Exceeds Expectations" performance level) to anyone, despite their performance, because of budget limitations. I refused to rate one of my engineers if I could not give him an EE. I am a former employee now.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Confusing point is that we still don't know who runs either IOM or Controls America. Does anyone have inside track on who may get promoted?

Friday, July 1, 2011

I agree that the IPMS is a complete sham! If your boss only gets an ME from his boss the most you can hope for is an ME. Upper management does indeed cap the gradings and if by some chance you do get EE or above as an overall, grading you are just as unlikely to get a promotion or higher annual increase.

Salary increases are budgeted as the previous commentator suggested and have nothing whatsoever to do with your IPMS grading. What's with the competencies? If you look at the definition of Expert it means most competent engineers should have this grading. But oh no - managers won't give you anything above Advanced as that means you have no room to improve.

Friday, July 1, 2011 - Re: "The Invensys IPMS system is designed to build leaders and works well when staffs are given the support they need."

IPMS is a sham. It's only purpose it to make employees believe that all of the self-assessments and goals actually will have an impact on the amount of their raise - if there is one - or the possibility of their promotion. The fact is your raise is determined months before Year-End reviews even take place, as part of the budgeting process. This is pretty much par for the course for every large company I have worked for.

In my opinion, IPMS is an even bigger sham since I have been told to my face for three years straight that nobody is "allowed" to get the highest rating due to Upper Management stipulating as such. The EE rating is also few and far between (as an overall rating, not for individual competencies.) If the system is artificially capped, what good is it?

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Invensys IPMS system is designed to build leaders and works well when staffs are given the support they need.

What I find difficult is the blatant disregard for it by our exec team in Australia. I overhead the national sales manager complaining recently about how he is not allowed to make any decisions, he has to go to his boss all of the time and that he hasn't received any product training which is why he has to rely on the engineering team to support his efforts. This goes against the very nature of empowering the staff to step up to the challenge and take the company to another level.

It's time that senior management allowed key staff like that to really prove themselves, rather than controlling them.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

You won't know what Riddett looks like because, despite two thirds of his operation being based in Europe, he is based at a small factory in Louisville, Kentucky. Even better, the guy that should be in Louisville, i.e. the Safetran President, lives in Pittsburgh. Figure that one out! Anyhow take it from me, you are better of not knowing either.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

I was on site and at the Wayne Town Hall. Great to see a cohesive Exec team at last with some old proven pro's and to hear Wayne speak with both humility and grace in a hot canteen. I'm positive about IRNE - it's up to us. Only disappointment was today's cancellation of the business update which has caused massive speculation about a disaster!

By the way who is Riddett ? Serious question.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Well, I have to say it was great to see a real CEO in Chippenham and key members of our Executive team, including some veterans taking him around our facility. I don't even know what this Riddett person looks like. From what I've heard and read, I don't want to know.

To the person who thinks profits should be given to workers, then become an owner, buy shares and they will. You are an employee and get paid to do a job. If you don't like it and think about NR (massive redundancies coming) leave.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Yes, it's true that Controls has huge AOP gap in FY11/12, especially in APAC new emerging markets like China. SEC (Shanghai Engineering Center) is collapsing and the only factory, located at Qingdao of North China, is facing red figures each month with a total about $8M loss per year.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Again, more rumors of the sale of the Controls Division. I think you need to look at the Balance Sheet. Wouldn't Invensys be better off closing the business and selling land and building?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Looking at this head count reduction, which apparently will be defined on the 30th, obviously means that people's jobs are in jeopardy. Again, how can this be if invensys Rail make millions upon millions of profit and with an unbelievably good margin on the majority of its projects. Again, with the size of reduction in the region of 15 to 20%, that would effectively wipe out an office in the UK? The positive of that could possibly be that Network Rail would intervene and create an Major Works office. A few years ago it was all too similar. They called it British Rail.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Unfortunately, most people couldn't hear the so-called town hall. But if Wayne is such a straight shooter, then why is the massive profits? Not given back to the staff, rather than all back in the business.

Is a pay rise in line with inflation a thing of the past? Using tactics such as looking back at the bad figures, but looking forward when it suits, predicting a bad year going forward. No sign of consistency?

Apparently Network Rail will get in the region of 5%. I find it hard to believe that every other signalling firms' staff are getting paid in buttons...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I met Wayne today on his visit to IRNE. For the first time in a long time I have some hope that this once great company might be able to survive and even flourish. All the responses I have heard to his town hall meeting are positive. Good job Wayne! Now just get rid of Riddett and we'll all be right behind you.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Well, today we had a so-called "town hall" meeting with our CEO. All I can say is, Well done! Wayne appears to be a straightforward chap and answers directly with a sense of humour. Amazing that he managed to connect, either via phone or directly, with most of Rail employees. Considering the fact that he has only been in position 2 or so months, that's a great start. Compare this to Riddett who has been in position over all the Rail BUs since November last year and has not had a single employee meeting. If half the posts on here regarding Kevin Riddett are true, then he has no place in the Rail leadership team.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The problem that Wayne and Rail will have to face is Riddett's lack of intellect. He will try to compensate by being an aggressive bully, but it won't work. He has no experience or understanding of a long-cycle global project business and that's where 80% of his sales come from. His poor judgement is compounded by a lack of gravitas or presence that a leader needs at that level. His employees consider him a joke, and the few customers he has met in his 7 months as COO/CEO are unimpressed. Most likely outcome is an aggressive reduction in headcount to try and protect shrinking margins. Hopefully this will become clear to those at the top before real damage occurs.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Some things are not speculation. Have you met Kevin Riddett? I just have, and gosh, is he out of his depth! This is a serious mistake. Like most serious mistakes, it will have consequences that are (if your eyes are open) be visible now.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Everything seems to be speculation after the management decision of breaking up the group. Particularly not realized loss and/or potential extra expenditure to complete several large scale on-going rail business would be easily more than three digit million pound, but it has never been disclosed and explained to the shareholders, employee and potential buyers, may be, because such would be an inconvenient truth affecting thickness of notes on the table.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

IOM revenue for the year was up 15%, and Rail was up 10% - though Rail achieved a bigger profit than IOM. The questions arise - why the resignation of respected Rail CEO James Drummond? And why the sudden firing of CEO Ulf Hendrikkson. There have been NO explanations.

Clearly, with an accountant in charge, Invensys is being readied for sale, probably IOM and Rail separately. Wayne Edmunds happily announced that the pension problem was being resolved, clearing a major obstacle to a clean sale of all the pieces - with the best foot forward to get top-dollar.

Read the analysis in the latest JimPinto.com eNews, 23 June 2011.

Click here Whither Invensys?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The IRNE business is struggling with the basics. Take resourcing as an example; any improvement and best-practice has been shelved by the new projects VP and they've put the original resource manager back in the chair. The guy is keen, but has little if any understanding of the steps he follows every month. He has no ability to improve things and has some odd idea that he is setting the benchmark. He is a well-meaning dinosaur with zero ability to adapt or change to meet business need. The business is using this inaccurate data to 'plan'; what chance does it have with such a flawed approach?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I've always understood that Southern Europe was the most profitable part of Rail. Why has the President been removed into a small, side-show role? Has he failed? Are there bad times ahead and he has jumped?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

As a former Director in Rail, Riddett had better watch out. The stock price moves on a major multiple of rails performance. Riddett appears to all, internally and externally, as a fool. I can't wait for a person like him to meet a non-white customer! Outside the US that's likely. Feedback from APAC customers is that he is an embarrassment. It's amazing that he is allowed to carry on.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Well I spent 18 years in US and Riddett was without doubt the most despised person in the whole US operation. As his father (well respected and nothing like his foolish son) was in charge he felt invincible and threw his weight around, basically firing all those that disagreed with him and those that were more academically qualified (most people). Such a waste. If you were remotely a threat he said you didn't add value. Unusually in today's works he was also quite anti people-of-color. It's hard to believe today that this survives. If you were smart and didn't agree with his dogma, then you were fired. Basically it was kill the unions and screw the customers. His exact words. That he reached a senior global role in Invensys says more about your company than him.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Riddett will not be making any announcements about anything. His own CFO says the guy cannot understand a balance sheet or P&L! He is busy producing an unworkable organization structure that will be a disaster. The Invensys Rail Southern Europe President has been removed from his job to a COO role that basically has no operational responsibility or accountability. Meanwhile Riddett continues to dabble in things he knows nothing about and create major tensions in an already stressed organization. Where did they find this guy?

Monday, June 20, 2011

I don't think Wayne would let an idiot like Riddett announce anything to anybody. In fact, if he has any sense he will move him aside into an IOM role in NA.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Can anybody tell me how many HR people left the business as a result of the outsourcing? From what I see around me, it's none. The HR VP claims that all the staff in the office no longer work for her. However they are still in Invensys and are charged back to us. HR has to be the weakest and poorest performing part of Invensys. We had hoped that with Larson's departure things would improve. Hasn't happened.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I could see the end for Invensys the moment they put HR at the top table with shared services. I have since joined another rail company and guess what - they too have shared services and what a failure and a joke it is too.

Why can't these people ever learn that you need people who understand the business and the needs of its people who are after all the most important asset. Unfortunately it is too late for Invensys and the only people who will make serious money are the people at the top with their huge share pots.

Monday, June 20, 2011 - Re: "Gosh, we've got Riddett visiting us next week and now he is bringing his HR SVP with him. Why?":

I think it is very likely that Riddett is going to announce the break up and sale of Metro products to CSR and hence the redundancies to the Taiwan staff with the HR SVP giving the usual corporate nonsense… Unfortunately, the Invensys Taiwan commercial team have all but destroyed the project with their abject stupidity... IRL RIP !

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Riddett is coming to see us at the end of June. Having seen some of his correspondence to the Client, he is a complete and utter moron without even an anorexic grasp of reality. Lies, damn lies and Kevin Riddett. I can only suggest either looking for another job pronto or do a crash course in Mandarin and hope for the best !

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Do you all really think that the appointment of the CFO to the top spot and the addition of an M&A specialist as the chairman of the board signifies anything except the eventual sale of Invensys? Whether whole or in pieces, Ulf and his gaggle of yes men have cast the die by killing off anything that could have brought new organic growth and innovation to the company and its customers. The future has been mortgaged, and now it's time to sell the house and see what's left after the banks and pensioners get their pound of flesh.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

IRAP is the jewel in Invensys crown. It does so well that the several of the senior management are not only paid very large bonuses, but they continue to run their business whilst working there. The Head of Projects has brought a range of staff into Invensys via a recruitment company. It's disappointing that HR can't do better than that.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Being a long term railway customer, I have followed this blog for some time now with interest. What is incredible is the lack of understanding by the products sales team now.

Whilst it is always nice to receive an occasional visit from the Invensys Rail staff, they no longer seem to have either the technical know-how on what they are selling, nor do they follow through on what they promise to do. Living in a remote part of Australia, means that technical support is very important to us as we operate a world-class railway. Siemens and GE are now much better placed to service our needs, given the competent people they send and at least we get the details we need.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Rail has lost some brilliant leaders such as Godfrey Dance from the Croydon office, but has also lost some truly truly awful ones.

Godfrey appreciated that just because people were not working flat out it did not mean they were not doing good work and built the SCADA team to what it is now. Godfrey would not just want projects that were money making or there to keep people busy but understood that even projects that would lose money were important.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Gosh, we've got Riddett visiting us next week and now he is bringing his HR SVP with him. Why? The last visit was a disaster with the client asking us afterwards if he really was the successor to James Drummond. They couldn't believe it. Neither can we.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Interesting to hear that Rail Operation division is doing well and after sales support group, obviously some manager/management has realised that both of these are good revenue producers. Consider that fort 2 years, senior management decided after market support was not a core function. As for pension sell off, makes the company more viable for selling. But which parts?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Controls has been for sale for years. Nobody is interested. The team there have done very well to keep it going along at the margins they make. However there are only so many factories you can close or move to China or Mexico. Ultimately Invensys is about high end process control and not thermostats.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

There has been some news report that Invensys is looking to sell the Controls Division. As a ex-Invensys Controls employee now working for a competitor, the question for me is who would buy it. There would be a due diligence process and any company in the Controls business would see what the market share of Invensys is and what profit Invensys makes on that market share. Invensys Controls would stand exposed.

Also Siemens and Schneider have been mentioned as possible purchasers. Perhaps people should look at the annual reports of Siemens and Schneider, with special attention to the Return on Sales. Then ask yourself why would Siemens and Schneider want to buy Invensys.

Me I am happy to pick up sales from Invensys, especially in the aftermarket, its easy and we know it. So I am sure the company I now work for won't be buying Invensys any time soon.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The real question is: Does Riddett add any value? Answer is in Europe and APAC he is a joke. Even his own Louisville team think he is a fool! You can discuss why he was appointed (was Wayne asleep?) but he was, and the damage will now happen. Shame on Wayne.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Well, if the UK pension liability gets resolved then Riddett is probably correct and the company will get sold. Question is to whom ?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Riddett also disclosed 20% staff reduction as part of reorganization, likely to occur within two weeks.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Only a fool would put a new COO role in Rail. We already have a COO in Auatralia. How many layers do we need? Riddett appears to be dumb, but surely not that dumb? From what we have heard, Wayne's vision is to move back towards PLC as a holding company and the individual businesses to be self-sufficient. Why have more cost with a COO? A real COO runs the operational business with full P&L responsibility. Is that not Riddett's job? Otherwise, it's just overhead like Gary Freburger's organization used to be. Let's see if Mr Magoo has any real ideas. I doubt it.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Riddett has told a few here in Louisville that Invensys is being broken up. However first, he says, he is going to reorganize the Rail Group with a new COO role and R&D leadership.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Invensys weighs offloading £4.2bn UK pension scheme - The Sunday Times:

Invensys' board is assessing proposals from specialist pension insurers Lucida, Rothesay and Pension Corporation to take over the engineering group's £4.2bn UK retirement scheme.

If a deal is struck, then it will mark the biggest transfer to date of an occupational pension fund out of a UK enterprise, and might lead to a full-blown bid for Invensys.

Wed, 8 Jun 2011

Update on Controls:

South America is just about complete with the reorg. Moving manufacturing to India, China and Mexico. Engineering group cut down to virtually nothing. Eliwell Engineering next? Water heating segment getting massive restructuring. Also confirmed are talks have started about divesting part or all of Controls.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Things are pretty bad when even the HR line on these blogs fail to change perception. The fact of the matter is that the CEO of Invensys Rail lives in suburban Louisville, KY, while the President of Safetran (IRNA) lives in Pittsburgh (a two-connection flight from corporate headquarters in Louisville, which employs several hundred people).

The “new” Pittsburgh office has one other employee (a former Ansaldo manager who was friends with the new Safetran president while he was also at Ansaldo), and is an excuse for the President to stay where he is. Nobody buys the line that this is a strategic plan. Does anyone really think Pittsburgh-based Bombardier employees would jump to Invensys? They openly joke about the SSR fiasco.

You need to ask yourself what these two executives know that you don’t, and adjust your expectations accordingly.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

So is our new President coming to our HQ office in Louisville or not? The last post suggests not. How can you run a Kentucky bases company from Pittsburgh?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Allow me to expand upon previous comments regarding Safetran/Invensys personnel living in Pittsburgh.

Safetran intends to open a small application engineering office on Pittsburgh's Southside, approximately one-half mile from US&S' present headquarters. Other potential sources of expertise living in the Pittsburgh area include Bombardier and Stantec. While centrally located, highway access and parking in this area will be forever problematic. Public transit outside Pittsburgh's Golden Triangle is not a viable option.

Surf the web and you'll discover that several key Safetran personnel living in Pittsburgh endure many hardships for the comfort and convenience of life in the Steeler Nation. For example, a 30-mile trip from the eastern suburbs to the airport is at least 45-60 minutes under the most favorable conditions. All these folks have lived 10+ years at their present address; all are modest single-family, free standing homes. Stability and connection to community count for something.

Safetran's current president returned to Pittsburgh after having briefly relocated to Minneapolis in the late 1990's. Burnt once, twice shy.

Those who worked for Riddett at US&S during the 1990's will recall his abortive attempt to relocate the Pittsburgh-based mechanical engineering group to Batesburg. Several who declined the offer were spitefully LO'd and later rehired. One gentleman did bite the apple, only to be sent back to Pittsburgh several years later; he now lives/works in Louisville. Since 2001, the proposition of relocating personnel has become prohibitively expensive (and financially risky) for both the employee and employer.

Serious problems with pay inequity and taxation arise when relocating personnel to/from high $ areas such as New York, Boston or California. An increasing number of employers are willing to suffer the inefficiencies of allowing engineering and sales personnel work out of their homes. For jobs requiring 50% or more travel, proximity to an airport is more important than specific locality. 100 years ago the presidents of both US&S and GRS both lived in the New York City region. They visited Rochester or Swissvale only occasionally.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Any Invensys business unit sold to the Chinese will be the final nail in the coffin for all the employees. Any company the Chinese purchases is dismantled and carted off to China.

I am sure Invensys management will all walk away with a pot of gold while those of us who actually did the work to keep the company going will soon be on the street with pink slip in hand.

Looks like Ulf knew what was going down after all. That also explains why Drummond jumped ship. The hand writing has been on the wall for some time.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Got hot news that Invensys PLC has finally reached agreement with China South Rail to sell most of Invensys Rail, which will be published soon. Software part might be out to Siemens and Westrace/Switch Machine; other rail signal hardware to Chinese.

Friday, June 3, 2011

IPMS is the bain of everyone's life, none functional, as it has major changes every year, so any consistency is lost. I remember making some very pointed statements in some reviews which should have got a response from HR; but nothing.

Though my manager was very proactive, once things got past him who knows what happens. One year it took HR 6 months to accept, to the extent they had to be reminded so my line manger could do my 6 monthly review.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I have nothing to say about Rail - but I do as an ex-exec in IOM. Innovation was killed with IOM creation. There is nothing to gain by combining the companies but expense, and that does not work. Outsourcing - what is the cost? The Indian management style is too oppressive to foster the right atmosphere, that previously created innovation. Cronies and suck ups and those afraid to speak give the worst to those in the trenches - unemployment notices. Leadership and real character is having leaders who can be challenged, even when the vision is lacking.

Invensys looks more and more like an authoritarian, lack of innovation, 70s style Japanese company every day.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Yes, I agree with some views on the "great" IPMS. It is just a "show" by HR. It is just a farce which HR has to make people do. Boss has never discussed with me on my performance over the last several years and never he has explained the rationale behind the rating.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

It's the same here in Safetran where our new President lives in Pittsburgh, 2 hours flight away from Louisville. He now plans to open a small office near his house to justify not moving to Louisville. Mean time the flights, hotels and expenses continue. Crazy!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Invensys needs to be cutting it's unnecessary costs. Why are we hiring senior managers and Directors that are allowed to live a long distance awa ? Here in Plano, it seems all the senior people fly in first and stay in Marriott with all expenses paid. Is this the norm?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Lots of positive feelings being talked about in UK Rail for IRNE over the new framework contracts for Network. Rail must be doing something right.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Unfortunately, the comments about Riddett are accurate. Perhaps a little acidic, but probably fair. Here in the US it was common to hear him swear and curse at us, and threaten people. We can accept a tough leader, but one that was just abusive and dumb is hard. As an employee that talks to our major customers, I must say that Riddett is regarded as a ignorant fool.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011:

Read "Gary Mintchell's Feedforward" (Thursday, May 19, 2011)

Invensys (the entire company showed revenues up about 9% and operating profit up 6%. The Operations Management and Controls groups showed strong results, while Rail revealed "fewer large orders."

Invensys Operations Management results revealed that it has exceeded the $2 billion mark in orders for the first time at $2.090 billion. This was a 19% increase over 2010. Revenues were up 12% at $1.8 billion and operating profit was $191 million, up 31%.

Mouse Invensys Reveals Positive FY11 Results

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Amazing? Both our SVP and COO say that the new CEO in Rail is a lucky idiot. Hopefully they will apply the same judgement to our own wilting IOM.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Well, I didn't believe it at first. How could Kevin Riddett be perceived so badly? Sure, here in the US he proved to be a badly behaved and rude individual. But his confidence under Ulf is legendary. Ulf this, Ulf that. Ulf appointed me as CEO, etc. Incredible. Seems the rest of the world have also reached the conclusion that the guy is an idiot. It really is amazing. How do four independent companies in Rail reach the same conclusion? IOM reached this conclusion as well. Please keep him away from customers. God help us otherwise. I'm sorry to say it but he is a disaster. Good luck to the UK and Spain you are next.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - Re: 'Our competitors have caught up with us':

When on earth were our products ahead of the rest? Invensys has always been widely known in the industry as being a generation behind. SSR is a prime case; we bid a previous generation solution, more expensive than our competitors latest generation kit. It would have been a no-brainer for the client. We didn't even bid to use DTGR on SSR!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Riddett is a sideshow on the important issues at hand. Everyone that has met him knows he is well out of his depth. The important thing is that he is kept away from customers and away from anything important.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Every year, the IPMS comes out and I am shocked and amazed that we still use it. It is something right out of the '60s for Theory X mgmt. Do I care about this form? Does my manager care about this form? Do we USE this form for anything? Not at all. We just all waste a few days of back and forth time because we have to - not because it is actually good for anything.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Selling to China: Looked what happened to Rover. Get the IPR, get the designs and move all back to their home country.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Anyone know where is Ulf and what he is doing?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

I know it is frustrating for all of us in Rail who care about the company and the customers, but the reality is the end was certain as soon as Kevin Riddett showed up. His stint at the US branch was merely a test run to insure he would do what it takes to get the company's finances in order. Riddett was brought in to improve the bottom line with ridiculously short-term tactics, then the CFO Edmunds grabs the reins and puts Kevin into the role he was always destined for. The break-up is now a foregone conclusion.

The good news is that any buyer who expects real growth and long-term profits will immediately get rid of Riddett. That thought alone would justify the sale! Keep your head down co-workers and just try to last through the carnage. The new company has to be better!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Anyone close to the situation knows that IOMs results were in spite of Sudipta, not because of him. Every move he makes drives down the long term value of the company in exchange for short term results. You can only play those cards a few times. Clearly institutional investors are catching on to this game. Oddly enough, if Sudipta had a stronger, more diverse team, instead of incompetent yes-men, he might actually have a chance to succeed. But not with the people he has surrounded himself with.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Still think siemens will have their on the recent developments. Products like Westrace and possibly Westlock will help them secure more work in the UK and lots of metro projects. Riddet is clueless if he thinks CSR is a good prospect as they are not doing do well either. If it all goes pear shaped Bombardier will be looking for staff!

Friday, May 27, 2011

I don't get the whole FTSE paranoia - for years, based on the size of the business only, Invensys have being able to be a FTSE 250, then 2 years ago managed to scrape in to the 100. 2 years then of being a member in the 90s out of 100 with no real prospect of massively moving up (we are too small). Then a few share price jitters and we are down to the low 100s again - if anything it is probably better to be out of the intense scrutiny as senior management were so focused on being in the 100. But as the markets go, it only takes another 10p on the share price & we will be back in - bit of take over gossip & we will be back!

Friday, May 27, 2011

I just spent 4 hours today on the pointless IPMS piece of crap. I wonder how much this costs the company, because if it takes an individual this long, how long does it take "managers" to do all of their reports (assuming that they do it properly & don't just click the button)? It doesn't do any good anyway, 'cause next week I'll be doing something different so my goals will have become pointless - again. And as for the Invensys competencies - the consultants who were employed to come up with this lot must have pissed themselves all the way to the bank - once again. This is typical of our unimaginative management & useless HR.

Friday, May 27, 2011

SSR was not just lost on price alone. Our competitors technology has caught up with us. LU are no fools, Bombardiers signal system works (Madrid), it can be integrated more easily, with less closures and our DTRG is now a white elephant. Have we all forgot the Jubilee Line fiasco with the software integration? We are achieving that's for sure...a demonstrate-able history of poor delivery and a headache for a clients.

Hang on in there I keep telling myself, the redundancy payment will be lost. Now I hear the redundancy payment will be the statutory minimum, around £250 for every year I have given to Invensys. My only hope is that I'm one of the first to go before the job market is awash with ex- Invensys employees and that our management will (hopefully) find it a hard market out in the real world. Who on earth would want them and their array (lack) of skills. Hmmm, maybe the Chinese company that Wayne announced would buy us... Dream on.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Don't hide behind Glencore entering the FTSE100 as an excuse for Invensys. If Invensys were doing as well as the management claim, then Glencore's arrival would have booted someone else down to the 250. This clearly shows Invensys were the weakest on the FTSE100.

Now Mr. Riddett says he is selling up to CSR. Is he to be believed, or will he go the way of Ulf for saying it?

Invensys will not see Christmas in its current form.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Despite its problems, Rail still has a bottom line north of 15%. It's got good people and customer relations in core markets, and while the technology is not the best it is compensated by experience and local knowledge. A takeover by a competitor with a stronger management team would be welcome.

The UK management team and the old IRG team are seriously bloated and at best only adequate. So a takeover is not such a bad thing, as long as there is a serious clear-out at the top. SSR was lost because we were beaten on price, but the client just did not have the confidence in our senior team to pay the difference; too much change and too many lightweights with no experience.

Siemens please.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Guys, wake up and smell the coffee. Invensys has been booted out of FTSE 100 as its stock price was going south and no longer a candidate for FTSE 100 based on market cap. This means that Invensys stock will be offloaded by many mutual funds (if they are holding) as it may not meet their internal screening criteria.

Once Wayne Edmonds solves the issue of pension, there will be many buyers coming out to get pieces of Invensys. Major share holders and board will prefer to sell the company as that is the best option they have to maximize the value. Do you think we can ride the wave of growth on the backs of Edmonds, Sudipta, Riddett etc.? They have no experience to run a company of this size and complexity.

Invensys has many good parts, and eventually they will find buyers.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Well, Riddett has told his US team that the Rail business is for sale, and that makes sense. He says we are being sold to CSR of China. Who would appoint an idiot like that unless it was of no matter? What does this mean to the real workers?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Not much input here from Controls, but morale is definitely at an all time low.. Just received word yesterday that merit increases have been "deferred" with no real indication of when they might be reinstated. Oh, excuse me - they were deferred with "Warm Regards"....for many who were waiting for the last shoe to drop. It dropped yesterday. Many Resumes (CV's for you UK blokes) are in circulation as a result....

Thursday, May 26, 2011

People, all you need to do is stop listening to management spin and reading the Invensys Intranet like lost sheep. Simply search some of the financial pages on the web. They are all talking about take overs and splitting up Invensys. The web sites are factual, independent and offer a honest status of were we are in Invensys today. Don't get depressed though, the grass I hear is actually a lot higher and sight greener.

Thursday, May 26, 2011 - to the "poppy cock" guy:

Of course restructuring means redundancy. The figures have already been quoted on this site and all the staff have been informed. What is your point please? Invensys has only been booted out of the FTSE100 because a very large commodities trader called Glencore has just listed. Let's all try to stop exaggerating things.

Thursday, May 26, 2011 - Re: "Invensys is lucky to have Cognizant as its development partner."

This made me smile! While obviously intended as amusement, the truth about Invensys' failed attempts to outsource to India is far from amusing.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Agree with this being the beginning of the end for Invensys. In the financial results presentation, Wayne stated that we were close to resolving the pension deficit issue with a sale to an insurer. This has long been the only barrier to companies making a takeover bid.

In IOM there is a mad dash to the Line of Business (LOB) model grouping the business into three product lines. Whilst there is a lot of spin being put on this by management, any undergraduate business student knows this is one of the actions of a company getting ready to sell.

Another business school basic - if you plan to sell, get your financials in order and what better way to do that that by replacing your CEO with your CFO!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - Countdown to break up of Invensys.

Now booted out of the FTSE100 and spinning. Debut for entering the FTSE250. Our clueless management are now trying to put some spin on these pages of "Carry on as normal guys; we'll see you're alright".

I would not let our management run a bath, let alone a rail company. SSR failure and still no talk of the loss with the work force who this will ultimately effect. My company shares are still falling, my job is on very thin ice and I use these anonymous pages to find out what's really happening in the company. I have worked here for 12 yrs... That says it all actually.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - Response to Blog: To the last poster: Stop talking nonsense!

You're the one who is talking absolute poppy cock. Restructuring means Redundancy in Invensys - you will find out soon enough.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - Response to Blog: "There are many managers at Invensys."

I commend this person for the wisdom and simplicity in the message. Take heed the selected few who are labelled leaders.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The IRNE exec team are trying to turn this around. I am not a big fan, but this current team are putting in a personal effort. They may have it right we shall see. I do not believe there is an agenda to close offices. However it will depend on how we do on the NR bids. For the record I have no idea about Riddett, other than the feedback from our PM leaders that he is an imbecile. Customer feedback is also negative. CEO of Global Rail based in Louisville, Kentucky, USA ? You must be joking, a bit like placing the IOM headquarters in Hawaii?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Well it's our week in the UK with Riddett. Feedback from the IRG team is that he continues to be a moron. He is apparently demanding mass redundancies in both IRG and IRNE. Claims our customers are idiots and that we should be raising prices. Where did we find Riddett? Are we really serious with this fool?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

That post about the tide is perfectly in line with what has happened in Rail. A small US based manufacturing company was in trouble with some bad projects and a big downturn in Federal spending budgets. The existing team stopped the project bleeding and appointed the now infamous and frankly embarrassing Riddett. Then our Fed government start spending like mad. Right place right time Riddett becomes the new genius. All boats rise on the incoming tide. Now we shall see as the tide turns.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Where are all the haters now? IOM posts record results, double digit growth across all financial measures and no one says "despite my differences with the vision or strategy, results are the final measure--and it looks like the results are pointing to something I didn't see."

C'mon people, man up!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

There are many managers at Invensys who are building reputations from being in the right place at the time of a post recession bounce-back. Sorry guys, but if you claim credit for the tide coming in, you're going to have to figure out how to stop it going out again.

Things are going to become tough again this year and actual leadership will be needed. You look right across the company and you fail to see any leaders who are up to the mark. An organization that spends half its time at least staring inwards (anyone else been swamped by IPMS?) and tinkering via vanity projects isn't going to be able to take the steps needed to satisfy the external market properly.

So please, leaders, cut the internal crap and reorganizations, cut the rambling e-mail speeches telling us how wonderful we are, look hard and long at what we have and what we need, figure out where we want to go, and go there.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

To the last poster: Stop talking nonsense! Everything you said is completely wrong, all UK regional offices will remain, none will become unviable, the job losses are more restructuring than taking capacity out of the business.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

There is serious on-going discussion, talking of approaching 200 to go from IRNE. Looks like the loss of SSR is a bigger deal than they let on. The UK job market is about to be flooded. Many regional office in UK may become unviable after the upcoming decimation.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Invensys lucky to have Cognizant! You have to be kidding.

What eventually does get delivered is obviously developed by people without domain knowledge and generally missing the key functionality required. They certainly have no concept of "Ease of Use". As for QA, everyone in the Wonderware realm knows that QA is being done in the field these days. Virtually every system that goes in needs a Hotfix or two.

What Sudipta doesn't seem to realize is the huge impact timezones and language barriers are placing on the support and sales groups. Time to resolve medium to hard issues (of which there are many), now takes weeks and months, not hours & days. That hurts reputations.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Well I have to say that Riddett was exactly the same here in Safetran. You have to tell him things 4 or 5 times for it get in his head. Most meetings he spent on his iPhone or iPad, usually simultaneously. Thing is, he is still here in Louisville 95% of his time running Safetran. Some global CEO.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Any indications who is taking over the Automation and Controls business? Are there any insiders left?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Invensys is lucky to have Cognizant as its development partner. Cognizant has provided technical talent and strengthened the products with their various practices (performance engineering, testing services, cloud computing, etc.). All this talk of inability and incapable Invensys management is the very reason why entire R&D should rightfully move to an outsourced partner.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I joined Invensys in Australia only two years ago and it is depressing to see what is happening - I hate to think what is to be Rail APAC combining French madness with American stupidity, We shall see…

Friday, May 20, 2011

When in Pirelli, it was noted that Riddett was clearly ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). He was unable to pay attention in meetings for more than 10 minutes before he started playing with some gadgets. He needed to be told the same facts over and over again for it to sink in. He constantly needed to talk over people to assert himself. This made working for him very painful. His poor academic record was also a personal embarrassment for him and he reacted by treating anyone academically better, especially engineers, very badly. Basically he was persecuting them. His basic approach was to layoff as many people as he could and to bully and harass people. Not a pleasant place to be and a lot of talent left. I hope for Invensys this has changed.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Don't even try and compare Drummond and Riddett. While neither are perfect, it's like comparing a well educated and polished international Executive with Forest Gump. I can't believe a global UK based business would appoint Riddett as CEO of it's most profitable division. He is a light weight and an anti-Brit executive with no global Rail experience. Astonishing.

Friday, May 20, 2011

I have met and spent time with both Kevin Riddett and James Drummond. It is difficult to fathom how somebody of Riddett's intelligence can replace somebody like Drummond.

Drummond had morals, disliked a 'cull' and looked to the longer term in all his decisions. Riddett, however, is a perfect replacement if the STRAP plan is to cull 15-20% in IRNE, followed by 5-10% in IRAP, followed by the closure of Taipei and Bangkok offices altogether. Bravo Sir Nigel - a curt and timely decision. Long live Kevin (until Q4 2012).

Friday, May 20, 2011

People, please do not use Riddett's nationality as an excuse for his lunacy. His stupidity transcends his birthplace. He can't be "American-centric", because he ruined things in America as well. The entire values of the organization shifted when he took over. Want to 'get ahead'? Trash the unions in front of him, yell at your people, randomly fire anyone who makes a mistake, talk with disdain about engineers, the formula is there.

When asked for an estimate, triple the time (he is clueless, so he will never know!) and when he yells, simply cut 1/3 off and look like a hero. In a meeting with him, if a peer gives a thoughtful and well-planned presentation, shake your head in disgust and say, "I can't believe it will take that long or cost that much! Can you, Kevin?". Brownie points for saying how stupid anyone in the UK is or how much more Kevin knows than any of the PhD's we have.

Of course, if you have an ounce of integrity or honesty, life will suck at IRG while the human incarnation of Bill The Cat is here.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Hey Ozzies. How smart is it to insult your new boss AND in the process tell him where his fanclub is based? Your numbers had better be good or you'll get the IRNE treatment. If he's half as bad as you say you should be more careful.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I am genuinely upset by this appointment as I have not seen any positive contribution that this guy has made to the company during the last six months. He does however take credit for other people's hard work and achievements to further his own career. Not a pleasant comment to make, but I'm certainly not the only person to have experienced this.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Well, Wayne has really gambled with Riddett - and not just on Rail's behalf. From the results, Rail is half of the groups profit. What a risk!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

You must be joking. We are still laughing about Riddetts visit here in Australia. I don't believe it. It can't be an uninformed American-centric fool like him? Is this the new Invensys? God help us.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Riddett? Are you really serious? My God, how low do we go?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Invensys Rail, after a bad year, is still half the Invensys' full year profit. So the plan is to put the biggest idiot in Invensys Rail history in charge of the future? Whoever took the decision to put Riddett in charge has ultimately decided the fate of Invensys. What a gamble!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Kevin Riddett? You must be joking! He is a complete joke in Australia. For gods sake keep him in the Europe HQ and away from our customers.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Riddett as Invensys Rail CEO? Funniest thing I've heard in a while. Expect mindless destruction. This is the biggest threat to Invensys - period.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I can't believe it. Riddett as a CEO ? You must be joking. Well good luck to Rail as you are going to need it. You can now expect a series of endless and mostly pointless meetings that tie up the whole management team up to 2 levels below him. Riddett will rarely get off his ass and will summon everyone to the US. Think Ulf's turnaround style was bad? Wait and see Riddett. Focussing now on him rather than the customer (his ego was legendary in Union Switch and Safetran).

This is the start of the Invensys tragedy. He will make a series of bad judgements based on his limited (by intellect) understanding of value and then blame all around him. After endless abuse, the good people will leave - and the rest is obvious. Expect mindless and uninformed demands for headcount reduction and outsourcing. What a crazy decision!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Invensys FTSE100 Listed Company (Ricky Tomlinson's famous saying about his "deriaire" springs to mind.) shares go up and down we all know, but IRL are sinking lower than the belly of a snake at the moment.

Why O why did I take a share option? I work hard, stay focused, take pride in my company. What a joke. From my perspective this Blog says it how it is. The markets are told everything is good with the company, but the entire rail work force (other than some of the many levels, and my God there are some, of management) can see and hear what's happening. And it ain't good. Having a work force who are not represented and frightened to speak in fear of being pushed out of a job - that just can't be right.

No doubt our IRL management-run agency labour will fill in the gaps when we, the directly-employed staff get our redundancy notice. It won't be long in coming I hear. 15-20% made up by those in rail. LU Contracts are non-existent and Main Line not much better. Lost bid after lost bid is being mentioned, too frequently.

Any guesses out there where the redundancy's will be made up from? Let me see - LU staff 18% and 3 Main Line 6%. Conjecture it may be, but watch this space.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Oh dear.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Announced today Kevin Riddet has been promoted to Invensys Rail Global CEO. James Drummond has left to pursue opportunities outside of Invensys. Jumped or pushed? By who?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Well, it looks like the twat Riddett is indeed the CEO of Invensys Rail. What sheer incompetence in appointing this clueless moron. Invensys Rail is doomed. Get out now before the jobs market is flooded.

Mouse Kevin Riddett appointed President & CEO of Invensys Rail

Invensys Rail announces that James Drummond, who has been President and CEO since 2006, has accepted a role outside the Group and will be leaving Invensys on 30 June 2011. He will become Group CEO of the INAER group of companies, a leading global provider of helicopter emergency services and maintenance aircraft.

Kevin Riddett will succeed James as President and CEO of Invensys Rail. Kevin has been Chief Operating Officer of Invensys Rail since November 2010, having previously spent two years successfully leading Invensys Rail North America.

Wayne Edmunds, Chief Executive of Invensys plc, commented:

    "I would like to thank James for his leadership of Invensys Rail over the past five years, during which time the division has grown and performed with great success, and I wish him well for the future.

    "Kevin has demonstrated his abilities both as the leader of our US business and more recently as COO of the division.

    "Invensys Rail has an exciting future and I look forward to working with Kevin to build on division's success."

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

As Sudipta continues to defy logic and good judgement and bring his cronies and countrymen into key roles, (great team diversity?) methinks at times that the only thing that can stop this is a well placed cricket bat, since clearly the board and Wayne seem to be frightened little kittens.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Invensys should take a good hard long look at itself. I have been out of the Controls Division for about two years now and working for a direct competitor. The first thing I noticed when I went over to a competitor was how much more they were selling when compared to the small amount Invensys was selling. It is only after you leave Invensys that you realize how little they sell. My advice to Invensys staff: The grass is greener, thicker and higher on the other side.

Monday, May 16, 2011

So much rubbish posted here.

Firstly, Kevin Riddett is not the Invensys Rail CEO. I don't believe that Sir Nigel or Wayne would appoint an intellectual moron like Riddett to this level. He is a right-place-at-the-right time joke in the US. The CEO is James Drummond. Riddett has spent the last few months saying that Drummond is history; we shall see. Riddett is so obviously a fool it's embarrassing.

Secondly, the Taiwan project has nothing to do with IRAP. It's still managed by IRNE. Although according to the IRAP team the VP in charge is an idiot.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Head of Projects, PMO - Who is not a qualified Program Manager? Who had his competence assessed? Does he have any comprehension of the difference between - Project, Portfolio and Program? The sad fact is that the Head of Projects read an article about Program Management in Westinghouse UK around October 2009 and decided to bring in a PMO to IRAP Melbourne. His excuse was that we had a lot of projects? It screwed things up even further when consultants with very high day rates and no knowledge base came in to put in force a PMO. Were they qualified? NO CHANCE. They were all dear friends of the HoP! No surprise in guessing where it has all gone now. Colleagues, it's all about ensuring you stick in the exec pack, draw large salaries, give yourself huge bonuses, travel around the world, personify self-importance and attend as many rugby matches in Auckland as you can. Remember the world cup is around the corner. Watch for the movements around September 2011 of our esteemed HoP holidaying with his family at the expense of all of our hard work and low pay. The answer to all this is: leave with a 2 gun salute.

IOM... iShare... iEngage... iGrow....i Couldn't Give a S**t ....iResign!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

For all UK based rail employees: Everyone knows that Invensys would have to shed jobs. This so-called order book that we hear is bulging is a figment of Crossfield's imagination. We are not winning anything at competitive tender and all the other s&t rivals know this and can undercut at every hurdle. Westinghouse will end up just building locs and rebs and the odd data jobs for Atkins which is the likely result for upcoming big projects.

After the announcement of a further head count reduction, who would want to take such a risk on a takeover bid? Invensys share value fell by 300m and no one made any noises. More likely takeover and break into pieces. Is it a case of forming a Q at atkins or ssls front door

Friday, May 13, 2011

There is no IRAP director in Taipei. I work on TTY and the foreign representatives in Taipei are IRNE staff who are the 'owners' of the project. IRAP offices provides a design service for some elements of the project.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Confused? The so called "APAC Director" in Taipei is the IRNE Project Delivery Director for Asia - i.e. Just Taiwan. He has nothing to do with IRAP.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

UK offices now have desks allocated for outsourced staff who come and go every few months in rotation using temporary visas. Large numbers of UK staff to be made redundant imminently.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Yet another major restructuring for IRNE, before the organisation charts from the last one have been completed.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Invensys Rail today announced 15 to 20% headcount reduction in UK to its staff. It was coming!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

More redundancies advised again today.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Yes, that is it precisely. If the Invensys values of honesty and openness were being followed, none of us would need to be here on this weblog, because we could question decisions at work without getting fired. Unfortunately you cannot say anything at work that questions a decision from above because it casts a bad light on the executives. Which makes me wonder again how some people have survived so long in this company given their history of poor decisions and the abusive way they deal with people.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I symphatise with the blogger blogging about the not so honourable executive. AND the APAC office is in Singapore? Hmm - heard that an APAC office is being set up in Taipei by the APAC Director! (?) Such is executive excesses without control!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - To the executive who blogged about "this stupidity" and "freedom to move on". - Addendum...

There could be a small amount of whining, but it is normal. From time to time, who doesn't? Overall, Invensys employees complain because most of these people still care.If you keep quiet, bury you head down and work, then I feel sad for you. Basically it means you don't care anymore. That accounts for so many "YES" employees around.

As an IOM employee, I have a useless and inept Resource Manager. My higher-echelon supervisors feel that if you do not use the Egypt Engineering people there, you are not a team player. We are being "bulldozed" to use egyptian office employees for projects. We run the projects via a telephone call and web conferencing.

Using outsourced resources is not the solution to all the resourcing issues. One of my end-users felt he has been short-changed. We have visa issues for getting them into the country and even have a harder time getting them on site because of where they come from. Their quality of work ranged from okay to disastrous the majority of the time. We complained but no one listens. It seems that this Egypt office is getting a lot of immunity from blame.

I cannot fathom why Invensys bigwigs ever chose to locate a "human supply" office from such a location. It is even more ludicrous of getting Skelta people to do International Marketing.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Invensys rail Australia lost a mega job in Sydney because we do not have any construction capability, we use sub contractors and add a admin/handling fee. This makes us more expensive then our competitors. We have key people in positions with no railway experience and ignore advice from engineers. I am afraid that the future is not very rosy. Maybe it will be a good thing if Siemens bought us and got rid of the under performers (mainly the executive).

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - To the executive who blogged about "this stupidity" and "freedom to move on".

If it wasn't for the attitude of hiding in the upper floor of the Melbourne ivory tower, jetting to Singapore, wasting the companies limited overhead budget, trying to influence the APAC president and suppressing (i.e., getting rid of people who have the Invensys value of speaking up) frank and open conversation, we would not have people blogging on this site. But we all know that logic and honesty are not really the core values in Invensys Melbourne any more. I want to make Invensys a better and more harmonious place to work in. I would not be blogging if I knew that the executive was honourable.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Invensys Rail in Australia used to be the number one signalling company, and then along came a number of managers from outside of the rail industry who screwed things up. They knew better, but the results speak for themselves. We have relied on a handful of jobs to keep us going, but how long will it last? Even Alstom (new to the market) stole a mega job from us in Sydney recently, but the management doesn't seem to care. What have they done since - nothing?.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I know a number of people that have left Invensys and are so much better off now. Bloggers, there is life after Invensys and better pay to go with it.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Rail continues to be the savior of Invensys and IRAP is the leader of the pack. This is evident with our new, multimillion dollar offices in Melbourne being officially opened this week. Siemens has nothing on us and our engineering skills continue to grow.

What is holding us back is the poor project capability of the company. This all despite the significant investment that has been made in the Head of Projects, PMO - a make work system and its continued under performance. We have several, significant projects with major problems, but continue to stick our heads in the sand hoping that the customer won't notice or the PLC board won't look too hard at our figures. It must be time for change.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Please stop wasting time on this stupidity. We live in a country with freedom. If you hate working at Invensys, please move on. No one is asking you to suck up. Slavery doesn't exist today. Please get a life, or do some positive things and see what we can all together achieve for all of us.

Monday, May 9, 2011

I work for Westinghouse Australia and have been here for a long time, I can remember the good days when HR had morals, scruples,understood the "H" in HR, supported you, kept your conversations private etc etc.

Present day: You dare not go to the HR as all your details will be all over the place and will get into trouble for asking for help. The employee survey in the APAC region is being evaluated by the HR from Australia (a little bit like the fox trying to find out what the sheep think).

I would like to see the APAC president sit down with individuals (no executive team members) and talk to them in the Melbourne office (no holds barred and the Invensys value of courage and speaking your mind honored). This will show his true courage to confront the issues that we all face from a uncaring, conceited and often aloof HR and executive.

Invensys Rail in Australia have a brilliant chance of becoming a leader in railway signaling with some of the big companies struggling. But it is hard to soar like an eagle when you have to report to turkeys.

Sunday, May 8, 2011 - From a previous blog : "There is a bunch of stuff that needs to be done So please stop complaining and start following your leader."

Not sure if this was posted from someone who is from Sudipta's homeland. Anyway, please note:-

  1. IOM is be profitable now. Can one say it will be tomorrow? Can you say that Sudipta can do it? You can take a poll straw within IOM. I can guarantee that the answer will not be favorable.
  2. IOM is growing. Come'mon, if you have been in this business for a long time, this means nothing.
  3. Sudipta is the boss. He can be today. Like Ulf, he can be gone tomorrow.
  4. There is a bunch of stuff that needs to be done. - whole heartedly agreed. If you at IOM now, some of these things are the doings of higher management, including Ulf and Sudipta. I do not need to give you a list of frivolous things that we need NOT do in the name of cost savings.
I think IOM people are not whining and complaining, but we have reached the end of our tether. All the iGrow, iHRconnect, clueless IT support people from India, IOM re-branding etc. All these initiatives are basically pushing added responsibilities to the lower people. They are all not well integrated.

Naturally, people will follow leaders that are REAL leaders. These people are like bees attracted to honey. Currently, I have not much joy in following Ulf or Sudipta. It will not be like housefly to rubbish.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sudipta needs to go if we want to make IOM a growth company again. His idea of integration to make IOM is a complete disaster. He has to be blamed for that. Now the new structure of LOBs is being put in place to secure his and all his buddies jobs. The Invensys board may not extend his contract but you never know. Sudipta is a very political figure, so he might convince board that he is doing a wonderful job while employee engagement survey for IOM shows a very negative picture for him.

His new hire (VP of IOM Development) is another joke. He is changing software R&D into manufacturing organization. He has no clue what he is doing and also he doesn't listen to anyone. His direct reports are quietly working under him to save their high-paying jobs. He turns out to be worse than Pankaj Mody as he doesn't understand domain as well as US company culture. Everyone is focused on making quality processes rather than quality products. The processes are important but he is spending all key resources on fixing them without proper direction. Many people are wondering what he is doing here after his ineffective coffee talks with many employees.

IOM results for last year will be good, but going forward it is going to be challenging with low employee morale, new structure and inept leadership. If the Invensys board isn't careful, we will lose more shareholder value.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Much of the blame directed towards Sudipta is misdirected. He definitely has made significant mistakes with his choices in his leadership team, with the Cognizant deal, and with his acquisitions.

However, the real culprit in the state of IOM today is Pankaj Mody. His forcing of Archestra down the throats of WonderWare and Foxboro, by selling a load of crap to Rick Haythornthwaite and Ulf, more or less halted any real product progress in its tracks, and we're still reeling from that today.

Regarding the conjecture regarding whether or not Sudipta is secure in his role - one needs to understand from whom Wayne takes his orders. This drama shall most assuredly play itself out in the next few weeks.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sudipta is only a positional head. He is not a leader. It seems like he is the Boss, but the sad truth is that he has no influence over any of core staff because they don't trust him a bit. IOM will celebrate with fireworks when Sudipta leaves, much like Invensys did when Ulf left.

IOM still seems Profitable (can be cooked) but is losing fast to competitors and that is clearly visible when the companies are compared side by side. IOM has the worst work culture of all competitors and so it has seen significant brain drain. This reflects on our recent releases that lack the upgrades and features that our competitors are offering.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

There has been a lot written about the wrong decision having the IRG President living in the US when the majority of the business is in Europe (IRNE & IRSE).

Has anyone questioned the total illogical decision of having the IRAP President living in Singapore when the expertise of Marketing, HR, Finance, IT, Legal, QA, OH&S are all in Australia. An extra layer (overhead) is being created, which just doesn't make any sense. Surely, it would be a lot more productive and effective having the IRAP President living in Melbourne, and the other Asian country heads reporting to Australia?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

In the area of Invensys Systems that I work, we went 30 something percent over the GOAL that was set last year. Lets see what kind of raise the workers gets this year!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Dear Invensys Bloggers and Readers,

I am an Invensys employee. I understand your frustration; there are a lot of things that could be done differently, but you have to remember that none of us are the big boss.

Imagine if you were in Sudipta's shoes. Do you think that everyone would agree with all your ideas? Would you like to have an organization that was actively trying to stop your strategic programs?

These are the facts:

  1. IOM is profitable
  2. IOM is growing
  3. Sudipta is the boss
  4. There is a bunch of stuff that needs to be done
So please stop complaining and start following your leader. If you do not want to follow Sudipta, then you should get another job. Sudipta has been chosen by Invensys PLC to lead IOM; none of us work at Invensys PLC.

We can actually make this a pretty good place to work if we just take a deep breath and move ahead. Each one of us has to take responsibility for our own words and actions.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

During the so call "PRIDE" day, we got to get a little sniff of the long awaited Employees' Survey results. I suspect that the full blown results will be released with difficulties.

I am actually kinda surprised to see Sudipta's better-than-expected ranking in some areas. To me, he and merry fellow country-men are still "clueless" and lack the depth to grasp the IOM market. Remember - they never worked one day in the automation control business. Honestly, some of the big wigs VPs from IOM and Rail should have been removed a long time back.

Wayne may seem to support Sudipta openly, but you will never know - just like Ulf, at their higher echelon management level, they can depart suddenly.

So as proclaimed, Invensys is transitioning from the "survival" mode to a "growth" mode; it is claimed that Invensys has some money in the kitty bag.

We will hold out breath that Wayne and the almost "inept English-led" leaders do not go and squander away the "kitty bag" to acquire useless companies (especially from Sudipta's homeland). Same analogy as buying cheap tourist T-shirts.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The rumor about Sudipta is very unlikely. Wayne has publicly supported Sudipta in just the past few weeks.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Based on the previous blog about Sudipta and his merry country man, what is the Freburger? Based on his dismal and "clueless" performance on the way he conducted his town-hall meeting for the IOM NA (Oops, not supposed to say IOM), surely Wayne should sense that he does have an eon of acumen to be running the process control business for such an important market area?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Just heard from inside sources that Sudipta and senior team are about to be removed. Apparently Invensys leadership will be bringing in someone from outside to "put some lipstick on the pig", prior to selling off IOM in pieces.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Well I hate to say it but, if fellow American Kevin Riddett is a leader in Rail then they are screwed. What an idiot! I didn't believe it until Miami. We thought we had it bad in IOM! Good luck, Rail. We still seem to have idiots like Riddett and our own Freburger in zero=addedvalue roles.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I used to be an employee of Westinghouse Australia. Now I am a "corporate citizen" of IRAP. I used to listen to people softly grumble about the management. Now I try to close my ears to the shouting about the 'executive'. I used to listen to the M.D. Westinghouse Australia. Now I read the mindless dribble of an 'educated' imbecile the President IRAP. There's progress for you. Welcome to the 'new era' of the 5 P's...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Nobody is claiming that Invensys is king in rail. In fact, globally, Invensys is a very small fish in a very big pond. But Invensys has maintained its position as clear market leader in home markets despite attempts by far bigger fish like Siemens to muscle their way in. Key reasons: product and domain knowledge. Even if Siemens did take over, there is no chance that UK projects would be delivered by Siemens engineers in Germany. Why not? Firstly, they don't have the domain knowledge. And secondly, the customer wouldn't allow it. That's the nature of the industry. It's got nothing to do with arrogance.

And with regards to the comment about Siemens re-engineering the products within their own portfolio - are you kidding? You seriously think that Siemens would go through the hassle of developing their own equivalent product, to SIL4 standards, and trying to get it through the strict product acceptance process, when they could simply use an 'off-the-shelf' Invensys solution that was designed specifically for that customer? I'd love to see the business case for that approach!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I think that part of the way in which the company made it through with such huge cash reserves is by getting everyone to work 50-60 hours a week and then by outsourcing IOM development to India, which has not resulted in better code, better products or faster deliveries. When you pay one salary and demand 1.5x-2x results, you save money for a while. But its never a good idea to keep doing this year after year.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Why should anyone get a graceful exit instead of a golden parachute? They should be pushed off of a very steep cliff. But alas, that won't happen because the CEO would have to be pushed off with them and we know that would never happen.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I feel some posters here are either ill-informed and/or being misled in professing Invensys Rail is king and all else are also-rans. Rail is not the only portion making money for the company. There are many areas which have kept Invensys as a whole afloat, in business, in the black, whichever term you prefer.

No one entity can claim to "saving the company" as some believe. There is a whole world outside of Rail to believe Rail is the only saving grace of the company; it is the only division making money; no other company inside or outside of the Invensys umbrella can perform the same tasks. This shows nothing but arrogance and ignorance. Though I am using IR as an example, the same statement is true of America's Controls division, the IOM division, the China affiliates, no one locale can claim to have saved this company of ours.

What is really telling of the mindset of some here is the belief no other company can perform the same tasks or services. This is pure rubbish! But for sake of topic let's pretend Siemens can't produce the components / services to a particular marketplace and decided to purchase the division. I ask, how long would it take for them to begin to re-engineer said component / service into "their"portfolio and cause workers & facilities to become redundant?

It is very rare for a company to perform an M&A on another company that is in the same industry and not make those workers, facilities, even products redundant. This way of thinking always leads to failure. Many, many companies are no longer in existence by following that mentality. It may not truly happen overnight but once the competitors start offering the same product / service, only better and without the smug attitude, only then will it feel like the business washed away over night. Again, not trying to single out IR, as all this could be said about any division, company, around the globe which portrays that type of arrogance.

The company is global and there are good & bad situations arising from being global. One good is there are products being designed and produced in many locations throughout the organization. Products once only available in one market are now on the world market and have the ability to be produced in multiple locations to serve that market.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Egos abound in the senior management level - those who are given freehand to do whatever they like or love (eg. traveling on company's expenses to gain mileages for holiday trips!) There was this chap who wanted so much to be CEO APAC but failed due to incompetence; and yet this incompetence has given him a job somewhere in Asia - the cohorts of his having removed capable persons from the projects there!

Monday, May 2, 2011

The morale is down in IOM and it is very hard to bring it up. Sudipta and his buddies have tried hard to turn things around but they have reached to the limit what they can do. Sudipta is going to survive on the strength of financial results (go nuclear deals) but the damage to the company and culture is irreversible. His ego is too big and his ambitions are lofty. He believes in promoting his friends and yes-men.

If Wayne is reading this blog, he should know by now that if he keeps the same team that Ulf had at the business level and the same organization, he will not make any big impact on the future of the company. This is his time, in the next 6 months, to clean house and focus on growth.

Monday, May 2, 2011

I heard that graceful exits (golden parachutes) are being explored for a few key IOM staffers. Please stay tuned!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Well, we thought things couldn't get much worse here in Safetran. Having endured years of egotistical and often irrational abuse from Riddett (aka Mr Magoo) we now have his personal friends installed as President and VP. One of them is actually calling himself President and CEO of Invensys Rail. I thought this was Drummond's job ? What egos !

Friday, April 29, 2011

We want potential Invensys buyers to read this blog so that when they buy this company or any of its divisions, they get rid of this defunct and incompetent management that is incapable of improving, or learning, or even changing.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The interesting thing about IOM is that if you look at the natural strengths of the three main constituent businesses - Foxboro, Wonderware and Eurotherm - they don't naturally link together. Foxboro are process, big in petrochem, Wonderware are a hardware agnostic discrete manufacturing integration business, and Eurotherm is a hardware company essentially, majoring in discrete manufacturing and small batch applications requiring precision control and measurement.

To find synergies in that grouping isn't easy, even if you have high levels of domain expertise. But the approach seems to have been to ram things together on the basis of very superficial connections and management will to integrate, rather than business need to integrate, and it's never been an easy fit. On top of that, you have internal rivalries, inter-company politics, hit and run careerists and a crazy instinct to restructure whenever things get tough. I can't remember a time when there hasn't been some restructuring taking place or preannounced in Invensys, and that just breeds a "head down and wait for the next change of management" culture.

It looks as though that has been noticed and is being stopped. Let's give Wayne a chance to work and see what happens. Yes, there is still some residual craziness, and it doesn't appear that those responsible for some of the mess are being held to account. But let's not lose track of the fact that Invensys made it through all of its troubles with cash in the bank and in a relatively strong position. I'm proud of that. So it's time to pull together for a bit and see what we can do that's great.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

No, Siemens cannot offer the exact same products. They can offer equivalent products and have even implemented their equivalent products in the UK. But the fact remains that they have not managed to secure significant market share in the UK, despite their financial muscle. Why not? Because their products are fundamentally different to those that are already in widespread use.

SSI is old technology, but it is technology that is known and understood by the customer. In a conservative industry, the significance of that should not be underestimated. I would also say that delivery certainty is just as important as product. Siemens' last UK project was a complete disaster and led to them all but pulling out of the UK signalling market.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that Invensys has better products than the competition. But to suggest that competitors offer the exact same products and services is just plain wrong. Do you seriously think that if Siemens took over Invensys, that UK signalling projects would all suddenly implement Simis W rather than SSI or Westlock? I think the customer might have something to say about that!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Siemens can offer the exact products the current rail business offers, and does outside of the UK. As do Ansaldo, Bombardier, Thales and Alstom. There is nothing differential about our rail global offering. Nothing at all. The recent orderbook was won by under-cutting the opposition and selling products we did not have at crazy low prices (Taiwan, Singapore etc). In the UK the rail busines has a legacy product developed by British Rail (SSI) that has kept the business afloat. It's at the end of its life though and the latest Invensys products are inferior to the Alstom competition. It's difficult to see where we go post the SSR decision. Still there is money to be made selling our expert trackside domain knowledge, but our days as a technical leader in the UK are over. It's inevitable that we will lose market share in the Network Rail Frameworks. The competition has just caught up with us, end of story. The business has a future in the UK but our management overhead (properties and people) needs a radical slash back. A lean UK delivery business aquired by a more credible global technology force (Siemens?) would be a good solution for all.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Yes, the grass is greener. I left Invensys several years ago and have been repeatedly approached to return to help resurrect what was before Mike Calielís departure. The revolving door should have fallen off its spindle by now. Just make a list of the leaderless hoard that have come and gone thru the doors at Invensys. The big problem with Invensys? Incompetent management at the most senior levels, lack of re-investment in the brands (sorry, I forgot, Invensys is the Brand!) and the lack of vision. The Dow fiasco was the start, but no one has been able to come up with a way to resurrect the once great brand Foxboro, but instead, have strangled the golden geese of Triconex and Wonderware, who for the un-knowing, both grew from the same entrepreneurial minds in a garage in California, until the visions of the partners changed. Infusion was never properly defined and most likely should have been called Confusion. Greedy senior management too busy padding their own pock ets by cooking the books at year end with orders that didnít exist (LOIís) or that were overvalued. Should I go on? Bring in a leader with a true understanding of the market and a vision to match, re-invest in the brands, stop treating the visionary employees like lepers and Invensys will once again become great. It is a sad thing to behold!

Friday, April 29, 2011

The last post really says it all about us here in the US. Here we are a British company with global presence, but talking like a US regional business. Like it or not the Rail business makes up over 50% of profit from 20% of the cost base and thats a after what's been said to be a poor year. A casual bit of research shows that 80% of Rail profit in outside the US. Like it or not over the past 5 years Rail kept the business afloat. I don't really care about the past, but if you read the company report and analyst data it will tell you this is true.

We have had years of pointless Wonderware posts from a business that delivers less than 10% of the companies profit. Seems most of the employees have been spending their time online instead of working. Fellow Americans, get a passport and see the real Invensys business. It's much bigger than Foxboro Ma, Carol Stream or Lake Forest. These are a side show. There is a world west of Frisco and east of NYC.

Friday, April 29, 2011

If you knew anything about RAIL, you would know that competitors like Siemens cannot offer the EXACT same products and services. Get your facts right before professing to the world.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Though I am an infrequent reader I totally agree with the comments: "Invensys being sold rumor? Please, give me a break. " and "this 'grass is greener' garbage, the grass is pretty darn green":

Also agree as well as the comments of this forum being nothing but a bunch of whiners. In reading this forum the majority of the comments / concerns are of bad management: RAIL is the darling of the business & always at the top, other businesses aren't worth a damn, the list of complaints go on and on. One thing I NEVER read about are solutions to the issues; what you are doing to make the company a better place to work? How are you finding and resolving issues? I believe the American phrase is "Monday morning quarter-back"?

First, RAIL is neither the darling of the business & nor the sole money-maker. It is sporadic in making money at best; granted it was o.k. a couple years ago when the Americas were deep in recession / depression. But sooner after its up cycle, it's back in the basement. It is this arrogant, pompous attitude that is really at the core of the problems,

Second, all those who want RAIL to be bought, particularly by Siemens, obviously doesn't know about M&A. The bought company is always ravaged by the buying company for market share, not so much the tech, especially when they're in the same business. Get bought by Siemens or any other company that offers the EXACT products & services as you and you'll become redundant - period.

Third, if it's so bad, leave. Once your job becomes work it is time to go. You dread coming to the office, find a new office to go to. How someone thinks they're throwing away a career by leaving is a sure way to throw away a career by staying. You take your skill set, work ethic, and obvious loyalty to another company.

Fourth, as stated before, this a public automation forum; it is being read by internal AND external customers, suppliers, potential customers and perhaps buyers. Do you think a potential buyer, customer or supplier wants to deal with a bunch of whining people who only offer snide remarks instead of problem-solving solutions? If you can't clean and take care of your own house, how can you take care of someone else's?

Thursday, April 28, 2011 - More on the joint I/A program with Dow:

Invensys and Dow dissolved their 1997 partnership to deliver a next generation system late in 2000. Invensys reported they "jointly cancelled the project", describing it as "a fruitless effort to develop a new system that was deemed couldn't be sold on the open market." (Quotes from CEO Allen Yurko, Invensys Annual Financial Update; May 31, 2001). A fundamental problem with the agreement was that apparently Dow had some unique ideas about what a control system should be, and their requirements add cost to the system. Costs that other companies are not willing to pay.

Lawsuits ensued, with a settlement handled quietly behind closed doors.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I posted the comment about 'the architect' earlier. Let me say a couple things. First of all, sure InFusion is steaming pile, but it's OUR steaming pile (because of ArchestrA) and nobody can even come close to matching what it can do. Let's make it better. I/A is rock solid as a product, massive installed base that is paying the bills. Was the port a joke? Sure was but it works, doesn't it?

As far as this Invensys being sold rumor? Please, give me a break. This is not the time for anyone to be buying anything, certainly not a company that is doing well and exceeding its goals. You people know absolutely nothing of what you speak. Prove me wrong, cite some sources. Go ahead. I'll be waiting. It's nothing but conjecture at best and fueling speculation at worst.

As for this 'grass is greener' garbage, the grass is pretty darn green where I'm sitting. Invensys in decline? Not from where I'm looking. Invensys will go nowhere but up and has ever since I've been here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

To the person asking about the joint I/A program with Dow. I was at the time aware of the decision making. When it was first proposed I fought this match-up as completely unfeasible. The idea was to combine Dow's home grown system with I/A. The then R&D president of Foxboro's business unit just didn't have the courage to tell the Division President that the idea was a non-starter. The President of the division (may he rest in peace) later admitted to me that he later understood it couldn't happen as proposed but he believed that once Dow was committed they would wind up an I/A customer no matter what. So IMHO they did it for the $$ without a real expectation that the Dow SIL system could be successfully made a part of I/A. Bottom line was after years of efforts and much money spent it was dropped. This type of cynical decision making was just the run up to the BAAN fiasco.

BTW, every single person I know that has left for a comparable position has found the grass much greener elsewhere. I certainly have.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wholeheartedly agree with the last two blogs: Need the freedom to voice opinions and to be able to be honest and open without being accused of being negative, intimidated etc. and get rid of the YES culture. Needs everyone to work together between Depts., site locations etc. with the same objectives/goals and to be on the same level playing field, and not having one hand tied behind your back.

Work anywhere else lucky you; others never had a choice! The loss of skills, experience and knowledge of what the customer wanted are hard to replace. I would have at a guess that most employees now treat going to work as means to live.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

To the blogger who claims leaving Invensys would be 'throwing away' 30+ years career. That is exactly the self defeating attitude that the management will love to see, why is there a perception that everywhere else is inferior to SCUK/WRSL etc. I had a fab few years in that place but it went downhill rapidly. Despite the nay-sayers and the almost religious chanting of 'the grass isn't greener on the other side’, I found that with my career growing well in another organisation, in fact the grass is phenomenally greener! Take your blinkers off; if the place is so terrible to work in, do something about it, more than whine on this blog!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

While Ulf did a good job of turning around a failing business, time is needed to change the cultural damage. Fear, intimidation, micro management, and demand for "commitment" to unrealizable plans are the order of business. Wayne appears to be targeting a change in culture as well as business operation. The toxic culture did not materialize overnight. I for one am willing to support Wayne. We can each contribute by pulling back on the rhetoric in the office. Decide not to engage in the negative at work.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I agree with the blogger who says we have no where else to get this fixed. I don't want to work anywhere else. I have been here in the rail business since SCUK was taken over by Westinghouse. Whilst I have some sympathy with the blogger who wants this to stop, he or she can't have been here very long. This has become a terrible place to work. It's not as simple as telling me to walk away from a career of over 30 years. The leadership of this business should be ashamed. The latest bunch have created a fear culture full of pathetic HQ yes-men with no experience of the industry that I and most of my colleagues have given our lives to.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - Re: So why urinate in your own pants by writing negatives on this blog?

To meet your slang: It is easier to warm my pants by doing this instead of waiting another year on a working air condition. With other words: There is no way to get it done within the company.

Monday, April 25, 2011

This site amazes me. I do not often come here, but when I do I get disappointed with the cowards and negative people here. Funny part is everybody reads it, did you ever ask yourself who initiates the topics?

I am proud of what I do at Invensys and I believe we are at the right path. Sure we have issues just like anybody else, but is this the place to talk about it? A public blog where your customers and competition go and amuse themselves based on your ignorance; writing here will not change anything.

You and only you are in charge of your own destiny, no one else. Anybody has the power to change. I get sick of people who blame others for failure.

Together we can change this company into what we want it to be. You already do this everyday. Invensys is not built out of one or two managers. It's made out of everybody, so when you come to work in the morning and pick-up the first call, answer your emails, face a customer, guess what - it's you who makes this company and what customers think of it. So why urinate in your own pants by writing negatives on this blog?

Monday, April 25, 2011 - Regarding Triconix:

Didn't Foxboro have a program underway, about ten years ago, to develop an I/A system that would inherently meet SIL 3 or SIL 4 requirements without needing an additional safety shutdown system such as Triconix's? The initial customer was going to be DOW Chemical. What happened?

Monday, April 25, 2011

The new, nebulous organisation changes are straight out of a 70's management book. Winners - a new layer of useless managers for each LOB (line of business). Losers - Customer facing technical (delivery) problems, employees having to explain why all decisions and projects are being micromanaged by these LOB managers.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Regarding the comment that the sales organization received sales compensation on the deal which is losing money:

The sales organization didn't get paid on it. The margins were so low, we didn't get compensated by it. The facts are that the sales organization didn't want the deal because we are going to lose our butts on it. We have overpromised and are under-delivering. Do you think we will see another deal after we demonstrate our incompentence in delivering the solution? The only people that gained from this deal were the top executives sitting in Plano, Tx. It drove large bonus dollars for them in 2010 and now in 2011.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Just for the record, Eurotherm has certainly not been absorbed by Foxboro. One product line is badged Foxboro, that's the beginning and end of that; no employee transfer, no nothing. It's a thriving and well focused product business. It's a $100M+ business too, not all that small.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

It is already clear that Edmunds is a nutless placeholder. If not, his first act would have been to remove the Indian mafia at IOM in one fell swoop. He has no aspirations to lead invensys into the future, only to monetize its past.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I don't agree with the blogger fully on the demise of Triconex... just yet. I recognise the fact that every vendor from Emerson, ABB, Honeywell is going after Triconex's market. I heard of the fact that Triconex has lost out to HIMA in the US.

Triconex has weathered all sort of storms for the past 25 years or so from TMR systems in the past, like the now defunct ABB August system, ICS Triplex (now with Rokwell) and RTP. Newer systems like DeltaV SIS, which if you read in Emerson's blog has just tripped a plant big time. HIMA may have now won something big... let see about lasting power, as it is still a small privately owned company. Triconex is still Invensys's golden goose.

The ever clueless Sudipta and his merry men (lately taking on board) feel that Archestra still has some future... (do they really care ?) The safety system market has somewhat changed due to a new standard of IEC61511. I have seen end-users who have tried to redesign their plant to run with SIL2 - some of them can justify to put in a Rockwell SIL2 system, which is coming in at a rock-bottom prices. That is why the SIL2 Tri-GP comes in. It is just to get a slice of the market place now.

HIMA's controllers are also OEM to Rockwell. Just as ICS Triplex is OEM to ABB as TriGuard. ABB has destroyed August system totally.

The power of Triconex is it's solid upgrade path of backwards compatibility. As long as Invensys has put in a creditable upgrade plans, it makes it hard for end-users to replace it in the future.

I have seen some foolish end-users ripping off a small Tricon system to put in the DeltaV SIS. They are beginning to regret it. Though they dare not say it out loud. The DeltaV SIS plastic yellow box hardware on a long run is still not up to scratch, with its expensive add ons end of line diodes to cover up for deficiencies in its hardware electronics design.

Do not forget, that Triconex has installations in Nuclear plants. Nuclear plants do not change for years and years. Chemical, Oil and Gas plants can come and go... When Oil and Gas runs out, where does the future of energy lie?

Things are not as bad as they seem for Triconex as a whole. It is still a solid, stable product, with its ease of use, installation and setup. Time will tell if Triconex will survive. Looking at it, it still will have a future.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

It would be good for us if the divisions were sold off to someone who knew what they were doing, which history has not shown to be Invensys. But asking us to stop sending negative blogs is misplaced. If some of us thought that what we post here could actively shorten the careers of incompetent people, or some of the more corrupt managers, we would be posting 5 time a day. It's the only mechanism we have to make this a better place - if we believe in what we're doing and don't want to leave.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Oh yes, those Chinese Nuke Projects. The only one that benefits is the sales team that gave away the goods for nothing. They still get a hefty commission.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

One of the main providers for Invensys group has always been Triconex. A big installed base in the oil field has kept them running without any big investment for a long time. I dont know why Honeywell sold it, however the diamond mine has been decreasing year by year , even to a point of modifying their system just to keep a share of SIL 2 market, which looks to be the future on the safety sytems arquitecture.

Emerson, ABB , Siemens, Rockwell, Yokogawa, GE, etc. all seems to be convinced that the safety education, risk analysis, SIL Verification studies,etc. will determine that SIL 3 is not necesarily required on most of the cases, and SIL 2 projects will make the market grow faster and bigger. The main target for the customer will be to continue complying with the safety regulations and requirements, with less investment, this will keep the customers happy.

BP has already said good bye to the Flintstones era, Triconex is beeing replace by HIMA. BP just awarded HIMA Americas with a big order for several Safety PLC's (seems to be for the Gulf of Mexico). So Triconex, key company with in Invensys, has lost a big project and perhaps a good customer, which once more confirms what everyone knows: Invensys IOM continues to go down and down. It looks like BP soon will anounce HIMA to be their world preferred Safety System supplier, at least for the next years to come. So Goodbye Invensys Triconex!

We know several other big chemical and oil companies which are doing the same thing. So watch out for Brazil and Latin America, because everyone has them on target. Emerson just won a complete refinery at Brazil against Invensys ( Foxboro/ Triconex). So the big question is: if you had money to spend, would it be wise for you to spend it on an obsolete company like Invensys IOM?

I think the rail divison might have more future and perhaps needs less money to be profitable. Who would want to buy Invensys IOM if the core companies like Triconex and Wonderware are going down with less future on the market? Foxboro has been dead for quite a while. Eurotherm, very small company being torn apart, almost all the Eurotherm line and critical employees are now labelled as part of Invensys Foxboro. Even the old DCS 2500/ 2550, after a big loss as A2, is now again being introduce as a revolutionary new Foxboro PAC system. The problem is for customers that belives this is a nice new system from Foxboro, jo jo jo.

So, we know where Eurotherm future is going, Eurotherm = Foxboro both dead, sad for Eurotherm - they have nice, new products like Nanodac, some Action products, and nice E power, Avantis, SimSci, Skelta, IMServ, etc.

Difficult situation. Everyone wants to cut expenses, not to invest on these solutions. I think Siemens and ABB have better options to select from: Rockwell, Honeywell , Hima , Yamatake, Yokogawa, Alstom, Krhone, Endress, or just the Invensys Rail division could be better decisions than IOM itself. If they buy it it will be, as always, just to keep the customers installed base. They will keep just the critical employees and dismiss all others. So for the people who say, why being so negative? Are we being negative or realistic?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Another.....reorganization....in IOM.....only this time it makes sense. The purpose is to make piece-portions attractive to potential buyers. Let's do our best to contribute our talents to achieve this successful purchase. The buyer will be either GE or Siemens or maybe ABB. No matter, afer the purging at least, the new management will focus on satisfying customers and thus running the business properly, without bad behaviors to artifically boost short term share price in order to attract buyers.

So please, people, focus and stop sending negative blogs, especially with regard to specific management personnel.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Once it becomes apparent that the China nuclear projects are money sinkholes, (underbid, over-budget, and well behind schedule with no clear path forward) then IOM no longer will look good to potential buyers. The risk and liabilities of tremendous loss associated with those disastrous projects will make suitors run.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I think it is interesting that as a former employee of Invensys that you have incredibly inept and almost unethical people running the show here in Australia. How is it you have can have a person at Director level who is not formally educated and has made some very questionable decisions based on her dislike of individuals who she perceives as threatening and dangerous? You have a Leadership team here in Australia who have no tangible relationships with key stakeholders in the rail industry. There is a toxic culture like a necrotic cancer that is slowly eating away at Invensys and one wonders when those who matter will realise and seek treatment.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The title of the weblog is "Invensys". Surely comments on IRL are as valid as any?!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

An interesting week. A very good and succint video message from Wayne Edmunds, calling for thoughtful focus and asking employees to think about what stops effective execution within the organisation. No obvious means of telling him though.

So it could go one of two ways now. One way would be that examples of internally focused behaviour will be noticed and addressed, and we'll be allowed to prioritise customer focused activities over the HR initiative du jour, the increasing bureaucracy of integration, and whatever else a Senior VP has in his goal list.

And the other would be that the same old people propagate the same old behaviour, we use the change as the stimulus for yet another reorganisation, and nothing changes very much.

Wayne appears to be a perceptive leader, and I'm prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt. He used the word "weakness" when other leaders still trot out homilies about how we were always doing fine and we just need to take the next step which (by the way) was always planned. To correct weakness you first have to acknowledge it, so it's a good first step.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The weblog is for the Invensys company an not just for one part, as the whole company is in demise. And to say the Rail division doesn't implement automation, I think that demonstrates how much people know about Rail. This seems like someone high up in the Rail division trying to hush everything up and to stop the rumours, or should I say the facts from getting out to the people that actually produce something. Invensys will tell you something, but the majority of the information has been broadcasted here first, weeks previously. Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What is happening to IOM ? Our leaders have come back from a company-paid vacation in Miami with awards for the loss-making China nuclear projects! Meanwhile we have a COO who has no responsibility for delivery, and despite having an existing CI leader has appointed his college buddy as another CI leader. Meanwhile the COO and SVP are doing the same job! Can anybody tell me why we have these non-value roles ?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

One good reason for Rail comments is that Rail makes up around 25% of the Invensys workforce, but around 50% of Invensys' profit and most of the cash. Exclude Rail from the group and your so-called Controls group is worth nothing.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 - Re: Automation:

Since this weblog and website is industrial automation focused, I do not see the relevance of having Invensys Rail related comments posted here? IOM yes, definitely. But not Rail.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

To add to the previous list for IOM Middle East:

    7- If you know how to kiss ass, pick the correct word and say it at the right time to the right people then you will be promoted.

    8- New people are hired with high paid compensation packages based on who are their internal referrals in IOM and not their experience or background. At least the minimum requirement should be: read/write/speak English.

    9- Promises have been said to employees by different key people with nothing on the ground.

    10- No process in place.

    11- Resignations will increase in the next few months.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It is not only IOM whose leadership positions are by and large completely the wrong people for those roles. For example IRAP - Projects and Commercial Director - knows jack-diddly about railways, has no people management skills and basks in the limelight of other people's hard work and claims all the credit by jetting off to the US and accepts gifts of Carribean holidays and alledgedly claims the Auckland bid was won purely on the basis that he didn't sleep at all - Twat.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Management doesn't care who blogs or what they blog about if they did then they would address it. Their ego does not allow their over inflated heads to even consider they have any shortcomings or faults. They have floated to the top level of their incompetence. It's like The Modest mouse Song "Float On" by Modest Mouse off their album:

MouseModest Mouse - "Float On" Lyrics

Good News For People Who Love Bad News - "And we'll all float on Ok".

Tuesday, April 19, 2011 - To the commenter on Agile:

We are on the same page. Agile works only if you have everyone in the same place in a small group. Spreading it over continents is no process at all. When I wrote that, I realized it's kind of stupid to have a company that's selling software to help manage your processes be so clueless about managing their processes. The cobbler's children go barefoot, eh?

I never would want to go back to Invensys. They paid me well, but the company is poisonous. I now make about 20K more a year, which is very nice. Even better, I don't have the stress level I did there. For those people still there, I hope you are happy and productive. If not, there are other jobs out there.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Here are 3 themes for others to expand on:

  1. This blog is like the underworld of Invensys. It's free and untamed.
  2. Don't try to regulate the content here the way you "failed" to do in your office.
  3. We don't blog here for Management, as Management already knows whats written here. We have seen that they are incapable of either absorbing feedback or improving with the same. We blog here to discuss what we can't in our office. Are you scared of this?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

I could not help but laugh and cry at the comment regarding: "the person who architected possibly one of the biggest piles of garbage in the history of computer software with a top level management position". Painfully true.

The impact that this decision had on the company runs far, far deeper than most can ever realize. It sucked critical investment resources from other projects (the overall amount of money spent was above nine digits), it handcuffed Foxboro and Eurotherm and prevented other IOM companies from doing anything creative on their own, it create a tyrannical/dictatorial culture that forced many talented people out the door, and worst of all it generated very little customer value. That - after the final tally is taken - will be the real disaster in this sorry chapter of the history of Invensys.

Whether his nationality or his personality was the reason for his continued reign may never be known. In spite of his supposed transfer to a different role, those remaining in leadership positions at IOM are by and large completely the wrong people for those roles. The damage has been done however, most of it irreparable.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Rail has to shave it's margins.It's all well and good making huge profits, but clients are looking elsewhere now. Bombardier, although understaffed are preferred bidders for SSR, leaving invensys with the scraps they want to outsource, in terms of mainline. SSL have already trialled their modular system, and no doubt for a fraction of the price, so most likely when network rail see the costs, who are they going to use? Answers on a postcard?

They are getting the type A frameworks that Invensys are craving and with Alstoms background with vintage geographical and newer smartlock, they have the exact same capabilities for less and I would assume the same high quality end result...

Friday, April 15, 2011

A big part of the problem is that the "top" handpicked underlings that will say and do anything the top bosses program to do. Then these underlings create the nightmares that the worker bees have to live with. But guess what? Worker bees don't have to live with it. Pick a competitor and get a job with them and get even by making the original boss's life hell. If you are low enough on the food chain the original top bosses won't even notice or care you have jumped ship to the enemy. But beware, the higher up you are on the food chain the more chance that it will get very ugly. This includes lawyers, lawsuits and other shenanigans.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Comment from people who left Invensys (Middle-East/Saudi Arabia).
- People from Honeywell or Yokogawa are not satisfied in Invensys and they go back
- People leaving Invensys are always satisfied and they never come back

Why? Read the policy:

  1. Compensation policy - high profile candidate (skilled & experienced) will be paid less and low profile candidate will be paid high.
  2. Promotion policy - if you do not perform, you will be promoted to perform better. If you perform better, you will not be promoted.
  3. Working hour policy - no fixed working hours. Hard working people should work for 48hrs/week and others can work for 40hrs/week.
  4. Over time policy - do not ask over time calculation.
  5. Leave travel allowance policy - LTA will be decremented every year till it reaches zero.
  6. HR policy - no one knows where it is.
Hope this clarifies.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

New to Rail; new to this blog; looking for facts, not gossip. No moderation, so here are 3 themes for others to expand on.

Acquisition: Some predict this is our destiny. Execs may be grooming us for sale: about to strip the fat, making us attractive, easier to disband? Feel free to add your intelligence, those who know about our core business and key assets worth acquiring. Who would buy what and why? To take out a competitor? Maybe we are already destroying ourselves rapidly enough.

Rail: What is our core business - just project delivery or do we develop valuable intellectual assets? Is there a natural synergy between IR groups across the globe? Do we have a future as Invensys? What strategy would make us more cohesive and competitive? Will that just make us more vulnerable to acquistion? How would you inspire and motivate us? Wayne might say the "customer is King" - but do our customers have vision?

D&G: (Doom & Gloom) - for those who need to name names, let go their frustrations etc, please preface yours with "D&G". (with apologies to Dolce & Gabanna). It would just help us skip thru to the good stuff - maybe I'm a tad optimistic.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

When you reward the person who architected possibly one of the biggest piles of garbage in the history of computer software with a top level management position you get what you deserve.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I strongly urge you not to sacrifice your personal life for the company. When you come home, kiss your spouse, talk about the family & kids, don't kick the dog, don't blow up at your family, don't withdraw from your family, don't wallow in your self-pity by vegetating in front of the boob tube. Get to the gym and take it all out on the weights and machines and you'll be better for it. Just use the company like they use you.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A bad version of Agile? Ha! I laugh in your face! Agile is a framework and NOT a process. It's very essence is centred around having a cross-functional team located in the same building and preferably on the same floor!

The Invensys model of global product development, having teams working on the same product distributed over 1000 of miles, is never going to be Agile. It creates an "us versus them" culture. This means the UK hates dealing with Spain and Brisbane. Melbourne hates dealing with Brisbane. Spain hates dealing with anyone and everybody hates dealing with India! The best processes in the world are not going to break these barriers.

Video conferencing (currently non existent) may help, but who wants to talk to Australia, India or Singapore at 5am or 10pm? Workshops/reviews etc. in one country means poor engineers have to fly long distances cramped in Economy, sitting next to some fat bird that takes up all your room and smells, snores, chomps food all flight long. No wonder people want to keep themselves to themselves and just focus on their little bit. How is there any hope of products ever coming together in this situation?

Don't get me started on the lack of leadership on these type of projects.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - Re: "Do not sacrifice your personal life."

Hear, hear! At the end of the day, you'll still only have made your salary and the company will have recieved two employees's work out of you for the cost of one. I have done this too many times for too many companies who promised me the moon. Most of them are out of business because they kept promising everyone that the current firefighting situation would only last for a little while longer. It never ended because none of these companies ever figured out good project management or that employees weren't disposable. When the employees left and the expertise went away, so did the companies.

Your life and your happiness are more important than any promise that Sudipta or anyone else makes to you for what will happen 6 months from now.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011 - A short comment on Invensys-Cognizant alliance:

For the present catastrophic situaton at Invensys ODC in CTS, much needs to blamed (if not entirely) on the Cognizant employees working for Invensys. This situation can be reversed only when they put their feet firmly down and say (to the CTS and Invensys managements) what could be realistic for them to deliver, based on their experience levels, milestones, ambiguity in the requirements, etc. Otherwise this tyranny continues.

Do not sacrifice your personal life. Neither CTS no Invensys can really compensate you for the loss you incur.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

WRT to the Cognizant employee who posted recently about how bad the working conditions are. On the Invensys side, I have heard about Cognizant employees putting in huge amounts of unpaid and unappreciated overtime to meet preposterous deadlines from Invensys. Their reward for this behaviour was more hard work and no appreciation. It was no surprise that people started leaving Cognizant to work on other things rather than put up with Invensys's bad process. I agree: the process is garbage. It's only a bad version of AGILE. People with product knowledge are what should be saving the company. But product knowledge takes several years to pick up here. People in Invensys stay for years and years. They don't understand how long it takes for new people to figure out how to learn the software to maintain it. They are not patient with people learning it and expect everyone to know it as well as they do.

I am not surprised Cognizant is sick of Invensys.

Monday, April 11, 2011 - RE: The Invensys-Cognizant alliance is in trouble now.

This is good new for us, the Cognizant Employees working for Invensys, and we all hope that the alliance ends.

We are tired of this client (Invensys). What we get here is a lot of work desired really fast and cheap, no good salaries, no good increments, poor office environment, long office hours hitting health and personal life, hundreds of crazy immovable project milestones despite all uncertainties in Invensys requirements and external dependencies, No Onsite Opportunities, butchered morale and above all a SECOND GRADE maintenance work with no new R&D and no new Technologies. Also, a sick client who wants everything and has their own rules of what should be in Scope of projects, and incompetent managers on both sides who don't have the bones to oppose whats wrong with Invensys's expectations. And not to forget that Invensys is the Company who's executive (Sudipta) back stabbed all of us with useless promises to push us into this engagement.

No wonder No one is interested in working here anymore. We are bleeding critical employees and Top performers and this is making things even more difficult.

Whats worse is that some foolish managers on both sides believe that despite all this, their "Processes" and not their people will help maintain quality Deliverables. What a Joke!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I just want to get something out of my system: IOM... IOM... IOM... IOM... IOM... IOM... IOM... IOM... IOM... IOM... IOM... IOM... IOM... IOM... IOM... IOM... IOM... IOM...

Now you may resume whining about Rail.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

One more item of news: The Invensys-Cognizant alliance is in trouble now. Cognizant is not seeing any profits from the Invensys wing. Salaries of the Invensys Employees are very high when compared to Cognizants. Most of the projecrs are not meeting their dead lines. CTS is planning to put an end to the useless alliance.

Friday, April 8, 2011

I ponder: How much of our dirty laundry does it take to be aired in order for our "management" to have some level of pride and ownership in this corporation?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Apparently all the manufacturing areas at Chippenham have been assured by management that the loss of SSR will not have an impact on output, for rest of this year at least. On the other hand, not one word has been spoken to the engineering staff concerning the loss of the contract. Work it out for yourself.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Let's hope Crossfield does better with the NR frameworks. Its been a long time since we had a real leader in charge. Never spoke to Crossfield in the year he has been here. Such an arrogant aloof person with no experience or skills in our business.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Did Peter Bradley do the entire bid alone? Is that why we lost it? Or are we looking for a scapegoat here?

Friday, April 8, 2011

The latest master stroke from Chippenham: Partly close the Croydon office leaving the engineering staff there and moving the rest to Euston. All the benefits of having all the project team in one location gone! Croydon has always been the poor relation, despite the great performance when Godfrey Dance was the Director here, we were the top performing office (delivery/margin/sales/cash). Dance built up a high performing team that we were all proud to be part of. If Drummond or Crossfield had any common sense they would bring him back to run all projects and rebuild our business.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

We lost SSR because of three things:

  • First we need to face up that our CBTC offering is just not good enough. We started to develop it too late and Drummond got too many big orders in a short space of time. The resources in Madrid and Chippenham got too stretched and did not deliver.
  • Second our bid team was weak and not strong enough. Peter Bradley is a nice enough person but unfortunately did not have the experience.
  • Thirdly what customer would give a £ 400m contract to an organisation that has had such a huge turnover of experienced senior staff, lost its chief exec in dubious circumstances and no one is really sure who is in charge.
It's a blow; but being more positive, these three things needs fixing if we are to win Crossrail.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The losing of SSR and Nick Crossfield should go together with his cronies, some of whom are schemers and connivers who do not contribute to the organization, but instead create deeper losses and dissatisfaction from the customers

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Why would Crossfield go on the result of the SSR bid? He had nothing to do with it. The bid was done by Peter Bradley in IRG HQ. Bradley so far has, like other Siemens recruits, turned out to be well below par compared to our own existing people. All have been poor, which explains where we are.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Its not all gloom in Rail. IRAP in Melbourne, now have some great new offices thanks to the HR team. They have room to grow and despite a couple of initial hiccups are so much better than the old wool store we had to work out. Mind you, this has now opened the way for the business to separate the products part of the company as part of the next step towards selling it off.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

If SSR is lost, then Nick Crossfield will be out of here. He pinned his colours to this particular mast. A year of utter failure on his part.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Everyone knows Bombardier have won SSR. Its also true that they may need us to do basic trackside design and installation, but they have plenty other companies (big and small) to go to to get that done. Alternatively (and more likely) thay will come and just recruit our staff with LUL domain knowledge. The problem with our business without SSR is that the millions spent on DTG-R have been wasted and we will be out of London for years. From the 'ground floor' our overheads look bloated and there are plenty opportunities to take out management layers, starting at the top I hope. The blogs about NR frameworks are correct, they are the true future of the business, if we lose our share of the frameworks we really are in trouble.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It's ALWAYS GOOD to lose an inept leader but what we get in replacement could be even worse.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I don't know for sure, but I would think the lack of communication is down to the fact that there is nothing to say. I don't see any Bombardier announcements claiming they've won anything either. Add to that, it important to remember we are a public company in the FTSE and have just finished the year end. This is a time when little or nothing is said until the results are announced next month. I think it true that we have had a tough year, but looking forwards the NR bids are far more important than LU.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

NR have come to us in the past to get them out of the odd mess because historically, we had a good reputation - that reputation came and still comes from THE people that can deliver - its not Invensys logo making the difference.

These days the order book is not exactly 'heaving'. Those people that made a difference are gradually getting poached or leaving to work for the competitors to get better pay and / or more security and we can't seem to keep them.

It's good the odd blogger stating what they know to be the facts about SSR, but it would be very appreciated and 'expected' for the leaders to gather the people together and make a couple of announcements / clear statements. When you dont tell the people whats going on, you get rumours and morale drops. Before you say people need to pick themselves up, the question is, why have masses of top heavy boards of Kings, Directors, Chiefs, Queens and General Officers if they can deliver the minimum - a direction? Communication is poor.

Everyone is too busy shuffling paperwork and planning their next promotion or buzz word to make it sound as though thehy are doing the right thing for the business.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lets just step back and take a breath for a second, before we all hang ourselves on the back of this blog!

True SSR may be lost, but who's to say that we won't pick up some sub contracts from Bombardier? Can they deliver all that work themselves? I doubt it.

Mainline is as strong as ever and with some big contracts coming up for tender and renewal of frameworks up for grabs all is not lost at Invensys Rail.

True times are hard but they aren't much better elsewhere. Leave Invensys and go where?

Who do Network Rail come to when a competitors projects is struggling to meet deadlines? Invensys that's who and Network Rail still know that Invensys are still the number one at delivering Type A contracts.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Some really uninformed posts on here, regarding the LU situation. So here are some facts: LU work employs around 20% of our employees. We have LU work now until 2013 that will employ our existing staff. Most of the impact will be that we don't recruit new people. Meanwhile posts say we have lost the SSR bid. So tell me who has won it? Answer: Nobody, as it's not yet been awarded. Let's post facts rather than scare mongering. The danger is that people like the much publicised and ridiculed Riddett will now try and cut staff without knowing what he is doing.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011 - To the Rail guys in the UK.

Don't worry about jobs. Riddett will reduce them anyhow regardless of what business you win or lose. As said by previous bloggers, he is a one trick pony, slash employees and capability, short term improvement to P&L then move on before found out. You can just about get away with this in a simple manufacturing plant like Safetran (small number of products shipped to a small number of domestic customers). Try that in a specialist long cycle high value global engineering business and the result could be terminal. Rail is a fragile business consisting of less than 20% of Invensys headcount but 50% of profit. Letting idiots try and make a name for themselves is very risky.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It was rumored that the IOM (not supposed to say this) has just lost a VP. He decided to call it a day and was rumored to want to return to his homeland (not to India). An inept leader is gone. Because of weak leadership from this VP, it permeates down onto the lowest level. I have an imbecile and clueless front line manager. His superiors is also equally clueless. Yes, it is correct to a certain extent that people do hire in their own image.

After seeing a few e-mails from Mr Edmunds, I wonder what is he thinking now? Is he allowing Sudipta, his fellow country man and the newly appointed COO that was demoted to continue to run IOM like this? As a top man, and using his MBA training from a top business school, just by simple benchmarking IOM against competitions, surely it is obvious that IOM is not creating the good results that are required to stay afloat up there. For so many years, Invensys have only just been on survival mode. There are still some good products in Invensys' portfolio. Our competition knows what these are.

Mr Edmunds and his sidekicks - if you are looking at this blog, as a current Invensys employee, do something quick and swiftly to address the tons of issues that Invensys faces internally. Invensys does not have time on it's hands.

Like the previous blogger says, if the ultimate aim of the board's decision is to sell the company, do it earlier, swiftly, decisively, quickly and the sooner the better. Please spare us, the remaining competent lower level employees', the agony of seeing bad leadership that permeates all the way down.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

This website is new to me and I'm a current Invensys employee. It has to be said that I am absolutely ashamed of my fellow employees. And, clearly, my opinion is in the minority. Yes, Invensys is going through some very hard times right now and, yes, things don't look favorable. And I'm certain a few of the predictions listed here are correct. But you work here too! Be part of the solution, not the problem! I have never heard more whiners and complainers in my life. And if you don't like it, it's mass-exodus time anyway. Additionally, this blog is getting out and being mentioned in daily business and all I'm hearing is people jumping on the bandwagon, saying things like 'yes men' and spewing unoriginal thought by mimicking the whiners on this site.

I get it - you're upset. Lots of changes, some inefficient management. Clear enough. But grow up.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It is unbelieveable that the exec of IRNE can announce the loss of SER internally (even post it on the intranet) before the investors or markets get to hear about it. The loss of this contract is indeed a bitter blow. Millions have been spent on pre contract award set up and R+D, all for nothing. It also means that the technology on the Victoria Line will remain an expensive white elephant. Expect a lot of jobs to go in the next 4 weeks.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

If the loss of LU work is true, there is only one thing to say: Get out NOW, before you are lost in the sea of mass redundancies. Its a quick and the dead situation now.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Steve Blair is departing North America and Gary Freburger is stepping in to replace him. Not shocking that Steve is leaving; he thought he was getting the CEO role when Sudipta was appointed, but Freburger going in to backfill? I see of lot of self promotion going on at IOM; this looks like another good case. Blair has no backfill? What has he been doing for the past four years?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

IR NE have lost the SSR London Underground contract. Stand by for massive redundancies in the UK.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I was looking at the blog and was kind of disheartened to see that even when there are personnel changes at the very top level, it seems that the decisions and directions made by the new team does not help to steer the company to a better position. Maybe it too early to tell? I feel that the company does not have much more time on its hands. From now on, whatever the direction taken, it must steer the company to a better position.

If it is the inept English based board of directors' aim is to sell the company finally - do it EARLIER rather than sooner. This will give the current last few competent employeess who still believe in some of the company's product a chance and be free (maybe temporary) from these imbeciles and bad leadership (including those with MBAs) that plagues all levels of this organisation.

Let another bigger company ultimately run (or finally destroy) this company. No one wants to have (direct) blood on their hands...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tough times ahead in Rail. Apparently they have lost the bid to be London Underground's signalling supplier. This is a major blow as it's one of the group's top customers and the relationship goes back almost 100 years. Some of the workforce were told yesterday and I expect the consequences will become clearer in the days ahead.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I was also very pleased to read the departed IOM exec's comments and think their observations accurate. As someone who used to work in the trenches, I'd like to add the following observations from the bottom rung to support the exec's:

  • Employees are discouraged from asking questions. You never question things during the company meetings, you don't use the email to Sudipta, and you'd never, ever bring yourself to Pankaj's attention. Sudipta may be a nice enough guy but the people around him will screw you in a heartbeat. Nobody wants to hear from the peons and they will get you if you do.
  • The annual employee evaluation process is widely considered to be a sick joke. (I wasn't here by the time the 2010 evaluation rolled around, so if it changed, great.) We all thought it was a waste of otherwise productive time. Nobody believes it, nobody pays attention to it, nobody uses it. It's a piddly system for weak bosses with no management skill who just need paper to back up their opinions.
  • Anyone who believes the stuff handed out about reporting ethics violations is punished when they actually report things. There are lots of examples of this too.
  • Cleaning up problems with Invensys's insurance manager has made many of us talk to lawyers. I should have just gotten a lawyer right away. The management company is that incompetent and there is no one at Invensys who gives a damn.
  • Most of the other expats I've talked to agree that leaving IOM was even better than joining it. I got paid a lot of money, but the amount of BS you have to go along with ultimately wasn't worth it. I'm glad I'm gone.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Two posts recently:

"No company should be dependent on securing massive contracts like SSR in order to be a viable business."

"If SSR is lost, there will be hundreds of redundancies in IRNE, very painful, and it will return to being a core business based on UK rail only."

Hold onto your hats / head for the exit.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

We thought we were home free here in Safetran and that Riddett must relocate to Europe where 70% of the Rail business and HQ is located. I can't recall a bigger idiot as President and I've seen a few Brit appointees. Instead he continues to sit here in his office in Louisville, tapping away on his iPad and running manufacturing. Paljug is out of his depth and spends as he always has 70% of his time in Pittsburgh where he lives. Apparently Riddett is trying to put in place an office in Pittsburgh to justify things. More costs. Must be nice for both Riddett and Paljug to have long flights paid by Invensys from where their jobs actually are. This business is wasting more money than you could imagine.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Here in IOM it seems we are getting all the ex-Freburger expensive and ineffective people placed in safe positions within our business. ie no savings at all. Now we have to carry them within IOM instead of getting charged. My advice to colleagues in Controls and Rail is watch out you are going to get treated as idiots.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Unfortunately Invensys has a history of putting incompetent people in significant roles. Its been a major failing of HR who have concentrated on furthering their own position rather than providing a service. Riddett and Freburger are only the latest in a long line although in fairness Riddett sets a new all time low and Freburger is way ahead of him. Add this to the fact that IOM don't need a COO and I think an opportunity has been lost. Equally the Rail team have strong BU Presidents and Riddett will add no value whatsoever. In fact he will cause problems and probably destroy capability.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Putting two individuals who would be lucky to get a Plant Manager position outside Invensys, into COO roles in Project based Businesses is a joke. Neither have much of a clue about the nature of global projects or had any previous experience. On the other hand the BU Presidents that work for them have detailed understanding of customers, technology and business. As a result both Freburger and Riddett (both intellectually challenged to start with) have no credibility. You would never let either near a customer. Is this what we are reduced to?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Well, it's been a roller coaster two weeks. Ulf fired, his cronies in HR and Chief of Staff also fired. Freburger, another Ulf yes man humiliatingly demoted and his team fired, although many of the latter are trying to find real jobs in the BUs. Putting Freburger into a COO role in IOM can be compared to putting an arsonist in charge of a gun powder factory. Is IOM keeping the SVP Operations as well as Freburger? Are all these EVPs, ELTs and GLT people remaining in the company?

Wayne, you have made a good start, but please don't simply move all the over paid Plc people into the BGs and create extra layers with unnecessary and non-value add COO roles.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The blog entry from the former IOM Executive is quite interesting. At the end of the entry he/she said there is a "Big disconnect between senior leadership and the working folks leading to the severe morale issues which show up regularly on this site".

Having this aired on a public blog repeatedly is sickening. It should not be how we conduct internal affairs and cannot be helpful to our business as it undermines the confidence our customers have in our company. But unfortunately what this poster says is true.

Being a current IOM employee who has worked here for a number of years, what I see in this blog saddens me. We have fantastic products that are being allowed to die, yet we still have so many professionals who believe in the products and do so much to make a difference to our customers. Our people know how to solve the organizational problems but they are not being listened to.

Instead, Sudipta seems to surround himself with yes-men. I agree that he has good ideas and I believe that he doesn't really understand the incredible damage that the majority of VP-level people are doing to the company. However, if a CEO allows himself to be deceived by his subordinates and does nothing to educate himself on the reality of the damage they are doing, then he needs to be held to account. Either he needs to go, or he needs to clean out the deceptive layer(s) below him. If he has created a culture where constructive challenge or confrontation are not allowed, then the deceptive behavior will continue until he and his lieutenants are removed.

We need honest leadership in our organization. A leadership that taps into the amazing human resources that IOM has and allows them to be successful. A leadership that encourages healthy discussion and is willing to hear and act on information that may not always be rosy.

Wayne Edmunds, are you reading?

Monday, April 4, 2011

If true (I still think it might be an April Fools joke), the decision to outsource Global Marketing at IOM to India would be the true indication that the beginning of the end has arrived. No offense to my Indian co-workers, but marketing is hardly a strength on any number of levels - skills, culture, experience. Sadly, the characters that Sudipta has surrounded himself with are utterly inept, though totally compliant to his will. Despite what we were told when he first joined us, he has essentially no knowledge or understanding of the markets we serve, our brands, and so on. He is in far, far, far over his head. The gaggle of yes men and clones who surround him are not likely to add any value in this situation. Utterly depressing to see what he has managed to do to our business in such a short period of time.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Many years ago I did a Foxboro sales training course that suggested that Marketing was the art of working out what people wanted to buy, and sales was getting them to do it. Fairly simple. Since IOM (sorry for using the acronym but the other full name is so far divorced from what the company actually sells that I don't see the point in using it) there has been no "Marketing" - especially from the Wonderware perspective. And in addtion, the distributor channel has been totally isolated from IOM - meaning that their feedback is now nil. Outsourcing Marketing to India will make no difference, as we have none now anyway.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

I doubt the IOM headquarters will move to India. We now have the demoted Freburger in the non value role of COO. He will be calling the tactical shots from now on. Since he lives in Phoenix I think he will settle for the company paying for his flights and hotels in Plano.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

As a departed IOM executive, I have been reading this Blog periodically with some interest. While there is a good bit of whining without a clear understanding of the facts, much of what has been said about IOM is true. For what it is worth, these are my observations from my time in Plano:

  1. My observations of Sudipta:
    1. Much more focused on self-promotion than promoting the business.
    2. While having a technical background, does not have a strong grasp of the limitations of his product offerings.
    3. Sudipta views himself as a Marketing expert, but really lacks any deep understanding of many basic marketing principles.
    4. Sudipta truly has (for the most part) surrounded himself with marginally skilled, trusted countrymen who support him without question.
    5. I actually believe Sudipta means well and has a Vision of where IOM needs to be. Unfortunately that vision is light years from the current business state and he has been unable to work with his staff to help them develop meaningful strategies to get to the vision.
    6. No one seems willing to question or correct Sudipta - truly a culture based on fear.
  2. My Observations on Sudipta's leadership team:
    1. Very focused on getting as many new software products into the market as possible, without a lot of regard to the needs of the core product offerings or installed base.
    2. Not much focus on profitability, although that has perhaps improved since I left.
    3. A great deal of focus on cost-cutting via out-sourcing.
    4. A couple of strong leaders at the Regional level, but generally not much leadership experience or potential among the Plano team.
    5. Plano environment is TOXIC, by far the worst I have ever seen.
  3. IOM in general:
    1. Core product offerings, DCS and Safety, have not seen substantial investment for years and are hopelessly out of date. Unfortunately there is no quick fix and the investment required would eliminate investment in the sexier software products.
    2. Solutions products such as Sim-Sci and Esscor have some upside, but the company has very limited skilled personnel to sell, engineer or service the products. So really these are more of a good story for the analysts than an actual growth engine.
    3. Wonderware success is still tied to their strong position in the Supervisory and SCADA applications. More recent intelligent products have been marginally successful and do not meet the company's previous standards for quality.
    4. There are a lot of very good people at mid-level management positions within IOM, but they are limited in their ability to impact the success of the business due to the limitations of the people at the Executive level.
    5. IOM in general is run very reactively with regular "fire-drills" in response to requests or comments by Sudipta.
    6. Big disconnect between senior leadership and the working folks leading to the severe morale issues which show up regularly on this site.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

It's not so much that the IOM technology is poor, it's that the integration is poor. It often seems to me that the points of integration are decided by execs in informal conference meetings against things which look like a good idea at the time and appear easy to do, not by allowing engineers to look at what is needed for a particular market sector and working out how to get there.

The result is a succession of kludgy connections and vanity projects at worst, and at best an inwardly facing "what can we do" rather than "what do we need to do". The engineers get to pick up the pieces from often impossible promises.

I don't know if the leadership team ever read this blog - probably not - but if they did, the one message I'd like to get to them is that their job is to set a directional framework, and then they should butt out and leave it to the engineers to figure out how to get there.

Raise the status of the engineers in an engineering company, in other words (by the way, I am not an engineer). Because ultimately, engineering is the product, not efficiency savings or IPMS goals about convergence.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

I can believe that Invensys is going to be sold. Are there indications of to whom Invensys is likely to be sold? Do you think it will be sold lock, stock, and barrel? Or is Invensys going to be broken up and parceled out? I could see this happening both ways: there are parts that different groups would want but it might be a good package as a whole if it were run smarter. Thoughts, please?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Change taking place at Invensys. More change for IOM North Ameirca in the next few days. The President of IOM NA will resign to go back to the UK. It is a good indicator that Sudipta continues to drive out team members that don't buy into his outsource plan to India. Next step, IOM leaves Plano for Sudipta's native country - it is just a matter of time.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Outsourcing without definition is ALWAYS a problem. It's sometimes a case of penny wise & dollar foolish. I for one think it will be quite amusing to see Marketing done out of India.

Friday, April 1, 2011

It's so important to recognize the failure of the new technologies from IOM in the MOM space. No customer will tell you this is a great solution, rather the dominant feedback is the it's too complex and too heavy. The bolt-on mentality of development and product managers is unsustainable and is losing business and creating high costs of support. Software partners can't integrate easy enough and the false promise of becoming integrated never occurs. These policies are the foundation of Sudipta's thinking when it comes to building a software portfolio.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Well, looks like IOM has outsourced Global Marketing this time to India again. Hmmm... interesting concept this one.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Supporting functions are increasingly outsourced with no clearly defined service level agreement. These increases the costs, work load and frustrations among employees with no clear benefits to the company. Procurement procedures are full of red tape, inefficient and NO COST SAVING. We should measure how much we save by comparing the price we pay for a same product from the market, and not based by discounts from approved vendors, despite showing to Supply Chain how bad their vendors are supporting us, the users. Selection and reattainment of bad approved vendors still does not even acknowledge our feedback. All this increasing our costs, profit margins, and letting our competitors gain advantage. What a good way to promote "I want to work here" culture! The management (especially the VPs and Directors) must be personally accountable for all this mess, instead of jetting around and collecting mileage.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

When will the vicious cycle end? Drummond doesn't fire staff because it reflects badly on him, and the acting IRNA President keeps the vegetable garden that is the current IRNA Executive staff intact so it does not reflect badly on Riddett. Everyone knows these turnips are too ripe and have started to stink up the joint, put them on the compost heap!

Riddett has become a living, breathing incarnation of the cartoonish Mr. Magoo, blindly driving through life, destroying everything in his path. Two-and-Done Riddett is a one-trick pony: slash all costs of business in year 1, then slash all budgets in year 2, and run for the exit in year 3. The only Executive in Invensys history that could make HR look smart.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

This is a personal request to James Drummond from multiple US employees. PLEASE do not send Ridett here. Keep him in England. This guy was only kept away from important decisions by the VP Finance who had to basically accompany him to every meeting or the current President that spent most of his time trying to keep Riddett away from the customers. The VP of HR spent so much of her time sweeping up the mess, it's unbelievable. The guy is an idiot. It's being reluctantly acknowledged here on 4 continents. What else is there to say ?

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Just read the email from Wayne Edmunds and James Drummond to all Rail staff. Bit of a let down really, as we expected and hoped for a clear-out of ineffective senior Executives. I don't know about the rest of the company, but Riddett has become a joke-like figure based on stories and actual contact with our staff. Those R&D colleagues I talk with in Spain, the US and Australia are equally confused. Executives remain tight lipped.

Anyway it's a shame, as senior people seem to think that Ulfs departure is a major concern to staff. Let me tell you, most people gave a huge sigh of relief and it has zero effect on them. So Sir Nigel, you have missed a big opportunity that you will need to revisit after yet more damage is done. I will remind you of this as it happens.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Drummond won't fire his leadership team because that would be a direct admission of his own failure. His ego won't allow it.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Leadership, investment (including people) and corporate culture are the key issues here. INVENSYS has been a notch potch of ego driven CEO's since Day 1 with Yurko. They surround themselves with incapable yes men/women and clones.

If you look at how some of the divested non-core businesses such as APV have been revitalized and grown, especially in key markets like China under the right owner, you have to ask the question about INVENSYS starting top down.

Can Rudd recreate Chubb/Kidde at INVENSYS? Or is it too far gone? Beyond saving - too small and destroyed culture.

So who would make the best owners for Rail or IOM? When it happens, look closely at the track record, leadership and culture before deciding to stay or go. It has to happen. If all the options look bad - move now.

Pinto is right about the inevitable.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Jim Pinto is right on track with his prediction. Invensys must be sold now as there is no other option left, without the ability to complete in the market. The longer it takes, the less valuable the company will be as backlog is going down and China nuclear projects will generate loss.

The beginning of Wayne Edmunds is very interesting. He seems to think that everything is great with Invensys with no structural changes required. This shows that he has no CEO-level experience and likely to turn out to be a weak leader. He is keeping all the same people around, regarding whom there were many negatives remarks on this blog.

James Drummond let Invensys Rail deteriorate under his watch, but continues to be in charge going forward. He shows no guts to get rid of his leadership team.

Sudipta has no prior experience in leading any small or large company in the capacity of CEO. He charmed Ulf into giving him this job by promising larger outsourcing and cost saving by integration. He and his friends have generated a new name for the business unit, but underneath they have completely destroyed the culture and spirit of the people. His acquisitions are simply failing to live up to expectation and his management team (other than regions) has no clue what is going on and how to grow the company.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

This Pinto prediction was easy: Invensys CEO Ulf Henrikkson would be booted before too long.

Ulf became CEO in 2004. While the press thought he was good, Invensys Insiders rarely saw him, and he simply flailed around with a series of bad decisions which kept the company spiraling downwards.

Clearly the company will now be sold. The China Rail noises, plus IOM's nuclear contracts in China, should interest competitors who include Siemens (reported to be ready with a big war chest), ABB, Honeywell, Emerson, and two Chinese firms. No offers yet, but they're all milling around, waiting for someone to start the bidding.

Read the analysis in the latest JimPinto.com eNews, 31 March 2011.

Click here Invensys CEO fired just before year-end

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

While there is lots of discussion about the business in IRNE this year, in the main UK business margins have been massively successful - it is and will always be a cyclical business, but overall the NR & LUL business makes very good margins. Occasionally an NR project has difficult margins but this is always limited to a couple of £ M. It is the dreams of grandeur to take on projects around the the world that have cost 10s of £ Ms. The IRNE or Westinghouse as it was for 100 years is a pretty good business!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Yes but, as you have said, should we have a narrow minded bigot who is intellectually challenged in charge of two thirds of Invensys profit? You'd be mad. Drummond like all leaders has his problems, god knows Ulf set new standards. But which one would you have lead you? Riddett is known as an idiot, universally and industry wide. That's some achievement. Wayne are you awake?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

James Drummond drove IRNE and IRNA to use ludicrous amounts of LCC engineering on multiple major projects - Singapore and PATH come to mind. If you fought back, you were not with the program and look out. Gun-to-the-head management. Whoever is posting pro-Drummond comments is clearly a suck-up hoping to be "discovered". Riddett may be a narrow minded bigot, but he is NOT an advocate of off-shoring customer specific and critical engineering to LCC countries. The only apparent saving grace to IRG, was that Dimetronic (IRS?) speaks-a-the-Spanish which is NOT a (current)LCC language!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 - In response to Riddett staying:

My guess it is cheaper for Invensys to keep Riddett, than to fire him. Of course that does not factor in the lost (business, employees, morale, etc) cost. But for all you Drummond fans, the same guy brought you the sale of Burco and the purchase of Quantum! And there was much rejoicing in the competitive signals market.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

With all the changes going on at Invensys, some of you might be interested in the history of one of the brands - Foxboro. The book, "The Foxboro Company 1908 - 2008 - 100 Years" by Jack Authelet is available for purchase for $40(US) from one of the vendors, TR Miller.

This is well worth the investment. Hey, perhaps some who have fallen would have benefited. At least they would know something of the history - not just Foxboro but the brands that make up Invensys.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I suppose we will keep all of the $24m Freburger organization as well. Clearly ineffective and expensive overhead is acceptable. Next stop the Executive party in Miami. Remind me, are we having a change and has Ulf actually left? Or is it just Ulf out and more of the same? What a wasted opportunity.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Well, today's email from Wayne Edmunds and James Drummond surprised a few. They went out of their way to explain that Riddett was remaining in his ineffective non-value role as COO. Looks like expensive overhead is acceptable.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Actually, SSR will have a low level of sales next year and so will have a small effect on redundancies. However the NR business employes 70% of engineers. The consequences of the current bid could be dramatic.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

No company should be dependent on securing massive contracts like SSR in order to be a viable business. The danger is that winning SSR will lull everyone into a false sense of security. The business needs to change irrespective of what happens with SSR.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

If SSR is lost / does not go ahead, there will be hundreds of redundancies in IRNE, very painful, and it will return to being a core business based on UK rail only. The exec team won't want to stick around in that kind of world, since there'll be nothing in it for them, no shiny big project or European expansion.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Complete BS that there is not a lot of investment in product development at IOM. However, that is only in terms of dollars spent. The results from that investment have been completely disappointing for nearly a decade. The albatross known as Archestra has sucked (many) tens of millions of dollars out of the R&D budget that could have been used on something that customers actually wanted to buy. The problem is with development leadership and product management leadership. Since Sudipta hand-selected this team, he must accept responsibility for current results; but this same team was in place long before Sudipta arrived. Sudipta would be wise to make his own changes on his team before he gets sucked into the vortex when the new leadership decides to flush the whole team.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Any ideas why Sudipta bought Skelta? He sold the Invensys Developmentg team in India and then went ahead and bought Skelta there! All his claims about the Skelta software systems selling big in next gen IOM software have been proven hollow. Needless to say, many IOM teams are unwillingly wasting resources trying to implement his distorted vision.

This deal is a remnant of the SAP integration ideology of Invensys that had caused a disaster with purchase of Baan (Invensys nearly went bankrupt then). Sudipta has failed to think anywhere ahead of these inherited ideas, and he cannot still get hang of the market in which we operate. We should let him go, just like Ulf.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sudpita and his staff are a real problem at Invensys, but its not the outsourcing that is the problem. That is a fact with high tech companies today. Rather, the problem is a lack of investment into products and innovation. For innovation there is a tendancy to invest outside only, rather than grow it interally. A mix is what is needed. Some of the largest companies do that, but look at their mess from aquisitions and overlap from the ERP side - Oracle, SAP, SAGE. Redundancy abounds, but they are so large that you do not see the waste from outside. Customers however are confused, and will be if the current trend persists in Invensys. Too many VPs are over their heads. Real talent needs to be brought in.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What will happen to Sudipta, the IOM CEO? He should be eliminated along with Ulf Henriksson soon. He exported many development and QA jobs to India.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Having read and re-read the evening standard tonight, it looks as though SSR may well be canned - any news out there? Losing SSR would be another nail in the coffin.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Can I tell you about IRNA ? It's a nice little almost mom-and-pop shop based in Kentucky that in the new organization is last in size after the new APAC BU. It makes about 25 % of the Rail profit, but as we are a US business we get lots of attention especially as we are a manufacturing business that Invensys understands. Please do not give us Riddett back.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Drummond did deliver the growth that he promised. Virtually all employees had some benefit as a result and hundreds of new jobs were created. This situation continues today in 3 of the 4 Rail companies whose Execs and senior managers can expect a good bonus. However the problem area is IRNE where the previous Exec team totally screwed it up. Don't forget they were in charge, did the tenders, made their forecasts. If Drummond is guilty of anything then it's believing these dreamers and not listening to the warnings and advice.

So it will be a disaster if Drummond is back? You must be mad. Have you heard about Riddett? If 10% is true, then it's already a disaster. If Wayne let's Drummond keep a COO like Riddett (do we even need this non-value-add role?) then we give up. If we are going to have redundancies as rumours suggest, why have a completely unnecessary and expensive role?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

IRNA could save the day for Rail if it just allowed more autonomy from its Director-level staff. Key Directors have been running the company for some time now anyway and are doing a smash-up job. We see this in Engineering and it is impressive, especially how the (former) R&D guy worked so closely with his Marketing counterpart to generate business. Out with the waste and give these guys a chance!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Invensys Rail are in the process of cutting back on the overhead called engineering. They are cutting the size of their Croydon office by half. The official line is half the staff there are moving to a central London office, but in reality how many people will want to move? Is this a move to drop the viability of the office below the threshold of being able to bid on jobs, and thereby close the office by stealth? The legacy of treating engineers like shit carries on.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Before everyone gets carried away, let's remember that it was Drummond who brought in and sponsored Riddett. They were as thick as thieves. Drummond does have connections and a good strategic brain. He is, though, a very poor leader. He is inconsistent and has no idea how to build a functioning team. He also has a very bad temper and has a habit of shifting the blame. It was Drummond who bloated up the IRG centre and Drummond who kept offering Ulf double digit year-on-year growth that got us in this mess. He did that in order to get Ulf's job. Drummond back at the helm would be a disaster.

Monday, March 28, 2011

With the announcement by Siemens this morning, re sale of Osram shares, a bid looks more likely for Invensys Rail and IPS.

Clearly Ulf was hoping for the exit via Siemens, or China, to get his options up to max. Maybe he was negotiating behind the scenes again and got caught out? He's got more faces than the Clocks surrounding Big Ben.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Drummond is well connected and thought of by those that count - in Invensys, the City and customer base. How Ulf, or for that matter anyone, thought for a minute that Riddett could replace Drummond is incredible. The funniest bit is that Riddett actually stated in public that he had ambitions of being Ulf's replacement - delusional doesn't come close. How do people like Ulf, Riddett and Freburger reach this level in a FTSE 100 Plc?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Has anyone spotted the connection between Sir Nigel Rudd, founder of Williams PLC in 1982 (later split into Chubb plc and Kidde plc) and that James Drummond was formerly Senior Manager at Kidde PLC?

Meanwhile good riddance to the Henriksson - Larson Axis of Evil! Let's get some decent management back on-board - with a track record of growing businesses not "salami slicing to greatness"!

Monday, March 28, 2011

    Lyrics: Don't Cry For Me Invensys

    It won't be easy
    You'll think it strange
    When I try to explain how I feel
    That I still need your love
    After all that I've done
    You won't believe me
    All you will see
    Is a CEO you once knew
    Although he's dressd up to the nines
    Back at 200 pence for you.

    I had to let it happen
    I had to change
    Couldn't stay all my life at ABB
    Looking out of the window
    Staying out of the sun
    So I chose Invensys
    Running around trying everything new
    But nothing impressed me at all
    I never expected it too

    Don't cry for me Invensys
    The truth is I never left you
    All through my wild days
    My mad existence
    I kept my promise
    And gave you Invensys values.

    And as for fortune and as for fame
    I never invited them in
    Though it seemed to the world
    They were all I desired
    They are illusions
    They're not the solutions
    They promise to be
    The answer was here all the time
    I love you and hope you love me

    Don't cry for me Invensys
    The truth is I never left you
    All through my wild days
    My mad existence
    I kept my stock grants
    And gave you Invensys values.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Invensys board should not just restrict itself to clear the management garbage at its Rails organization. It should pay attention to the entire organization and take a good look at all the major decisions made in the past few years. It is the right opportunity for Invensys to (re)enter into the spring season, the season of growth.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Riddett has spent the last 5 months telling eveyone that will listen that he was personally appointed by Ulf and that he was taking over from a broken and hopeless Drummond. Apparently everything from Drummond was rubbish, strap and aop. Riddett openly stated that Drummond was a dinosour that was not required. Now if we believe things, Drummond is back; then let's have clear out and idiots like Riddett should be the first to go.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Check in again next week. All expensive and ineffective overheads are going. Sir Nigel is now starting (belatedly) to act as a strong chairman. All COO positions should be removed and the Freburgers organization, frankly a joke, should be fired.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

There's very little an Engineering company can get wrong if it follows the simple principle of getting its development engineers in front of customers, learning their pain points, and finding solutions for them. It's in the DNA of an engineer to do that, it is satisfying for them and it builds critical mass of domain expertise such that the customers first instinct is to go to the person who solved the problem last time, it's a virtuous cycle.

Invensys doesn't do that. For Invensys, an engineer is an irritating piece of overhead well down the food chain. Instead of organically allowing engineers to develop and learn by solving problems (and to mix with other engineers elsewhere in the organisation), they're told to use iGrow and the rote learning of iLearn to become more employable. The killing joke then is that HR then has to mandate corporate initiatives to create an "I want to work here" culture, without grasping that the particular type of management focus in operation is removing the parts of the job which make it satisfying and feeding the problem they're trying to solve.

Meanwhile engineers see their status within the organisation slipping back relative to business managers or HR professionals, and they become extremely resentful - they'll see announcements of circle-of-excellence training in Miami or Steve Jobs presenting to someone else, and they themselves having to fight like cornered rats for any real training or travel, and being bombarded with random change initiatives on top of their day work, on which they're already extremely stretched due to cutbacks.

And all the time, Invensys appears to want to outsource their job to somewhere which is turning out to be more expensive and less effective, and which involves pushing the partner up an expensive learning curve on virtually every new initiative. Good for the outsource partner, bad for Invensys. It's an exclusive deal too, so we're not allowing specialists to compete to drive costs down. Outsourcing is good if it allows scalability of execution. It's bad if it removes core expertise. It's the wrong way round. Engineers and the technical sales-force are the asset. Management and HR are overheads. If managers want to get together on a leadership course, let THEM reduce costs using clunky video conferencing and use the savings to put an engineer in front of a customer. If we want to outsource functions, let it be HR (and not via a dial-up "service" which creates more work for the employee than it actually outsources). Build and nurture your income-creating assets and you have a strong future and an engaged workforce. Nothing succeeds like success. But build infrastructure with no value, and all you have at the end of the day is a worthless edifice.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I have just checked the Invensys website. That Chief Of Staff is gone.

Since Invensys Rail have their wish list of leadership to be removed, I would also like to see Sudipta and his "high riding" fellow country men also send packing. They have done nothing to advance IOM (not suppose to use this abbreviation). Like one previous blogger remarked, their leadership talked and promised a lot, but delivered very little.

Some of the past incidents and recent events in IOM are mindless and laughable, which shows the quality and mindsets of IOM top leadership:

  1. IOM CEO, appearing on a senseless supposedly futuristic, third-rate video to annihilate competitions, for "Invensys Pride Day". I almost laughed my socks off.
  2. Spending useless money to select a colour logo scheme that has problems appearing on photocopy machines.
  3. Telling us not to use the abbreviated IOM, but to pronounce that mouthful of words to end-users. So much for marketing techniques.
  4. Approving employees to book for internal training courses in a training centre located in a major city, but finally not approving the travel request to fly there because the employee is working from an Invensys branch office - just to "manage travelling cost". I would suggest that IOM VPs close these branch offices and relocate the staff to the major city, so that these staff can get some personal product development to do their job well. Are they penalising employees that are working in these branch offices?
  5. For so many years, there are no creditable marketing plans to promote Infusion. But at the same time, it causes internal sales and marking confusion on direction, delivery and implementation.
If IOM marketing claims that they did a good job, the powerpoint slides are very well hidden under the tons of Invensys Sharepoint websites. If internally we cannot understand it, how do we deliver it well externally to the end-users?

Let see how this round of leadership changes will put Invensys back into a much more creditable path. Even if this is the final wish by the almost "useless" Board of Directors to finally sell of the company, Invensys still does have one or two good products that are worth keeping and developing. Invensys' competition knows what are the products.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Morale up at IRNA? I am hearing the exact opposite! Riddett is still running the show through his yes-man.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ulf failed like lots of pseudo visionaries failed before in this business. What remains, are destroyed structures, cultures, companies and also existences. But so much worse - all the YESMEN and incompetent directors stay on. What is needed is a really strong personality who has the power and the strength to eliminate this useless middle layer. Good luck.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

There are really quite a few VPs who fly around for mileages, and provide no true returns to the company. Get rid of them!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Fellow bloggers, some good news. Paula Larson and the Chief of Staff have been fired along with Ulf. It can't be long before Freburger and his organization also get dismantled. Rumour has it that Riddett will be removed, as James Drummond is now back and visibly in charge. Riddett's man servant from HR must be sweating as well. The Rail Execs I've spoken to are over the moon. Since Riddett left Safetran 5 months ago sales and profits are up and staff morale is at an all time high. The biggest fear is that Riddett will be put back as President.

Friday, March 25, 2011

To the previous poster: I do not think that Tony Cornish is going to be the IRNE CEO. He is comfortable in an Engineering role and would not relish the chance of getting involved with the political madness that is currently going on.

Friday, March 25, 2011

I worked for the company for just two years. I knew Westinghouse of old, but once I joined was shocked to discover what it had become; as Invensysisation continued it just seemed to be getting worse.

There are still some really good people trying their best at the coalface level, but I was concerned at the general attitude. Silos, people "looking after themselves" and slapdash work; not good ingredients for a company involved in Safety Critical engineering. Certainly there is an element of "old BR: the world owes me a job but I just do what I want" and could reasonably blame the staff, but I can sort of see why it got like that. I just needed to leave. Focus was far too short term, problems escalated never seemed to get resolved, no one seemed clear who was responsible for what, focussed on project finance cost-cutting but not quality, which almost certainly would give greater savings in the long run than endless re-work. Worst of all, obviously not interested in learnng from mistakes - at best destined to repeat them, at worst they'll be a serious accident.

Hope that now things are apparently changing, that those left will be able continue to hold it together and slowly recover; I don't give very high odds and it'll definitely be a hard struggle.

Friday, March 25, 2011

I have to wonder how much Ulf's email about the Japanese earthquake was the final straw that got him fired, or whether it was (finally) the outrageously expensive and failed efforts to outsource R&D to India/Cognizant. As someone else noted below, most employees have Ulf and other "corporate spammers" in their email filters and we don't even see them. It seems unlikely that any emails he send prompted his release since allowing R&D to be dismantled in favor of trying to outsource to India which works maybe 2% of the time?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Here's the issue with Invensys in a nutshell: when you invest, you're paying an organisation to use its expertise to generate a return. To generate that return, the organisation needs to leverage an internal critical mass of actual domain expertise, which includes the ability to create intellectual property, and the ability to find places to apply that intellectual property against need. For an engineering company, that requires engineers first and foremost.

Invensys has been for many years dismantling the core critical mass and trying to outsource in the foolish belief it's overhead. And all the while creating internal structures to manage the residual core, which in turn has itself become riddled with a sense of discontent and injustice that acts against any change initiative, even the good ones. The result is that the domain expertise is dissipating, is horribly stretched and unable to react quickly to new opportunities, and the HR function and internal structures have been growing way out of proportion to their value to shareholders.

Proof? Who today has the best likelihood of career progression within Invensys. A talented software engineer or an HR professional?

So, if you're investing in Invensys, what you're doing is paying for first and foremost endless restructuring and to provide management layers, not the ability to apply technology to the benefit of customers. That's a heavy charge on your capital before it's used to generate profit. It's an institutionally inwardly-facing business, not an externally-facing entreprenurial organisation applying talent to solve customer problems.

Now it's perfectly possible that other engineering firms run themselves on similar lines. Past a certain size you need a few MBAs and the odd HR person about the place to keep people honest. But there is a question of balance and focus, and Invensys is neither balanced nor focused. It's certainly better than it was, and even in the stampede to thumb our nose at the departing we must give Ulf credit for that. But there's a critical period ahead where Invensys may change for the better, or things just may get an awful lot worse.

I'm not holding my breath for days of milk and honey on the way.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Chief of Staff? Is that seriously a title?

Tony Cornish is likely ro take over as the IRNE CEO, and this would be a fantastic move that would allow some engineering knowledge in an executive role again.

Friday, March 25, 2011

With the departure of Ulf, we know for sure that others will be producing powerpoint slides by the dozens to discredit Invensys - just to gain a few more projects and revenue.

Anyway, what lies ahead for Invensys may seemed not so clear at this moment The end-result and business consequences may "suck" for some employees. If something like this that must happen in order for Invensys to move up and step up, I am glad this is the time. If Invensys is heading into the abyss, it is time for a change. But what about the board of directors? Can anyone vote them out also? It is they who also have a hand in guiding Invensys into this mess.

The new "temporary" CEO will have to re-evaluate everything and to start to dismantle Ulf's cronies and his non-performance VPs, COO, Chief of Staff, HR VPs and under-performing Ivensys Rail, IOM VPs, who promised and talked a lot but delivered very little.

Time will tell if Invensys will get better or be the same again.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Or "yes women", as the case may be. Ulf was simply the worst judge of executive talent of any company I've ever been involved with. The skills and loyalties he valued most were to the benefit of Ulf, not the stakeholders, companies, or employees.

Friday, March 25, 2011

There will be an awful lot of yes-men shaking in their boots now, right up to VP level. They do not know how to run businesses and have been placed in positions of ineptitude by idiots above them. Time for all this deadwood within senior management to be cleared out.

Fresh start, new faces, exciting times ahead - but difficult few months until final results published.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

It was time for a change and a dose of reality. Corporate overhead functions had become more important than actual P&L business groups. The whole business was focussed on producing 3-ups (clean-up, set-up, start-up) for tactical short term actions. The customer was forgotten. Priority was given to HR software-driven people-management tools and reports to Plc functions. The infatuation around outsourcing is completely out of control. The recent HR deal with Northgate has no business case and has actually increased costs and reduced performance. Cronyism is rife especially in functions like ISCCI where virtually everyone either grew up together or worked together previously. Salaries in overhead functions raced ahead of both market-rate and that deserved by actual performance. New starters joined on significantly higher salaries compared to their peers. It had to end. Hopefully it just has.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ulf's time was up. He was not adding value. All his management hires turned out to be mediocre. Look at IOM leadership. The overhead cost is bloated and there is no real plan to release any new products. Cognizant outsourcing has killed the morale in development and it will be hard to get it back to be competitive. Customer complaints about the products are growing day by day. All Sudipta's buddies are VP of something and they add no value to the business. We can only hope that new CEO or new owners make positive changes to make us competitive.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Got to say that this looks like a sale that Ulf opposed and the board approved. Ulf had to depart, and with the final results looking bad there was a need for confusion. We will see soon.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

This is the most refreshing thing to happen in Invensys for years. Ulf had completed his turnaround in 2008, achieved in the main by Adrian Henner and Steve Hare. By this stage, Ulf's ego began to get out of control and the world leader image started. By 2010, people were getting worried with the comments to the press. With those on CSR, it became apparent that he had lost reality. He thought he personally owned Invensys. When real leaders like Drummond stated questioning it they were put out to grass and Ulf appointees like Riddett were imposed. The things Riddett said about Drummond are unrepeatable and I won't post them. Take it from me that Riddett told all the leaders that count on 5 continents that he and Ulf had finished Drummond off. I wonder how Riddett will (won't) sleep tonight?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

So farewell, Ulf. Did a great restructuring and refinancing job, but failed to build a cohesive team from top to bottom, because of a widespread perception of cronyism at the top and a great disconnect between the Corporate Invensys and those at the coalface. If his aim was to restore morale he largely failed. He was short of the mark and not a charismatic leader.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Invensys will be sold in the next 90 days. The cull of Ulf's hangers-on will happen when the new owners have the keys. Controls will be sold. IOM radically reshaped and downsized. Rail will be stripped and integrated into the new owners' existing Rail operations. To be fair to Ulf, if a price of 370p is secured, he has delivered shareholder value; when he took over it was only 140p. Time for a serious business to be in charge now. Ulf and his team were not heavyweight enough to take us to the next level, but credit should be given where its due.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Good news about Ulf, and about time. Add Freburger, Larson and other Ulf appointees like Riddett to the list of those going. Time for a lean focussed organization.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Taking out Ulf is a start. However the ISCCI function cost is equivalent to 9 CEOs. Contrary to belief it delivers little. HR is, as almost everyone knows, hopeless.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Should it not be obvious to the uninformed, the direct involvement of Nigel Rudd in this and the appointment of the CFO to the CEO role portends an almost certain sale of Invensys, in whole or parts, in the very near future.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

If Paula is not the next person to go, then there has been no real change in the company. Soon thereafter, a complete housecleaning, inclusive of Sudipta and his band of merry men, is fully in order.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Guardian article is somewhat amusing. There's a comment in the article which says: "It's not clear why Henriksson and Invensys have parted company."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Good start. Now need to continue with the other expensive non-value-add people. Chief HR Officer, Chief of Staff, Chief Operating Officer and their expensive organizations. The HR outsourcing has been a total disaster. Apparently it may result in litigation with Northgate. IOM need to vastly reduce the number of sites and the huge central manufacturing and supply chain organization. Rail need to remove all the COOs especially (if all the posts are even half true) Riddett. Controls? Sell it.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Overall positive news. Wayne will at least bring some semblance of normality to the mess in Rail and IOM. So it took a while, but better late than never. Let's just hope that the ridiculous overhead costs are now also taken out, together with all the other bloated functions. If Invensys is to stay in the FTSE 100 these costs will have to come out.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

God help us with David Thomas in charge of the finances, if only temporarily. A wetter wet blanket would be hard to find. Not much cop on the Rail UK BIP either, making about as much contribution as boiling water to the proverbial chocolate tea pot.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A good day to bury news. This was a good day for Invensys to announce Ulf's departure, with most of the media coverage in the UK taken up with analysis of yesterday's budget. I'd love to know what Ulf's exit package is. Or, maybe I wouldn't....?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Invensys plc announces that Wayne Edmunds, who has been Chief Financial Officer of the Company since 2009, has been appointed Chief Executive with immediate effect. Ulf Henriksson has today stepped down as Chief Executive and as a director of the Company. David Thomas, who has held senior financial roles within the Group since 2002, has been appointed Acting Chief Financial Officer and a permanent appointment will be made in due course after consideration of internal and external candidates.

Sir Nigel Rudd, Chairman of Invensys plc, commented: "I am delighted that Wayne has agreed to take on the role of Chief Executive to lead Invensys through the next stage of its development. We have three world class businesses and a management team to match, and I am confident that Invensys is well positioned to continue to deliver value to shareholders." (yeah, right...)

Trading update:

At the time of the Interim Management Statement on 20 January 2011, we reported that our performance in the current year ending on 31 March 2011 was on track and that we continued to expect the Group to deliver improved performance. This remains the position today and we currently expect that the results for the year, which will be published on 19 May 2011, will be broadly in line with market expectations.

Key remuneration arrangements for Wayne Edmunds: Wayne Edmunds' basic salary has been increased from £ 425,000 to £ 650,000 and his other annual benefits remain as disclosed in the Remuneration Report 2010 contained in the Group's 2010 Annual Report and Accounts

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ulf was basically misled and misguided by his own incapable YES men who are only interested in their own interests. The Next yes-man was the COO.

Thursday, March 24, 2011 - Announcement released to Chippenham employees at 10.00 today:

"This morning the Board of Invensys has announced to the London Stock Exchange that Ulf has stepped down with immediate effect and that I (Wayne Edmunds) have been appointed Chief Executive." etc.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

So, where is Ulf going? Bye bye, Ulf. You will NOT be missed.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ulf Is OUT. Jim Pinto has been predictinbg that he could/would not survive the year end (March 31, 2011) results.

Click here (Click)Invensys shares dive after surprise departure of CEO - UK Guardian (extracts)

    Invensys has fallen to the bottom of the FTSE 100 leaderboard after startling the City with the news that chief executive Ulf Henriksson has left the business. Invensys announced on Thursday morning that it had appointed a new CEO, Wayne Edmunds, who until today was its chief financial officer. Henriksson has had left the company with immediate effect. It's not clear why Henriksson and Invensys have parted company.

    Shares in Invensys tumbled nearly 6.4%, down 22.8p at 334.5p.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Word on the street is Drummond has left, Rail profits are £ 136m, 200 redundancies coming in the UK, 'IRG' hangers on to be fired or demoted back to the business units. All this talk of executives is misplaced. The Rail business is a lumbering cyclical oil tanker, always was, always will be. The increase in profits over the past few years are nothing to do with the exec team. There were windfalls in the collapse of Metronet, Spanish high speed lines and legacy Network Rail contracts. Forget about Riddetts competence, like everyone before him he will have no effect on the outcome of this cyclical business.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Why so pessimistic? All businesses change. The Rail market is expanding around the world. Better than being in defense or aerospace. These are dominated by a few players most of which are terrible employers. Invensys is not that bad compared to some. Hopefully the future will not bring big cuts, even if they do there are plenty companies around the world looking for qulaity staff. Most people within Invensys should be well placed with the right skills. May be its just the attitude.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Can anyone tell us where James Drummond is? He used to be so visible around the Rail business. We haven't seen him this year so far. What has happened?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The point made on Engineering is well made. We understand it's a business as well as engineering. I'm not going to defend or attack anybody here, but I happen to know that Crossfield, Barry and Threlfall are all Chartered Engineers from prestigious universities, I checked this out. I think, having known 2 of them for years that they know the business. The problem we have, if these posts are true, is that the new CEO above them has a 2 year associate degree in legal studies from an irrelevant institution in New York. You could probably buy this on the Internet. And he is leading the whole global rail business? Did he really get recruited by his father and promoted? You couldn't make it up.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A recent post stated that they were sad and they were an engineer. The old Westinghouse valued engineers and engineering in all forms. The whole situation makes me sad. I worked there for more than 6 years and loved 5 years of it as the best working years of my life, until the polititions took over the asylum. I was forced out because I was not a yes-man, and many others have followed or will follow. So, so sad. And I am not an engineer by the way - just someone who respects the achievements made by the engineering community.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

One of the biggest changes will be the large number of redundancies in the UK R&D organisation in Chippenham. R&D was put under Spanish leadership which have moved all development to suit Dimetronic demand. Meanwhile now times are hard, the cuts will fall on UK staff while they recruit in Madrid.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

There are changes coming across Rail. Some good (new senior Executives) and some very bad (Drummond leaving and unbelievably Riddett becoming CEO). Hopefully Nigel Rudd and the Plc board will see sense and get rid of Hendricksson and other very expensive hangers-on. It's time the business focussed on adding value. There is no need for Rail with only 3000 people to have 2 COOs. In fact, in the spirit of being lean, why not have the BU Presidents report directly into the Plc CEO? Invensys is down from around 75000 employees 10 years ago, to around 20000 now. Yet we have increased layers of Executives. Hendricksson has 3 direct reports that are P&L generating, the rest, around 5 are pure overhead. What an unbalanced structure and limited span of control.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

There is a change-of-guard coming and it is necessary, certainly within IRAP. There will be times of change afoot. A fresh brand requires a fresh approach. Therefore I will be direct in my approach. The international exec commitee are closing in....

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Reading this blog makes me feel sad. Invensys Rail (Westinghouse) may not be perfect, but I would question how many people here have worked for other companies? I have, and can tell you that in general they are far worse. Would anybody like to spend a year at Ansaldo to prove the point?! The APAC exec that I have met are (in the schem of things) not bad at all, and if people really feel that bad then just send your CV onto one of the others.

P.S. I am not an exec, nor a manager. I am just an Engineer who has been around.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The problem you guys have is that Riddett doesn't know what he is doing. We had the same problem here in the US. It was only resolved by the senior team agreeing with everything he said, but then key people just ignoring his irrational commands and doing the right thing. Riddett is a control freak in the extreme. We managed, just, to contain him in Louisville but now he is trying to run a global business. Who knows how much damage he will do?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - Responding to "the apac exec leaving":

The APAC Executive is leaving on his own volition and was not terminated by Riddett. Probably had enough of the crap like most of us, such as dealing with politicians only interested in themselves and not their teams or the business in general.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The biggest single issue that faces Rail right now is R&D. Total chaos and costing millions. Riddett has like with other functions started to undo all of Drummonds work before it's had time to function. Now we have a completely disfunction mess. Spending millions with no leadership and unclear priorities. The CoE model has been killed by Riddett and now we have a disaster. Less than a year ago there were big announcements about European R&D now it's vanished. We don't even know who the reporting lines are. People are sat around in disbelief. Most key developments are behind. Things will now implode.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

So, who has Riddett fired in APAC? Pretty quick decision, considering he spent two days in the country and this was his first visit. Probablyhaving a COO just for the small APAC business doesn't make sense. Can anybody tell me how this organisation works? The Spanish business is now doing the Singapore projects, Australia are doing Malaysia and the UK delivering Taiwan. What sort of delivery model is this ?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Please, can anyone shed any light on why the Australian HR director gets away with so much? I have worked in the industry for 30 years and whilst 'HR' and admin always have a degree of power, the current situation simply baffles me. The exec team dare not chellenge her and seem to cow out of her 'lair' like broken spirits. There really must be more to this story than simply a stong minded ESTJ type dominating/ bullying others? Credible thoughts appreciated.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Pity, the "apac exec leaving" post misses out that they aren't leaving of their own volition. Sounds once again as if this post is more postitioning/spin by that very same exec. It is no coincidence that this post immediately follows Riddets meet with the execs late last week in Melbourne.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Riddett's visit here in Melbourne was at times embarrassing. His total lack of understanding of the project business, the engineering and customers made some people cringe. It wouldn't be so bad if he'd listen. However adding the word "right?" after every incorrect statement doesn't actually make it so. In the same way, constantly saying "perfect" when he clearly doesn't get it, is not helpful.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Well, I did read the Ulf communication and as well as the Japanese disaster; he was sharing his views on both the New Zealand earthquake and political unrest in the middle east. It did seem strange coming from a business CEO. However this is the guy that on a recent visit to China gave interviews to obscure TV stations but made sure he got copies to publish to all employees.

Monday, March 21, 2011

US Business is all about reducing cost. That's all that matters. To heck with quality, career development & happy customers.

Monday, March 21, 2011

To be fair to Ulf, his communication on the Japanese earthquake was to express concern for Invensys employees in the areas affected, and was to the point and well judged. Most employees will have deleted it without reading it anyway, the same as any Invensys corporate e-mail.

The big problem with Invensys is that very little of what passes for strategy is outward facing. Most of what the corporate leaders do is inward looking, focuses on cost reduction rather than positioning for growth and adds very little external value. Constant restructuring, constant change, a million tiny irritations from corporate initiatives, and the result is that even good things are largely ignored. Socialcast ought to be great. It's ignored. Same for iGrow. Same for just about any corporate initiative. Just as you've got past the change initiatives du jour, HR remind you it's time for IPMS again and you're politely mandated to drop everything you're doing and set yourself 5 goals and measure yourself against 5 competencies. Somewhere in the meantime there's the unfortunate business of selling stuff to customers to worry about.

Monday, March 21, 2011

I could believe they would do anything considering their track record. The lunatics are running the asylum.

Monday, March 21, 2011

I actually agree with Riddett's often shared view about the ISCCI savings. Apparently according to Riddett, Freburger quotes over a hundred million dollars in savings. As he says, show me where it is? Show me the money. The ISCCI operation is a joke. Although Riddett questioning Freburgers intellect is in itself very funny.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Still no sign of any quality leadership or communication on any matter whatsoever from the executive team in IRNE or from the Rail group. Not even the 'feedback' provided on this blog seems to prompt anything. Clearly they have no shame whatsoever, as long as they're being paid large sums for sweet nothing every month. This really must be the most demoralising place to work ever.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Is anyone else worried about Ulf's behaviour? He is starting to act in a very strange way. He has always had extraordinary, almost psychotic self belief. However we've recently seen him giving misguided and ill judged public statements around Invensys being sold. Now we see really strange employee briefs where he seems to think he is a world statesman. He is passing judgement on global disasters as if he is the Head of the UN. There have been silly inflated job titles for his direct reports. Chief of Staff, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Human Resources Officer? I think Ulf has lost the plot. Why would appointing a totally inappropriate individual like Riddett surprise you ?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Can anyone who has met Riddett, remotely imagine him as the CEO of Rail? In fact could you see him as anything more than a plant manager? Most people wouldn't put him in charge of a gas station. I suspect he will end up with Freburgers job as he spends most of his time being critical of the ISCCI organization. Ulf must know that he can't put a foul mouthed, inexperienced bully in front of customers, many of which are senior politicians. However this is Ulf, and his track record of poorly judged and executed appointments is well known. Ulf's blind self-belief means he ignores Paula Larson and basically does what he wants. Having said that, Riddett ? You must be kidding!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Just heard that big changes on the way May 2011. Once the year end is past, it is time for movements. Obviously big economies needed across the board, but .....

Monday, March 21, 2011

The person who left is probably leaving because they have high moral standards and ethics. This person deserves an award for standing up for what they believe in. And it's not Invensys. Can you just imagine all the plots, shuffling and lies that go on at the top? How do these people sleep at night?

Monday, March 21, 2011

One of the rail apac execs is about to leave. Unfortunately it is one of the few that seems to know what they are doing and appears to place the interests of the business and those who work in it above their own personal gain. How odd at this organization!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

We had Riddett down here in Melbourne last week. I'd just like to say that previous posts about him being a crude, ignorant and arrogant individual are wrong. From what we saw he is worse than that. If Ulf thinks this guy can replace Drummond then he is delusional.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

You are so right. Ulf & the leadership team only care about themselves. The sooner every employee accepts this the better off you will be. Acceptance means that you can give them back what they give you - NOTHING!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Well, perhaps it is the perfect time to write a book; "The History of a Safer World" - A Business Love Story, as Told by Triconex and Wonderware. There is already a great book published by Jack Authelet on Foxboro called 100.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Does anyone really think now, that Ulf and his team care about anything other than their personal gain from Invensys? I'm sorry, but I think we will see Ulf depart soon, as I know he has been trying to find an external position for over a year. But who will have him? The only reason he is still here is that he is considered a sub-FTSE 250 CEO. Which of course he is, as most of his ELT say in private. Meanwhile the damage goes on.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The IOM China nuclear projects are making a loss. Looks good on the top line with revenue growth. However it's the bottom line that pays the bills.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

No one is going to stop nuke plants in China. The horrible tragedy in Japan is a combination of horrible odds of nature & bad locations for nuke plants on or near fault lines. It may lead to more stringent and more practical considerations regarding nuke plant designs and operations.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Funnily enough, our customers value the heritage and it's a major differentiator in safety critical markets. If you are making thermostats for washing machines then you are right. I'm not saying live in the past but don't ignore it either. If you take such a short term view, the business will shrink. In IOM and Rail, it can takes years to get a SIL4 pruduct into service.

Thursday, March 17, 2011- Re:'Why should we let the champagne lifestyle win?':

Wake up and smell the latte! Where is the 100 years+ heritage you talk of? Its already gone, my friend? You get nothing on your resume for remaining loyal to a memory that is long passed.

When is it too late? When the company is sold and the new owners asset strip? Don't kid yourselves - what value does the company have beyond its existing customer base? What new products are there to sell?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Don't be too quick to count on that Chinese nuclear revenue with what is going down in Japan today and reverberating on a global stage...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

There have been many posts related to Invensys Rail recently. But don't forget IOM issues. Sudipta and his buddies have become arrogant and make business decisions without good understanding of the impact. The effectiveness of Pankaj Mody and his team is decreasing day by day. No one knows what their roles are, except creating Powerpoint for ECS strategy. Portfolio organization is also struggling as they don't have a good handle on where to invest our R&D dollars. Rashesh Mody (Head of Portfolio) has taken a role that is larger than he can handle. The new VP of development is focusing everyone on processes like what we see in manufacturing. Let us hope it pays off. The revenue may look good for IOM due to China nuclear deals, but we will find out soon. The morale is really down and we see many key individuals leaving the company. The integration has probably save cost but killed the innovation culture of various product teams.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

On the ISCCI team it is a simple question: What did they cost ie spend and what came to the bottom line? The talk about gross savings is BS as you can't quantify it and will always end up over spending to achieve it. Bit like buy-one-for-the-price-of-two. In that case buy a thousand and look at at all your savings ! Rubbish!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Is it really true that Invensys is now going to spend millions on a management conference in Miami? I can't believe it, as we are working hard on Kaizens trying to eliminate waste (something the customer doesn't pay for?) that is measured in thousands of dollars. Is it really true that meanwhile millions of dollars are spent on a management party?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I have no idea how the ISCCI function survives. Apart from group-wide deals on indirect commodities, the rest is managed and resourced locally. These indirect deals only need doing every 2-3 years, so why have a full time group of expensive people flying around the world? There are loads of external companies that will do this for us as and when we need it.

The CI part is a joke and I don't think anybody gets it. The training can and should be outsourced and delivered by qualified people. If we are trying seriously to improve our profitability, then let's get rid of this expensive overhead. Instead we keep outsourcing core R&D, manufacturing and engineering ! Madness.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Why don't the jealous whiners just spend a bit more time working and less time bitching and complaining, so you can one day join us in Egypt, Africa, Miami, and some of our other strategy retreats. Besides, staying at the Four Seasons isn't all fun and games. We have to sit in a conference room almost half the day. I've had undercooked meat served to me on three occasions, and at least twice my martini arrived with one olive instead of two. With the corporate belt tightening, we've even had to share limousines to and from the airport.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Why don't we all leave? I will tell you. This handful of ignorant, overpaid and egotistical Executives should not be allowed to destroy a proud Engineering heritage that dates back over a century in some of the companies. Why should we allow their Champagne-and-expenses lifestyle win?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 - Regarding the post about Ulf and co and Cayman Islands stuff:

Just one question to all current Invensys staff: Why do you still work there? If only a tiny percentage of what has been written before on this blog is true, do those people who still work in Invensys want to have such behavior associated with them and their resume when the time comes to search for a new job? When the ship finally sinks, do you want to be one of the still sizeable crowd competing for jobs?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

All the latest posts are spot on. I have had to endure whole weeks on meetngs in USA with ISCCI and wasted the whole week at a huge cost to my business unit. I luckily avoided this last year and someone else went. They agreed with the above viewpoint.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I can't believe the management layers that now exist in Rail. For example, I report into a supervisor, who in turn reports into a manager, who reports into an Executive here in Melbourne. This Exec reports into the Australian COO, who reports into our new President of APAC. This President reports into the Rail COO, who in turn reports into the Rail CEO. I think the CEO reports to the Invensys CEO, Ulf. That's six or seven layers of Executives, most of whom add little value, are not involved with customers, and frankly wouldn't be missed.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I've seen the invoices for all the excess. Ulf's private jets, parties in the Cayman Islands and top suites in five star hotels. The sooner these overheads go the better.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Arrogant bosses & their sales force always waste company money in the name of annual conferences. $200 bottles of wine, "meetings" @ strip clubs, unlimited expense reports. It's just plain WRONG.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Well, I work in Invensys Rail and I'm told we are in deep trouble. Much has already been posted here. There are only a few real members of the leadership team with any experience. The recent although unannounced Ops change will help our MD. God knows he needs it with what he has on his plate and I hope he accepts it.

Meanwhile I'm reliably informed the Exec team will fly to Miami for a US conference. Says it all really, and shows the Invensys problem clearly.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The best example of the Plc excess was the Legal conference last year, held in a French chateau at nearly $500 a night for a full week, plus flights. Our lawyers were embarrassed.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ha, ha! The last post made us all laugh here in IOM. Apparently the CI VP also recruited a buddy who is on Black Belt training with him. Anybody else have the experience of CI guys flying in first class, staying a few days in the local Marriott and having a day of meaningless meetings in your plant? It happened to me 3 times last year. Just end up chewing the fat. Are these guys measured by number of visits or results?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Don't get me started on The ISCCI organization. They charge the business over $24m in costs and measure gross, not net savings. They actually make little impact on the bottom line, but the $24m is real bottom line costs. The VP for CI is a joke. He has been in his role for years having been recruited by his personal college buddy and against the recommendation of his team. Guess what? We are currently paying for his formal Black Belt training. Not even qualified. The Supply Chain VP is OK and does his best with an incompetent team. No management skills.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Interestingly, Rail's profit last year were actually bigger than that achieved for Invensys Plc. When considering that both IOM and Controls, whilst having a lower return-on-sales, are also profitable, there is clearly a problem. Take out the one-off restructuring costs and the problem is clear. It's the heavy overhead burden of Plc staff and facilities. The legal, HR, Finance and bloated ISCCI staff are highly paid individuals with constant business-class travel. In fact the ISCCI organization spends more than several plants. Add new amazing HQ facilities in Plano and London. Again add the fact that hardly any of these expensive staff actually live near any office, and fly business-class and stay in hotels at company cost. Unless this is resolved, then Invensys will not be competitive or a leader in it's markets.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

There are only a couple of weeks left to year end. That is what the potential buyers are waiting for - to see what state the company is in before snapping bits up.

Why would any buyers want the whole thing? For many years Rail has been the bit that supports the withered basket cases that share the Invensys name. Why spend money buying all the dross, then spend more discarding them? Wait for it to fall to bits and just spend money on the good bit.

The view from inside is a rudderless shell of a ship, no communications from 'on high' at all during 2011- they are just waiting. Waiting for their big payoffs and searching for another company to destroy.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

So I take it that Invensys Rail is not noted for creating an environment for employees to flourish and feel empowered, to exceed customer expectations whilst being rewarded generously via flexible and inventive HR practices?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rail profit of £120m does seem too low. Having said that, there is no communication in the business at all on the results, and in previous years there was a lot of focus and attention. Here in IRNE, rumours are that a big redundancy cut will be annouced in early April due to profit targets not being met. The lack of management communication is worrying, but typical I am afraid.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Rail number cannot be that low. It's well below prior year and completely unexpected. There has been no major restructuring or any other significant charges announced. This may be a clever game and the real number might be 170+m GBP!

Monday, March 14, 2011

I have no idea if the 120m GBP profit is correct. However this figure has been stated in meetings by both the new APAC President and the VP for The Taiwan project. Apparently both want the IRNE President fired for leaving them this mess.

Monday, March 14, 2011

I can't believe that the VP heading up the Taiwan project continues to blame all his collegues for his failure. He was recruited to manage all of IRNE APAC and now has one project, yet still tells everyone it's a Nick Crossfield problem. This person is completely out of his depth.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Has anyone got any further information on Rail's profit? I am astonished by claims here that the number might be as low as £120m GBP. That's over 25% below guidance. This cannot happen in a FTSE100 company, so I don't believe it. Even Hendriksson wouldn't allow it to happen without warning.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Look, don't worry chaps. We have Kevin Riddett, his man servant and our new President visiting us this week to share their intellect with us. Can't wait. I wonder how many layoffs they will want? Meanwhile, now is our chance to tell Larry, Curly and Moe what we think of our HR function and Exec team.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The blog has been deemed too risky in some of the UK offices, and now falls under the 'web sensed sites' category. Like before, this will not stop people getting on to the website. They tried that for a while in Egypt, and look how that turned out.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Well, it is true Invensys rail in Melbourne have moved to new premises and what a wonderful place it will be to work in! All us execc will have car parking in the building, have the best offices - HR director/manager will have the bigger office, since HR is running the company. The COO will have a smaller office. Our floor will be out of bounds to the people residing on the lower floors until summoned for "pep" talks or town hall. The town halls will be limited to staff, who are incapable of standing up to the HR and challenging them. I could go on, but the non-exec staff get the drift...

Monday, March 14, 2011

What can anyone add that hasn't been already said by so very many Invensys employees?

The amount of people complaining that Invensys Australia is being run by the HR director, and that management at the top seems to be paying NO attention at all, leads many of us to wonder why. Why does the company director allow the HR person to call all the shots? It causes so much raucus amongst the employees that some are very close to resigning. One can only assume that there is something very strange in the realtionships. Why else could someone in the HR director's position make so many very large mistakes and get away with everything? Strange about that isn't it?

The amount of extra stress and pressure put on Invensys Australia employees is causing stress and several are taking sick leave. Where would that place the company? These questions need an answer now!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I think a Siemens acquisition might be a good thing for IRG - since it might finally force a coherent, singular strategy for group, instead of remaining a bag of disjoint local companies. But, it would be the end of the line for IOM, except for perhaps some of the well established software assets in WonderWare and SimSci. Everything else would be killed off/mothballed in short order, I'd think.

Just realize that, as one of the largest (if not THE largest) individual shareholders, the CEO's interests lie with the shareholders first, not the employees, and certainly not the operating companies within Invensys. It may just turn out to be that a deal with Siemens is the right choice for the shareholders.

Sunday, March 13, 2011 - To the previous blogger: "I would welcome a take over by Siemens::

Being taken over by Siemens may not necessarily be a good thing. Be careful what you will wish for. At this moment in time, it looks like the best way forward for Invensys Rail. Major decisions in Invensys are made not in the US but in your own backyard - the United Kingdom.

Yes, also the North America Invensys Operation Management (IOM) VP is also from UK. At best, I felt his performance so far is dismal, to say the least. I have never seen him nor his other sidekicks managers, coming to my office for visits. His attempts to put a webcast "town hall" with his entourage of highly-paid managers was a good attempt, but viewed as a great British comedy show. He had all his managers lined up, gave them a few minutes to explain to IOM NA staffs what each and everyone is doing. To me was a great waste of time.

The next IOM NA webcast "town hall show" - not sure when, but I would like to see if there are any improvement in the context and content. Put up some more numbers for the staff to see. Do not hide behind the term "Company Confidental" when you don't show numbers. Unless the IOM NA managers are afraid to show them.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

IRAP is on the move in Melbourne this weekend, and at long last it has become a reality. I have lost count of how many years management had been telling us that we were going to shift into better offices.

We are now splitting the business into 2 physically, and despite all of the talk about working together. This is the death-nail in the coffin for the product & services business, but that was evident with the push to off shore the production of many of the current items we sell. When I asked my manager recently what had been arranged, to advise customers about the shift, he wasn't interested (he was more interested in his FF points). We had been told one thing internally about customers being advised, but it's apparent from phone calls we are still receiving that many customers haven't been told. The split will also further confuse them.

I used to work at Moore Products Company which bought by Siemens many years ago. Believe me when I say they made the company disappear in just 6 months. At the same time they also bought Miltronics company, which also disappeared. They even looked for the way of not paying our liquidation, and they scare everyone telling us they had lots of lawyers which could defeat us in any court. At the end, the State helped us and they had to pay us. They just bought us to keep the customers, not the company. So what is best for you guys - continue working this way, or not working at all? All companies have problems; there is no perfect company.

Friday, March 11, 2011

I work in the UK and frankly would welcome, as most Rail employees would, a take over by Siemens. A European Engineering giant with a long-term perspective. The current American short-term stupidity says it all. What kind of a plan is it to not pay suppliers and to lay off core engineering and manufacturing skills that the competitors will snap up. This used to be an Engineering Plc. It's now run like Walmart.

Friday, March 11, 2011

I am not an Invensys employee, nor do I have any inside information. However, what I do know is that if Rail achieves only £120M GBP profit then it will be Ulf's head on the block. He appoints the leaders, manages the business and gives us the guidance. For this he earns millions. If employees know this information (profit massively below guidance and prior year) and he doesn't, then he isn't fit to be a CEO of a public company at any level.

Ulf is the biggest individual shareholder in Invensys. If he is not honest with guidance on Rail, then the conclusion is inescapable. Three weeks until the year end!

Friday, March 11, 2011

When the employees grumble about senior managers, then perhaps they are the right ones. Business is not kind to companies that are not profitable and customer focused.

How about some new values that meaning something in the business world:

  1. Our business is to be profitable and make a return for shareholders
  2. Our business is to deliver to our customers what they order.
  3. Our business will support its staff in doing their jobs
  4. Our staff will be committed to the business and its customers
  5. Our business will be the competative leader in its field.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Rail sale to CSR ... unlikely. Break-up and sell off ... more likely. UK watchout... Expect interest for the pieces from Siemens et al as they look to grab a bigger UK market share. Look for product IPR sell off to other consultancies like Atkins. Invensys Rail is top dog in the UK no questions so why try to beat it when you can buy it off.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Regarding Rail profitability - we will find out soon enough. 120m GBP profit looks likely, and its goodbye James Drummond.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

When I started to work in BTR Rail Group, which subsequently morphed into Invensys in 101 different incoherent manifestations, we at least had leaders with good judgement and integrity. I was proud to work for Jose Martinez and Brian Crowther in Rail, reporting to first Allen Yurko and then to Rick Haythornthwaite at Group.

It's all gone downhill since Nigel Smith took over Rail, succeeded by James Drummond. Fortunately, I only know Riddett by reputation, but it's clearly not getting better. Ulf has never understood the rail business; it's silly but I could never, ever forgive him for always referring to our business (his cash cow) as RAILS. I've been out doing much more enjoyable things for more than 5 years now. This blog just makes me so, so sad.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

After all this blogg activity, I can't wait to see the results for Rail. Ulf has guided us on a double-digit top line growth and a return on sales of 18%. We should be looking at around 165M GBP OPBIT for Rail if his guidance is to be believed. As CEO he is committed to this. Can't wait too see the actual, as there has been no guidance otherwise. Any significant change should have been given as a warning and if not, questions should be raised.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I'm getting bored of these same-old, same-old negative comments! yawn yawn...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Good old Kevin Riddett. I'm retired now but remember his father. Riddett Snr. was an honourable man who was deeply troubled about Kevin. His son had zero attention span and no understanding of any financial data. That's why he quickly packed him off to a manufacturing role where he was harmless as it was a cost-centre. He proved he was nothing but an axe man and actually reduced sales and profits, which is why he was fired from Union Switch. Even his father as chairman couldn't defend him. His ability at Pirelli was about a global role where in fact he was a disaster at. He was brought back here to the US and then fired.

The posts here are true and if need be I can contribute detail from both Pirelli and US&S.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I think the Riddett question will be a real public test of Ulf's judgement. He (Ulf) has consistently made a mess of things with Paulette making him a laughing stock. What CEO appoints a senior leader, allows her to relocate her HQ to Plano where she lives? Allowing her to select a palatial oak-and-marble facility? Selecting her husbands company to build it? Driving costs up through all the staff having to relocate? Who is the idiot for letting that happen?

Now let's see if Riddett is going to relocate to Europe where Plc is located and the vast majority of business is done, or perhaps show some innovation and courage by relocating to India or Singapore. Riddett as a CEO? Don't be silly.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Riddett must be preparing Rail for sale, or possibly even break up. He is not smart enough to have a plan on his own, and will just be following orders.

Over the last 3 years Drummond put in place unified and cohesive R&D, Business Development, Engineering and Supply Chain functions for Rail. This would, over the medium to long term, reduce costs with less duplication and better leverage. It has only been in place a year. Riddett has simply removed all the management capability before its had time to deliver and so will show a short term saving. Give it 12 months and the original problem of duplication and poor leverage will again make Rail uncompetitive. Under Riddett we can expect short term vision and irrational behaviour. Layoffs are a crude fix to boost profitability so I expect they are imminent.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I'm confused on why people continue to think Riddett is "wrong" for this job! He SHOULD run Rail because he is the best at disguising a company's true state in order to prepare it for sale! He will slash-and-burn any cost he can, cancel anything strategic and continue to run off good Senior people. This, in turn, will make Rail look good for CSR, and again Riddett will be home with a big payout. At least he made the short-term bonuses great for those of us who were planning to leave anyway!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Watch UK Rail as further voluntary redundancies hit the headlines over the coming weeks and compulsory ones will surely follow...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I don't believe Ulf is that dumb he'd appoint Riddett as CEO of Rail. He is currently trying to do a deal with CSR in China and the last thing he needs is an idiot at the wheel of his most important division. Remember Ulf announced Rail as having record profits last year and has said this year is in line with guidance. So we should assume top and bottom line growth. With Riddett in charge since November, who knows what could happen. My guess is a disaster.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Paula is not a fool and I know what she thinks about Ridett. How could a female executive approve of Riddett who openly uses the word p***y when referring to women? I won't even start about his views on immigration and ethnic minorities here in the US.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Paula Larson does not have many fans. However appointing really poor leaders is Ulf's speciality and Riddett is a classic example. Nobody in their right mind would put him in a role more senior than plant management. However Ulf recruits in his own image. You have to realize that nobody gets appointed or gets a pay review unless Ulf personally approves it. I sometimes wonder what Paula's role is.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Why all the down? I am an Indian graduate engineer and this is the best job I have ever had. Long live the great company Invensys!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The situation with Riddett is further reason why Paula Larson, Chief HR Officer, must go. The magnitude of the errors in key staff hiring, retention, and dismissal are simply inescapable and as global head of HR, and intimately involved in each key hire, she must accept responsibility for the poor choices that have been made.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I agree with the last bloggers view. Riddett was recruited by his father at Transcontrol and then his again by his father who was Chairman at Union Switch. So he went from a go-fer to a VP due to his father. Found out at Pirelli, he was fired. Riddett senior is by contrast a gentleman and completely different to his ignorant offspring. Anybody else experience his outbursts against ethnic minorities?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Kevin Riddett - The best way of ejecting this guy is to practice Gandhian Resistance. You listen attentively, nod 'yes' and then ignore whatever he said.

Your blogger correspondent speaks with authority on this subject. His first encounter with Riddett was in 1986 at Transcontrol, when he barged in on a job-interview meeting without introducing or excusing himself. He ranted on for three minutes with unimportant drivel, imposing some sort of impossible demand and then abruptly left without once acknowledging the visitor. He left a vivid, indelible impression.

Kevin's father was one of four employee partners who bought the remains of Transcontrol from Siemens in 1983. Beginning in 1977, Siemens tried to establish a beachhead in the North American signaling market through Transcontrol. In short, Siemens failed for all the usual reasons - lack of investment, incongruent technical standards, documentation, language and cultural barriers, etc.

Working at Transcontrol, Kevin, was fresh out of a local community college with a 2-year associate's degree in criminal justice. Employed by Transcontrol beginning in June 1984, he was a go-fer who ran roughshod over his coworkers. Perhaps his personality problems could have been corrected by a firm hand at this early stage in his career, but they obviously weren't. Oddly, the elder Riddett was well regarded throughout the industry. He had been Transcontrol's accountant going back 20 years to the days of Jack Pelikan.

Shortly after Transcontrol bit-off more than it could chew by winning the LA Blue line job in 1987, they were bought by clueless Italian noblemen at Ansaldo. The Italians subsequently snatched-up money-losing US&S in 1988 and installed Transcontrol's management at the helm of US&S. Things quickly turned when it became apparent that the 40-man Transcontrol organization was in no position to take-over management of the 1200-man US&S organization. The general consensus is that Ansaldo deluded themselves into thinking that Transcontrol was a major player throughout the North American market.

Transcontrol's manufacturing operations in Hauppauge were removed to US&S - Batesburg plant in 1991, where Kevin Riddett was installed as VP of manufacturing. The other key Transcontrol manager was made VP of systems engineering in Pittsburgh. Upon the abrupt departure of US&S CEO Walter Alessandrini in late 1996, Riddett was made CEO of US&S.

Your blogger correspondent prognosticated at the lunch table that foul-mouth, rough hewn Riddett would last only 90 days as president of US&S. That was in October; he lasted until mid-March the following year. Humbled by his error, your correspondent then carefully counted the actual working days between these dates, which totaled 91. Riddett's successor was embroiled in controversy from the start and didn't last long. None of these events are particularly significant in the long, slow decline of US&S, which mirrors that of GRS, WB&S and others.

After his dismissal from US&S in the spring of 1997, Riddett rejoined Alessandrini at Pirelli. Several other US&S managers subsequently hooked-up with the Alessandrini coterie.

Dismissed from Pirelli in May 2007, Riddett had been out-of-work for a year before joining Safetran in 2008. Observers at US&S were once again astonished to see Safetran select someone who they knew to be the wrong man for a position of leadership and responsibility.

With the pending take-over of Invensys Rail by China's CSR, we're left to ponder who's next.

Lesson learned:

  1. Troublemakers like Kevin gain unstoppable mass and momentum beginning on day one. They are no more responsible for their actions than a pet that refuses to be housebroken.
  2. Nepotism is a good thing so long as the junior employee is better educated and harder working than the senior/sponsoring employee. Kevin was not.
  3. Careless and disengaged managers tend to select persons who mirror those qualities. The blame for the phenomenon of decline symbolized by Kevin Riddett lies with the CEO's and board members who selected or retained him.
  4. The root-cause of all this turmoil is a global lack of profitability in the signaling business. Profitable, growing organizations tend to be managed by owners and inventors of the business and underlying technology. In the signaling biz, those guys are long gone.
  5. Cut-throat competition ultimately leads to the exactly same results produced by lazy, non-competitive institutions. The best compromise is to maintain a base of two or more qualified suppliers who are equally allocated a subsistence diet totaling 66% of the business, and who must compete for the other 33% which will be awarded solely per the best interests of the owner/user.
  6. Require ongoing, in-depth audits of projects. Stop work and pull the completion bond on contractors that lose money. Euthanizing the weak and the stupid members of the herd helps ensure survival of the species. A lot of problems are caused by contractors who slowly wind-down their equity by willingly taking a loss on the work performed and products produced.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Having been with the company since last year, its been a real learning curve experience. IRAP has some really great staff and my boss has let me run wild changing things, as he really doesn't know what I get upto. Many people mis-understand the way he has his favourites - you know, the ones that make him look good. However, he seems to ignore the others and seems to overlook their potential.

IPMS is all about staff development, but how can that work when your boss won't even take the time to sit down with his staff and spend any quality time with them. Little wonder his projects area is in a real mess. It's amazing how we can cover up the sins of the company and no one seems to know or care.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Well, if what you say turns out to be true, then there should be some legal investigation. As of today, Ulf is saying everything is in line with previous guidance. It is quite simple. Ulf is either right or there is some kind of fraud. We will see.

Monday, March 7, 2011

A lot of these comments about the style of management are quite true, but not unique to Invensys. The days of stylish, classy managers with charisma, ability, integrity and strength are long gone. Now we are managed by a bunch of marauders who rape and pillage the company and then move on with the spoils. Managers do not have the wit or skills to manage, and they resort to "GOAL" driven coercive management, which results in misreporting of results at the lowest level.

There is one Invensys plant where employees were threatened with financial penalties if they could not adjust the system to misreport "on time delivery". As long as the management could report great numbers, no one cared about the customer or the employees.

"A place I want to work in" - I don't think so! Too much power in America, where this is liittle culture, style or class; where the mantra is "keep talking as eventually you might say something useful!" Unfortunately, they better keep talking as they have not achieved the goal yet.

Monday, March 7, 2011

I am shorting this stock in a big way. Rail will be way down on expectation and IOM at best flat. Controls? What do you think? This stock will be 30-40% below current value in the next 3 months. Then buy quickly, as this business will be bought or broken up. Ulf has lost the plot and no longer represents anything other than his own short term personal gain. His own people are already questioning his ability and lack of of strategy. Do I know what I'm talking about? I will repost this in May/June when the inevitable happens.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The most unbelievable thing is that the IRAP Sales Director manages to keep his position, despite the fact that he is universally despised by staff and customers alike. When will we turn over a new 'Page' and get people in front line positions who are actually competent to perform their duties?

Monday, March 7, 2011

I hope a recent post on share value is correct, because I no longer wotk at Invensys and all I have left is a small packet of shares. Get the price up a little more, so I can sell up and forget I was ever there!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

You have to understand that Ulf does not care about any of you. He is, if I remember correctly, the biggest single individual share holder. The only thing that matters to him is share price. With the amount of stock and options held by his direct reports, they feel the same. You the employee and the customers are irrelevant. Stock price is the only concern.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

They fudge the numbers to make sure the numbers track their performance indicators so that their annual bonus, stock share and performance options make them even richer. I thought that cooking the books was illegal. Isn't that what the hedge fund crooks did to America? Who do I report this to? Oh I forgot, nobody cares.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Lengthy payment terms to suppliers have been a feature of the Invensys cashflow management process for as long as I can remember. They were a good thing in the recovery phase, no question about it, restoring discipline and creating a healthy cashflow. But it's worrying that late payment is being used at the end of the financial year now, if that's what's happening. It helps no-one - just creates a hill to climb at the start of the next year for the company and gives a bum steer to investors by implying performance on cash is better than it is. And fundamentally it's a bean counting trick, not something a top engineering group should be using. MBAs rather than Engineers.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Perhaps customers of IRG can stop paying any money to IRG for March, as per instruction to not pay suppliers for the month of March to improve cash flow. IRG are also pushing suppliers out to 60-days payment terms; most suppliers would be happy with this, as it would be a decrease from the current way they pay (90+ days). But, of course, ask IRG and they say they pay on time. No doubt about it "IRG" are very professional and are very good corporate citizens (sure), and the leaders still get their pay on time.

Friday, March 4, 2011

If you are outside of IRG/Invensys (like I am now, thankfully) the last two blogs are hilarious! (Though probably true). If on the inside, it looks like the lunatics have taken over the asylum and I would be very worried indeed.

Friday, March 4, 2011

I can't understand all the criticism of Kevin Riddett. From what I've heard, he a charming and sophicated leader with an in-depth knowledge of the global rail project business. He is well connected within the industry, and has deep insight into global politics and economics. He is very numbers-orientated and understands the customers needs across the globe. Add to this great interpersonal skills and never resorting to threats or crude force. He looks the part, keeping himself physically and mentally fit. He shows humility and is a great listener.

Wait a minute... that's James Drummond, who Ulf just fired. Riddett must be the guy that everybody is laughing at!

Friday, March 4, 2011 - Capital Markets Day:

Invensys plc is hosting a Capital Markets Day in London today, which will focus upon the Group's largest division, Invensys Operations Management. The presentations will provide an overview of the division and will focus upon its industry-leading solutions and industry-changing strategy. These, together with a global footprint, deep domain knowledge, a top three installed base in control and safety, and a long-term presence in emerging markets have created strong markets positions for the division on a global basis.

Sudipta Bhattacharya, President and Chief Executive of Invensys Operations Management, commented:

    "Our growth is coming from our success in winning large greenfield projects, particularly in the oil, gas and power sectors, and the increasing demand from customers for advanced applications and solutions that help them improve the performance of their assets and reduce their carbon footprint. In particular our enterprise control system enables improved decision making based upon real-time information and increases availability, reliability, production value and ultimately profitability."
No material, new information, or update on trading will be provided. A webcast of a recording of the presentations will be available on the Group's website (www.invensys.com) from around 5.00 pm today.

REALLY! Sudipta doesn't have a clue - We haven't sold an ECS (enterprise control system) in years.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Don't give Riddett any serious thought. Ulf needs an intellectual inferior, to make him feel secure. Drummond was is fired, (according to Riddett) ired) and he was well above Ulf and Riddett in capability and leadership. You guys in Rail are about to see first hand the great selection judgement of Ulf and Paula. Good luck.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

If you think Rail has problems, wait until the real IOM China nuclear losses become clear. Everything is being covered up with so called restructuring charges. According to Rail's Kevin Riddett, we need to get as much restructuring charges into this year, so we hide the real problems and they seem invisible. Also Freburger has apparently approved a total ban on supplier payments in March. How professional is that? And what does it say for the real cash and profit? How the heck do we employ executives like this? Do shareholders realise what's going down?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Speaking of junk, does anybody actually read all those SPAM emails from Ulf and Paula. The HR igrow and my learning are complete garbage. Gary Freburger saying we can have a company iPad, if approved. I'm not against progress, but this is not the way forward.

How about this for an idea? HR make sure we recruit the best people, develop those with both the desire and ability, reward appropriately and make sure we treat people in a fair manner. Forget about software systems such as IPMS and make sure managers can actually have valuable interaction with their staff. We seem to have completely lost the "human" in HR.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Funniest corporate initiative ever - frantic email telling everyone to stop saying IOM and start saying Invensys Operations Management, internally and externally. Like that's ever going to stick. Why use three syllables when ten (count them) will do?

The IOM rebranding has been generally positive. It looks good and fresh and a lot of the cynicism internally has been swept away. But Invensys Operations Management is a tongue twisting nightmare. We've all settled on IOM within the businesses. The customers have settled on IOM. Can I make a heartfelt request for everyone outside IOM to establish IOM as the term that's used, so that this stupidity can be swept away once and for all?

The worst thing about these initiatives and e-mails is that anything looking like it comes from Invensys head office gets chucked. That means that the very good socialcast platform - has the potential really to join things up - has gone the same way.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Looks like the (Australia) execs have started to send blogs as well. If only they could listen to the staff and not worry about when they can fly business class and get upgraded to first thereby increasing their frequent flyer points. Meanwhile the Qantas Club membership provided for the staff has been cancelled and they are expected to sit around the airport with no facility to work. They should hang thier heads in shame. Maybe they will to talk to staff individually and find out what thier views are on how to improve company perfomance.

An engineering company run by HR, is like lions led by donkeys.

Just found out that the weblog has been barred in IRAP offices. We still have home computers...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A view from within IOM (oops. Not supposed to use that acronym any more.)

Lots of initiatives cascading down from upper corporate levels. Down at the bottom, the e-mail boxes are deluged with vague generalities. Some have merit. Others appear designed to be seen by their originators' managers. At the levels, where initiatives need to be translated to actions in order to produce results, the managers are fully occupied feeding their managers' demands for data & reports.

The result is - nothing happens, except we waste our time reading all the spam.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

We spent almost 3 years putting R&D, Manufacturing supply chain, legal, HR and other functions together in Rail, and now it's blown apart. From an accounting perspective, this was good. Is there a Rail plan or not?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Interesting comments on Ulf and his focus here. He's between a rock and a hard place in many respects: Relax the grip on the cost controls without growth and he's on the road to perdition. But without a little more of the swagger that comes from a confident organisation with correct levels of staffing in key functions, he's not going to get a lot of growth.

From the IOM perspective, he's got a reasonable array of components towards a fairly compelling operations story. But, frustratingly, they haven't yet quite coalesced.

A lot of the internal politics is dissolving gradually, but it's still very much the case that because staff are horrendously squeezed between their day job and a myriad of corporate initiatives - anyone for 5 new competencies to augment the 5 values? It's difficult for anyone to find time for the relatively straightforward steps needed to really join things up, while higher level leaders draw connections without detailed domain knowledge and hit blind alleys. And there is a entrepreneurial vacuum: none of the leaders I can think of have built a company from start to success and few of them try to look ahead more than 3 years.

Sometimes it's necessary to take brave steps, take the fetters off spending, and entrust good people who have full domain knowledge with the means to actually innovate. That's essential in a start up situation where the rush to gain market share is the principal objective. And yet, despite having identified a new market space to play in, short term thinking and cost cutting still predominates day to day life inside Invensys. Invensys wants talks the startup talk, but walks the mature business walk. It's very frustrating.

But the company is closer than ever before to figuring out what it needs to do. It's certainly not all doom and gloom.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The post on the Australian HR director running the IRAP show is correct. Although at least someone is running things. It seems like the IRNE/IRSE sitauation is a whole bunch of people who want the title and the salary but none of the responsibility. I believe the company will come through it and is certainly no worse than the other 'subbie' companies.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I found out about this blog recently from the exec team of IRG ANZ who all religeously view it for fear of their names appearing. What does surprise me is that the three entries so far almost appear to be written by them to try and divert attention away from their departments. Note that the blogs for ANZ only appeared after the new president toured and mentioned that he too reads the blog. Are some people getting nervous, now he declared the business disfunctional following his tour of discovery?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

If, as posted, Drummond has been fired and replaced by Riddett, it will destroy share value. Drummond is at least 2 levels above Riddetth, probably 3 or 4 levels intellectually, possibly 4 or 5 connection and influence. No contest.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Well it's open warfare here in R&D with the UK, Spain and Australia all fighting over procession as the organisation falls apart. Shame, as we just got it working globally and now Riddett has destroyed it. The US isn't worth bothering with, as it's so basic. But Riddett clings on to who and what he knows, which is very litle.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Australian Rail operation is fast heading towards a cliff and many more are getting ready to jump ship with key staff having already left Engineering, Projects & Marketing and Sales. Why may you ask, given the business was once the best signalling company in the region. Communications and direction continues to be lacking. They think the odd Town Hall meeting is what the staff want, but what we really need is an understanding of where the business is going, how it is going to get there and the results to back it up.

Instead we continue to see the senior management whom we look up to, fighting and empire building (in particular, Projects with the Products & Services GM and also with Engineering). New staff being brought into the business that don't know what is expected of them, and struggling given the lack of the rail experience. A national product sales manager who continually tags along with engineering staff rather than getting out to see the key customers. The key customers, whom the completion is talking to and gaining ground on Invensys Rail. Whilst the current product sales look good, this will be short lived and It won't be long before the product hold on the Australian market goes out the door. This all in the name of frequent flyer points, rather than securing new sales markets & results.

R&D is also out of control and lacking any real new cost effective products. Having worked long term for a great company, its such a shame to see its demise and the MD, I mean the COO is nowhere to be seen. Maybe the other bloggers are right that HR are sailing the ship now and heading us towards the iceberg.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

It seems from the latest blogs that manufacturing in Chippenham is on borrowed time; no surprise then that Steve Barry has been brought back in. A lot of work was undertaken in the past looking at outsourcing manufacturing (as well as oodles of money spent on certain individuals travelling the globe looking for a site!); perhaps the decision has been made now? If I worked in manufacturing I would be looking to see which part of an Asda superstore was best to work in.

Monday, February 28, 2011

I've just heard, probably a bit belatedly, that Geoff Campion (Rail CFO) left the company after over 20 years. No goodbyes according to IRG staff. If James Drummond has been fired, who is in charge of this mad house? Don't tell me Kevin Riddett?

Monday, February 28, 2011

Has Drummond really been fired as Kevin Riddett has said? Shame, as he seemed an honourable person, which is rare in Invensys today.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Kevin Riddett keeping his mouth shut? You got to be kidding, right? Sure, as a senior executive he should have been far more discrete. Especially about his boss. I met James Drummond just once when he visited us, and although a little formal, he seemed like a nice guy. I'd rather Riddett was fired than Drummond. Riddett has a huge ego and is completely unprofessional. He has told folks here in the US that there are big lay offs coming in the UK, especially in manufacturing and R&D. While at the same time he has told people in the UK that he is closing manufacturing in Louisville, as the unions are a pain. His comments in meetings about other Invensys senior people are at times an embarrassment. The ISCCI team have been really helpful to Safetran and do not deserve his comments.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Some really iinteresting posts here over last few weeks. The most recent regarding added value is really good and hits the nail squarely on the head. Has Ulf added value? Yes I think he has, but should have gone at least a year ago. Has Rail CEO added value? Almost certainly not and has or should be gone. His replacement is a different question. The question asked was regarding the PMO. We I would say that nobody has ever seen anything delivered or value added by any PMO. no one really knows what it is there for.....

Monday, February 28, 2011

The answer to whether Ulf has earned his millions is a complex one, but let me attempt to respond. In short, the answer is yes... and no.

When Ulf took over, Invensys was a complete mess, from both a financial and strategy perspective. The company was heading towards a major financial crisis. Under Ulf's leadership, he brought the company back from the brink, and delivered good shareholder/stakeholder and employee results by salvaging the company. This phase of his tenure was completed in mid-2007.

In hindsight, this is when he should have been replaced (or augmented) with a more strategic leader, more suited to growing, rather than managing, Invensys into the future. However, this did not occur, and Ulf continued to apply his operations/finance focused mindset to the company, beginning its slow decline into irrelevance. Thankfully, his regime was unable to destroy the value of the Invensys brands (and surely this was not their direct intent), allowing the company to retain some intrinsic value that may yet still be realized in a buyout.

The best days of the company are clearly behind it. The organization has been "leaned" to the point of starvation in some areas, while pet projects and the golden children have been given virtual carte-blanche to spend in areas with little or no shareholder, customer, or employee return.

On balance, given the precarious situation that Invensys was in when Ulf joined, I would have to say that he has earned his compensation. But the full potential of the company would have been realized if a different type of leadership had been installed 3-5 years ago.

Monday, February 28, 2011

There have been resignations in the Australian Engineering group of key engineering managers. You would think that there would be questions asked but none so far.

The Australian office is run by the HR director, who is devoid of all humanity and scares the hell out of the MD and the rest of the exec. They change policy to avoid paying staff and go on jollies worth a lot of money that is of no value to the company (reading from the rest of the blogs it seems to be a IR management culture). They clearly break IR rules on travel for all staff below the exec level.

On a recent visit by the APAC president, the HR director would not leave his side for fear of staff being "courageous" or "owning decisions". Even el presidente made a comment about it, but is he willing to do anything?

The Melbourne office is moving from its present outdated office to new offices in prestigious location and the planning of the office is disastrous, to say the least. The exec are fighting over who gets the big office and car parking, meanwhile the poor workers have to endure the effects of the indecision. We have already run out of space in the building; anyone looking at the plan would seriously question why HR has so much space considering that it should be outsourced or HR handled by the managers.

There seems to be a culture of empire building by the projects group and have amassed a lot of staff with grand titles. We have yet to see any useful output from the PMO.

Ulf if you had any courage or felt like owning decisions, you would come to Aus and ask to talk to the staff individually and select them yourself - instead of the HR or the exec. We know you read the weblog.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I can't believe that Ulf is still around. He must be waiting for the end and the final payoff. In his 6-7 years in Invensys, he has taken (from annual reports) around $25 million dollars from the company. Has he actually added that level of value?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Like many Rail employees, I regularly follow this blog and its myriad opinions - recent postings have finally moved me to add my view.

On the subject of finding fault around the company, my view is that it exists on the part of both management and employees - from empty corporate initiatives that change daily, to pockets of employees resistant to any change unless it's a pay rise. My experience has been that this pattern is typical of corporate life - something to consider for those bloggers who believe that working anywhere else is a bed of roses.

The recent attacks on HR are also misguided. Yes, the performance management process is tedious, but many people to date have still found their advice helpful and professional. Besides, our IRNE HR people are at the receiving end of a farcical Invensys policy, outsourcing skills and knowledge at the expense of good service. Rather than criticising fellow departments (people in glass houses etc.), I suggest that bloggers should vent their fury at Invensys HQ (even if it falls on deaf ears due to heads being buried in the sand there).

My key issue, however, is leadership. If we care for the heart and soul of our business (i.e. what makes us different), we should worry most about board-level leadership that has increasingly become its achilles heel. With a few notable exceptions, senior leaders from Ulf downwards fail to lead by example, and avoid any sort of regular or meaningful interaction with employees. They don‚Äö√Ą√īt even have time to walk the floor ‚Äö√Ą√¨ something that can really tell them what‚Äö√Ą√īs going on at grass roots level as opposed to paying an agency to devise engagement surveys instead.

As it is, Invensys Values have become redundant. These people want you to save money, but will not give up their first class business travel. We are one Invensys, and yet there segregated car parking places and frosted glass partitions to separate people from their leaders. People - employees and the broader management team - are treated with an attitude bordering on contempt. Like the Dementors of the Harry Potter books, some senior leaders are threatening to suck the last drops of life from a workforce who have already been through the mill.

Never mind the 70s, our Rail leadership is stuck in the stone age and I've been forced to write because I'm passionate about, and inspired by, good leaders. Maybe some of the board right up to HQ level are already planning their golden exits. If not, then I suggest they read very carefully what people are writing on this forum. And, rather than get angry and trying to work out who the anonymous scribes are, they would be better using their energy to start thinking about why people are turning to blogs like this in the first place.

Friday, February 25, 2011 - In response to Thursday, February 24, 2011 - "The last blogger is a perfect example of the current management ethos."

I was being ironic. What I was trying to get at was the mentality of the MD's etc. But we can't change it unless the MD's and shareholders become less greedy. They tell us to save, save, save but they still spend, spend, spend. No amount of critisism or bitching will change the position we are in.

The people on the coal face are getting dupped on all the time. The people in offices who work 35 hrs a week Monday to Friday complain. Yet it's not them losing here; it's the people who work weekends. the Cosses who have lost the £10 a day supplement, (that's 3 grand a year to some people) the people who have to go away from their familys overnight etc. (£15 a night). Where the fat-cats don't need this money, the hard working, work in all weather, work at any time day or night, go that extra mile. It's these people all the cuts affect.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Like a previous blog, I am an ex-IRNE staff member 'forced out', and now following this blog with interest.

IRNE are stuck in the past! It's the minority, but it is the ones that can influence change. Managers and exec that have left - do not forget the experienced and skilled engineers that have also gone, either by redundancy or voluntary. A blame culture exists and unless the answers is 'Yes' you are deemed to be obstructive. Dealing with change and modernisation is a way of life in a changing world.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Westinghouse was always two separate businesses. One is the rump of the old British Rail project delivery organisation, steady and reliable but with gradually declining market share as competitors take advantage of the current mess and inevitably Network Rail starts to slow down. Second is a LUL Metro business, with very few brilliant people, but technology at least 3 years behind competitors and unable to compete globally. Both these businesses rely on the relationships at all levels with NR and LUL. The new 'rolex' MD needs to realise that there is a future here if we just go back to these two customers and make them happy.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Having recently been informed by a colleague about this web blog I thought I'd see for myself what all the fuss is about.

Many find it depressing, and it's used as a forum for the moaners, who are simply unhappy with the state of the business. I am in agreement with you, but instead of moaning about management not listening - give them some thing listen to. Use this as a forum to share ideas on how to improve things, rather than winging about areas/staff that don't work.

In regards to a recent post ref salaries of HR staff and senior members that have left the business - shame on you! You are clearly in a position to view this information and, instead of being 'discrete and confidential' (which I'm sure is a big factor of your role) you stir the pot! You should be ashamed of yourself and perhaps review your position in the company (or attend some urgent conduct training)

In this climate, and the downward spiral which we face, we should stick together. Those underperforming will come out in the wash. I appreciate you may feel like the blind leading the blind, but seriously -is there any need for the useless critisims? It's just a suggestion.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

If it's true that Drummond is out, Kevin Riddett should have kept his mouth shut. However it's a fact that he told all, here in the US, that he was going to remove all the global roles and that James had been fired. Ask any of the Safetran team and you will see they are pleased he has gone.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I agree with Monday's blogger that the problem in IRNE is project management and to some degree, engineering. How anyone can blame HR for our problems, whether there is 4 of them or 13 of them, is beyond me. There are hundreds of us engineers, and tens of people in the finance, project management and commercial departments, and despite all the attention from all these people, we keep losing money. HR doesn't make decisions about what goes on in a project or on the railway - engineers and project managers do. Who are we going to blame next - the cleaning ladies?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I am an ex-IRNE staff member and I occasionally follow this blog with interest, and am finally drawn to comment.

A sizeable minority of the people in IRNE are stuck in the past, cannot cope at all with change or trying to modernise things, with a horrible British Rail / public sector mentality of entitlement and rights harking back to the supposed good old days of the nationalised railway - dinosaurs.

I feel sorry for the management and the HR people, because trying to get anything improved or changed for the better is like banging your head against the brick wall. I moved to a competitor, where things are very different, where change is a way of life and people can adapt and be flexible, and we are winning work from IRNE that a few years ago would not have been possible.

The staff need to look to themselves - they are like the miners in the 1980s, and will only have themselves the blame when it all crashes down around them. I sold my shares as well - recommend everyone does that.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Drummond has been fired and told the announcement would be in May. Riddett has told many here in the US. What a mess.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The last blogger is a perfect example of the current management ethos. Doesn't matter if the company is built on sand, just fill your pockets now and to heck with the future. It's only a matter of months before the real results in Rail become clear. Add in the IOM China Nuclear financial mess and the slow decline of Controls and the obvious will happen to the share price. Probably below £2:00 by the year end. At this stage the name Invensys will have changed. However Ulf and his chosen ones will have departed multi-millionaires. Remind me about meritocracy and integrity?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I am hearing so much junk about our bosses and UK Rail; I don't understand the problem. We go to work, we do our job to the best of our ability, we get paid, no problem. As for the fat cats, well they are better BS-ers than us, andif you don't like it change it! How? you ask. Answer "I don't know, and if I did I would have the flash cars, the reserved parking place, the Rolex watch, the private jet and not forgetting the 4 PA sitting not 20 yards away from me whilst I laugh at you all bitching about what I've got.

Thursday, February 24, 2011 - Regarding the comments of 21st Feb, saying that IRNE is respected by NR and IUL:

What utter bilge! As a former Westinghouse employee I recall that the 'good reputation' was oft mentioned and almost bragged about. Also there was frequent consternation among management that they couldn't understand why the company was called 'arrogant'. The reality is that IRNEis not respected anything like they'd like to believe. It's an out-of-touch organisation peddling out-of-date products.

The writing is on the wall. It's not going to long before all these rumours of takeovers (to boost share price?) are revealed as 'the emperors new clothes'.

To the people who criticise the critics: From my memories of the company, anyone who spoke out were punished, but there are a majority of people who care about what they do, and about the company, to try and raise those concerns somehow. The fact that the criticism continues on here is surely sufficient information that those in charge are not listening, indicating that they don't know how to fix things, or perhaps that they don't care.

Thursday, February 24, 2011 - To the last poster about HR:

I don't believe that there are 13 people in HR for IRNE. I believe the number to be 4. There are other people sitting in Chippenham in IRNE in HR, however they work for other parts of Invensys. As I said, having dealt with a HR Business Partner, broadly, I have found that person to be helpful and to have made suggestions about my problem that I would otherwise not have considered. I agree that the Manila bit doesn't work that well, but the people on the UK end of the advise line know what they are doing.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The last blogger on the HR subject has summed it up quite nicely; the HR department have added no value whatsoever for the past 3/4 years. The basic key functions of HR management/people management/leadership is best undertaken by the line managers themselves; this should be supported by good training (externally provided). Having HR Business Partners, Reward Policy Managers etc are a total waste of money (as is a HR Director)- just pure overhead adding nothing whatsoever of value to the overall business.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 - To the last post about HR in Chippenham:

Who are you dealing with? The service I get is non-existent. Apart from 3 people, it's supposed to have been outsourced. The fact is there are over 13 people in HR and some of them are contractors. Almost all come from the previous VP of HR's last company, including the new VP. They know nothing about the business and most are very poor and expensive. In reality we have outsourced HR and then increased headcount with contractors. Total waste of money and a real burden on the business. If the HR function is supposed to be a support function, then as it is I would say don't bother.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I think that the criticism of HR is unfair. I am a manager in Chippenham and I have always found HR to be supportive and helpful. Like in all functions, there are competent and less competent people; HR is no different. The main problem to me seems to be that some managers don't want to accept any responsibility for doing their job as a manager, and they want HR to do it for them. Having worked elsewhere, this kind of attitude is old fashioned. If we do get taken over, it will be a bit of a shock for those people - they will be expected to do even more.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I think Ulf sees things from the inside and has the organization facing him. This is what makes him so good at turn around situations. However he appoints people that, like him, you would never put in front of customers and so is not a growth CEO. This is widely known in the City.

Riddett is just another example of the same type of Executive who will try to do a global customer-facing role by facing internally and rarely leaving the US. I am told he has been in position since November last year and visited less than 10% of the global offices. As I understand the numbers, the US is around 25% of Rails sales and less than 20% of profits, virtually all from products. Nothing like the rest of the business. Riddett would be perfect for Controls but not the leader for Rail.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 P> To the Sunday blogger: "HR in Invensys is the biggest joke ever":

You are spot on the money. Invensys keep cutting costs by outsourcing to poor countries which, when you are making hot water thermostats makes sense. But in the case of Rail we are mainly high-technology and safety-critical engineering. We don't want a call centre in Manila to talk about HR problems. Even our manufacturing group are very specialised and compared to Controls are not typical low-cost country candidates. Madness.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Might as well add the appointment of the VP project delivery who was quietly shuffled off to 'market development' after 4 months. We have lost at least 20 senior executives and managers in the past 12 months, many of them experienced and seasoned professionals. It must have cost a fortune in payoffs. Drummond, who knows where he is? Seems to have disappeared after leaving such a disaster in IRNE. All the while Crossfield sits in his bunker and on the shop floor we hear that up to 200 jobs are to go soon. In order to rescue this, he needs to communicate what the real situation is. The rumours are the the VP Finance was his big mate, so may be he is next.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I happen to know that the real reason the IRNE VP Finance left was not the state of IRNE but was the appointment of Kevin Riddett. This was the final straw. According to the VP, survival depended on winning both SSR and NR framework bids. The latter needs deep understanding of UK politics and customers. Riddett scores zero on both. That's why the VP left after 3 months. We may struggle through to win, but its up-hill and nothing to do with Riddett. Where is Drummond? Surely the company must say something soon ?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

So all these companies want to buy Invensys? Stock price goes up. Biggest beneficiaries: Ulf and his yes men. Show one piece of data that suggests there is a real takeover bid. Invensys is always under review by the big boys and always has been. Pension remains the issue. Nothing changed in the last month other than normal rumours.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The best IRNE HR fiasco must be the recent appointment of the VP Finance. They paid a headhunter fee, paid a big golden hello, the highest VP salary in Rail, and then a golden goodbye. The chap left after 3 months of doing little. Cost to IRNE? In total, the above adds up to over £150k GBP. This for just 3 months. If R&D did something this irresponsible, heads would roll. However in the HR world, things like this are hushed up. Honest question: Do we have a more incompetent function in Invensys?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Ah! Finally the charade that is HR in IRNE has been exposed. It always was beurocratic and arrogant. And, as for HR Business Partners - nothing but a made up US methodology that creates a "Self Licking Lollipop" culture. Those appointed to these positions are paid around £60k supposedly to advise senior managers and directors on people strategy, despite the fact that most of them know diddly squat about engineering/signalling/business...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Put yourself in our customers shoes. You know how frustrating it is when you call your cable provider with a problem and you get an outsourced "expert" that can barely speak English and you have to repeat yourself and ultimately ask for a US person to solve your problem - well how do you think our customers feel when they hit the same wall with our outsourced support?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Outsourcing is all OK for the almighty dollar to the share holders - to heck with American jobs. And management expects loyalty & blood, sweat & tears? Ha!

Monday, February 21, 2011

I think the HR criticism is unfair. The outsourcing of payroll has been a big success here in the US and we have saved a lot of costs.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The last post about IRNE is more rubbish. IRNE is way off on profit compared to the plan BUT is, for example, still producing a profit at levels that Invensys Controls could only dream of. People revolting? What a load of rubbish. There are almost 2000 people working in IRNE and probably 20-30 idiots posting on here.

The IRNE problem is based in Projects and Engineering. Even then it's around 3-5 projects that are struggling out of 70+ significant projects. We still have too many managers claiming success for commissioning work even though it's been done at much higher costs than forecast. Good customer connections but hopeless business ability. The company needs business leaders. I have some sympathy for the views on HR. We all know in reality they are nothing but a hinderance to progress. I also agree that the IPMS system is a load of bureaucracy and has replaced a straight forwards face-to-face meeting and discussion. Who is the new HR person? Anybody know whether he is worth his salary?

We will get there. Support your manager, each other and the Exec. It's the best outcome for everyone. However that's all in the past. Going forwards we are still well respected by both Network Rail and London Underground.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Seems like the end is approaching for IRNE. Staff in open revolt, talent leaving the sinking ship in droves, technology a laughing stock, weak leadership under seige, customers unhappy, bitter in fighting the norm, no morale. Time to leave. Great job by James Drummond and his yes men. the sooner Siemens takeover the better.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Observer, Sunday 20 February 2011 (extracts)

British engineering firm Invensys is being stalked by international rivals considering a bid for the company which employs 8,000 people and is valued at £2.7bn. City sources say predators include Honeywell and Emerson Electric of the US, ABB of Switzerland, Alstom of France, Germany's Siemens and two Chinese firms, CSR and CNR.

No offer has been tabled, but potential bidders are said to be reviewing their options. If one fires off a bid, a takeover war is likely to erupt, as Invensys is viewed as one of only a handful of medium-sized engineering firms listed on the stock market, making it vulnerable to a bid.

Click here (Click) Invensys stalked by engineering rivals

Sunday, February 20, 2011

PRP will not work. There are some great people working in the IRL business BUT if they do not have the money, then nobody gets an 'EE' in their appraisal. Simple eh!? That was always the way it worked - if the distribution graph had too many scoring highly they manipulated it back down. Great motivation there then.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

HR in Invensys is the biggest joke ever. They have absolutely no idea what we do as a company and the type of talent and very specific market skills which are required to deliver complex railway solutions. They treat our professional people with the sort of contempt you would expect to witness on a motorway service station. The attitude and business understanding from these people is abysmal.

We understand that our regional offices have now been given a phone booth with a hot line to an HR rep in Manila, with someone on the other end who has no authority or ability to answer anything. Then, the poor employee is referred to HR HQ who apparently have a 'cheat sheet' in front of them that states only 4 possible answers to all questions:

  1. No!
  2. Can you phone HR in Manila again?
  3. That is not an HR issue, you must approach your line manager!
  4. That does not sound possible, but we will pretend to look at it if you produce a detailed justification paper.
It's like living in a comedy sketch; we keep expecting to see Ricky Gervais doing his silly dance behind the HR glass house at the end of the office.

The IMPS system is an even bigger joke. Each year our HR lot pat themselves on the back, telling themselves how wonderful their IPMS process is. Well hello, welcome to the real world - its awful! No one enjoys the process, manager or report, the on line paperwork is over the top and cumbersome and coverts what should be a good appraisal review with real conversations into an HR stage-managed "tick in box" facade. And PRP - half a % increase for getting an EE - there's an incentive! The list of their incompetences is endless

So HR, have a little think about who your clients are occasionally. You work for the Exec and the employees. Better still, get rid of the lot of them and devolve all responsibility to the line management.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I live in Chippenham and I really like wearing 'ASDA George' clothing. Can someone please tell me when they plan to close the Invensys site to build that nice big new ASDA supermarket? That means that instead of the Invensys HR team writing their poison on this blog, they can go and work on the customer services desk; something to which they are seemingly more suitably qualified.

Friday, February 18, 2011

I can't figure it out. I've spent hours talking to contacts in China and struggle to find any substance to the big CSR Times partnership. Apparently they have bid a couple of jobs and won nothing, delivered nothing and in fact are doing basically nothing anywhere in the world. Also interesting is that CSR are openly talking about the agreement (note not partnership) being a mistake as Invensys technology is inferior to Alstom and Siemens. I think this whole storey is a non-event and don't know why it's had any positive effect on the share price. What is this all about?

Friday, February 18, 2011

A systems approach mmm... I agree with the sentiments, but it's too vague to say this. What does the blogger really mean? I have seen many companies say this. In the Defense industry, it seems to mean they want to run the MOD. Perhaps overseas but not in the UK I hope.

Peter Checkland wrote one of the definitive books "System Thinking, Systems Practice". For Rail it could cover the range from the socio-economic environment down to what widget do I need to do this task. As a company in Business (often over looked here) Invensys is definitely at the more hard end of the systems world - System Engineering. I would disagree on the signalling world being well placed here. In some ways it can hold back. Innovation and new ways of working demand a better understanding of the technology and market place.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The last blogger made some good points. Rather than ramble on, here are a few suggestions:

  1. Have a suggestions "blog" on the Intranet
  2. Senior managers be more visible and walk the "shop floor" on a regular basis.
  3. Reduce communications through the web, magazines and powerpoint
  4. Encourage a clearer working environment

Thursday, February 17, 2011

People on this blog seem to be in an endless loop of debate, with no positive suggestions for a way forward. You all seem to understand the business, it's history, the reason for the so called "mess" people refer to . Personally, I do not think it's a mess, but an opportunity for a different ways of doing things.

The current problems - who is to blame? who is not to blame? who is perfoming? who is not performing? where the problems are in the business? the instability etc. But what I have not seen are grown up proposals for solutions, at least positive ideas for quick wins, posted on this blog, which the exec can use for the business improvement plan.

We have seen in recent events in the Middle East how social media can be used for positive results and I think this blog can be used as a place for collection of good ideas, to move this business forward. This business has a lot of clever people, both frontline and management, who can drive this business to the next level.

The reason why this business has a reputation for good delivery is because everyone pulls together as one, to support commissionings, and there is great ownership by all staff and management. If we apply the same unity of purpose as we do for the commissionings in everything we do, we will be a very successful business and the envy of our competitors.

We need to be agile like a cheetah, quick to change, adapt and embrace new delivery models to survive the ever-changing environment, because that's what our competitors are doing. For example: Lets seek viable joint ventures so we can deliver total systems contracts. Tthose who work in the mainline have seen how hub-and-spoke approach has not worked for the client. A systems approach will solve the client's problems by giving him full systems solution. As signalling engineers we tend to understand other disciplines and how they intergrate to deliver a safe railway, and the signalling solution tend to drive the entire project strategy,and we are the last ones left in a commissioning to hand back the entire infrastructure safely to the operators.

So, we have the competence and skill to lead a systems project. United we will conquer, Divided we will fall!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

If I was Steve Barry, I'd want a large pay rise to join this mess. Must be the last thing he needs. However that's irrelevant. Our problem isn't in Manufacturing or Supply Chain, where we are doing well. I heard that they are winning new business from Amey. Like it or not with the majority of the manufacturing business being external to IRNE they are crucial to our business.

Projects are the problem. We were told that the Taiwan project is losing over seven hundred thousand pounds a month. Apparently Kevin Riddett is totally out of his depth. I don't know what's coming next, but we are told that the so called business improvement plan (they call it a BIP) is a game and nothing really needs to change. People say they have been told to just play the game and all will be well. I hope they are right.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

There seem to be a lot of changes afoot at IRG. Steve Barry being demoted or parachuted back into IRL is one thing, but there seems to be a lot more panic going on within the business.

I partially agree with the bloggers who have been saying that this site is too negative. BUT they have to realise that Westinghouse (yes I will still call it that) has and had a fantastic team of workers always keen to push forward. A majority are still there and can help rescue the situation. BUT if the leadership cannot sort themselves out and actually have a strategy that they will stick to for more than 3 months, then the workers cannot weave their magic.

This was once a great company - and I am only looking back about 3 years. But, to have lost 2 MDs in 18 months and 3 or 4 FDs in the same timeframe, along with just about all of the rest of the Board, is just clumsy and short-sighted by IRG chiefs.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Head office HR is to blame for many of the company's ills, not just in IRG. The Invensys HR head has been intimately involved in many of the key leadership changes and decisions, and has been wrong on just about all of them. However, she and Ulf are inseparable, so they will only leave (and act) as a pair.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

How can HR be to blame? There are only about 5 of them in the IRNE HR team, so I can't see how they can have the influence to create negativity and problems through the whole business. We need to stop blaming each other for the problems that we face and work together. Every office and function has an important and inter-dependent role in getting us out of this mess. It's fine for people to air their views on this blog, at least we know the range of views of everyone, but ultimately we can only succeed if we all pull together.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Head of Projects & Commercial ANZ is doing a great job of forcing key talent to leave in droves; senior staff that the business ill afford to lose at this time. For a project delivery company they appear to have lost the customer focus they once had.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I have worked in mainline projects in an IRNE regional office for years, since the takeover of SCUK. For the avoidance of doubt, the manufacturiung profits are all recharged to projects at cost + profit, have been for years. It's a scam created in the days of Railtrack reimbursible projects to increase profits. Nothing wrong with that, but to suggest that Steve Barry coming back into IRNE will help us is a joke. I am sure that he knows about manufacturing, but he and his team are not trusted by most of the organisation outside of Chippenham.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Well tonight's postings have been a real eye opener. I too have a negative manager here in projects. My friends tell me how much more positive things are in manufacturing. Is HR to blame, as I hear they are very negative about invensys.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I have never even thought of posting on this site, but as I've now retired, feel I must. Phil Trelfall and Steve Barry are part of the team that kept Westinghouse afloat between 1999 and 2002. In fact Westinghouse survived by Steve Barry's manufacturing results in doubling sales over a 6 year period and being the the only profit. He changed working practices and was a step ahead of the rest of the company. His legacy is huge, including monthly briefs, best employee surveys, customer focus and business management. Phil was a major pusher in changing the keeping a chip off the Charles Riley block. Innovative but needs people to deliver. I don't know the rest of the Exec but hope my input is worthwhile.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Thank you for the last post! There are thousands of people in IRNE, and a few trouble-seeking managers probably trying to protect their jobs by posting here. The problem is clearly the management team, and not the Exec who are trying to win business and keep customers.

Bashing the people who are trying to make a success of the business that employs us, is beyond belief. There are very difficult times ahead (that the last Exec created) - let's hope the negative people are the first to go.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The last two posts on the IRNE Exec are interesting. Firstly they appear to be malicious as apposed to constructive. Another view would be that Crossfield was a senior Director at Network Rail as opposed to limited Rail Experience. The Engineering leader is probably the person most respected by the Engineering community, as opposed to being a poor leader. The new HR lead is, as the blogger suggests, new - so how does he/she know that she knows little and is unproven? Steve Barry coming back might be seen as positive as one of the most experienced and modernising Execs with proven track record in manufacturing.

Secondly the writing indicates that the malicious blogger is a manager and probably based in Chippenham. He/she talks about industry experience, leadership and management style. Doesn't sound like a junior engineer to me and somebody that's worked here for a few years. The fact that they appear to have knowledge of Directors day-rates, interim status and unannounced organisation changes is also interesting.

This Exec is who we are relying on to get us out of the disaster caused by the previous lot. Not one of them caused the current meltdown. The real worry is that there is a senior IRNE manager in Chippenham with some HR insights that is openly posting malicious and uninformed data here.

I know who gets my support.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The VP for Finance from IRNE was a great buddy of Nick Crossfield. He must surely have been misled about the company's financial position and what the role is about, for him to be leaving after only 3 months. The grapevine is saying that he was deeply unhappy about the overall position of the business.

That we can't hold on to quality people at this level, as well as our apparent inability to recruit other senior roles, is very worrying. I, for one, do not feel that there is anyone at the helm of this business steering in the right direction. To use a maritime analogy: there are a lot of people peering at the engine in the engine room, and no-one in the crow's nest looking for icebergs, or at the long-term direction of the business. To further the analogy, the issue with IRNE's exec team's approach to trying to solve the issues we face is similar to re-arranging deckchairs on the Titanic - pointless. Wholesale change is needed here.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

So, the exec team at IRNE is made up of the following:

  • MD,in his first MD role, with limited experience of the rail sector, clearly floundering
  • Interim Commercial Director (who always looks very happy, presumably because of the huge daily rate that is paid to him, and because he can walk away when he's ready)
  • Engineering Director, who knows the business, client and product, but isn't a people leader
  • New HR Director, who doesn't know much yet and is unproven
  • Steve Barry coming back to the fold - a demotion, and God help us, since his mangement style is out of the ark
And that's it.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Whatever became of the much publicized CSR partnership? This announcement on it's own gave the share price a significant boost, along with Ulf's public statement about CSR buying Invensys (later denied by the main board of Directors) which made Ulf's personal stock holding worth significantly more. However since then I can't find any information on any actual trading with this "partner". Anybody know what's going on ?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Apparently the IRNE HR VP doesn't agree with the big redundancy program coming in the UK. The VP Finance has also left the business, having been here for less than 3 months. Allegedly he did not want to be associated with IRNE and the Invensys policy of not being honest with the financial performance of the company.

I hear the share price has gone up today on rumours of a Siemens take over. That would be excellent for Invensys as it would hopefully mean the end of Ulf and his yes-men. However, when the truth of Invensys' financial performance gets out, which it will, the crash that follows will make it an absolute bargain.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Now IRNE at last announces the VP HR is leaving and they are replacing her with an HRBP! Can't they see they need a seasoned HR Director to sit on the board and sort this mess out and not a trainee HR Director? Just shows what the MD thinks of HR. Not a lot.

Monday, February 14, 2011

I've read these insertions for a number of months now and can see that not all are whiners, but genuinly concerned regarding the state of the business. The previous execs steered us magnificently into a downhill spiral and surrounded themselves with 'yes' people and hangers-on. These are now getting a shock, hence them leaving an apparantly sinking ship. I've seen this before when a large major player (in a completely different field) was downsized and reduced to almost nothing. The R&D was moved, in an effort to protect GEC's interests as they were the brains behind the new tech. Is this something that Invensys is doing, by protecting its brains before it prepares to sell a old, well-established business to new upstarts?

I would like to take to task the person who claims that some in B'ham do not do 30 hours, whilst others in Chippenham struggle to do 25. This may be the case in your world, but everyone I know in the Birmingham office works hard and long hours, despite the morale being lower than low. The sheer amount of work within this office, and the lack of staff means that they work more than their allocated hours, often through lunch, often logging-on during days off. It is people like this that bring projects to fruition, on time, although not necessarily within the profit margins that Invensys demands (upwards of 25%) but flipping-well close! Please ensure you have your own house in order before deriding other offices.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Constructive critism acceptable. Whining and bitching, no!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Invensys share price is completely unsupported by the facts. Expect a big downside when they come clean. Amazing, this used to be called lying; something that this board knows nothing about! This needs an FSA investigation. Let's see who knew what, when?

Sunday, February 13, 2011 - The blogger referring to the COO etc.

The reality is that each business unit pays a huge amount to finance these people and gets very little back. IRL in UK pays a lot into IRG and sees very little back too. These 'overhead' ivory towers do nothing to add value. In true-CI-speak, if something does not add value - get rid of it! I wish they would do exactly that.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The pattern to eliminate truth-sayers sounds like some kind of WWII mentality. Corporate "leaders" egos can't take any form of constructive criticism. They must eliminate the troops that dare to speak the truth.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Do you really think that Ulf believes any of the values? Honestly? He has managed to get to the CEO position after some luck, with Adrian Henner personally doing the refinancing of the company and then Steve Hare adding a steady hand on the wheel. Now with Ulf and Wayne in charge, the obvious is happening. Rail is in meltdown and will soon be followed by IOM as it's China nuclear deals go into loss. Controls is, as it always has been, a slow decaying business. I can't believe that this business can support all the corporate overheads in London and Plano. It's madness. Ulf has stayed around 2 years longer than he should have, and now his turnaround management style is destroying established and profitable parts of the business.

Have you looked at the ridiculous, titles of his so called executive team. Chief-of-staff, Chief HR Officer etc. This was apparently a British company. Its now filled with pompous idiots. We will see the unfortunate but inevitable decay from now on as fools like Ulf and his team drag the ship down.

Is it just me? Freburger - A COO with no operations reporting to him? He is paid over $500k a year basic, plus bonus, and lives a two-hour flight from any Invensys office. His team adds little, if anything, to the P&L. Tell me, apart from training that could be outsorced, what does this team add to the business?

Am I a whiner too? Wait until the results are announced. This bubble can only burst. Shareholders are being deceived.

Friday, February 11, 2011

To the bloggers that ask individuals to come forward and communicate who they are and address the issues in person:

There has been a pattern of behavior at Invensys to eliminate any individual that expresses a different point of view than that of the leadership. The behavior is not a one-off; it is consistent across all of the Invensys businesses. If leadership really wants to address these issues, the first thing you need to do is create a culture where diversity of opinions can be vocalized without fear of retribution.

One of the core values is Courage. Three years ago, Ulf communicated that Courage could be defined as standing up for what you believe. In the last 18 months, his definition of courage has changed to "Owning others' decisions as your own". My interpretation of this change in definition is that leadership really isn't interested in different points of view. The reality is Invensys isn't going to be the company to change the Automation world. We are a "me too" organization fighting for market share in a world that doesn't really care if Invensys is in the game or not. We don't have the best talent in the world because we lack vision and commitment to our employees. Those of us that remain here see areas where we can leverage the business and hope something will change to give us a chance to change the outcome.

Friday, February 11, 2011

I SO agree with the blogger who talks about the total lack of engagement in IRNE. Back in the late 80s, I learned about the principle, 'always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers'. If you do this, and treat employees as volunteers, in just the same way as customers are volunteers, you will win their hearts and minds.

People's loyalty, creativity, ingenuity and resourcefulness is in their hearts and minds and, boy, does this business need all of the latter. Very little of it actually exists. Unfortunately this well-understood management concept seems to have completely passed by the 'leadership' team (word used loosely) in IRNE. At the moment, IRNE is a desperately unhappy place to be because people-management is not made a priority in this business. People are beginning to act like volunteers and some of the most creative, ingenious and resourceful people are leaving or wish to leave. When your talent, upon which the whole business is based, is so disheartened, I don't think the business can be saved. Reluctanty, it is time to move on, and I recommend that everyone should do this.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The post, about the 'psychological contract' being broken in IRNE, is a good observation. For all of the faults of the previous exec., they were all experienced people with empathy for the railways and did realise the importance of the engineers in the business and tried to communicate with them.

There is nothing wrong with having a business focus, but the current exec is so short of experience in this industry they really 'don't know what they are doing'. It is fixable by the hiring of a few seasoned professionals at the top, with good people leadership skills. The mix in the exec is wrong, and that is at the heart of IRNE's problem. Crossfield needs to eat humble-pie and get some people in who understand what we do. I fear he is in the process of destroying a 100+ year business out of ignorance rather than anything else.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Is it just my observation, or is this weblog starting to resemble the general feeling around Invensys? The negative feeling seems to be taking on a life of its own. I don't believe I have read anything too positive [if at all] in the past few posts. I have a simple message: If it's not positive, don't post it.

Having participated in team sports during my adult life and experiencing both the highs and lows, it only takes a single victory to turn around a defeatists mentality. Let's look for that victory and focus on that for a change.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

It seems like this site has become a place to 'whine' about other offices. Therefore I would like to take this opportunity to take to task the individual who claims that Birmingham design office spend five hours a week on the internet. First, how does that individual know this? Second, how sad must that individual be to put that statement on this blog! Have you got a life? (Seems we are are resorting to insults). If you have an issue with certain offices, then at least have the common courtesy to come out from behind this blog.

For your information, the Birmingham design office is slowly but surely having the life squeezed out of it by management who are slowly stripping it of its staff; York is seen as their preferred choice for UK based design.

Once again, if you have the courage to come out and state your name, then send me your contact details and I will gladly talk with you in person on this matter. I would imagine you would struggle to take me up on this offer, as you probably lack the basic social skills necessary.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The main problem with IRNE is that the all-important psychological contract between its employees and the company is broken, and Crossfield and crew don't have a clue how to fix it - in fact, they don't even understand it, probably think that engaging your staff and building trust is just some HR thing rather than a business thing, without realising that it is what differentiates great companies from average and poor ones. I suspect that the HR VP has given up banging her head against a brick wall in trying to convince them, and so is heading off to a company that understands that you can't treat your people like cattle. Crossfield and crew could do with doing a bit of research about how to be leaders and how to get your staff on board and committed, rather than treating them like an afterthought.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

What the R&D person doesn't realise is that the few of us holding things together are working from 7:30am until after 6pm, almost every day and occasional hours on weekends, with no overtime and lower salaries than him. This work actually gets paid for by customers, as opposed to being a burden. This is required to make up for the web-surfers and flexi-timers!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The person who thinks R&D people only work 25 hours a week needs to look a bit harder. The vast majority of R&D staff are working well in excess of their contractual hours, most without any over-time pay. Yes, there are people who arrive at 9:30, but these are the same people who are still there at 7pm. And there are those that leave at 4:30, but they are the ones that start at 7:30 am and work right through lunch.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Clearly Rail has some issues. Hopefully they will fix them. However I cannot understand the general plc overheads. They have moved into a bigger, much more expensive office complex in London, compared to the previous rather low key office. People like Ulf have houses in Miami, yet work in London; Freburger and his whole (very expensive) team live thousands of miles from any Invensys office, so how does that work? Does the company spend millions of dollars flying senior staff from their homes to where they are paid to work? Remind me how this affects productivity?

The usual double standards from Ulf and his henchmen. One rule for them and to hell with the working staff.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011 - To "seriously worried":

I thought the post was fairly accurate. It doesn't say we haven't got the ability. It simply says that these are the areas we need to focus on. To be honest I tend to agree as it is our core skill and let's face it we are not exactly winning loads of work right now.

Our Westcad business and manufacturing is very profitable. The overheads must be too high with all the offices we have, but we shall have to see what Network Rail business we win in the future.

This is a good business but needs to address it's core problems. We all know that some projects have people that spend half the day surfing the net and chatting. People that then also claim overtime. If we are honest we know it's true. In Birmingham, there are employees that don't put even 30 hours a week. In R&D in Chippenham, the staff rarely put in 25 hours a week. It's embarrassing to watch them strolling in between 9 and 10 am yet leaving before 4:30pm. Try and find their Director after 4:30pm. You won't.

Address the real problems and this is a good business.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Read Jim Pinto's latest column in Automation World, February 2011. This specifically discusses reasons why anonymous weblogs are so popular.

MouseKeep Motivation Up in a Down Economy.

During a period of recession, leadership skills are truly challenged. The solutions derive from strong management, which motivates good people to do what it takes to win during tough times. Mechanisms must be created for the workforce to share their feelings. It's the bad times that make good companies so much better during the good times.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I'm seriously worried now - one of Tuesday's bloggers says that rail can't do R & D, Engineering or Project Management. Oh. Better pack up and go home, since these 3 things are supposed to be what the business does. Or rather doesn't do....

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The problems in IRNE are clear to anyone with an objective view. Firstly, R&D is too expensive, delivers late and usually with a long list of problems that need further work. Will Spain do any better ? We shall see.

Secondly, Engineering is very inefficient. Designs are regularly late on both mainline and mass transit projects and have cost over runs. Project Management capability varies from average to poor.

We've had several change programs over the years, but nothing has really changed. Unless these issues are addressed then redundancies will only make things worse.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What IRNE Exec? Crossfield is clueless; the VP of Finance wants to leave; the VP of HR is leaving; threre is no VP for Project Delivery; no Operations representation; an interim VP for Commercial; no EHS representation and no R&D representation. Only the VP of Engineering has any experience. This lot are led by a COO with no understanding of this business, or for that matter any project engineering business. Is anyone surprised by the total lack of strategy or direction?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011 - RE: Software quality in IOM is at an all time low:

That's good for Invensys-Cognizant partnership; development jobs are safe with more patches, and this adds to Cognizant's profits quarter by quarter.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

This is getting depressing! People keep saying what will happen; I can't see this change. Will it happen all in one day?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Apparently it is true about R & D. Having spent £ millions on a strategy to create a global R&D department for Rail over the past 2 years, and hiring lots of highly skilled engineers, it's mostly going from the UK to Spain with the loss of jobs in the UK. So much for a strategic approach. Just one example of the many changes in direction that are not thought through, and are based on the views of some paper-pusher who thinks it's cheaper for it to be done in Spain, while missing the bigger picture altogether. Spain will fall over within months, since they can't cope with the work they are doing now. How IS Sao Paulo doing?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Most of the IRNE staff posting blogs here are not 'moaners' or 'whiners'. They are deeply frustrated at a lack of leadership, the constant change in 'strategy' and having to watch a business to which they have devoted their lives going down the drain.

The problem is that this weblog is the only outlet available to people, since the leadership teams are not interested in the reality of people's experience. In Rail, most execs do anything they can possibly do to avoid talking to a person who actually works on the front line. Has Nick Crossfield ever spoken to an employee on a one-to-one basis just to listen to what is happening and what they think and feel about the business? Very doubtful, since he either looks through people, actively avoids them, or gives them the most disdainful looks. He mirrors his style on the now invisible Drummond. While the management style is based on actively avoiding any engagement with its people, then these blogs are sure to continue.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I was told today that the UK Rail HR VP resigned last year and leaves soon. Apparently the VP Finance also says openly that the UK business is "a basket-case" and wants to leave. I think he has only been here a month or two. HR have always been a charade in Invensys. I've worked here more than 15 years and it's been a joke from day one. However now it appears cynical as opposed to just incompetent. How long before the real financial truth comes out and Ulf's financial bubble bursts?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Invensys values, as everyone knows, are an HR charade. They mean nothing, have no relevance in practice, and when an employee attempts to live them, there's an arrogant snicker from management.

Our future depends on a leadership change, from home office through to the business leadership in each Invensys unit. Since Ulf himself is unwilling to act, the board must respond soon to avoid a potentially devastating results for the shareholders and employees.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

There is no TEAM in Invensys Rail. This has been caused by execs who are permanently looking over their shoulder (i.e. backwards) rather than looking forward and planning for success. The current batch of execs just hide behind their computer screens. As for leadership at IRG it is even worse, you cannot even enter their inner sanctum.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Software quality in IOM is at an all time low. A lot of packages can't even be installed without major support intervention. There are so many fixes in work - it's laughable.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Rail is about to stop all global R&D, instead going back to four local cottage industries. IRNE is about to make half of the R&D staff redundant. You call that progress?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Not in Invensys it isn't. Here it's a case of whether Ulf likes you. There is no integrity, no meritocracy, performance is about PowerPoint, and courage gets you fired. Ulf and others of his inner circle would not survive in any other FTSE100 company. That's why they are still here, milking what personal gains they can.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Overcome your fears in private? How did that work out for the Egyptian people? It's a new era of transparency, and progressive leaders will embrace, rather than suppress it.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Finally some sense on this weblob regarding the UK rail business. Life ain't so bad, and its time to get going and come together as a team. Leaders come and go, some bad and some good. The only real constant is the talent in the business. In a time of economic uncertainty for most of the world, it is pathetic to hear comfortably-off people in IRL whining and moaning at how bad their lot is. Get behind the leadership and shape up or ship out; or take the consequences.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Then you have those who defend the whining, which is even worse. Overcome your fears in private, not online.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Many in upper management like to call bloggers "whiners". But the truth is that the bloggers tell the very truth that the leaders don't want spoken. Blogs are the worst nightmare for CEO's, Boards and the shareholders. The blog should be welcomed by the very entities that despise the blog. A real leader would address the issues brought up in the blog. American corporations have very few real leaders. Jeff Immelt is an exception.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The last blogs are correct: the future of Rail Europe is in the hands of those who accept change and can make it happen.

Friday, February 4, 2011

I totally agree with the last blogger, You will never move foward and be a progressive individual, or business, by continuosly living in the past. The very few in the Rail business who constantly whine and moan, bring down the effort of the majority who are hard working and come to work to do a good job and earn a living for their families. The whiners are the unproductive, who sit in corners and gossip; they should be written-up for poor performance and be shown the door. The current exec. is working hard to turn around this business. Yes, there are challenges, but with your support and positive behaviour, their efforts will be successful. So whiners, start working and stop whining.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The weblog comments on Rail make such depressing reading. Bloggers seem so angry and obsessed by the past, even with people who left months ago. Makes you wonder what sad bitter lives they must have.

The Rail business is going through a tough time, but it has a great pedigree, is fundementally strong, respected by clients and full of talented hard-working people. Sure, the leadership has changed a lot, but the negative bloggers on this site need to look in the mirror as well. If it is so bad, if they don't like the leadership, just leave. There are plenty of other organisations to work for in the UK rail industry.

Life is too short for this negative stuff. It's time for the positive pro-active folk in Rail to stand up and weed out the whiners who are day-by-day destroying your business.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Just when it looked like IOM would turn its software group around by finally replacing the terrible head of development, the chap who replaces him turns out to be worse. Mr Outsource himself. So much for new products. So much for happy customers. Time to polish up the resume, I'd say.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Instead of worrying about who got the UK Rail Group's business in a mess and trying to lay blame, I suggest more time and effort should be spent on getting the business turned around. The new COO isn't perfect, and he certainly has his faults, but the focus should be on business improvement goals, NOT on the next person to blame.

Thursday, February 3, 2011 - To the person who posted on 12th December: "The problem is that the more experienced engineering staff create a bad atmosphere within the company by constantly moaning about the management."

As a senior engineer I can tell you nobody with Red Book is daft enough to expect ever to receive such a deal, although some have in the past. I would welcome the company taking up your idea on getting rid of the high-paid morale-sappers by redundancy. Why not place your idea in the suggestion box? At the same time I suggest you start looking for alternative employment or maybe book yourself on a relevant training course.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Alistair McPhee and Mark Wild did not create the mess at Rail. They had both grown up in Rail and know the business well. It was James Drummond who created the mess through his appalling management style and totally unrealistic expectations, and continual efforts to do whatever he could to protect his own image with Ulf. The man would kill his grandmother if he thought doing so would save his skin. He surrounds himself with yes-men, mafia-like - Alistair and Mark had enough of being yes-men and went.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The problem in Rail is that the UK leadership needs some big hitters. After the disastrous Alistair McPhee and Mark Wild mess, some big figures are required. Crossfield needs some heavy weights as he is clearly clueless on his own. Drummond appears to have left and there is a vacuum. Riddett is a joke if you research him. Rail is in trouble.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My advice to IOM is to not outsource your critical business to offshore team (CTS). CTS can handle only medium/low level business. This practice was followed since 2002. In case, if IOM outsources its critical business, the output of the critical business from offshore team (CTS) is: "Invensys is under its competitor's radar."

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Well, Plymouth has already started transferring product to Slovakia. so why stop with a price sensitive product such as a thermostat? Rail is a different story, as it's saffety critical and complex. We shall see.

Monday, January 31, 2011

I don't know much about the Plymouth, UK plant. I would be much more worried about the Rail plant in the UK. It must be a candidate for shipping off to a low cost country. I hear that the senior staffers have been China to look at options. Kevin Ridett likes low cost countries and is happy to ship staff out to make way for cheaper staff.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Ivensys Rail in the UK has to be the most depressing and demoralising place to work. Staff are kept in the dark about what's going on and there is no communication. Nick Crossfield told all the staff that the business was going down the tubes back in October and that he had 6 months to save it. What's happenend? Are we saved? You find out more on this blog than you do from the management, who are treating staff with disdain. I suppose that we haven't been saved, otherwise we would havebee told. Just have to wait for the job cuts then.

Monday, January 31, 2011 I have to disagree with the poster who says that Nick Crossfield is saving engineering jobs. Nick is a businessman and will do whatever it takes to increase profitability and will not think about staff jobs. He was all set to make 80 redundant before Christmas, and now it could be up to 200. Remember that his boss is now Kevin Ridett and he will want to please him, and Kevin will want drastic job cuts, off shoring, outsourcing and anything else to save costs, based on what happened in the US. Watch out, Invensys Rail in the UK - this is the lull before the storm and engineering won't get special treatment.

Friday, January 28, 2011

I left Invensys Controls a while ago, but at that time the plant in Slovakia did not have a great deal of excess space. Certainly not enough to accomodate the Plymouth facility. I personnally do not think that this would be considered as one of the more desirable places to do business, compared to the UK which is one of the better places in Europe to do business. Wage rates are reasonable in the UK, compared to the continent. There is a disadvantage relative to eastern Europe, but it would be far down the list compared to facilities in Italy and Germany. I would not spend a lot of time dwelling on this.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rumour is that Invensys is exiting all UK manufacturing with the Plymouth Controls plant, moving to a half empty plant in Slovakia. Can anyone confirm?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Is it Kevin Riddett you are referring to ? From what I know, he has been in the COO role since the end of November last year; but I have never seen him. I agree that Nick Crossfied has been trying to protect the UK engineering skill base. I suppose we are about to see what Riddett knows about the complexity of a long-cycle project engineering business. From his background it looks like nothing.

Friday, January 21, 2011

In fairness to Nick Crossfield, he has tried to protect jobs and the engineering skill base. I'm no fan, but I think this is true. However we will probably now see the American, with no project engineering background destroy what little value is left. From what the Safetran team say, he was in the right place at the right time. He comes in as the customer base started ordering 3 times the volume compared to prior years. Just more volume making things look good.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The wheels have come off the business...

Click here (Click) UK Telegraph - Wheels come off Invensys as FTSE 100 slides

Tell us something that the staff haven't known for ages. Looks like the beginning of the end.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Invensys Drops Most in 14 Months as Unit Profit Falls
Bloomberg Jan 20, 2011 (extracts):

Invensys fell the most in 14 months in London trading after third-quarter operating profit declined in its controls division on "softening" demand. The stock dropped as much as 29.2 pence, or 8.2%, the biggest intraday loss since November 2009, and traded at 331.8 pence, a 7.2% decline, as of 11:16 a.m. The stock has risen 8.2% in the past year, giving the company a market value of 2.69 billion GBP ($4.3 billion).

The controls division "experienced some softening in demand, particularly in North America," in the three months through December, the London-based company said today in a statement. That "resulted in a small decline in revenue and operating profit" before exceptional items compared with the year-earlier period.

Chief Executive Officer Ulf Henriksson said in November the company will keep the lower-margin controls unit, though it has limited synergies with the industrial and railway-software divisions. Analysts previously criticized the combination of businesses, with some saying the controls unit's sale would make Invensys a more attractive takeover target.

Invensys said orders declined year-on-year in the rail division, the company's largest, "reflecting the uneven order intake" as Invensys awaits the outcome of bids for several large contracts.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

IRNE is dead in the water. Apparently Nick Crossfield is having another go at trying to re-structure the company and lots of jobs are supposed to be going. It's Nick's last chance to make an impact, having failed to do so at all in the past 6 months, and so it looks like it will be a deep slash and burn to save his skin. He's doomed to failure, since he couldn't lead the proverbial in a brewery, and doesn't appear to have the first idea how to manage big change. So it looks likely that he will be sent packing too. IRNE hasn't won a major order for months, with SSL winning everything, there'll soon not be enough work for people to do, and the best engineers are leaving. What IS keeping the share price up? Can only be thoughts of a takeover.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Rail is in trouble. Controls? IOM has issues everywhere. In the last six months we have had 3 VP's resign in North America; what do they know that we don't? The integration of Wonderware, IPS, and Eurotherm started over 24 months ago, and absoluting nothing has changed positively for our customers or the employees. The North America IOM team is to the end of their ropes, and I know more and planning on departing. There won't be much left when the individuals that have been holding the business together depart. We have lost two senior level leaders in sales, even though our numbers are ahead of plan. Why leave unless they can see something we don't? Our President is rarely here (at HQ), and he doesn't communicate anything to anyone. We have learn through the rumor mill and other executives.

It is not just rail. IOM is heading down a path with no recovery.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

This delay in payment is coming from on-high at PLC, but then is implimented at local level.

RIP Westinghouse is absolutely right. When I joined the company it was cash-rich and was always seeking out deals to lower prices including shortening terms if need be. The cash cow has been well and truly milked by Invensys Rail Group which is now a sponge for any money made at local level. £ Millions being paid into the IRG element for little or no real benefit.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Click here (Click) UK Telegraph - Invensys Rail delays payments to suppliers

There seem to be an increasing number of reasons to bail out of Invensys.

Friday, January 14, 2011

I left IRNE nearly two years ago, mainly due to the lack of any effective leadership and the constant focus on re-invention through completely meaningless strategy initiatives. These "promised" to deliver real change to invigorate the business, but delivered nothing (but the teams were full of overpaid ill-experienced amateurs). It seems from the blogs on here that the old exec have all been cleared out (a good thing in my opinion) but have been replaced with equally incompetent individuals with no "backbone". This is all such a shame for a company that has always had great engineering capability - RIP Westinghouse.

Wednesday, January 12,

So Rail is for sale? The HQ is being broken up and put in the business units. It's value has been completely wasted by Invensys Plc, to prop up other parts of the group; and now completely used, it is being discarded. Ulf has only a short-term view that suits his $6m a year personal salary.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The delay in paying suppliers at Rail is despite significant improvements to payment terms last time around - really worrying times when combined with the earlier trails below. Hold on to your hats folks! And yet the share price still holds up and holds up at a very high point - shareholders beware.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The delayed payments are only the tip of the iceberg. Invensys is now facing a difficult situation. Over the past three years the order book as grown significantly. Unfortunately, that order book has a significant amount of deals that Invensys cannot deliver at the order value they quoted to the customers. In addition, many of those implementations are now failing due to the lack of expertise left within the organisation. Many customers are imposing penalties and short payments due to the poor quality and missed milestones. This is not unique to the Rail Group. IOM over the past three years has taken on a number of deals that are in the same position. What is even more concerning is the $800 million dollars in deals they won in China for Nuclear Power Plants; those deployments are now happening and there will be significant issues with those deals.

Be very careful dealing with Invensys; what you see floating at the surface is only a small fraction of what lies below.

Thursday, January 6, 2011 - from UK Daily Telegraph:

Invensys Rail delays payments to suppliers
Suppliers to Invensys Rail face rising costs after the group told key UK contractors they would wait up to twice as long to be paid.

The decision has been heavily criticised by suppliers who now face further financial pressure after a fallow period of new works from Network Rail, which owns and operates the rail infrastructure. It also contrasts with moves by Network Rail to reduce the time it takes to commission and pay suppliers like Invensys for work.

For one supplier this meant a near doubling of payment terms. "Invensys was already one of the worst payers on 55 days and now it's another 30 days."

Monday, January 3, 2011

The only reason the California offices are there is because you have some upper management that wont move to Plano. The system architects are spread around, as well as project managers. Watch what happens to this group as it will be the tea leaves to read. Marketing is mostly remote, as is sales. Delivery and support can all be done somewhere else as well. By mid-March, expect the next round like each year.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Does anyone in Foxboro know Chet Mroz? How is he? He just landed at Yokogawa as CEO.

Friday, December 17, 2010 - Re: "But I've personally handed out a lot of 10, 15, and 30 year awards over the past 7 years. They stayed around for something..."

Because people who've been here for even 10 years aren't the kind to switch to other companies casually. They're often the ones who are scared to move, don't think they could cut it at another company, or don't want to have to start working hard. One boor I know in the Wonderware offices has been pretty incompetent at everything he's ever done here, but he socializes well with people above him and knows everyone after all these years. His talent is knowing when to move to another group to avoid redundancy. He's still here, still incompetent and still moving around from department to department every few years.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010 - News from Controls Europe:

Does anybody know the strategy of Controls in Europe? Do they stop to play with figures and power point presentations? Sooner or later Balcunas will understand it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Inept management at it's best. That's all that can explain Invensys. Nothing else explains the demise of a product that one ruled the petrochemical industry. Have a life preserver reday for the sinking day because it will be everyone for themselves.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010 - News from Controls Europe:

The progressive disappearance of Invensys from the market is continuing; no new contracts, traditional customers moving to competitors, strong reduction of organisation ongoing, continous loss of know-how. Uauuuhh, great strategy Balcunas and Henriksson! Can someone explain this way of letting the company die slowly? What is the value for the shareholders?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The COMPANY does not care about loyalty. Everyone is dispensable and replaceable with overseas slave labor. It's the reality that the Republicants created. Big breaks for corporate America and fat cats translate into bad times for US employees.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A management which focuses on Short term financial gains is one which would like to loot the company treasure and disappear. They care (understand) little about LOYALTY.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Invensys has come a long way - maybe not with the most comfortable approach but with great financial results. Sustainable success starts with happy customers who buy more and give good reference. This is what we need now. Customer success breeds financial success for the future. Short term financial focus makes management happy and loyal employees and owners unhappy.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

WILL FOXBORO get SUN Ultraspac IIIi machines for I/A 8.0? . I came to know that Sun is going to use Intel chips in future for DESKTOP machines. It looks like SOLARIS on MESH (I/A 8.0) will have no takers.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The problem with invensys staff is that the more experienced engineering staff create a bad atmosphere within the company by constantly moaning about the management. If it is so bad then leave! Not likely to happen as most engineering staff are over paid and waiting for the never-to-happen red-book redundancy package. Whenever redundancies are mentioned, staff who have red-book find out what they would be paid and do nothing about it. It's as if they are chasing the mythical lottery win, and planning what to do with the cash before they have it! The company should get rid of the high paid morale sappers and invest in in-depth, relevant training

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ulf, Farr, Cote - they are all cut of the same cloth. The grass is not greener on the other side. I interviewed with Invensys last year and thought they had a good plan, but they never offered me a job. I used it for leverage in my current job with EPM. Did the trick for me. They use us and in return we must use them for our own gains.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Regarding the last post on domain expereince, you forgot Condition Based Monitoriong with Mtelligence and Mimosa, Asset Management with Avantis is done outside of california, the hmi engine for Wonderware industrial computers for CE done by Indusoft, and Skelta for workflow-done in India.

Now, with all of these applications and the others below you cant help wonder why customers consider our solutions heavy and difficult to manage with so many different databases, configuration, reports, communications. The ArchestrA infrastructure is barely leveraged in most application cases and adds far more complexitiy and resources for the majority of projects where customers want just performance and production on top of exsisitng systems. It will be unlikely that these applications can become native and the duplicity remove for customers. So the California R&D is left over only to serve that infrastructure but has absolutely no industry or application domain left.

Friday, December 10, 2010 - Sub: To close the Invensys R&D facilities:

If some one thinks there would not be any problem on closing the Invensys R&D facilities by outsourcing to third party companies, I say outsource the Invensys Top Level Management. That should automatically solve the problem; or SELL Invensys - who ever buys it would checkout the garbage that has been accumulating in the organization at all levels, more in the recent past.

Friday, December 10, 2010

It is feasible to close the California facility. Domain experience is not the key element that makes California R&D unique. Much is outsourced already to third party companies with their own domain experience. Plant communications: outsourced to Kepware, and very little to no investment into OPC by Invensys. Alarming: outsourcing to PAS; Version Control and managment: outsourcing to MDT and PAS; Manufacturing intelligence: outsourced to Tableau; Production Managment: sourced from previous Facteligence engineers in PA; Mobile: outsourced; Reporting: outsourced: HMI: India, etc.

So I don't get the managers comment on domain, other than system architects and project managers which is what makes up most of the staff. Seems like its very self-serving to make a domain claim. Infrastructure is the only application being developed in the California center.

Friday, December 10, 2010 - RE: closing of the California R&D facility:

If there is any thought to close the Invensys R&D facilities based on the Cognizant capabilities, it's suicidal. If it comes to that stage, better sell out Invensys. Cognizant is facing an exodus (bright and experienced talent) from the Invensys ODC and the organization is unable to control this.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The information on the closing of the California R&D facility is completely bogus. I have personally seen the numbers for this and it is not feasible. The Cognizant teams are not working on anything even remotely 'domain-specific'. Not only are the engineers in california safe, but new hires are also being made in California. Anyone who knows anything about outsourcing knows there would not be new engineering hires in California if the talent was available at Cognizant.

As for the slash-n-burn mentality. The Invensys Local Bonus Program reaches down far enough to touch real people, not just VPs. It was nice to have a President who actually generated those bonuses for everyone, not just brought in more touchy-feely crap. As for the people that left, it is very interesting that the people left here predicted almost exactly who would leave and who wouldn't. If even the regular employees know someone should be released, then I dont mourn the loss.

Doom and gloom is easy to forecast, and engineers whining over management is nothing new nor will it ever stop. But I've personally handed out a lot of 10, 15, and 30 year awards over the past 7 years. They stayed around for something...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Invensys did a remarkable turnaround by managing cost and increasing focus. Now the wallet is full and it is time to grow again faster than the market. How is the current managment capable in enabling innovation and risk taking in daily business?

Now it is the time to show our experience and grow again because we know better than our competition what our customers need just now. Let us go for it! Our traditional customers would love to see us come back. And they will help us when we show initiative.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

What is the "story" with Invensys Rail and CSR? Is it a marrage made in heaven or hell? Partnership or CSR purchase? I worked for K. Riddett and have some interesting background on this guy. I just have to get them organized for this site.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

It is time to hold on to your hats, chaps. Kevin Riddett will definitely slash and burn. Watch for compulsory redundancies very very soon in UK Rail after the voluntary route only generated a small number (50-ish I heard). It is no longer a good place to be I would suggest.

As for JD - watch this space, as I suspect he will have his golden handshake by end-March; probably £1M for screwing things up - not a bad days work. Other have also left at the so-called Director level recently, with huge payouts after cock-ups too!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Well, you have to give Ulf credit for being consistent in his leadership choices. Drive costs down, screw innovation, hell with human capital, let's get those margins up so we can sell this bag of bolts. What an a-hole he must be in person.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Those posting about the assignment of Kevin Riddett as the new Invensys Rail COO have not done their homework. This "unknown American" is coming from Invensys Rail North America. Mr. Riddett is no new-comer to Europe. Prior to IRNA, he was CEO of Pirelli Tires in the US and Italy and CEO of Union Switch and Signal/Ansaldo. Mr. Riddett may be unknown to many because his expertise is as corporate "Hatchet Man". Hatchet Men have a tendency to keep a low profile, to enable them to operate with stealth before their unsuspecting victims realize they are about to meet their doom.

Mr. Riddett's two year tenure as Invensys' hand-picked President of IRNA has resulted in a sizable number of our work force outsourced to India, China, and Mexico. 130 union manufacturing employees, many with up to 30 years experience, were shown the door as the operation was relocated from California to a little town in Kentucky, using non-union employees with no rail experience, working for 40% less than their California counterparts. Those 130 California employees were told by Mr. Riddett that their jobs were secure, just six months prior to the announcement of the move. R&D has been cut by 25% with the possibility of more in the future. The remnant of engineers, are working 50 to 70 hour weeks (they are exempt, so no overtime) with impossible deadlines to maintain. Miss your deadline and find yourself in the parking lot with a box of your personal belongings. With the depressed job market, many are left with no other choice but endure and hope something better comes along.

It is rumored that the California R&D operation will disappear when the building lease is up in 2012; however management insists this is not the case. This gives the Cognizant "visiting" personnel another year or so to continue on-the-job training from the engineers they have been assigned to shadow. It is all about cutting costs, regardless of how much quality and customer service suffers.

One of the posts stated "it looks like a new low". Believe me, Invensys Rail UK is about to see how low it can go. To my colleagues in the UK, update those resumes as the Grim Reaper is coming to town!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

As a loyal Invensys employee I dislike this site. However the last post is a real issue. Those producing positive PowerPoints and moving on before the lack of results are seen, are well rewarded. It's the Honeywell way. Riddett is basically hated in the US operation in Louisville, and has been lucky through our US government-spending package. He has been in the right place at the right time. Now watch how he deals with a real challenge!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

We all need to remember that Ulf - and his HR wunderkind Paula - have proven to be utterly terrible judges of talent and leadership ability. This is just another in a string of poor organizational choices that this gruesome twosome has made.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The decision to appoint the unknown American to head up rail cannot be a decision made by James; he is being pushed out. He is in the departure lounge and Ulf is just being kind and letting him hang about a bit before he heads off, having mortally wounded the rail business. The appointment of Kevin Ridett is a worry. He runs what was a mainly factory operation, and has never run a complex projects business. Hang on to your hats, engineers, the bumpy ride's not over.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Well, looks like a new low. An American nobody has been brought in to run the Rail business. From what I can see he has zero understanding of the business. He has successfully run a little manufacturing operation based totally in the US that makes up 20% of the Rail sales and less than that of profit. He is now the main-man for the future of a global Rail projects business. Kevin Riddett? Who is he and what credibility has he with customers like Network Rail?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Drummond has finally admitted he can't cope, so he has brought in an American manager to do most of his work. Either that, or he has realised he might have been finally found out and has brought in a new fall-guy. Fortunately we have a fundamentally excellent company of engineers who get things done despite the management team.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

So guys, how is it going ? Has Rail imploded as stated in previous blogs? Or was Ulf right all along? Has the company been put up for sale as suggested first by Ulf, then denied after he got slapped down by the board? What is happening?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hello Rail Group Executive. What's going on? There has been NO communication from any senior leader in the UK for weeks and weeks, since the new MD told us what a horrible mess he's inherited and what a hard tieme he's having. What about us, the engineers out front who are trying to deliver projects despite what you're doing? Or are you determined to let mushroom management do its worst? I guess so.

Monday, November 22, 2010

We won't be better off if we get taken over. Acquisitions are fraught with danger and we're not in good enough shape in any division to be able to deal with it. Trying to go through integration processes at the moment would be disastrous, and almost impossible to unpick the mess we have at the moment.

Monday, November 22, 2010

It is appropriate that we (Invensys) should give a good re-look into the on-going tie-up with Cognizant. Cognizant is just managing the show, with the help of favored folks at Invensys, than really helping us to build good quality products. Most of the deliverables from Cognizant ODC have either quality issues or missed deadlines or both, AOD we can conclude that erstwhile IDC performed better. Reliable sources in ODC reveal, current EMS management there is improving its grip further on this engagement by tranferring most of the work to Chennai. Instead they would be better-off when the quality of the deliverables is improved and the good talent is retained. AOD, lot of good and experienced talent left this engagement and we have experienced consequences.

We can be better-off if some one takes over Invensys, undoubtedly they would clean-up all the messed-up engagements and the leadership.

Thursday, November 18, 2010 - Re: Is Invensys different from any other automation vendor?

The problem with figuring out what makes any automation systems different from another is you have to go into the details of the solution. Marketing has to dumb it down to value; but once that is done, you are left with me-too messages.

I would suggest look at customers' success first. Get references on support and delivery; do a good technical evaluation and history; and frankly ignore the marketing BS because anyone can blow their own horn well. Focus on your knockout criteria first and be hard on them regarding the cost of supporting and maintaining the infrastructure and systems. Many times it requires several more servers than you expect and is not one platforms and databases but many that are just branded as one.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

In response to the stock option question, you really need to contact the Corporate Secretary's office in London. This all depends on the date and plan that the options were granted under. I am a former employee as well who has old options. I don't believe the company has issued options for quite a few years having moved to stock grants. Keep in mind that the most recent event was a reverse split so when you are looking at a current price of £3 you could be comparing this to an option price of £0.3 so it could be well under water. I suspect this is probably the case.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I am a former employee of Invensys and was issued employee stock options prior to the stock split. Does anyone know the date and details of the stock split? Also, does anyone know whether or not we can excercise these options? Thanks.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Having been to OpsManage in Paris, there is a question that bothers me: In what sense is Invensys different from any other automation vendor? The stories from all of them that I have heard are utterly similar. I need to know who's story it is I am listening to on different venues. And they are all just stories? No real customer cases to stand up and show the end-user value.

For the most part, as a customer, I do not see many collegues actually buying this stuff. Is there a market for enterprice control systems? Who is leading the market as the customer, and who as the supplier? If you can help me here I would be very grateful.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A few of our people noticed that there was no third-party blog on ArchestrA or IAS, so they created one. In the first two weeks, we've already had over 1000 views. Here is a brief description:

    As a group we've been working with ArchestrA, IAS, System Platform, etc. since 2005. What we are trying to accomplish is to share some of our experience from the trenches and hopefully engage in some lively discussions to advance the knowledgebase of the community as a whole.
Click here (Click) Archestra/IAS blog: archestranaut.avidsolutionsinc.com

Monday, November 15, 2010

Matters in the Rail group in the UK continue to deteriorate. Apparently Drummond has parachuted his own team in above the heads of the local executive to slash and burn - doesn't show much confidence in the new MD or his new team.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I too am astonised by Ulf's denial to staff today. He appears to be quoted directly in Saturday's Daily Telegraph in what also appears to be an interview with the reporter.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ulf lining his pockets before departure. The eventual 11% rise in stock will have made him millions of dollars. Unbelievable especially as the situation is dire.

Monday, November 15, 2010

What an extraordinary event. CEO of a FTSE 100 company, Invensys, tells the press that he thinks a Chinese rail company could buy out his business. The share price goes up 10%, making him a small fortune. Then his board of directors deny everything! I'm astonished Ulf hasn't been fired for one of the worst examples of misinformation on a very price-sensitive subject.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Nowadays, the China Government seems to have deep pockets. Like Volvo Cars, which is being sold to Zhejiang Geely Automotive Group, why not Invensys? Volvo cars now has a much bigger "playing field" as compared to the past.

Invensys has some core automation technologies and expertises that are involved in railway controls, nuclear plant etc. These are some of the areas that China Government are looking at to help move China massive infrastructures forward in direction, design and expertise.

If the sales DOES go through to CSR, Emerson, Honeywell, ABB and others can fight it out in the ever-difficult and shrinking core process and instrumentation control market worldwide. When they trying to "diversify" their core automation business in China, they will most likely never get any good projects in these areas.

Don't be also surprised that the China government "can sponsor" green field projects to "friendly" third world governments somehow, via Invensys technologies. Don't talk about export restriction of technologies by the US Government. Lets' face it. It was never easy to enforce. Emerson can still have links and still "sell" into Iran - as can be read in the Emerson blog. In the newpapers and the media, there seemed to be a lot of resentment against China - I feel out of admiration, fear and jealousy.

On paper, CSR buying Invensys is not such a bad thing - at this moment in time. At least, it ensures survivalbility in Invensys core products for the time being.

At least, with the rumored takeover, Invensy can hope to get rid of some of the "one dimensional" top management - like Sudipta, Pankaj etc. - which is just like the recently concluded New Dehli Commonwealth Games debacle: Talk a lot, delivered very little.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Bloomberg - Invensys Shares Rise After CEO Says Company May Be Acquired

Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Invensys Plc advanced as much as 8.9 percent in London trading after the Daily Telegraph reported that the company may be a takeover target by Chinese railcar maker CSR Corp., citing Chief Executive Officer Ulf Henriksson.

The shares rose as much as 28.2 pence to 347 pence, the most since Nov. 4. CSR has the √¨possibility√ģ of buying Invensys, the newspaper reported, citing the Invensys CEO. Officials at CSR weren√≠t immediately available to comment on the report when contacted by Bloomberg News.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

Monday, November 15, 2010

Rumours in UK rail business are of 100 + jobs to go due to profit write offs this year.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Well according to Ulf, we are going to be sold to a Chinese rail company. I suspect this is just a ploy to raise the price as Honeywell, GE etc. are all in the game. I wonder how much stock Ulf has?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Daily Telegraph, a national newspaper in the UK, is reporting that Invensys is likely to be subject to takeover by a Chinese rail organisation, and features an interview with Ulf. Looks like he is looking for that M & A opportunity to distract investors and staff from deep seated problems in the business.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Good newsletter.

Sudipta's not a bad speaker at all, but years and years of being lied to by Pankaj, the former head of HR and lots of 2nd-level managers have led to a profound distrust by the WW troops in anything mgmt might say. The "more-more-faster-faster-cheaper-cheaper" approach that's dominated the Invensys culture in the last few years is corrosive. Combine that with plenty of examples of what happens when you speak up about anything, and you have a population who will keep their heads down, do just enough work to keep their jobs, and look for other work when it becomes available. Our turnover rate used to be 11% in 2005. Ignoring layoffs, I'm guessing the turnover rate is now at least twice that.

I think Sudipta has done a good job of telling the truth, but he has a lot of damage still to repair. All we can see is that our jobs are being sent to India for a short term gain. Good capitalism, but there's nothing in it for us.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wonderware had a future - no longer. Foxboro had a future - no longer. Eurotherm had a future - no longer. The idiots who have dreams of running a big singular company at a profit ruined the golden goose for their own ego and pockets at customers and employees expense. The bar for customers like General Mills, Proctor and Gamble, China Nuclear, Nestle, Mars, etc. must be set low because it's amazing that they would take such a gamble on this beast.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The unions were in Rail UK today for a special meeting. Not a good sign. Something bad must be about to happen....

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The good news is that Pankaj no longer runs development. The bad news is he still has too much influence. Forcing apps such as EMI onto Archestra platform before it is ready for transactional type applications is a big mistake. More generally, the ECS vision can't be realised without a transactional / service centric platform.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

In Rail rumours are all over the place. Apparently an official investigation has turned up of the UK Exec. Everybody is saying that Drummond is going to fire our new MD Crossfield due to financial irregularities. We haven't a clue what's happening. Every day things seem to be getting worse. Our project management team are telling us it's just correcting previous mistakes that go back 2 or more years. Who knows what's going on, but it's said that London Underground commissionins have slipped into next year, affecting profit. We keep being told that things are serious, but have no idea what needs doing.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Our products will survive. The brand names might change.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Invensys will survive. Because customers need them and their products. Hopefully innovation comes in again and revitalises the company. I love Foxboro.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Invensys is leveraging the installed base business with proprietary technology (spare parts) to invest in reproduction of SAP at plant floor. This is a high bet, topped off with risky megadeals. What a soup. I wish there was sense to stop this nonsense.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Invensys has decided to divest Controls. But first they need to buy something instead. What a deadlock. If they can buy something big enough, then they can hide all their mistakes into the integration. Too bad for the shareholders. The fundamental issues with Rail and IOM will remain undiscovered and the damage will be immense.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

There is no ECS business. All the revenue of IOM is coming from the traditional business. Infusion was an attempt to make I/A engineering tools and HMI with Wonderware system platforms. The attempt failed miserably. Now new development is bought in from external company with limited domain knowledge. And, on the Wonderware side, most of the applications are not working on system platforms.

Invensys created a story for the stock market analysts, with no real customers to back it up. The employees and their families will end up paying the bill for the hefty management incentives.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Good comments on your news letter, Jim!

I have been trying to get my local reps to talk about InFusion. They didn't even know it existed or what it was. I found out about it through an insider at Invensys. How well is InFusion going to work if customers like me have to go begging to purchase it? Do I really want it, if it is being marketed this badly? Many good ideas have floundered from poor marketing. Where is my support going to be if nobody buys this thing?

Dear Invensys, if this is the new centerpiece product, please advertise it. Don't assume that steady customers like me will go looking for it; we have better things to do than go spelunking through your organization to find it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Good writeups, Mr. Pinto. I would agree wholeheartedly on the difference between being a good strategist and a good executive and leader. Mr. Bhattacharya is neither. I do not think a Cisco or Oracle would go anywhere near a specialty service intensive business like IOM (hard to scale).

ECS is mostly a farce. There are few real-world proof points, since many of the Foxboro people are skeptical of the WonderWare software for use in mission critical and large system use. PowerPoints and web sites are easy and cheap to create, good products are not.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Read the latest JimPinto.com eNews for 2 Invensys items. Here are extracts.

Click here (Click) Invensys IOM Strategy Explained
Last year Invensys merged four units and nine different brands into Division called Invensys Operations Management (IOM). Sudipta Bhattacharya is credited with the new conceptual drive, which all his key managers support enthusiastically. Is this a practical business direction that can get Invensys out of their current problems? Here's the key question - are customers actually placing orders?

Click here (Click) Whither Invensys?
The results for Invensys' latest half-year (ended 30 Sept. 2010) squeaked through, showing growth and profit. But, one wonders how much of this is simply short-term financial maneuvers. The Rail Division is tanking and CEO Ulf Hendrikkson doesn't have the time to do much more than bail himself out of a hole. The IOM ECS strategy won't bridge the gap. Invensys will be acquired. By whom?

Monday, November 8, 2010

It is amazing where Invensys is today. They are now reporting their pipeline, which many of us that work in sales know is as accurate as throwing darts blindfolded at the dartboard. Being part of IOM, I can tell you that the leadership (Sudipta) spends very little time understanding the pipeline and what the trends are. We have a good sales operations leader that can help trend the data, but in the end, garbage in is garbage out. IOM is banking on some large deals. The problem with that is they were sold at a loss. Leadership doesn't worry about that, because by the time we have to deliver the orders they will have taken their bonus checks and departed the company.

If anyone really wants to know what is happening in the business, go talk to the two layers below the regional presidents. They can see what is happening, and it scares the hell out of them.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The last blogger is spot on. Where is the £9 billion order pipeline for Rail? None of the staff, including in marketing and business development, have got sight of that. If so, why cut jobs in Rail Northern Europe and why send in executives from the group to prop up the weak leadership there? Very mysterious. I thought executives could go to jail for misleading markets.

Monday, November 8, 2010

I hate to say it, but I feel the stock went up on lies. The statement was specific in saying there was an £18m problem in Rail. Is this the total going forwards, or just this year? The statement also makes much about the agreement with CSR Times in China. However no orders and no profit yet. The really strange bit is the statement around a £9 billion rail pipeline. This is meaningless. We shall see as 10 out of 10 for marketing but where are the orders and sales/profit?

Controls, while doing a great job in a difficult market, are almost an irrelevant. IOM seem to be a bloated low return on sales and an increasingly risky business. The increase today is not sustainable. We shall see.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The stock price will correct itself soon. The overall markets went up due to monetary policies changes by the FED in the US, an unemployment report, and rise in commodity stocks which had a greater impact than the individual report in my opinion.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What is the rationale of the stock price increase (> GBP 3.10)? It doesn't make sense with this blog articles? Is it time to buy or sell?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

To the blogger who thinks that people who post messages here are p!ssing on themselves: you can get real now. The people p!ssing on us are city investors who can read through the PR and see the true position of Invensys. Going down the tubes.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

IRNE launched a voluntary redundancy scheme today. This surely must be a precursor to compulsory redundancies - up to 100 apparently. I hope that James Drummond is sleeping well at night. These job losses can be laid directly at his door. His inability to accept accountabilty for failure and admit that he can't deliver the meaningless financial results that he committed himself to, means that he has to sacrifice his staff instead. Ordinary husbands and wives and their children lose their livelihood as a result of his long standing incompetence.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Invensys half-year results - not as bad a result as many of the people on this blog expected. IOM looks OK, but Rail is struggling. Controls look like it is "under control".


Further progress in achieving sustainable growth, particularly in emerging markets


  • Orders were ¬£1,148 million (H1 09/10: ¬£1,079 million), up 6% (3% at CER1)
  • Order book was flat at CER at ¬£2,232 million (FY 09/10: ¬£2,307 million), providing good revenue cover for the second half and next year; emerging markets now represent 46% (FY 09/10: 40%)
  • Revenue was up 9% (6% at CER) at ¬£1,162 million (H1 09/10: ¬£1,066 million), driven by order book conversion
  • Operating profit2 was ¬£100 million (H1 09/10: ¬£102 million), down 2% (3% at CER) with good underlying performances in each of our divisions offset by additional contract implementation costs at Invensys Rail
  • Underlying earnings per share3 were up 51% at 7.4p (H1 09/10: 4.9p), due to reductions in restructuring charges and IAS 19 finance charge
  • Operating cash flow2 was ¬£83 million (H1 09/10: ¬£92 million) and operating cash conversion was 83% (H1 09/10: 90%)
  • Interim dividend increased by 50% to 1.5p per share (H1 09/10: 1.0p per share) in line with the intent to make progressive increases in payout
  • Maintained strong financial position with net cash totalling ¬£336 million, leaving us well positioned to invest further in our businesses
  • Outlook for the year remains unchanged

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Reorganzation must take place after the upcoming results, soon to be posted. Unfortunately that won't happen until the leadership team is changed. The Board has to do something about this quickly or the next fiscal year will fare poorly. The longer the current status-quo and path are allowed to be followed, the harder it will be to change.

The suggestion on a way to structure, by Rick B below, is a good start and certainly in the right direction. The current org. structure is stiffling innovation, hiding inefficiencies, creating a poor culture, and making it difficult to attract new investment and talent.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The problems at rail are getting worse and worse. The IRNE leadership team were hauled up in front of James Drummond for a pasting again. How much more can these human punchbags take?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

To the blogger who thinks we're p!ssing on ourselves: This is the only forum where the truth gets aired. Invensys's culture doesn't allow any form of internal debate or discussion, so frustrations inevitably get aired through the channels available. Neither is it the kind of environment where you can freely make suggestions, even practical ones that might make a difference. This is a culture that suppresses engagement. The Internet is a powerful tool, and frankly if any Invensys leaders read this and take some form of action as a result, it will be worth it.

Monday, November 1, 2010 - from Rick Bullotta [rick.bullotta@thingworx.com] - formerly Wonderware:

That is a very interesting comment regarding the IOM organizational structure (or overall Invensys org structure) representing an operational challenge. It's an area that I think could be key to a more effective and resurgent Invensys, and one that I suggested while I was with Wonderware a couple years ago.

If you distill the business down to its core, you have basically three distinct types of businesses operating in all kinds of intermingled ways:

  • Hardware (physical stuff such as instrumentation, appliance controls, signalling gear, etc.)
  • Software (productized software apps from Wonderware, SimSci, Avantis, etc.)
  • Services (consulting and implementation services in most of the businesses)
If you analyze these three very different facets of the businesses, you'll see that almost everything is different about them: cost structures, HR/human capital considerations, go-to-market models, pricing models, value delivery models, and on and on.

What would seem a logical approach would be to organize internally around those three areas, and then create externally facing go-to-market and solution delivery organizations with an industry or vertical market flavor to them.

The main benefits would be that you'd get the benefit of operational efficiencies and consistencies internally, the ability to assemble and maintain a wider range of "brands" to attack different verticals or solution segments, and the flexibility for the solution delivery organizations to work with partners more easily.

These solution delivery organizations would also vary, from traditional distribution models (Wonderware), to OEM sales (Controls), to vertical solutions (in rail, petrochem, nuclear, etc.). I might even go so far as to suggest segmenting/branding the IOM verticals into a nuclear energy brand, petrochem, etc...

Just as importantly, I think this type of structure (internally and externally) benefits the customers more, since the software businesses, hardware businesses, and service busineses can innovate more rapidly and cleanly, the solution expertise and selling model is more focused and fit to the market, and the overall health of the company would make for a safer choice for a customer.

It's somewhat of a radical concept, but one that always intrigued me and seemed like an obvious evolution. Invensys still has a great many incredibly valuable assets in its portfolio (brands, people, technology, and expertise), and I hope that the leadership can figure out how to most effectively unlock their value and bring it to customers.

Best to all my former Invensys colleagues.

Monday, November 1, 2010

isn't a water cooler conversation we're having here guys. The Internet is listening, including the people value our share holdings and invest in our jobs. You are p!ssing on yourselves here.

Instead of whining, why not put the same amount of energy into proposing some positive solutions. Not just perfect world stuff but ideas that will work here on planet earth, including with all the constraints that managers have to deal with. Lead, follow or get off the road.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The bloggers on this page are Luddites. There's no point harking back to a golden age that never existed in the time of Cotton. The problem with Rail in the UK is that no-one wants to, or is willing to change. The rail industry has inflated salaries, bloated benefits and outdated working practices that increasingly get in the way of profitability. Some of these bloggers need to look at themselves and ask what they will do to get get the company back on track, rather than blaming others, and ask themselves whether they are willing to change the way they work. The alternative is to go the way of other great British companies and industries. Westinghouse can and will die without change. It happened at Jarvis and can happen here.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The problem with Rail is that there's no clear strategy and direction. Hours and hours are wasted on developing a STRAP which then appears to be ignored, as leaders run round and round deep in the detail of the projects. The other problem is that nothing is ever allowed to embed - if something doesn't work immediately, then it is changed. Short term-ism all the time.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Some of the bloggers here are right about the level of passion and commitment that exists in the rail group. It's a classic case of 'lions being led by donkeys', the biggest donkey being James Drummond, recently joined by Nick Crossfield. To continue the analogy, the 'leadership' team (word used very loosely) can't keep asking people 'to go over the top' and expect them to do so. Morale and motivation is at rock bottom, and Drummond and Crossfield appear not to care in the slightest. The lost productivity and discretionary effort is enormous. Come on leaders, do something radical and motivate the people, rather than running around your executive ivory tower, like headless chickens. The sad, sad truth is that there isn't an executive in IRG who knows how to do this or even recognises the importance of it.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

How can it be sensible for the MD of Rail to appoint the failed projects director, on a 6-figure salary, to a role developing a critical market? Is this the reward for failure now in Invensys Rail? That's good then. Everyone with a 'PM' performance rating can expect to be promoted and rewarded for their lack of delivery. I'm also pleased that we can still afford to appoint unproven people to such roles at a time when we all know redudnancies are looming for people who are performing and delivering.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

IOM isn't the other leg of the stool; it's just, well, stool. T-minus 5 days until the depth of the damage becomes visible to all.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The "reality check" blogger is seriously misinformed regarding dates of events. I've worked at Westinhouse for nearly 16 years. Back in those days we were a BTR company, and John Cotton was brought in from Westinghouse Brakes to turn around the business. I don't know the exact numbers, but in 1998 the company had made a major loss reputed to be tens of millions of pounds. A new Exec team was put in place and within a year the company was back in profit. Sure the SSI legacy helped and it was Cotton at the helm when we won 60% of the NR framework agreements.

However it's also worth remembering that we were also delivering profitable projects in China and Singapore as well as London Underground. I think you will also find that the German mess was inherited from the previous MD, John Mills. I've not got rose-tinted glasses on and accept that those days were not perfect, but things clearly went to pieces when that team moved on.

Remember the actual truth of our predicament has only just come apparent after McPhee and others were fired. As you say, they only lasted due to the Metronet collapse and the windfall payment. Nick Crossfield hasn't made a great start, but has clearly inherited a mess. However he has been here for around 5 months and I'm beginning to wonder if he has a plan. If he has, it would be a good time to hear it. From my position nothing has changed and I'm told our profit continues to deteriorate.

Friday, October 29, 2010

It seems that Rail is in a decline; well IOM is no different. It seems that the systems business (IOM) is all being lost to the competition (Yokagowa / Emerson etc.) and I worry about the future of the company. When the current crop of projects finish, we have nothing to replace them with. Then what? Wholesale redundancies?

You now have to question why this is happening? Well here is why. The M&I portfolio is woefully short, and IOM are now having to tie up with people like Endress and Hauser. How confusing must this be for our customers? Emerson has all the range in their portfolio. DCS, well this seems to be old hat now, nothing new here. It is about time the business started designing the next gen of DCS, instead of rehashing the old one. Triconex - well they are too bloody expensive, when the like of Hima, are nearly half the price.

Wonderware is a funny organisation, they create some fantastic software, but as mentioned on this forum earlier this month: Is it producing ground breaking software. Simple answer NO.

And then there is Eurotherm, the almost forgotten cousin. They are probably one of the only companies in IOM that are doing some innovation, as they have just released their Nano controller, and soon to release the Foxwatch (Small DCS controller). It would seem that if the small companies can be innovative then the bigger R&D teams can do so. Until someone within the business can see this, then we will never be the leader in process automation, and will continue to lose business, and market share.

It is not only Rail that is in a bloody mess, IOM is too.

Friday, October 29, 2010

For the situation with Invensys Rail I cannot speak; but for IOM I can. The main problem in my opinion is that the groups are not organizationally structured properly at the top level. Direct project business and shrink wrapped software don't belong under the same P&L. The business unit of IOM is doing very un-natural things and being tugged in different competing directions that are in natural conflict. This was the reason they were not combined in the first place. The reason for this situation in the first place was mainly a vision of going after larger operations projects with some of the Wonderware technology, but that is a struggle to say the least. The Best Companies in the World dont try to stiffle innovation; they encourage it.But it takes sound metrics and focus to do so. You can't have your marketing and development teams focus on indirect and direct business under the same P&L without something losing. The benefits are not there, and should be realized along with the faliure of the management that engineered and manipulated it into the current situation. Ulf and Sudipta mainly are responsible. The rest fought, or in many VP cases did not, which is an indication of their competance.

Friday, October 29, 2010

While Rail is struggling and obviously in some turmoil, one can only wonder(ware) about the other leg of the stool: IOM. It turns out that the channel partners are getting more restless, not less. The Endorsed Partners who supply implementation services are much less committed than before, and looking outside at many other vendors. This is a bellweather indicator of future capability for IOM and the future for its Operations strategy.

The business coordination and technology path required to be succesful here has gotten out of control and is much less coordinated than ever before. Partners are getting fedup with the shallow promises and lack of bench or support. Most of the solutions can't be supported internally, so it is getting harder and harder to convince its channel to invest or trust going forward.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Apparently the VP of Project Delivery, who was removed from his role last week and sent home, has now just been appointed VP Delivery for non existent projects. Clearly this is a fine example of Nick's clear thinking and leadership. He quickly realised that this was a gap in his team and that he didn't have anyone responsible for the delivery of non existent projects. Now this has been sorted we can sleep better at night, and are back on track to releasing our potential and that of our customers, becoming one Invensys, sustainable and creating an I-want-to-work-here culture.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Please identify the 'person from Invensys' (weblog Oct. 28) who shows up for meetings in Bath and adds no value, so that the situation can be corrected.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Reality check for all you dreamers in the UK Rail group thinking fondly of the Cotton days. The true story is the profits in those years were propped up by a dominant position in the UK SSI market, a gift from the old BR days and the legacy skills inherited in the SCUK regional offices. Cotton and co were responsible for a disaster in Germany, buying the Taiwan job at suicidal margins just for the orderbook, multi million pound investment in failed technology (DTG-R anyone?) etc. etc.

That regime (and Invensys plc) skin was saved by the collapse of Metronet. I worked in the UK rail group at the time and if Metronet had stayed afloat there is no way the whole programme could be delivered and Westinghouse would have gone to the wall. Cotton and Co were as guilty as anyone of complancency and not building enginnering resources. The UK Rail group does not need more executives, it just needed 50 or so high quality systems engineers. Until that situation is resolved the business will be in terminal decline. Sad but true.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Apparently it's a £10 million hole in the Rail profits that's got to be bridged in the remainder of the financial year; can't be done without major casualties. Look out, everyone, for that rusty knife to be wielded again. What Ulf and the muppets from Invensys don't seem to get is that firing people won't help. Everyone is working as hard as they can to deliver projects.

The problem is that James & Ulf made the previous leadership team bid for work at margins that could never be achieved. There aren't enough support people already - they've already cut Admin and HR to the bone. It will be hard working engineers who lose their jobs again, losing more valuable skills that can't be replaced.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The last post on Rail makes a good point, in that the current mess can be turned around. It happened before around 10 years ago. However that was with a real Executive team (Cotton, Campion, Harding, Barry, Clarke, Riley etc). The problem we have now is that Crossfield has inherited a mess from incompetents like McPhee, and he hasn't a clue what to do. From what I can see, he is hanging his hat on somebody doing it for him. The anonymous Invensys person referred to in a previous post sits doing his email all day and is one of 3 we've had supposedly helping. In reality they fly in from the US, stay in expensive hotels in Bath, and literally sit in meetings making no contribution, or do their email. After 4 months can anybody clarify any benefit? My fear is that things will continue to deteriorate, as Crossfield hasn't a clue.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The problem with this web log it just provides a forum for people to moan, and the real issues get hidden. I work at the UK Rail business in Chippenham and, whilst we have our problems, this place is still full of talented engineers and passionate staff.

The new MD might not be everyones choice, but he has not got much to work with in his team. In the past year we have lost so many experienced executives (Riley etc) and the engineering work for LUL and Singapore just drained the finite resources we had. Nick Crossfield could do better with engaging the staff though. The guy before was much better, but he was another casualty of Drummonds panic. We are paying for the loss of so much experience. But it CAN get rebuilt.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

To put Rail's importance in perspective, last year it made over 60% of Invensys' profit and for years has been the major cash contributor. If that goes, then it's all over for Invensys. However don't worry too much, as it will also be the end of Ulf and Drummond and perhaps bring new ownership and opportunities.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

To the person who says that Rail is only one of 4 divisions, you need to get a grip and start to worry. Rail IS Invensys. Without it there is very little reason for investors to invest in Invensys stock. Without Rail, or rail profits in sufficient quantity, the company would almost certainly exprience a fall in stock price and experience a take over. I don't want to take a gamble on whether that creates staff opportunities or not. IOM's outsourcing / technology issues are a side show to the real deal - Rail has been milked dry, there's no place to hide for Ulf. The company's future is now at risk. All Invensys staff need to start asking questions about Rail at the upcoming mid-year results.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Everyone in Rail is really worried about the quality of leadership. The new MD is dreadful - just spends his time strutting about moaning about what he's inherited. We need a leader who can take tough decisions (looks like he can do this) AND motivate and lead them (no sign whatsoever of this yet...). To be a little fair to the guy, while he's clearly out of his depth, he's inherited a bit of a mess. I'm sure he didn't join in the belief the business was in freefall. More lies from Ulf and James no doubt. Apparently the 'new' projects delivery director has got the push after only 3 months. This is the 10th (yes, 10th) senior manager to leave the business in 2010, no doubt all at great cost. It's a revolving door. There's only the HR Director hanging on from the original batch, and that looks to be through sheer determination, goodness knows why. There's some anonymous guy in from Invensys plc, who seems about as useful as the proverbial chocolate teapot, not doing a lot. There are also definitely going to be job losses in the UK business - again - it's always the front line people who suffer. Any bets on us winning SSR?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Does Foxboro I/A Series DCS have the market share of that of Emerson, Honeywell Experion or that of Yokogawa? If it doesn't what great revenue can this suite of products generate?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I've been with Rail for a very long time (more than 20 years) and I don't think we have ever had an MD who has become so universally loathed by the staff in such a short space of time. He inspires nobody, and doesn't exactly make us want to go the extra mile (unless its to the post box to put our job applications in...).

The guy is the worst possible example of an old-school 1970's dictator. All he has done since he got here is moan about how tough he is having it, yet when Group eventually realise his incompetence and sack him, it will be us who suffer.

Monday, October 25, 2010 - To "and better life with Emerson":

Did you not read the Emerson weblog before making the move? I love the piece on the CEO. We should all carry a copy of his statements and show the US customers. Over the past year, Emerson laid off mostly the experts. The no-do-ers remained. Business is picking up so Emerson is looking to fill the empty spots... until the next dip. Or get ready to relocate to India. I hear the food is quite good there. Is the grass greener on the other side? We wish you all the best.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The UK Rail President is a strange choice for the problems we are in. Bearing in mind that we are in deep financial trouble, the first thing Nick Crossfield does is to spend one hundred thousand pounds removing the open plan, and building a dedicated suite of offices for himself and his chosen ones. Next came the executive parking spaces for the elite. This meant that customers and other visitors have further to walk.

It makes us smile when we see Nick in his made-to-measure suits, park one of his two super cars in his private space and, complete with gold Rolex, strut about the business not talking to anyone. According to the 4 PAs (yes 4, within 20 feet of each other) Nick often sits in his office with his feet up on his desk! This could be a new Wall-Street-3 movie: Greed is Good.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The IOM leadership team is pushing out what is left of the experienced individuals that know the business. As a shareholder and employee, I have come to a decision to leave Invensys, which is the best interest of my family and my future. I can no longer see a path that allows my team to win, for my organization to have opportunities to grow both professionally and personally. The leadership team has become so short-term focused that there is no possible way to win in a business that requires long-term strategy. Thankfully, there are plenty of jobs in the marketplace for good team members, and I am fortunate to have a better offer, better future, and better life with Emerson. I look foward to my last day at IOM.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I don¥t know who is giving all this information, but I don¥t think that this kind of comment will be positive for the employees.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

So now Rail and IOM - both have become a mess. IOM only hangs on not because of the new appointments by Sudipta, but because of the experienced people left. Did you ever look at the resume of Sudipta and the other VPs? Not what you would call high-level candidates. Seems they keep themselves together only to screw up companies the land at.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I agree with the comments about the new UK Rail MD. At the recent staff briefs, he was so negative and looked like he did not want to be there. The business was once a proud world-recognised leader; now we are a sad joke. The briefings were so negative.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

My thanks and respect for replying but the tools mentioned. Although very good in their own right, they only cover small areas of 61511 i.e. no FSM, software emulation or generation, full validation etc. We'll leave it there.

Oh, and Rail is only one division of Invensys.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Well, anybody expecting the UK Rail MD to fix things is deluded. Nick Crossfield has been in position over 4 months, and from what we can see, he hasn't a clue what to do next. It's all well and good to tell us that we are in deep trouble and have reduced our profit by over 30 million pounds, but what is the plan? We are tired of his "it's nothing to do with me" approach.

Friday, October 22, 2010

We recently bought the exSILentia safety lifecycle software from Exida. We choose exSILentia because it is the only tool we found that covers the complete IEC61511 lifecycle, from PHA, SIL determination, Process Safety Requirements Specification, SIL Verification, Detailed Design Safety Requirements Specification, Proof Test Generation, Safety Lifecycle Cost Generator, proven in use justification. In particular we are impressed by the "SIL Target selection" capability using the frequence of demands, and the integrated "independent layer of protection analysis" (LOPA). We are gradually moving from using a qualitative hazard matrix to using a quantitative analysis with LOPA.

    - The real-time markov calculations have been assessed by TUV providing the justification that the calculations are correct.
    - It comes with a huge failure rate/mode database of most, certified and non certified process equipment providing the justification that the failure rates/modes are industry best practice.
    - exSILentia automatically generates IEC 61511 compliant reports.
    - exSILentia calculates PFD, PFH, MTTFS (spurious trips) for all equipment in the loop.
It considers/justifies Common Cause factor, IEC61511/IEC 61508 hardware fault tolerance, SIL capability including Proven in use justification, prooftest coverage, hig/low trip, under/overrange, PLC/Transmitter alarm/filtering settings, process connections (e.g. plugged impulse lines, 3-wire, 4-wire, RTD, severe environment) maintenance environment,partial stroke testing, cyber security assessment and alarm management.

exSILentia does not program a PLC. This makes sense because safety refers to the complete safety function. All parts of the loop have to work properly to achieve the intended safety function, not only to the PLC programming. For example: If I have a high pressure trip, and my transmitter is set to underrange when diagnosing an internal failure, will my PLC consider underrange detection as a transmitter failure? How would you automate this?

Vendor developed software tends to focus on the PLC. The objective for vendors to develop a calculation tool is to sell more kit. PLC vendors will not focus on reducing dangerous systematic failures such as ignoring the common cause in redundant structures, or assuming better than actual prooftest coverage, leading to too optimistic calculations. We also have the HIMA sofware called SILence. SILence is, opposite to the previous blogger, not based on state diagrams, is a cute toy but hardly useable for real applications.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The software for generating safety system PLC logic using state-based control isn't even from Invensys. It is from a 3rd party!

Friday, October 22, 2010

61511 is the standard for functional safety in the process industry. What does 61511 have to do with Rail Business? I lost the thread here. There are several packages available in the market which perform Markov-model-based calculations that translate into PLC code. HIMA delivers this TUV certified software for free with every HIMA PLC sold.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

OK all you clever clogs, name one state-based tool that maps 61511 and auto-generates Tricon code - well any PLC code actually. And did any of you actually see the presentation before shooting your selves in the foot?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I wish I could believe the last post on the UK Rail business. However the MD has just fired the project delivery director and has told us in staff briefs that profit is down by GBP 35M. He also intimated that he was deliberately mislead before joining the company. Doesn't fill us with confidence.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I left the UK rail business around 4 months ago under a 'cloud'. However, I believe the intent and capability of the current leadership is right to weather the economic downturn, and implement the right changes.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ulf is just a thug. We all know it and it will become apparent. He has destroyed value in most businesses and, most dangerously, has done it in his golden goose: Rail. Seriously bad move. Profit warning to come and goodbye Ulf.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The grand plan has not come through and probably wont. Look how much engineering effort everything has become. Hardware requirements are through the roof compared to more nimble solutions. Licensing is a mess and difficult for anyone to understand and install. There are more bolt-on solutions than one can count. I doubt the grand plan could ever be funded enough to see it through. Management has stretched product lines and people so far, it can't fund real innovation and certainly can't cast off product lines that do nothing.

Many people don't realize that 80% of the revenue for software comes from support services and basic SCADA platform. All of the others combined would not amout to more than $ 5-10 million. It's not a sustainable model, even if you count the pull-through here. With Sudipta pushing, and the VP of Portfolio being a puppet with little business experience, the announcemnts at Ops Manage seem par for the course. The trend is certainly going south and is getting more steep as the company moves away from its original success.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

On November 4th, we'll be seeing see what a "genius" Ulf is.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Let's take a detailed look at the OpsManage announcements:

  1. "An upgraded Wonderware System Platform version 4.0, which supports Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2."
    Wow! No new features, only new OS support. And only 18 months late! Impressive.
  2. "A v8.6 release of the Foxboro I/A Series DCS, which enables easy upgrade of older Series 100 I/O modules to the latest high-performance, more-compact Series 200 I/O"
    As if anyone actually cares about the 7th or 8th place DCS. Note also the focus on trying to retain existing customers, not get new ones.
  3. "And an updated Avantis.PRO√ī 5.0.1 enterprise asset management software, which facilitates real-time coordination of plant-floor data and predictive maintenance technology to support supply chain decision making."
    The handful of Avantis customers are probably jumping with joy at this exciting announement. And note the extensive and comprehensive use of meaningless buzzwords in the announcement!
Sorry IOM guys, but these are lame. Really lame.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

OpsManage'10 Conference talkks of new releases of InFusion which has integration with Archestra. Looks like the IOM products are slowly integrating with Archestra Framework. Is this move to keep the entities of IOM to stay together & do not rip off or is it a grand plan slowly falling into place?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

HRSD that's great! HR outsourced and yet we have more HR people around us and less support? Go figure. Now I have all my supervisors doing HR part time?

IT outsourced! I used to walk 30 yards and talk to an IT guy who'd fix things. Now I ring a guy in India who calls the guy 30yards away who comes down and says he doesn't understand what the guy in India is saying. Go figure.

There is no question, Ulf is a genius that we just don't understand. Soon others will see the same?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

State based control is absolutely nothing new. The PLC vendors have been offering this sort of technology for years.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

White paper on State Based Controls. New technology? I think not.

Click here (Click)Benefits of State Based Control - ABB Inc. February 16, 2009

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

There is a good difference between giving work to the Invensys office in India and to an Indan vendor. The quality of work received from the Indian vendor is shabby and the development costs are soaring. Most of the good quality and committed employees who relocated from IDC to Cognizant have either left or are on the way out; Cognizant is unable to retain the right talent. The Invensys-Cognizant partnership is a failed venture. Any one left in the senior management who would like to correct this situation, might be too late?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

State-based control was introduced by ABB, not Invensys, about two years ago. In typical Invensys fashion, late to the party with an inferior offering, and trying to claim innovation.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Most of the attendees at OpsManage are employees and distributors this year.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The comments on Rail are not 100% accurate. Rail is still very profitable, even Northern Europe. The problem is that it's nowhere near as profitable as Ulf keeps telling shareholders. The appointment of really weak leaders, such as McPhee, were a disaster. They took the highly performing Northern Europe business and brought it to it's knees.

The Rail business has been basically flogged by Ulf and Drummond for huge personal financial gain. Now all the false promises have become visible and tens of millions of pounds is being written off. Unfortunately the company has reacted by appointing people with little ability to change the outcome. The new Project Delivery Director is hopeless, and we shall see if the new MD is going to take action or preside over further decline. Either way, it's tough times ahead as Ulf and Drummond will continue to flog the horse, as it's the only way they know.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The state-based control presentation on Wednesday at OpsManage is the first real ground breaking technology to be presented in a long time. If you are attending, try to catch it.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The latest comments about Rail are spot on. Last week we were told that we had 6 - 9 months to save the company, before it was known that there was another massive hole in forecast profits. This is serious because it affects everyone in Invensys. We know that it means job cuts - more loyal engineers losing their jobs. The rail group in the UK is in terminal decline, and Spain is infected now too. Time to bail out boys and girls...

Monday, October 18, 2010

All you guys complaining about IOM and outsourcing are seriously missing the point. The Rail Group is the most profitable part of Invensys. Investors love it, and it's why Invensys' share price is what it is. It is now in free fall, especially in the UK. There's talk of a multi-million-Pound hole in the profit forecast. Drummond has had to promise the unachievable to stave off a profit warning for the group. Start asking questions and worrying about Rail, which props up the rest of the group.

Monday, October 18, 2010

IOM's main event is just around the corner: OpsManage. Have to say the numbers it has brought in is very unimpressive. National Instruments, Rockwell, Emerson, Honeywell all bring in more customers and partners over the last years. Will it now go over 2000? NI Week was over 3000 as were the other vendors. With the lack of media coverage and lack of new products or solutions to wake up the industry it would seem the numbers cant be better than last year. It must be a real struggle to make sense of IOM and the wisdom of the current organziational structure to customers, employees, and partners these days.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Rail seems to be totally screwed now. The new northern Europe MD gave a long talk to the troops last week telling them all they were in "terminal decline" and we have "9 months", but offering no solutions or plan for recovery. He acts like he is presiding over a closing down sale. Time for Drummond to resign - he put them there.

Friday, October 15, 2010

We need to differentiate between offshoring the system development and offshoring project engineering. All Automation companies are doing the second one (IOM mainly in Egypt & India, Honeywell in India, Emerson in India, Yokogawa in India & Philippines). But nobody other than Invensys IOM has outsourced the system development.

Friday, October 15, 2010

No one questions the quality of work coming out of Emerson's offshore operations, but it is quite reasonable to question the amount of innovation coming from Emerson. There hasn't been anything substantial in a long, long while. DeltaV is getting long in the tooth Maybe not coincidentally, innovation waned about the same time the offshoring effort was complete.

Friday, October 15, 2010

I have seen the last few postings. My guess is that some must be posted by people from India. Now, I don't want to be called a racist. My experience of so called "export engineers from India": You get an entire spectrum of "talent". A few are good, more are okay. But there are also a bunch of them that are not so good. It is a very cultural thing. This is exemplified by the debacle shown from the recently concluded Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. Talk a lot, promised very little.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Emerson has outsourced its DCS and ESD programming to Pune, India. This office is called EEEC (Emerson Export Engineering Company). Close to 1,000 Indian engineer provide high level services to the Emerson offices worldwide. A second "back-office" in Costa Rica is in the making, as we speak. Stop kidding yourself. It is arrogant to assume that the quality level of work in India is lower than outside. Emerson has proved that more work can be processed for a lower cost, and a higher quality. Or do you see Emerson suffering?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Reliance is not IOM's largest client, nor is it Invensys' largest client. The largest client in purchase dollars is the Chinese, buying systems for nuclear plants.

The vision is gone at IOM; they are a me-too, struggling for marketshare and they only thing left for them is to continue to take cost out, as there is no new value being added back to the organization. The average gross margin has decreased each year slightly, only because each year we continue to take more costs out. We have now hit a point of dimishing returns. The talent and expertise is gone; there is only one place we can go. Let's hope we are sold to Siemens, Honeywell, or Emerson.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wrong, wrong, wrong! Technical support of a washing machine or cable model is very different than technical support for a flexible manufacturing software suite. Significant domain knowledge is required that doesn't grow on trees. Perhaps some IO Server support could be offshored, but that's about it.

Thursday, October 14, 2010 - Re: "as we all know..cost incurred by communication wedge":

Before Invensys, I worked for another major DCS player who has successfully shifted over 90% of its engineering work to Pune, India. In addition, the medical industry, avionics, automotive, financial institutes have all shifted to India. With my previous employer, after overcoming the initial communication issues, it works great, and is significantly reducing costs.

Using an Indian back-office, is the same as using a local engineering office, except the costs for a high quality Indian engineer is $7US per hour. Everybody benefits. The local organisations have their hands free to focus on the lead engineering work and the customer interface. The "as we all know" argument has its origin in insecurity, in the fear of losing jobs. In practice, it turns out that it creates more profit, resulting in more jobs. If we want to be competitive, we have to shift the work. Besides, one of the largest Invensys customers is called RELIANCE. Give these guys some credit; without them we will cease to exist.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Well if you are looking at costs and thinking India is cheaper, consider the real cost incurred by splitting the organisation and putting a huge communication wedge between the visionaries with the domain expertise and the people that implement it. As we all know, nothing new is being created because the overheads are so high and the resources are split all over the world. Of course I am assuming that there are still visionaries left in the organisation, after the culls?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cost cutting is again needed to come close to profit projections for the street. What is next? IOM Software Technical Support - move the obvious offshore. Since most development is done in India these days, having a technical support group mainly based in US makes no sense. New product requirements and bug detection can just as easily be done there. Not sure why there is any development and support centres in the US anymore, given the costs. I am not in favor of it, but since development moved mostly overseas it only stands to reason.

Second area to cut - development management. Too many software architects and project managers are hurting and not helping integration and timeliness through high overhead costs and obstructive processes. Quality and delivery has not improved as a result, but rather decreased.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

By all measures it would seem some housecleaning is in order.

  • Finacial..waiting to see the reports but its expected to be flat.
  • Development..IOM..its a fact that all managers know that recent aquisitions are bound to be starved of resources and innovation. Very few new major releases worthy of attention have come about. The ones that were all were branded or aquired. Budgets are sucked up to repair and not add value there days.
  • Sales..so much turnover the expertise has begun to diminish. Channel synergy has not occured and most likely wont. Distribution looking to expand lines in response and are more likely to be drawn away then feel they grow their business with Invensys as the main source of income.
  • Marketing..press releases gone down to a trickle..not a good sign. Thought leadership down..Technical firsts..none for years.conference growth..we will see but its unlikely to hold without something of major usefullness to attendees. Its become a costly networking event.
  • Company Morale..down down down
While it may be possible to manage the books and costs to meet goals its unlikely that without improving the above their stands to be a future of meeting shareholders and customers expectations. It would seem that this lemon has been squeezed to the point of more than sour and bitter but also unbearable and unacceptable for customers. Better companies may have a great chance to pick up market share from Invensys if the course stays the same.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Archestra was poorly conceived and poorly executed from the get-go, and was the brainchild of the recently demoted head of development. It never met the scalability, performance, or functionality needs of the DCS business, despite its creator's history at Honeywell. It represented a giant money pit that sucked all of the life out of other more potentially lucrative and value-creating initiatives in the company (the actual amount of dollars spent approaches nine figures). All along the way, management continued to defend it, without any real knowledge of its capabilities or status. It should have been killed off years ago.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Wait, ArchestrA is dead? Do you mean that the technology has been officially killed, or is it just the usual mediocre technical ability that's keeping it dribbling along with limited functionality? Not having a clear picture of technological innovation is doing a better job of killing IOM than everything except the flood of departures.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The fat lady is certainly singing in the UK rail business. All the directors are absorbed in weekly meetings with Ulf and co. We on the shop floor hear of big shortfalls in cash and sales. Surely this time the buck must stop with James Drummond.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The 1st half of fiscal is over. Do you hear the fat ladying singing yet? Lets hope so. Time for a new CEO and President of IOM. Watch the reports and be assured - 'tis the reorganization season about to begin.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Why is it that "ArchestrA" is essentially dead? Companies aquired cannot be expected by Invensys to go to its platform regardless. IOM cant even keep their own toolkit for extending the platform current or for native communications and its almost impossible to convince partners to build something when Invensys sees every space as their own and all others as competitive.

I have to say whether its OP , third party applications, or recent aquisitions, there is no integration or optimization of systems anymore, unless some poor soul wants to take a bet on an installed base. It just costs too much to realize the marketing spin of this vision, which it seems is long gone, and lost by the same people who brought it to market.

I remember Sudipta in a speech one day, after he was brought on to Wonderware, saying it was not as important to be the best, just good enough and expand our footprint. Well, that seems to be the playbook of the last couple of years and I am sure it is going forward until someone comes in that is really wants this company to provide value to customers.

Seems like companies like an ERP, and Supply Chain companies play no different to the mess that SAGE, Epicor, Quest, Red Hat, etc. are in. They can't and won't ever integrate. Something has to give. Unless a major investment is made into someting that covers the aquired customers, the brands will die and so will the business. The company can't focus, it seems. IOM that is.

Friday, October 1, 2010

With IOM, it's all about TEXAS. Better place to do business than Orange County and Foxboro, considering taxes and cost. It's just a shame that they dont move all operations there and give up the false intent to keep the east coast and west coast operations. This company is all about outsourcing and aquisitions now. I feel sorry for the people left, since more and more they won't be invested in, and left to fend like the rest of those out on the street in America. I find that non-US citizens like Supipta are in charge here. This is a good reason to tax companies in the US who go off-shore. Consider that when voting. Do business with US and reward those who help our employment. Otherwise, send them packing home and revoke their visas.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ulf and the Invensys board tolerate this because the current regime at IOM is all about cost/margin management, and will sacrifice future results in exchange for near-term results. This is a common pattern when fattening the lamb for market, so to speak.

With regards to the heads of development and portfolio being part of the root cause, let us not forget who they are/were. The head of portfolio knows virtually NOTHING about IOM's core businesses. He is a 'nice guy', but also a complete yes man and extremely far beyond his competency level. Yet, he was/is extremely loyal to Sudipta and therefore is kept on. Though Sudipta will quickly turn on his friends if it benefits him or for blame transference, as we saw with the head of development. They are all a bunch of poseurs who demonstrate daily that the Peter Principle is alive and well at IOM.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I could not help making this remark about IOM top management team. The way IOM is moving along now seems too much like that of the Commonwealth Games debacle in New Dehli. Promised a lot, but failed to deliver. Wonder why the Ulf and the Invensys boards of directors are okay with what is happening.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's interesting to watch Invensys and its software and hardware profitablity and growth - or lack of. While expanding the software product line almost 3 fold, the company has made about the same % of business from its traditional base. In fact most industry initiatives and new software initiatives are failing but they remain, due to a lack of an exit strategy. The ROI on the other developments contiunes to falter, and the channels it uses are growing impatient with the call for more results with a product line so spread out and growing increasingly less integrated once again. Surely the top leadership has a lot to do with this and the VPs of Development and Portfolio. The outbound marketing also has hurt as its visibility has come down a lot.

Monday, September 27, 2010

We hear rumours of big problems in the UK rail business at the end of the first six months of this year. It really is mushroom-management here. The new bosses have no idea how to communicate and motivate the staff. Most people here are either in fear, or looking for a new job. It's time for the buck to stop at the top with Drummond and his new mates.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Somebody wrote a month ago, "CEO Friends in Key Positions: Up 80%." This is incorrect - it is a full 100%.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Of late, lots of key talent from Invensys ODC at CTS is leaving this engagement and the management there is unable to retain this talent.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The best thing customers and partners can do to vent their unhappiness with the leadership and direction of Invensys is with their wallets and attendance to events like OpsManage.

Nothing new upcoming and no buzz in the news or marketplace around anything new. One would expect very little to take place other than an internal networking event. It would seem the leadership of development and product management is a lost with very little capacitiy to focus on innovation.

Monday, September 20, 2010

One need not worry about Sudipta becoming CEO. He has already reached and passed the limit of his competence and capability, and wiser minds on the board are not as easily deceived as Ulf and Paula. The true victims of this charade are Invensys's customers, employees, and partners.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

True, Rail is a much larger piece than most of the other groups in Invensys. This blog tends to draw automation folks to it, so that's why the focus on IOM. All the groups of Invensys suffer even when they all don't perform well. IOM was to bring more than cost savings to the company, but so far has not lived up to its promise for more innovation and better solutions for customers. No cost savings for customers either, or improved services. Be glad to be in Rail since at least your P&L and Development is not dilluted or screwed up.

Nothing has come from IOM and I would challenge anyone to come up with any real new business or improvements in customer satsifcation as a result of it. Pure cost savings and a lot of wind and spin to the media as to its purpose and structure. Customers must surely be ready to walk if they only had much better options.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Invensys should monitor closely its ODC setup in Cognizant, Prevention is better than Cure. Even a failure in the management of ODC, which hold lots of product development activities of IOM and IRG, from the Cognizant side could potentially affect the Invensys business. It is sensible and essential for Invensys to check the ODC issues in the early stages.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The entire IOM Development has been outsourced to ODC/Cognizant after cutting jobs in US. And now they are screwing our plans with their inefficiency and high cost. Why should we not worry about them? Wait till the entire rail gets out sourced (Probably will happen when Sudipta becomes CEO). BTW, ODC/Cognizant also has a rail group that is fast expanding. So are you guys not losing jobs in Britain?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

You are quite correct. Wonderware are a very tiny fish in the Invensys organisation. That's the problem! Unfortunately for the people that derive there livelihood from Wonderware software, and thousands of customers that have depended on the products for many years, seeing the organisation vanish is not a pleasant sight!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

It still makes me laugh reading this blog. All the trash about Wonderware, who make about 10% of Invensys' profit. Meanwhile the rest of IOM, and more importantly Rail who make up over 80% of the profit, are in deep trouble. Who cares about ODC/Cognizant - they are irrelevant and fill this blog with rubbish.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Now we are approaching the end of H1; are there any updates about the results of IOM DIvisions? This will make the difference for the leadership team.

Monday, September 13, 2010

I have to agree with comments below on Wonderware - innovation has stopped. It's been 3+ years since we have seen anything other than bug fixes or OS support updates - and anything they have added, misses a key feature which makes the whole thing useless.

The underlying issue, in my view, is the move to push development to IDC and now outsourced from there. The red tape, overheads, business processes, communication issues, time zones and the rest makes even the simplest task into a one year cycle. So has it really saved any money? As the old sales-VP said, Development now works at a Glacial pace!

Monday, September 13, 2010

As the software talent exodus continues, those with industrial software experience and Wonderware experience are going. One wonders how long it will be before the VPs of Product Marketing will last. Seems very little has been added to benefit customers over the last year and half - either industry or shrink wrapped software. Top Talent continues to exit while key Marketing VPs micro manage and do very little other than cover themselves from the next round of layoffs and shuffle.

Unless something is done soon, this does not instill confidence internally or externally. Just look at the moves by competitors vs Invensys IOM. Press around technology firsts, customer initiatives, customers success, new releases have come to a stand still over the last years. Instead now an event OpsManage is used and that has lost its appeal with very little excitement around better solutions and shrink-wrapped software for the masses. Seems like there very little new value coming for those customers who made Wonderware product and service revenue what it is today. With no new product value given to most, it will be interesting to see if the customers will stay and keep spending on services.

Saturday, September 11, 2010 - RE: Few things our people at Invensys need to understand:

We don't expect CTS to work for free. We do expect reasonable estimates based on rules. If we go back and dig all the former project plans provided by CTS and carefully analyze them, then we'll see that their sanctity is questionable according to popular industry estimation practices. And given that CTS has to overwork even with their bloated estimates, that indicates a pretty incompetent team.

Also the incompetence of both Development and Project Managers in CTS clearly reflect in the process of Project Planning. For some projects planning is going on for months without any breakthrough on final schedule and this has caused CTS teams to sit idle and bill Invensys in the name of "reserved hours".

We want to deal with competent managers who can understand technology, intended functionality, design and requirements at our levels so that we can work in a meaningful partnership to execute our plans of coming up with next-gen software that can establish us as leaders in our market space. We find CTS customer interface incapable of supporting the same.

Friday, September 10, 2010 - RE: Cognizant project estimates:

Few things our people at Invensys need to understand:

  1. CTS is a service provider and they have every right to bill for each hour reserved for Invensys
  2. The estimates of Invensys are usually low, do not forget the long hours we used to spend in the offices to meet the schedules (mostly unreasonble)
  3. Don't expect CTS employees to work for free
  4. With all the SLAs in place it is prudent for CTS to be on the higher side
  5. Therefore, do not complain live with it

Thursday, September 9, 2010 - RE: The relationship between Invensys and Cognizant:

Cognizant project estimates are unreasonably high. This makes project planning a mess. Some times they report months for tasks that Invensys can do in days. This is primarily because their teams are incompetent and probably also that they are using inexperienced engineers to boost their profit margins.

In most projects even basic estimation thumb rules are overlooked (e.g. QA Tasks = 1/10 Project Effort, Testing effort = 1/3 Development effort). IOM Project managers should audit project estimates to control cost of executing projects through Cognizant. We already see that executing smaller projects through Cognizant is not feasible.

The team in Cognizant is adamant about their estimation figures and tries to defend it with crappy arguments.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I agree with the earlier comment about Rail. James Drummond just wants yes men. The new MD in the UK has sacked anyone - costing a fortune in exit packages - who had a different style or a diverse view to his own. Clearly he only wants compliant 'yes' people in his own image. A management style straight out of the 1980s. This business never recruits leaders, only accountants who make the numbers look good and then cut and run before it catches up with them.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The management team in Invensys is completely elitist and is detached from financial reality. James Drummond flies business class from London to Madrid (2 hours) and has a chauffeur to take him to the hotel, yet makes hard working engineers who actually DO something fly for 11 hours in coach to Singapore and India. Ms Larson is flying most of the HR team GLOBALLY to Dallas for a week to a top resort hotel at huge cost. Since the whole function is a cost to the business, why don't they just tele-conference? We are supposed to be a technology company afterall. These execs have no idea - like Nero they fiddle while Rome burns.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

When Invensys thinks the engineers at Cognizant ODC are no good, they'd better stop utilizing their services. ODC employees would welcome this respite.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The engineers at Invensys Development Center are no better than Cognizant engineers. They also used to fixing trivial bugs and their knowledge of computer science is zero; they are fit for BPO only. The managers IDC are simply computer-dumbs.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The relationship between Invensys and Cognizant seems to be getting strained. While the Cognizant Development teams feel that Invensys is dealing more like a greedy client and less like a partner, Invensys management is unhappy about the stiffness of Cognizant teams in accepting Invensys requirements. (What made Invensys think in the first place that they would have same flexibility dealing with third party vendors that they had while dealing with their own development team?!)

There are multiple negotiations going on over estimates given by Cognizant development teams as Invensys managers now realize that their cost of executing projects in Cognizant is going up significantly when compared to the cost of executing the same projects from IDC. Also the development teams in Cognizant are feeling the heat from tighter project schedules that Invensys is asking for to reduce their costs.

Also many engineers in Cognizant are now realizing the fundamental flaw in Invensys - Cognizant business contract: The Cognizant contract rates for charging Invensys change little (~25%) from college Freshers to Senior / Consultant engineers. However, in India, a consultant Engrs salary can be 7-10 times (~900%) higher than that of a fresher. So because of huge salary difference between these two categories Cognizant makes significant profits on Freshers and makes LOSS on most Principal / Consultant Engineers! So to improve their profit margins Cognizant tends to Limit both Salary increment and hiring of Senior staff and prefers to hire and work with Junior Staff. So the so called "Centre of Innovation and Excellence" seems to be missing the latter two nouns.

Because of missing career growth, cheap salary increments (when compared to competitors) and a dubious work culture, most of the good senior technical staff is leaving. There have been significant resignations and the limited senior technical staff that is remaining would be resigning in next few months. The dipping quality of Cognizant ODC staff clearly shows that this centre is only meant for cheap BPO tasks.

The Invensys Engineers who keep complaining about the competency of Cognizant ODC should know that the problem is not the capability of engineers, but of the cheap engineers that the incompetent Cognizant management plans to keep.

Also congratulations to Invensys! Your Management has managed to slaughter yet another goose that laid golden eggs!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Invensys Rail, especially in the UK, is really in meltdown. The new MD in the UK knows nothing whatsoever about the railway industry or engineering or people. He is focused only on fixing things financially in the short term, with no long term vision about the business. He'll cook the books and then walk, 18 months in the job, maximum. Given what he's walked into, it could be touch-and-go whether he stays that long. His lack of leadership style is evident. It's clear that he thinks his people are merely a bad smell under his nose, since he walks past them in the corridor without even acknowledging them (he takes James Drummond as his role model, who does exactly the same). His style is right out of the early '80s - he's built up the executive ivory tower again, after the last guy dismantled it. I mean, executive parking spaces outside the front door - elitist or what? Most staff wouldn't know him if he bit them. He's not the man to turn this businss around - we need someone who is committed to engineering and people. I despair, and am actively looking for a new job after 14 years - as are most engineers in this place.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sad to say but the last post is so true. We openly laugh out loud listening to Ulf's lectures on productivity and lean, and then we watch as he leaves by chauffeur and in some cases private jet. Right now our lawyers are in a conference in Paris in a very expensive hotel costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Explain that. There is no rational explanation. Egos have got out of hand. Time will tell. Most of us feel that a take over is the best thing that could happen right now.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The last comment on Rail is spot on. Ulf's practice of making people commit to unachievable outcomes (or get fired) means that they do and ultimately business will fail to deliver. This then allows Ulf to personally justify his mono "turn around" style. Happened in Controls, then IPS and now the most profitable and cash rich Rail business is on its knees. The total write down in the UK business is around $90M over 3 years. In defence of Drummond, he is the guy that has tried to keep Ulf's destructive influence at bay.

The pension shortfall is bigger than the market cap. The only reason why the company may stay in the blue-chip FTSE100 is a share price rise due to take-over speculation.

Constant BS press releases are a joke. For example the big announcement regarding China nuclear order win for IOM fails to say that it's break even at best.

The push for good news orders has resulted in loss making projects for Invensys. Ulf has no idea about shareholder value and meanwhile he and his fellow incompetents collect their million-dollar compensation packages.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Nothing is really left to say here is there?

With the "Main Event" of IOM coming up with Ops Manage, it will be very telling to see if the recycled ideas and lite marketing spin will rear its head along with very little new solutions exhibited. Not sure it's a user conference anymore, but a partner event. I noticed that partners who attend make up most of the attendance and its mainly to keep an eye on whats going on with Invnesys and talk directly to their peers. As in the past, a few new software solutions will be shown probably, but this will be from partners rather than Invnesys, as it has been recently. New versions of existing software that are made mainly of fixes dont pass the test of innovation nor create much buzz these days. As a result it would seem the Invensys product line is too broad given the budgets of Invensys and are barely keeping up. I might still attend, but its going to be hard to listen to the marketing spin again about IOM and how cool their solutions are and ecosystem health is when it seems to be in decline and has less confidence now from customers and partners alike. Can't wait to see this blog after the spin show.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The comments on the issues in the rail group simply demonstrate the broader influence that Ulf and his team have had on the entirety of the Invensys portfolio. The focus used to be on excellence in products, services, and industry expertise. Since Ulf arrived, it has been on cost cutting and financial performance.

To be fair, when he arrived it was essential to lean-up the organisation and restructure its finances to ensure its survival. That period of danger of financial failure has long since passed, but the mindset persists, at the expense of future revenues/earnings, since the value pipeline has been all but cut.

Lest we forget that Nigel Rudd is a key part of the equation, and he is a noted dealmaker. It should now be clear that Invensys is not on any form of acquisitive path, at least not any of significance. Therefore it is reasonable to assume from the cost cutting measures and other indicators that, given the right offer, any or all of the Invensys business have a large "for sale" sign posted upon them.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Not the IOM idea and the vision itself keeps me wondering. More the absolute incapability and ignorance of managers makes me freezing. The show is running since several months and there is nobody who recognizes these lame ducks? There is no leadership at all. There is self-praise and self-congratulations, and not to forget self-enrichment. Nothing of Sudipta's nice Mails arrives at the employees. These Mails are pure scorn for them.

Nobody recognizes the number of resignations? Nobody notice the lost of talent? At the end nobody will miss this virtual construct, but the origin spirits of successful companies.

Monday, September 6, 2010 - Re: UK Rail Group & others:

Wenn ich Kultur hňÜre ... entsichere ich meinen Browning!
When I hear of culture ... I release the safety catch of my Browning!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Things are desperate in the UK rail business. All the good directors have been fired and there is no one left at the top who has any feeling or experience for the rail business. Just a bunch of James Drummond yes-men. Drummond is a clever guy but has out-stayed his welcome; he has lost the confidence of customers and staff and it's time for the buck to stop with him. Working here is terrible. A blame culture extends everywhere and it's always about cash and profit. It used to be about engineering

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Other than cost savings, has there been any real benefit of combining the organizations of IPS, and Wonderware? So far it seems that customers don't gain, partners don't gain, product lines do gain and if anything are squeezed more, and sales synergy seems to be missing. Look at the product lines of the Wonderware channel and it's obvious that they can't handle much more; and hardware is out for most. As it should be. The are two distinct channels and to think that Invnesys can leverage each together well - thats been a faliure each time.

As an investor, this IOM seems like it will foster less innovation and not more. It's a cost savings measure and makes sense in that realm mainly. But again I ask: where is the success and new business it was to create? Where are the new products into each channel? Hmmmm. Must be a real struggle to come up with substantial benefits of IOM.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I think all US and EMEA based employees seriously need to join a different organization. Staying will just make matters worse. If your unhappy and want to make a difference in your job with customers then find a new employer. Not much can be accomplished if the situation is as is posted here; even if it's only half-right, I would think the industry would be better served as well. There are a lot of companies who would pick up the talent.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It will not get better for Invensys until there is a significant change in the culture of leadership. "Do as I say, not as I do", has been that standard operating procedure for a long time. At IOM we have senior leaders that are in so far in over thier heads there is no possible way to recover. Sudipta and the team he has surrounded himself with spend more time on crafting a story to tell rather than addressing clients needs. Most of the team is fearful of being in the room with a client or salesperson as they might be asked a difficult question. For those of you that work closely with the ELT (Executive Leadership Team) you know that anytime there is going to be confrontation they run and hide. There is a culture of passive/aggressive behavior that starts with the CEO and filters through the entire organization. The culture of Wonderware has been imploded, and that was intended. The plan was to offshore the talent to Sudipta's native land of India. If you want to succeed at Invensys the game is very simple. Nod your head yes to whatever you are asked to do. Don't show any courage as that will get you pushed to the door. Any decision you make that is right, let your boss take credit.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Most of the people who wanted to create MES and Advanced Apps with great ease of use were unceremoniously driven out of Wonderware by the new leaders and their minions. Leader of the pack was none other than the recently demoted Pankaj Mody who time and time again stood in the way of any developments that he didn't personally initiate, which incidentally were very few and were of little customer value.

It is really a tragedy what has become of the company that Dennis, Phil, Cole, and the rest of the real Wonderware team built. It is in the hands of a misguided group of misfits who are terribly far beyond their competency levels.

With the board solidly in his pocket, there's little that will displace Ooof (that's the sound of the gut punch he's given to the company) and his band of incompetent outsourcers who have nothing but a cost focus and little or no customer focus.

    No man is an island,
    Entire of itself.
    Each is a piece of the continent,
    A part of the main.
    If a clod be washed away by the sea,
    Europe is the less.
    As well as if a promontory were.
    As well as if a manner of thine own
    Or of thine friend's were.
    Each man's death diminishes me,
    For I am involved in mankind.
    Therefore, send not to know
    For whom the bell tolls,
    It tolls for thee.

Monday, August 30, 2010

I have noticed that there is a disconnect between marketing and the reality of Invensys product ease-of-use. Wonderware specfically. Why is it for a company like Invensys that outsources so much including HR and Development, that most often the first item that companies outsource is support. Invensys has not done such but its not something to be proud of as much. It speaks to ease of use of the software and licensing and training. My experience with Invensys is that most distribution cannot handle the advanced apps and new releases for several years, nor do they want to take the risk of investing. So one would conclude that the ease of use and configurabilty that is marketed is more marketing than reality. While the platform is viable, it is costly as far as engineering and support is concerned. To be fair the other vendors are not much better. As a consumer, I can't see how the mass marketability of automation solution is viable until companies like Invensys, who previously had a mass marketed HMI platform, can turn the tables again and provide a real sustainable platform for MES and Advanced Apps.

Where is the leadership and customer focus now? Or is the CEO mantra of just good enough to snow us going to be to new standard? Sounds like a house of cards waiting for some innovative player to knock down. Same for ABB, Siemens, Rockwell etc. As vendors, customers, partners, we should should demand more not less.

Monday, August 30, 2010 - Concerned:

As an outsider, ie non Invensys employee or distributor, its very distrubing to see so much chaos being shouted about on this blog. I will have to say, outside of OpsManage promotion and a few aquisitions, I really have no idea about what Invensys is doing these days. I am commenting on the Operations Management side.

I am most familiar with the process side of the business and have to say also it seems like the push into facilities seems far afield for this company given its focus. Also I am suprised about the push into energy managment, when the likes of ABB and Siemens seem must better positioned and experienced. There has been no news of customers in those areas at all and one would think large list of successes would have been out there by now.

It's very confusing as to what this Operations Management Organization wants. I would think the VPs in the product managment and marketing groups must be held to blame for the lack of newsworthy progress. Where is the success of this new organziation? I would think it's time for accountability actions to directed at VPs now.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I know that this space was not intended as a bitch fest. But I feel I must say this. I being a long time FOXBORO employee(30+years) must speak out. I have seen Foxboro go from an industrial leader to a stumbling confused mislead entity. The leaders we had here who had a vision for the company were forced out, and VASTLY INCOMPETENT leadership were put in place. The morale here is bad; management is not liked or trusted. The culture-of-cheap has settled in. The Bristols built FOXBORO on the idea to build the best instrument that they could. Now this crowd has the philsophy: build it good enough. Our customers have noticed. Look at our market-share.

Now I know the economy is bad but..... This culture that is in power which is including IPS'S version of Leona Helmsley to the present leadership and their cost cutting methods, leave me shaking my head. They tell people who already do over-and-above that they are just doing their job's. That now you have to go so far above and beyond it is impossible to satisfy management. You see, according to our illustrious V.P in charge of manufacturing, the hourly employees make too much money, get too many benefits and don't produce enough. So they think peasants salaries are out of line, but management salaries are just dandy.

Well I am proud to say they made their goal - they make a cheaper instrument by buying cheaper parts and paying cheaper wages. I guess for the rest of us, our costs haven't gone up. Maybe I can tell the gas company, electric company, heating oil contractor and the supermarket to cut their prices. How about we tell the city and towns where we live maybe they will lower our taxes (good luck on that one).

Management has shown a disregard for the common person. I'm on my second year with no raise. I know my job and I am good at it. I'm not the only one who feels this way; many of my fellow workers are hard working and very talented. It is just a shame that we go unappreciated and under valued. It is also a shame we have to work for a bunch of elitist jerks!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

There's a great article on "How To Tell When Your Boss Is Lying" that could be valuable when listening to the company meetings: http://www.economist.com/node/16847818?fsrc=scn%2Ffb%2Fwl%2Far%2Fwhenyourbossislying

Monday, August 2, 2010 - To the "marketing person" in Lake Forest:

I am also in marketing and I an assure you, there are no 2 hour bike rides in my day. Call me--I'll help you take up your slack...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Safe and secure in Lake Forest? Mike Bradley √Ī Gone, VP finance position eliminated, VP HR position eliminated, VP sales position eliminated, Lake Forest based marketing positions eliminated, countless development positions outsourced, middle management decimated, remaining management moved to Dallas. But yeah, those free M&M√≠s make this place a paradise!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Click here (Click)Excellent Harvard Business Review analysis of the impact of outsourcing on innovation.

Invensys management fiddles while the company burns, and the new VP of development at IOM will continue the destructive trend. Trying to innovate without domain experience is like trying to run a marathon without preparation. A rare few can do it, most will fail and suffer greatly, and a few will die trying.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010 - Marketing department here...

We are used to marketing only software to a niche market that already needed our product. Meaning we are used to really doing nothing beyond a few random client stories about how they love our product. We are used to our free snacks in Lake Forest that none of the rest of you get and taking 2 hour bike rides in the afternoon in beautiful California. We aren't going to change this for anything and if you think we intend to learn about the boring rest of the business, forget it. Sudipta is from Wonderware so we are not really accountable for anything. We are safe and secure and we intend to stay that way.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Regarding Rail (and many of the Invensys businesses), the "HR woman" is much more than that. She is Ulf's confidant, and she is not to be trusted at all, if you're wise.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

How exactly do you think the "new guy" heading development will reignite innovation? His own online profiles indicate that his specialties are in cost reduction, not output increase. Those are two very different things. He is there to carry the outsourcing flag as far as he possibly can, at the direction of Ulf and Sudipta, and at the expense of customers and employees.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Rail group is definitely having big problems. Diemetronic has got problems in its home market and the Sao Paulo project has problems. In the UK, the Engineering Director just got the sack - a good guy, but another fall guy for James Drummond's failings. In fact, the whole exec team has been pushed out over the past year causing massive instability. I'm hearing that there's a multi million hole in the profit forecast and that Ulf and Freeburger are personally supervising the business. James Drummond is a dead man walking - since there's no-one left to blame (unless he thinks the HR woman is the one who caused all the problems) - thank goodness since he's the one who's milked it dry.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

In defense of Sudipta, who is a marketing guy at heart, the issue isn't so much a lack of marketing output but rather, a lack of much of anything interesting to talk about.

Monday, July 26, 2010

I'm hearing that the rail part of the business is in freefall, and that a profits warning is due. I guess the exec team has milked the cash cow dry...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

  1. Pankaj has been demoted for sure. I question his effectiveness as a technical leader after staying away from technology for years. But we hope for the best. We have a wrong culture as we keep all old R&D VPs around (one in Foxboro and now one in Lake Forest) and they fail to add any value and be in the way to real change.
  2. The new VP of IOM R&D is a buddy of Sudipta. We hope that helps us to become a lean organization for delivering new and quality products to stay competitive. OPMO (Outsourcing group) has become a clerical group with no vision of how to leverage Cognizant for making the relationship successful for Invensys business benefit. Cognizant is also playing along and collecting large sum of money every month. R&D Ops group is mobilizing many of its resources on large number of no-value add activities that seem to add very little value to our core strength of software innovation and development. Pankaj was getting along with it as he had no other ideas and interest for managing such a large integrated organization. We all can hope that the new VP will make a difference.
  3. It seems like everyone in the management team is working on to create their own value to the organization for keeping them employed rather than adding real value to the business for growth. This is against what we have been preached through our values as it creates a very different culture from where we want to go as a company.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Dear Marketing,

What happened to press releases about new products being introduced, customer wins? Promotional offers? Whitepapers of value? I don't think I have seen it so quiet from Invensys. When there was Wonderware and different management it was not the case. As a partner in sales its obvious that the company is focused on its navel and less and less on development and marketing. Seems like Ulf might have really underestimated the value of Mike Bradley vs Sudipta approach. Numbers dont lie as a track record. Not sure what the bench mark of a success is right now. Hope they have some real marketing and development folks step up and do something about it.

Saturday, July 24, 2010 - RE: relocate to other engagements other than Invesys after one year completion in Cognizant:

This is most prevalent in the ODC MES group. Their miseries are two-fold, from Cognizant side they are represented by useless Director (AA) and Senior Manager (MES) who never understands and addresses their true concerns; from Invensys side they are controlled by notorious gang whose intentions are directed towards defaming the ODC employees

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The mismanagement of then Invensys IDC management helped Invensys to easily outsource the complete IDC development team to Cognizant. But the pitiable fact is that same management (except the ex-VP IDC) is managing the team at ODC and the team's misery is continuing there. If the leads coming from ODC are true, most of them want to relocate to other engagements other than Invesys after one year completion.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Again July 25 coming up. It's two years now. The act of betrayal by then Invensys IDC management to Principal Engineers is still unforgettable. All senior technical engineers at Principal Engineer level are insulted by demoting then by one level.

It is something that no organization would think of doing. But IDC management under the leadership of then Vice President shamed for nothing to do so.

Through this forum, I want to convey to the members of that leadership team, 'Hey, please don't do this again to anyone again, the psychological trauma that you caused is still playing on us'

Friday, July 16, 2010

As much as I hope Pankaj's demotion helps us get back on track, do we really have any reason to believe that it will? I am surprised that we keep him around as CTO since he is not a CTO. And the new guy is certainly going to increase the number of jobs moving out of IOM or definitely out of the US, that's clearly why they brought him in. I wish I find a reason to be happy about the change, but I feel much more confused now than ever.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Don't worry, #3 has begun. One can be reasonably assured that Sudipta will not last out the year. He just traded from bad to worse in development. Talent management. Ha ha.

Monday, July 12, 2010

What is IOM now? And what is it that Sudipta wants it to really become? It would be good to know, beyond the marketing spin which is nonesense and recycled over and over again. There are a lot of theories I am sure, but not much coming out from the top these days, and as a result I can't help but have similar opinions.

Seems the focus of the employees is around internal strife and not around a real vision that anyone can sign up for. It's very disheartening to see so many employess on all these blogs just complain. But you cannot blame them if they work at a place that they don't believe in, or even worse, that the customers dont.

The company has placed so little resources into it energy management, facilities, and manufacturing industry initiatives since the revenue quota is peanuts compared to the traditional large DCS business. Strategic Accounts managers will never spend time to grow new business. Seem that other players 1/4 Invensys' size will be posied to take the market and new business opportunity. Could be time for a new round of medium players to enter the field as companies like Invensys have their hands full and their direct and indirect channels spread so thin that they are forced to focus on a handful of programs and certainly not the number that President has dreams of.

It's been said that big companies are well known for being good at a few things.

  1. If there is a problem - restructure
  2. If there is problem with sales - cut costs
  3. If those two don't work, send off the management and start over.
Seems like one and two are complete; just waiting for number 3.

Friday, July 9, 2010

I worked at Invensys for less than a year and here is my honest opinion:

The good:

  1. Great company as far as benefits and development environments.
  2. Great pool of talents. I met some of the most talented engineers in the industry.
Now the bad:
  1. The team manager did not know how to shield the team from the management nonsense so we can focus on the task at hand.
  2. Again, our manager, even though a nice person, he did not know the difference between encouraging people and insulting them.
  3. The idea of getting great talents to fix and maintain 15 years old code did not appeal to me or any of the other team members.
  4. The competition is leap-frogging forward while Invensys management insists on using that great pool of talents to move at the speed of a turtle.
I liked the company and was excited to join the team but I would not work for it again.

Hey management, you still have chance to compete and go back to be #1. Use your talented engineers and listen to what they have to say because they are not that crazy and you are not really as good as you think you are.

Monday, June 28, 2010

I'm coming up to a year since my departure (and the departure of some 40 other people) from Wonderware and I'm increasingly amazed that I put up with working there as long as I did. The pay was good and the benefits were very good but the abusive atmosphere was brutal. My new job doesn't tolerate teacher's pets and we are going to do between $10M and $18M more business this year than last year (which is not bad when you only have a dozen or so employees).

I got laid off and I was out of work for long enough to relax, then I started my new job at a substantial increase. Nobody takes payoffs, we believe in operating ethically, and morale is great. I'm happy.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

8 Steps How to destroy running business by a leaders vision

  1. A leader has a vision
  2. Destroy established company names and built up one virtual company
  3. destroy the grown spirtits of these companies
  4. Try to create a new comon spirit
  5. Instal level 2,3,4 managers who dont care about visions and spirit
  6. Demotivate people and create fluctuation of the best knowledge
  7. Fail and create unemployment
  8. Turn arround and try again elswhere

Friday, June 18, 2010 - Adding on to IOM-specific performance:

    Morale: Down 90%
    Market Position: Down 50%
    CEO Friends in Key Positions: Up 80%
    Industry Expertise: Down 30%
    Innovation: NaN - too low to measure
    Bad Aquisition Ratio: Up %100 (CEO is 0 for 2)
    Prospects for Survival As Independent Company: Down 98.9%

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Invensys Operations Management numbers are not quite as impressive. Per their annual report, page 19:

    Orders Down 17%
    Revenue Down 9%
    Profit Down 23%
    Employees Down 10%
    (This includes their 5th President of the Process Group in the past 10 years.)
All the Process Automation companies were down for fiscal 2009. In comparison, Invensys IOM performed a little better than the average in the Process Control market. If you compare all the competitors process numbers in their annual reports, you will find Emerson Process Management performed the best, followed by ABB. The worst performers in the process market were Rockwell, Siemens and Yokogawa.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Here's some positive news: http://www.invensys.com/media/default.asp?top_nav_id=3&nav_id=3&action=detail&content_no_id=876

Pretty impressive to keep revenues and order book up in these trying times. I do feel that the R&D side is still quite broken, though.

    Financial highlights √Ī continuing operations (extracts):
    • Group order book increased to ¬£2,307 million (2009: ¬£2,083 million), up 11% (10% at CER2) with 40% now represented by orders from emerging markets
    • Order intake was ¬£2,473 million (2009: ¬£2,806 million), down 12% (17% at CER); order intake is up 21% compared with two years ago
    • Revenue was ¬£2,243 million (2009: ¬£2,284 million), down 2% (8% at CER)
    • Operating profit before exceptional items3 rose 2% (down 4% at CER) to ¬£248 million (2009: ¬£244 million) and operating profit after exceptional items rose 25% (up 18% at CER) to ¬£223 million (2009: ¬£178 million)
    • Operating margin rose from 10.7% to 11.1% with each division producing double digit operating margins in the second half
    • Basic earnings per share rose 6% to 18.5p (2009: 17.4p)
    • Operating cash flow was ¬£265 million (2009: ¬£298 million) and operating cash conversion was 107% (2009: 122%); free cash flow was ¬£100 million (2009: ¬£296 million) reflecting the incidence of one-off cash inflows last year including the PPP settlement credit
    • Recommended final dividend of 2.0p per share (2009: 1.5p per share); total dividends of 3.0p per share (2009: 1.5p per share)
    • Continued strong financial position with no debt, net cash totalling ¬£363 million and an investment grade rating from Standard & Poor√≠s

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The last poster (regarding WonderWare growth) is clearly not management, or they would understand some basic finance and business metrics. Revenue growth is merely one measure, profitability is entirely another, and in this area WonderWare has likely been an underperformer. Calculate the CAGR of either (revenues or profitability) over the past five years for a more relevant statistic that gauges the performance of the current leadership regime.

The real source of WonderWare's consistent growth and success of the past two decades is the best distribution and service channel in the industry. An analysis of revenues would also likely indicate a brand loyalty that results in a consistent stream of service contracts and maintenance revenue, which has little to do with new business. Much of the incremental revenue over the past 10-15 years have been the result of acquisitions, rather than organic creation of new offerings. WonderWare's primary business is also in a fiercely competitive market with price erosion underway from all directions, most notably in emerging/emergent econonomies where local competitors are often one order of magnitude cheaper with comparable functionality.

In order to maintain revenue levels, the company will need to play either the acquisition game - which often is erosive to profitability - or the customer squeeze game by upping maintenance contract costs - which is erosive to customer goodwill.

This is a challenging climate in which to be a leader. New competition & choice, economic uncertainty, globalization challenges, and eroding price models make it no easy task. The more immediate opportunities for WonderWare lie in cost-cutting and fiscal discipline.

Monday, June 7, 2010

10 years ago Wonderware revenue was under $70 million; this past year it was close to $200 milllion and still growing in the double digits. While Foxboro has had problems overall, it is showing improvment.

By the way, I am not management. Stop whining !

Monday, June 7, 2010

The first two posts for June 6 are obviously upper management wasting breath. It's the same rhetoric I heard 10 to 20 years ago, and Invensys has only gotten worse; its holdings have lost sales and market value. I left Foxboro 10 years ago and have thrived under a company that actually does allow its workers to contribute in a positive way. Invensys is a stifling "yes man" environment, whose middle-level managers are not allowed to do anything on their own. Puppets right down from the top. People leave not because they are bitter; they leave on a positive note because they want to make a difference, and that's not allowed at Foxboro. So they go where they are allowed to succeed.

Answer me this: Foxboro sales on its own were $600M in 1982 and about $800M in the late 1990s. They were not reported on their own, other companies were blended in to disguise the lack of growth. What are they now? My company has had a sales increase of 50% in the the 10 years that I've been here.

Don't try to BS people. They know better. Invensys is a big vacuum (as in negative) that sucks money out and leaves nothing of value.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

How, pray tell, are we positioned for growth? IOM has been in paralysis since Sudipta took over - or for that matter, since Paulette took over - or for that matter since Pankaj took his role.

The disaster of trying to make WonderWare work in the DCS space has cost us hundreds of millions of dollars in real costs of engineering and marketing, lost opportunities in delivering a better solution to our customers, and lost business. Rail is still a series of disjointed regional operating companies instead of a unified global force in transportation - which it could be with some support from ISYS. Appliances? Despite fits and starts and some good innovations, ISYS will not decide whether it wants to invest or divest and has it trapped in zombieland. Ulf fiddles while the portfolio businesses burn, but his hand picked board and carefully selected and placed leaders dare not turn on him.

We have powerful well known brands. We have a massive amount of domain expertise in our respective business. We have a fantastic future with the right leadership. We do not have that leadership today.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

You are completely correct. It appears that a few disgruntled people are making up facts. I do know for sure that most of the facts on this weblogntend to be disproven over time. On the the hand a lot of people do seem unhappy. Maybe if people with out any real facts kept quiet for a while someone whonwas unhappy could articulate why in a somewhat less overwrough way. Who knowns maybe a manager or two reads this weblog and could make a change.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

You should all quit your whining and refocus that negative energy into something positive to support the company and make it better. Despite the remarks of the disgruntled few, Invensys is well positioned for growth. Most of the information posted on the blog is not factual and is based on opinions of bitter people. Get over it.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The backroom battles and tensions between the various IOM regional presidents are reaching a fever pitch of late. Something has to give soon. Who will win?

Saturday, May 22, 2010 - Re Brand recognition and loss....Totally agree!

But while the marketing man may have worked for Wonderware previously, he had absolutely nothing to do with the growth of the Wonderware brand - which grew selling shrink wrapped software, not services. He started the process of killing that before IOM was formed. Wonderware was grown not by Wonderware, but by the distributor channel that embraced it as their own. Where will they be in 12 months?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Invensys just bought Skelta. Like they know anything about Business Process Management! Another waste of money into the software space where they have failed miserably before! Once again they will try to get a sales force that can only sell products to sell software and solutions that they know nothing about. Haven't we seen this before?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Brand recognition value and loss: Congratulations, Invensys for flushing awesome recognizable brands like Foxboro, Triconex and Wonderware down the toilet. Foxboro brings in most of the cash that the rest of the company squanders on pipe dreams of becoming a solutions company when 75% of all income comes from M&I products. Every year the brand degrades a little more. Minimal R&D is put toward maintaining the edge Foxboro was famous for. Soon the products will be outdated and the brand name will be lost and your cash cow will be gone. Then what will you do? Within 5 years Invensys will collapse as this is the financial foundation propping up the regime. Go to www.foxboro.com or www.triconex.com. The logos that users have seen for generations are no longer on the website at all. Who is the marketing executive (idiot) who is so determined to flush all of these years of brand recognition down the toilet? Fire them all. For a change fire someone who deserves it. Oh yeah, they are from Wonderware; no wonder they keep their jobs...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

So, the buzz is we're prepping for additional acquisitions. Isn't that just precious? Spend a boatload of the company's money, just because we have product marketing managers with no clue of what customers want and a development head who stands in the way of anything that customers actually want. And we have to buy elsewhere. Fix the problem, stop attaching more band aids.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The only change that is happening with the Invensys name changes is a shrinking market share for Triconex & Foxboro. Talking of the Middle East market, it's hard to recollect when Triconex or Foxboro last won a real competitive ESD / DCS bid against the likes of Honeywell, Yokogawa and Emerson. The Invensys Middle East team has even managed what no one in the world has done: They have managed to lose some proprietary jobs to system integrators. The calibre of the CSE and TCS is abysmal and the exodus of good trained personnel continues to be replaced by nodding heads who would not know the difference between an ESD and a DCS. It's time the corporate office moves in and clears off all the dead-wood at the top and gets a lean, mean fighting outfit in place. There's lot's of business out there - but not for Invensys in it's present form.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

If anyone had any expectations of Wonderware Studios delivering anything usefull in any time frame that was appropriate, they are severely deluded! One advert and one or two brochures per years is all they have ever managed, and even then those generally missed the target - the made excuses that the advert was there to highten awareness. One day they might tell the world what Wonderware actually has to offer. The Wonderware web sites have always been the most disorganised, hyped and out--of-date sites. 99% of the customers I talk to finish up hitting the Pacwest website to get support.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

No one is talking about the "Tail Wagging the Dog" syndrome going on throughout the organization. At every turn, Wonderware people are being promoted regardless of skills in the position they are being put in. All others in key positions are quietly being let go or forced out. It is a witch-hunt to rid the organization of anyone who was deemed (IPS/EDS) or part of Paulette's team. Talent is being replaced by Wonderware cheerleaders regardless of skillset. When are they going to see that these Wonderware people know how to run million dollar businesses and will fail miserably with the Billion dollar businesses they are being put in charge of? When is Ulf going to wake up and see what is really going on? The decisions being made are in key areas and are purely political. In the long term this kind of crap will kill the company.

Here are some specific cases where talent was eliminated as the individuals were deemed to be "IPS" people needing to be replaced by Wonderware. There were 2 individuals that single-handedly did all of the IPS rebranding. One guy did solo what Wonderware Studios takes an entire team to do. The other guy built the IPS websites and helped us in Invensys corporate with our web projects as well. He alone did what Wonderware has a team in place to do. OK, I get it, they were redundant with Wonderware. Regardless, these talented individuals were both really needed at the Invensys corporate level. God knows we need all the help we can get with Invensys branding and websites. Has anyone really looked at the terrible Invensys internal and external websites? They are a nightmare! Compare OurInvensys to the IPS or IOM intranets that are actually usable. Invensys desperately needed these talents. Now we are stuck with a crappy website and I have to outsource newsletters that could have been done internally. Those guys helped everyone in the organization and did not see IOM / Invensys boundary lines. They helped everyone as "one company" and will be missed. Losing talent that was needed elsewhere is clearly a failure of senior leadership as well as HR.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Ulf turned Controls around? You've got to be kidding me. Controls has been turned around by Mark B, despite Ulf who has been busy destroying value in IOM and Rail.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Don't give Ulf too much credit for the Controls turnaround. If he had his way, we would have sold it off years ago. Ulf's days have passed, and Invensys needs new leadership. Someone younger, more driven, more passionate. Maybe an ex-GE person with good ops + strategy + execution skillls.

Monday, May 3, 2010

With all the gloom and doom from the people who write on this weblog, one would not expect that Ulf has been able to turn around Invensys Controls Europe during the past fiscal year. The business will report a 5.3% ROS for 2010, up from a net loss position in 2009. Not bad for a business that supplies controls to the HVAC and appliance industries, whose shipments are down 30% since 2007. Stop complaining and look in the mirror.

Saturday, May 1, 2010 - to many dear friends:

Don't worry, there is a life after Invensys. I was fired a couple of months ago, and found another job in better company. By the way, I remember all good workers and technicians spending time and effort, while managers and VPs doing anything to ruins this...

I did not visit this Weblog for a while now. So, reading some past posts I found this: did you see that "Sudipta" is an anagram from (or to) "Stupida" Yet another good choice for a project name...

Hey another thoughts: Ulf Henriksson is onboard since 2005, so 5 years of good choice and excellent management style. Well hope his birthday cake will be as big as the results - employees mood I mean! Not easy to put 5 candles on a cookie! Have safe trip guys!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Where on earth did the previous writer come up with the belief that Skelta is a 'good brand name'? It is/was a dying company that sold itself for bargain basement price. Good brand names don't do that.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Invensys has the history of ruining good brand names. Hopefully Skelta doesnt fall in that category. I dont really see a connect between comparing Skelta and Cognizant in the recent posts. The acquisition is more related to a strategic (!) solutions perspective (the same old story of sensor to board room with Baan acquisition). For a company like Invensys wanting to rebrand as a solutions company, products come in as second priority.

Friday, April 30, 2010 - RE: Moving IDC to Cognizant ODC to get rid of incompetancy:

We (good performers from Cognizant) do not agree to this statement either. It is close to one year; even now we are forced to see and deal with the same crap every day (incompetent PMs, Dev Managers, SM and Directors). Not sure when this crap will be cleared from the organization. Wish it would be very soon; otherwise we have no option left other than leaving Cognizant. It is good that the market is booming now.

Thursday, April 29, 2010 - RE: Moving IDC to Cognizant ODC is to get rid of incompetancy:

Should this happen, I would be the first person to congratulate the Invensys management. But we (employees at Invensys) are still dealing with the same incompetancy at Cognizant. Invensys would need an extended arm (which is Skelta) to get rid of the Cognizant ODC's incompetancy.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The work given to ODC by Invensys will become 50% after the Skelta acquisition. People in ODC with MS technologies have to look somewhere else. All MS projects at ODC will be slowly scrapped. It will be a tough time for people working at ODC.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Moving IDC to Cognizant ODC is to get rid of incompetancy. I dont think there should now be a "Strategy" to get rid of ODC. They can simply ask to ramp down on teams, and treat Cognizant as yet another vendor.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The $3 million acquisition cost is merely the start. The cost of assimilating the acquisition, of creating new - and non-marketable - applications, and of attempting to train DCS sales guys to sell BPM, will make that acquisition cost seem like nothing. It is the start of another money pit.

Sudipta seems to be trying to get back the luster he had when he bought Light Hammer while at SAP for the shop floor to top floor story there. Can one honestly compare an SAP sales person to an Invensys sales person? An other possible interpretation of this acquisition is that since it was small in scope, the intent is still to keep the coffers full for a potential acquirer for Invensys itself, so as not to burden the future acquirer with something larger and more complex.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

$ 3 million for this company and you guys are worried about it? Wow! Where was everyone when they bought and sold Baan?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The recent aquisition of Skelta could be a strategic move to check ODC at Cognizant, at least the groups which work on MS technologies. Invensys must use this aquisition to get rid of the incompetence at ODC.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Not a suprise on the topic of aquisition. No, its not because it's an Indian company; that would be too... well too much to say. But it is because the company has aspirations too big for itself without a channel or structure to support it. I have seen other companies (like Redhill and others) grow this way, but the current management seems to not understand that they will only kill any aquistion by starving it under the bottom-line orientated, non-strategic board. Who can blame the board? This would be a bad invesment. When will the rest of us shareholders take a stand and send these guys on their way?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

CTS can now start thinking of acquiring 130 employees of Skelta under it umbrella. What shall we name this program? RE-EDGE?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Invensys goes bottom fishing today:

Paid GBP 2M ($3M) for a company in an crowded market, where Microsoft effectively gives away software for free. Worse, Invensys gets all the cost and overhead of another 120 employees, and a product that no one at Invensys knows how to sell. What a surprise that it was an Indian company; imagine how that could happen. Another smart move from the Bhatyachara brains trust.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Looks like Invensys bought another Company today to become part of their Ecosystem offerings. Rumor is Honeywell & Emerson are having a party, since this will add to the confusion Sudipta has created with the Invensys market strategy. Turnover was about 2 million, so hopefully they didn't spend over 6 to buy it. Last acquisition was a 15 million dollar company bought for 52 million and best estimates still doing 15 million and not integrated into the sales channel. Difference is the new acquisition is in India not the States.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Is anyone (other than the writer) aware that Invensys' fiscal-year 2010 has ended?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I have heard from sources that Invensys Controls had a very good year in 2010 beating all expectations. Can anybody confirm that?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Let's all accept that InFusion is a joke, and that if we want to compete we will need to create some real integration between the IOM product families and build a compelling solution that delivers what customers really want. We need to dump the albatross known as Archestra and the leadership that has foisted this crap upon us for years. Pankaj has had his chance, and he failed. It is time to move on. We have spent far, far too many engineering hours in the wrong areas and on a bad architecture that was poorly implemented. That is three strikes for the leadership, in my book.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I have to agree with the inward focus comments. Becoming Invensys, One by Six, IPS, IOM, and many others... slogans and logos... hire, fire, re-organize. How about some slick integration that actually works and that isn't tested on customers? Managing sales so that customer expectations aren't out of line with actual capabilities thus not only protecting Invensys but also the customer. And what about being in a marketplace and not floundering on some pie-in-the-sky consulting marketplace. Invensys (IOM)is an automation provider meaning both Hardware and Software. You can't outsource both and expect to be a "consultant". Customers (plant managers) see right through that. They want the nuts and bolts and they want them to work. Simple as that.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Customer focus? Invensys is a trading company. Yes, just a business trading company engaged in buying and selling manufacturing companies. It can only look for profits; so there is no customer focus.

Monday, April 12, 2010

I am seeing a common thread here - a lack of focus on the customer, and more focus on internal politics and financial performance. That is not a sign of a healthy company. Also, customer focus does not imply listening to your handful of large customers. It means having a pulse on the overall market and customer base, a continuing and constant dialog, and a measure of the value you are actually delivering to your customers' businesses. I see none of that. The storm clouds are circling.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

More comments regarding the post-Sudipta era:

  • A number of very good people were forced out by the new regime
  • The 'executive' team was packed with incompetent friends of Sudipta with very questionable qualifications for their roles
  • The effective use of offshore resources was completely bungled
  • A significant amount of customer goodwill has been lost
  • The culture of Wonderware has been all but destroyed
  • One 'book of the day'-driven initiative after another has been foist upon the company based on what Sudipta last read rather than a fact-based analysis of the real situations
  • Criticism has been all but silenced
  • Channel energy is at or near an all time low

Friday, April 9, 2010

Not trying to negative but, besides the increase in Invensys stock price, here is what I have seen since Sudipta took over:

  1. Spent 52 million for SAT. They are producing the same revenue almost 2 years later.
  2. Having multiple sales channels providing confusion to the customer's.
  3. No real new product development in either Wonderware offerings or Infusion.
  4. Strategic account group filled with average sales folks with no strategy on how to leverage the various channels to provide value
  5. Confusion thru the whole ecosystem( to use their word) no real executable strategy. WW channel and IOM direct are in a competitive situation with no trust, hence no growth will be seen.
Would like to hear comments...

Friday, April 9, 2010

Regarding the ecosystem program: Do you think it is a coincidence that one of Sudipta's long time buddies is now running it? Not. Though I must agree I think the new ecosystem programs being proposed were not the right ones for us. They should listen to customers and find out what THEY want out of an ecosystem.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Why doesn't Invensys get back to the Wonderware distributer's way of treating customer's with respect and realizing that customer's pay their salaries. Heard the departed ecosystem head was hand picked by Sudipta from a competitor who was losing market share. Great pick Sudipta! Next time around, hire someone that understands sales and customer relationships. It is real simple: develop and deliver value based products that solve customer problems, and then customer's will buy. Then you have a customer for life. If Invensys spent the time with customer's that they spend in internal meetings to stroke each other's ego, they would be better off. My 2 cents.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Speaking as a long-standing Wonderware ecosystem member, the departure of the head of the group is probably for the best. His proposed changes to the program (incredibly high annual fees with no identifiable ROI potential for the partners, non-value-adding reporting requirements, quotas, etc.) have alienated heretofore loyal and committed partners.

Plus, the never ending game of musical chairs within the group has stalled all forward progress towards redefining the program. The program is both in limbo AND a state of flux. Hard to achieve...

Friday, April 9, 2010

WonderWare is, for all intents and purposes, dead as we once knew it. It was well on its way, when Pankaj and his crew took over the reins and the white elephants known as Archestra and InFusion sucked in all of the available oxygen in the company.

Looking from the top, Ulf is a terrible leader for a company in this mode. He is good at cleaning up financial messes, but does not have a strategic bone in his body. He has created a chaotic organizational structure that defies coherence in every way, and creates unhealthy competition that does not bring one single customer benefit. The moment an organization loses its focus on the customer and turns inwards, the end has begun. Invensys will certainly be parceled out or gobbled up in the reasonably near future.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

How is it ever going to be possible for each region to do anything autonomously? Product comes from the central organisation. Product is what we sell. All the powerpoints in the world will only sell vapourware for a short period of time. So far we have yet to see a single thing from the regions HQ - other than "how much will you book next month?"

Look at Wonderware's core products - development has stopped apart from bug fixes, and even then the development group seems incapable of merging the many bug fixes into a release version. And as for QA - Let's test it for the bugs we know about. Let the customer find the rest!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

IOM organizational structure changes ongoing. The sales regions have P&L and the corporate folks are a cost center only. With all marketing, OEM business development, industry initiatives, product management, and ecosystem development under this structure it has been pointed out that the corporate strategy lacks teeth because each region is autonomous and will take whatever strategy of investment and development regardless of the corporate public relations and talk of strategy to the market. Not sure how this will work, but its one of the reasons you wont find a consistent strategy or customer experience globally. Tough to do in any company, but this kind of organizational structure seems to make it more of a challenge. A regional approach makes sense but there still has to be a global strategy that VPs sign up for.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - Response to March 31, 2010 weblog by "little facts and nothing but opinions":

You are assuming that if one or several of us goes to management and talks about our concerns, that management will take appropriate steps. Well, if it was a company with good management personnel, these problems wouldn't have occurred in the first place!

You probably are (bad) management material or haven't worked for any of the companies on this weblog. Everything is an opinion; why else do we call them opinion polls? This weblog does discuss industry; the posters are stating why their companies are not doing well, and it is mainly boiling down to the root problem which is inefficient, inactive, inbred management.

Many have left or been laid off from these companies. However, there are many that still work in these companies and are watching their jobs disappear, careers coming to an end prematurely, or just plainly suffering with no end in sight.

If corporations claim they are existing as an organism, and trying to be "green" and environmentally-friendly, then they should have ethics too. Corporations are always lobbying congress and "buying" votes at every political level. That's just plain proof of government for sale. No wonder our American jobs have gone overseas. Even defense contractors are taking federal money to ship jobs to Puerto Rico.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The ultimate power struggle at IOM is taking shape and will be full of fireworks soon. Ulf's previous hand-picked choice (Sudipta) and his all-show-no-substance pals against Ulf's most recent hand-picked choice (Teemu) and his back-to-the-future/mini ABB approach. Place your bets and form your alliances, ladies and gentlemen. This should be exciting. Be sure you have a good seat!

Monday, April 5, 2010

One blogger asked to have something real to say around the company. Well take this into consideration the next time making a major committment to a company for standardization. Take a good look at the bench within a company and the resources behind it. Right now as all companies are stretched thin, its even more important. Industry initiatives such as Corporate Engergy Management, Transportation, Asset Management, and even new Apps in Oil and Gas have small players behind them and lack the real global resources to take major or global. This company seems to be pushing the envelope of profitability while forsaking its future as a provider that has the legs to take it much further, or ownership that a customer would want. Be sure the contract is tight when dealing with large scale purchases. Where is the investment beyond fixes and support its own products Are its customers happy now with the changes or will they be in the future? Only sales and not profitability will tell on that front; and for all the others in the automation business. Something to consider.

Saturday, April 3, 2010 - Re: Eliminating onsite coordinators from CTS.

The bigger problem with Cognizant ODC and Invensys are that they are actively considering many good steps, but are unable or unwilling to implement any of them. Instead only bad measures are implemented and the responsibility for doing anything good is shrugged off by management and passed right down to the base level. If management can't take responsibilities and face the consequences of their decisions, why the hell are such cowards leading these organizations?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

As I read this weblog, it makes me wonder why it is here. I think it is just putting out crap on all the automation companies; for what? Come on, is Invensys, Honeywell or Rockwell, or any other company really that bad? Wow! There are little facts and nothing but opinions. It's a joke to see such garbage by so-called professionals. What ever happened to discussion on product or solutions? Let's discuss industry or economy impacts to our businesses!

If you read this think about it. If you have a issue with Invensys or any other company, be a professional and address it within the company, or leave!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The scummy internal politics continue. We lost a good guy at IOM who was handling our ecosystem - who got kicked out. I guess the ecosystem isn't important anymore, or you need to be a friend/bootlicker of the boss. This place sucks and I can't wait to find something else.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Invensys Rail Group is now also nosediving into terminal decline. The power-crazed directors and managers across all of the business units are in a turf-war for control and R&D is more about who has the most power, not who delivers good products. Their ineffectual leader in HQ is too busy collecting air-miles to notice what is really going on. The products being developed are already out of date and we are struggling to catch up with the competition. We are screwed. Time to brush up your CV's.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Great News: Invensys is actively considering to get rid of the onsite coordinators from CTS. Might be the postings here that prompted the Invensys Management to reevaluate their positions. Invensys should post people with good product knowledge at Invensys ODC Hyderabad to help the Dev and QA teams to understand the requirements better.

Saturday, March 20, 2010 - To "Complain, Complain" and "Working, not whining":

I see you don't put your names or email here, either. If you want to post something that shows who you are and how to reach you, you might get some details. But if all you're doing is chiding the rest of us from the safety of your own anonymity, you have no credibility. Come on: if you are saying that people should speak up and you're touting the company line, you of all people have nothing to fear, right? Put a little skin in the game.

Friday, March 19, 2010 - from former 30+ year employee:

I for one am quite pleased to be away from the nonsense that Invensys has become. For the last five years of my career I could feel the sense of hopelessness engulf me as I walked from my car to the entrance of my building. I don't miss that one bit.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Excellent writeup, Jim. I particularly found your treatment of Peter Martin's appearance at ARC quite poignant. He is a brilliant man, but sadly, has been parked on the sidelines for years now. He did his best to fill in the (many) blanks in the IOM strategy with the vision of a real-time business that he has held for nearly a decade, but the overall message remained muddled.

No, this Phoenix will not rise from the ashes, as one of the press suggested, but rather, will end up as the turkey dinner on some acquirers table in the not so distant future. Henrikkson lacks the skills for a company at this juncture, Bhatychara is in over his head, and the team they have assembled is weak through and through. The leadership team lacks in vision and execution, and that is not a formula for success.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Invensys IOM strategy is flawed

Extract from JimPinto.com eNews #279, 19 March 2010

What's the IOM strategy? Knowledgeable industry pundits like Andrew Bond (Automation Insider) and editors Gary Mintchell and Walt Boyes have tried to explain it. I suspect they are simply parroting the press-releases, with the "emperor's clothes" syndrome. Privately most admit that it has little chance of success. Hey, I can't explain it. If you can understand it, "You're a better man than I am Gunga Din"!

Apparently, Ulf drank the cool-aid, and is probably getting ready to jump ship.

Click here (Click) Read the analysis on JimPinto.com eNews 19 March 2010.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

If Invensys starts shuttering offices in the UK, it most certainly portends the transfer of HQ to the USA.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lots of noise that Invensys are considering / are shutting down some of their UK offices and relocating the work back to Paris - is anybody able to confirm this and if so which offices?

Sunday, March 14, 2010 - To the person asking for specifics:

There are lots of specifics, and gross violations of ethics, though this anonymous weblog is not the place to expose them. Those silly online ethics courses talked about how the appearance of an ethical violation is just as bad, but it is all do-what-I-say and not do-what-I-do here.

If any of this is true and a director has been covering for illegal acts, then it all becomes a federal felony and the SEC moves in. If someone reports it to the IRS for the hefty rewards they give for reporting tax cheats, there can be an IRS investigation, too. They can even gather the information without a warrant as part of an ongoing tax investigation and then turn over evidence of crimes to the SEC.

There is much could be done better here. Still, I like working here because of the products and many of the great people. I would like it better if the company ran cleaner and did all the ethical things they should. This is one of the typical problems with how things are run badly here.

Saturday, March 13, 2010 - RE: You should be WORKING, not whining on this Weblog:

The comment was "We all in Invensys ODC can access this site." and this does not mean that "We all in Invensys ODC do access this site." Nor does it mean "We all in Invensys ODC always access this site." Nor does it mean that "We all in Invensys ODC access this site from office network."

The person asking us to be "WORKING" assumed all the above illogical conditions. The worst thing is that he may be from ODC or Cognizant management, and this really worries us because in this case we are forced to ask ourselves that why are we working for such fools?

On the Other hand this guy can be one of the Invensys US guys preaching to us. In this case we wonder what happened to US intelligentsia? Have they all left Invensys already? Or are they so pissed that they don't want to represent their organization on this blog and so let the underprivileged talk instead!

Saturday, March 13, 2010 - Re: "We all in Invensys ODC can access this site.":

There is part of the root of the problem. You should be WORKING, not whining on this Weblog.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Complain, Complain: Why not actual information? What are the leaders doing wrong? What policies, actions, decisions do you disagree with? What should change? Name names, speak the truth, but please stop whining. Most of these posta look like they are from low-level people with no real clue to what is going on in the buisness, but are pissed off that they don't get more for themselves.

Friday, March 12, 2010 - Re: Wobbly heads and brown noses:

For my Indian colleague, the term "brown nose" has got nothing to do with the brown color of the skin. It has a very different connotation than you think, with NO cultural, regional, or racial significance. It is offensive only to the individual who places his nose in such a way as to potential get something brown upon it.

Here's the Answers.com definition of "brownnose":

    To support slavishly every opinion or suggestion of a superior: bootlick, cringe, fawn, grovel, kowtow, slaver. Informal apple-polish, cotton. Slang suck up. Idioms: curry favor, dance attendance, kiss someone's feet, lick someone's boots.

Thursday, March 11, 2010 - Re: Wobbly heads and brown noses:

Please don't use remarks that hurt sentiments of a community/gender/race etc. If some one, or a group of people are incompetent, say it loud. People who fall under same group support your argument professionally. For example, Sudipta being Indian-born doesn't automatically get support from all Indian-born in Invensys. In fact >90% may not like him, as like in any other groups. I request you to criticize people based on thier actions, not on any other criteria.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Invensys has got all its prioities mixed up and messed up. You look at any of the geographical regions and you have individuals ruining the organization with their own notions of how to run a company.

And there are a whole bunch of freeloaders with wobbly heads which go up and down in agreement whenever the boss says something, and they get promoted. Needless to say these freeloaders would not know the difference between Foxboro and Triconex and Wonderware, but would still decide how these should be sold and serviced.

Man, it's a crazy orzanization, with brown nosers getting promoted and good guys being thrown out. You can even go so far as to say that all the guys at the top now are pretty much there because they have wobbly heads and brown noses. I know of one brown noser who has hardly ever seen the inside of any customer's office and has seen business deteriorate under his stewardship; but his wobbly head keeps him afloat and even gives him promotions.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I am interested to know how the Middle East operation can be streamlined. There's a whole bunch of major projects happening out there and we seem to lag way behind the competition.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The CEO of IOM communicated that the global sales operations leadership function would be disbursed among a variety of other VP√≠s within the organization, Finance and Portfolio taking on most of the functionality. I addition,Sudipta communicated that he would be going outside of the company to hire a leader that understood √¨Value Selling√ģ. Apparently he doesn√≠t think any of the sales leadership in this company understands Value-Selling and hence he needs to go outside and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to hire someone that can teach the sales organization how to sell.

Sort of reminds me of the last Global VP of Sales at IPS, when he told the global sales organization they were all incompetent. This is coming from a guy that has been in supply-chain his entire career. I√≠d like to know what Sudipta agreed to buy from any partner in his career that was based on √¨Value Selling√ģ. In typical fashion we will have to wait another 18 months for Sudipta to get his package and depart the organization, only to have another leader come in to the business to tell everyone they have no clue what they are doing. At some point we need to wake up and see, it isn√≠t that the employees do not what they are doing. It is the leader that doesn√≠t know.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

We all in Invensys ODC can access this site.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hey, does anyone else have trouble accessing this Invensys weblog site from within the company network? Hmm.....

Friday, February 26, 2010

Yes, Pankaj's impact on Wonderware and its brand goes back many, many years, but realize that he has had joint development responsibility for the former Simsci and Foxboro now for a couple of years as well. His biggest failings were in expending massive amounts of money and resource on that white elephant known as Archestra, which was obsolete and underdesigned almost from its inception. A reasonable ROI on those investments will never be realized. It is not possible. He also failed to recognize the importance of adjacent areas beyond HMI and control and did everything he could to suppress progress - and people - in those areas. It pains me to think what he has done to us on the MES team.

He does not deal well with those who do not agree with his world view. The net result is that the combined IOM remains mostly the same company with the same solution set it had 10 or 15 years ago, with only a few small exceptions. Quite depressing, actually, since we seemt to have no shortage of ideas and talent.

Sudipta has some good plans and understands what customers need now and moving ahead. He has shown a willingness to listen and to refine his views based on our input. Now he only needs to jettison one of the key weights holding him back. If he does this, we all need to get behind him 110% to show our support.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Most of the people who blame Pankaj are Wonderware folks. SimSci and Foxboro had gone through the pains of re-organization well before Pankaj and Sudipta were in charge of the place. Pankaj hadn't allowed it to happen as non-executive manager. He is no longer able to that anymore. Funniest thing is, those who protected them all these years are getting blamed for actions (retrenchments in Wonderware) he isn't taking. Cognizant is handpicked by Ulf and the Board; blaming Sudipta or Pankaj will not help.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I would also be glad to see Sudipta succeed. I have many doubts that he can do it if he cannot see the continuing damage that Pankaj and his pets have done to the people and products here at Wonderware.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

What exactly has Pankaj done? Who has he driven out? Greater details will help us assess the value of these comments. It sounds like a bit of whining. But maybe there is truth as well.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

+1 on giving Sudipta a chance if he can show leadership by making a change in development. I hope and pray every day that I see that e-mail announcement come through in my inbox. There will be dancing in the hall ways! Followed by new found energy, excitement and hard work.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Regarding executive changes, personally, I would like to give Sudipta a chance. At least he has some modern ideas and seems passionate about growing IOM. As for Pankaj, I have no such patience. His time has come and gone, and he forced out some people who could have really made things better. The real test for Sudipta is whether he has the leadership to make this change and if he can do it before irreparable damage is done. If he doesn't act soon, he will lose support from many of us.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010 - RE: Most of the Project Managers at IDC/ODC are good in people management only.

Small corrections needed:

  1. They are neither good at people management nor at project management. We (Invensys) realized this at last, and started doing project management from the US.
  2. They (Project Managers) cannot clear even a single simple technical doubt: Nay, project managers need not but Dev. managers and leads should be able to. We have now realized that some of the Dev. managers and leads at ODC cannot do this even. Consequently, it is best to do the dev. management from Invensys

Monday, February 22, 2010

I don't know any of the names being mentioned/blamed in recent posts. I left Foxboro almost ten years ago. The death spiral started then or even before then. They had a world beater product... the 200 Series I/A DIN rail mounted I/O. It had everyone else beat by years. Engineering did its job, but someone in the upper echelon took a dislike to the head honcho involved in its creation and drove him out of the company and sabatoged the product launch. I didn't like him too much myself, but he delivered what should have put Delta V out of business.

Monday, February 22, 2010 - RE: "The Invensys board and senior executives, acting in the best interests of shareholders, should do what is right":

Does any one believe that Invensys senior executives have the vision to do what is right? From couple of years this big question is lingering in the brains of every employee of Invensys.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Most of the Project Managers at IDC/ODC are good in people management only. They cannot clear even a single simple technical doubt. They come to office to enjoy tea with puff and then start ICICI direct at 10:00AM. According to them a project manager should be able to handle the project, technical skill are not necessary. IDC/ODC needs technical managers, not project managers. They neither manage a project nor help people technically. Most of them are ethernet cards without MAC address.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Stan, while I respect your attempt to find something positive, the reality is that perhaps the only way to get rid of the aptly described "toxic management" is to see a downturn in business as customers question the viability and direction. There sure doesn't seem to be any other way. We are collectively powerless, as this is no democracy, nor should it be. What should happen, however, is that the Invensys board and senior executives, acting in the best interests of shareholders, should do what is right and make the necessary changes.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Stan, I also couldn't agree more. Having left Invensys several years ago, the only reason I read this weblog is to reassure myself that I made the right decision. Invensys had the opportunity of becoming the Global Automation leader with Brands such as Foxboro I/A or M&I, Triconex, Wonderware & others. Instead, I don't think they even rank in the top 5 anymore. It is really a shame that the senior managers could not have this vision and put good people in place that understood what needed to be done to achieve this.

Look at the top management at Yokogawa, Honeywell, Emerson, Rockwell etc. etc. and you will find excellent people who left in disgust, or were driven out by incompetence. I myself would consider returning and have been approached on numerous occasions to do so. Unfortunately, Invensys is not a healthy company, nor do they supply a healthy environment to work in. The passion that we all had for the products and services produced by Invensys has left. This weblog enables those who really care to vent. I truly hope that management does read these posts and figures out that their most valuable resource is the passion that their people have for this company. If they don't, Invensys will surely cease to exist.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

When I first discovered this blog, it made me feel a lot better because I realized I was not the only person seeing these things. It has also been good for comparing notes. The halls are not a good place to start a conversation like "Do you think Pankaj is a complete idiot or has he shown signs of consciousness?" for anyone who doesn't want to be unemployed soon.

I hope that news of the low esteem Pankaj is held in will filter up to someone who cares and also has a spine and that he will be put under close examination. I don't think it's likely, but I am hopeful that there is still someone competent in management who recognizes a true pointy-haired boss when he sees one.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Stan, this is a very good post. Too much negativity only breeds more negativity, it is true. But it is also true that there is no fixing most of these people. They have no reason to change. When you have incompetent directors covering up for their favorite managers and incompetent VPs covering up for their favorite directors, it only makes for a toxic work place. Having an art show is a fine idea which is worth trying, but it is also only rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

What keeps me here is that it is better than being unemployed while I look for another job elsewhere. I keep my head down and avoid the worst of them, but it is hard to be motivated when the beatings keep coming and people who have been there longer but aren't doing a good job get rewards and recognition.

Saturday, February 20, 2010 - Stan Abbot [sjabbot@juno.com]:

I'm a former long-term Invensys employee and had my own set of problems with the way things were done ... but ... is the stuff in this blog really helping anyone or making a difference? Do you folks really feel better after reading it?

  • The management probably no longer looks at it (if they ever did).
  • If customers look at it, they probably seriously consider no longer being customers.
  • Having a place to air/discuss issues and pass information is a good thing ... but this blog contains pretty much only griping and grumbling and gloom.
As Ethyl (Katherine Hepburn) tells daughter Chelsea (Jane Fonda) in the film On Golden Pond, "Chels, Norman is 80 years old. He has heart palpitations... and trouble remembering things. Just exactly when do you expect this friendship to begin?" Just when do you expect Invensys management to change? It may, but grumbling won't make it so.

How about looking to make a change in the areas that YOU can affect, as in "Think globally; act locally." Why not get together informally over coffee (or chai), agree on some basic issue statements (an important concept), and brainstorm some new and creative ideas for effecting change? The issues can be related to business but don't have to be e.g. "How can we put together an employee art show?" The feeling of having an effect, allbeit locally, will be uplifting.

And try to find some things that the company did RIGHT so you can pass along a word of encouragement.

Friday, February 19, 2010

People also throw stones at hornet's nests, stray dogs that look like they might bite without provocation, and bullies. Use enought stones and you can knock down the hornet's nest, chase the stray dog away, and convince the bully that there are painful consequences to bullying. IOM management is all three of these, but not a tree with fruit.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Now the Middle East region is running wihtout TSC nor MD - An organization of Delivery and 7 CSE's!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

There is an exodus from Invensys Middle East. The new President who comes from a consumer electronics background is firing people left, right and centre i.e. anybody who disagrees with him. Of the ones that are left there is a steady stream of resignations. The installed base will pull along the organization for a while but the future is absolutely bleak.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

No one throws stones at trees which have no fruits. Everyone throw stones at trees with fruits.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I do not know why people are writing such nonsense in these blogs. Such situations are happening everyday, everywhere and in every company in the world. Please stop such announcements. It is a fact that that any company does not see people productive, efficient and then definietly it has to rotate responsibilities. People migh see it as bad, but others would see it good for the company.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - Re: Any American drop out can ...

That's an honest confession. If college drop out can do, and if it costs more in America, why in America? Are we going towards socialism, protectionism blah blah. We Americans are the ones who wanted the free market world, which is helping our companies selling goods all over the world, bringing money into our economy.

Truthfully if we get right full share proportion to the market we have in America, that's good demand. What I mean is, if Invensys does 30% of it's total business out of America we should have 30% of the jobs. I think we do. If we want greater than our market share, then we are demanding jobs from other geographies. Will you support if a UK national rises to say that Invensys a British company should hire more of them than any one else?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

So if we all generally seem to agree that Pankaj is the bottleneck for progress, why does not Sudipta agree? At some point, the buddy-factor needs to be overridden by personal survival, which we hope is soon. Sudipta probably thinks he gets honest feedback from low level employees, when in fact everyone is scared to death of telling the truth for fear of dismissal.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The work which gets from Invensys to either IDC/ODC is just manual work. Even any American college dropout can perform this type of work without any problem. But in America they are paid $ 5000 a month; in India it is peanuts. Much of the development work and important CR/CAR's are fixed at Invensys; only junk CR's are sent to ODC. Any new product to be released first time in the market, is tested at America only. Testing in India will be carried out with subsequent release only.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It seems silly that Sudipta would have to protect his 'vision' against an Indian mafia. He is the head of the Indian mafia and all his little favorite people are Indian too. And if the best he can do is someone like Pankaj, then it is hardly a vision worth supporting.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

News is that potential candidates (internal and external) to succeed Ulf are currently being vetted, with the heads of IOM and IRL under serious consideration.

Saturday, February 13, 2010 - Re: Americans developed process automation software....

No one is contradicting the fact that America had produced lot of innovation in 20th century. What we are talking is current scenario, not past glory. Arabs can also say when world was still battling for food they invented the number system which is foundation of modern day science (number system which we use today), Advancement of humanity happened in Africa, University system first developed in India. In fact Columbus discovered America while trying to get to India (that time, entire Europe wanted to trade with India).

Leave about the past glory; India is a third world developing country in reality, and that's the fact. However it nutures ambitions to prove itself, and having met great success in areas like IT, Steel etc. No one contradicts 19th century was Europe's, 20th century was America's, 21st century is definitely for Asia... and continues... Who knows 22nd century could be Africa/Latin America's.

Let us discuss current issues, or else let us go to the days of evolution where Africa is the place where first steps of human advancement happened which is basis for every thing we enjoy today.

Saturday, February 13, 2010 - RE: when they were kids in the school, Americans have developed Process Automation software and hardware.

Hey, my American friend, don't teach (talk) history. Be reasonable by speaking about the present and future. We (Americans) have our own (few hundred years old) and they have their own (few thousand years old) histories. Trust, it is our corporates greediness which is driving the jobs way from US.

Saturday, February 13, 2010 - RE: People at IDC, all biz-units, must realize...

My friend, IDC is past, ODC is present. Correct yourself first. Then don't brood over the past and be sensible in understanding the current scenario. If you have the guts, go and convince Invensys management that you don't need ODCs. We welcome and wish you "All the best"

Saturday, February 13, 2010 - RE: It is close to $3M.

Shame on IOM management to waste company's money like this. Invensys can post their own people at ODC DLF Hyderabad,who can definitely do a better job than the worthless onsite coordinators of Cognizant. Sure, this can cost us (Invensys) much less, ~$1M.

Saturday, February 13, 2010 - Re: Why are MBAs without any domain and product knowledge working as Onsite coordinators?

You should ask IOM development head why he needed MBAs/non-domains in development organization. During IDC days same management was very strict on domain experience. May be these management people are bought by Cognizant

Saturday, February 13, 2010

People at IDC, all biz-units, must realize that when they were kids in the school, Americans have developed Process Automation software and hardware. They should should know this, and then they should talk about theselves. They are dependant on Invensys not vice versa.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The role of the "onsite coordinator" would be a living hell. Imagine being ten thousand miles from home, teaching someone else everything you know, so that they can steal your job and that of your neighbors. No thanks.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Why are MBAs without any domain and product knowledge working as Onsite coordinators? They are both ineffective and way too goofy. I wonder if we can pick some experienced guys from India ODC or Invensys USA for this job. If we cannot, it would be better to drop these positions, as we can easily do better without them.

Friday, February 12, 2010 - Re: Sorry to say, but Sudipta does not have the backbone:

It isn't about backbone; it is about protecting the individuals that support his vision. He needs all the friends he can find at IOM. The India mafia has taken over IOM; you don't have to be talented, you just need to be from the right part of the world.

Friday, February 12, 2010 - RE: It is a well known fact that Invensys management is wasting our hard earned money by keeping the useless onsite coordinators of Cognizant:

This is true to a large extent; guess what could be the order of our hard earned dollars getting wasted on these coordinators? It is close to $3M. What a shameless management we have at Invensys

Thursday, February 11, 2010 - RE: In fact we need to post some good people of Invensys at ODC DLF Hyderabad:

Yes, most of us at ODC fully agree with this suggestion. Invensys representatives who can guide us from requirements perspective and willing to be located at ODC are most wanted and welcomed than these useless onsite coordinators of Cognizant. In fact this was the original proposal per Invensys management at the time of transition. God knows what transpired afterwards, we got these onsite coordinators.

Thursday, February 11, 2010 - RE: Sorry to say, but Sudipta does not have the backbone:

Do not expect anything like this, both of them are holding their hands together. Moreover, Invensys can not expect the talent better than this at this juncture. Bear the burden or part away, at least others can enjoy

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 - RE: O(I)DC managers to look for new jobs:

Yes bosses from Cognizant and/or Invensys, we are ready for the show, be prepared to face the challenge after our exit. Most of us are ready to get out of this sickening place and management attitude.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sorry to say, but Sudipta does not have the backbone to fire the head of development, even though he knows it is the right thing to do. It will be more of the same for years to come until Ulf or someone else sees the light and forces his hand.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010 - RE: VP of Development to be released from his role:

Why just VP of Development? Our organization has many more heads like this. Do not expect any help from Sudipta either, he is busy in planning for another mess. Only right minded people, if any remain in Invensys, need to get-together quickly and throw these useless people and their strategies out of the company before it sinks in total.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010 - RE: ex-IDC managers:

Yes, it is a known secrete that few of the managers are like this, from IDC days. When this was pointed out even by Invensys US management, no action was taken against them. Not confident that either Cognizant will correct this type of issues as their on-site coordinators are much worse than these managers. It is a well known fact that Invensys management is wasting our hard earned money by keeping them onsite.

In fact we need to post some good people of Invensys at ODC DLF Hyderabad who can help the teams there on a regular basis and eliminate these worthless onsite coordinators of Cognizant. This would be a win-win strategy for both Cognizant and Invensys. Sudipta/Pankaj takeup this matter on war-footing and atleast this could help you to succeed in this endeavor.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Now I think it is right time for ex-IDC managers to look for new jobs. Most of the managers are not even aware of the product for which their group members sent abroad for training. It is very easy for team members to fool their managers and still it is very easy for managers to fool their group directors. Because managers/directors are not fully conversant with knowledge.

Monday, February 8, 2010

If the IOM development group is a "mockery and a fraud", then it is a direct reflection of its leadership. It is (long past) time for the VP of Development to be released from his role, and the company can move on in a positive direction. Sudipta, please help us.

Sunday, February 7, 2010 - RE: "Was shocked and surprised at a couple of the so-called "executives" Bhattacharya has brought in."

Sudipta offered the APAC chief position to this person in recognition to his services for Invensys-Cognizant deal (this person is consultant to Cognizant for the project EDGE) and to execute next one (moving the Invensys engineering groups to another OSP/Cognizant)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Few days back, the only managing director who achieved his target in IOM Middle East was fired, without mentionning a single reason. I hope the top management is still enjoying the Middle East collapse. Congratulations to all competitors.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The IOM development group in Invensys is a big mockery and fraud now. Rather than giving correct inputs to the teams at ODC, their focus has shifted to finding faults, to cover-up their owns. Just remember, whether you fail or make ODC fail, the loser is always going to be INVENSYS

Wednesday, February 3, 2010 - Re: "In reality, more resignations were expected from GSD based":

So you DO believe that domain knowledge is not necessary, and that developers for our systems can be picked up off the street. Good of you to clarify this for us all......

Tuesday, February 2, 2010 - Re: 'Now ODC resignations started like bombs in GSD':

In reality, more resignations were expected from GSD based on the initial reactions from these employees when this engagement was announced. But not so. These numbers can be easily dealt with.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010 - RE: Domestic vehicle quality has definitely reached parity with Japanese manufacturers.

I don't want to take sides in the fight between the American Invensys team and Indian CTS team, but then I cannot resist commenting on CARS and cannot ignore such distortion of reality.

To be honest, I don't read the news to figure out what is the quality of a car. With my experience on multiple car models from different manufacturers, both in India and US, I'll rank them as follows:

2009 Customer Satisfaction Survey by the most acknowledged business magazine: Toyota comes first and not only in cars (First globally in any manufactured product), then we have Honda, then FAW (China), then Maruti (India), then BMW, and I don't remember where the GREAT American Belly-ups are in this list.

Mileage for same engine Capacity: Toyota scores best, then Honda, then Koreans and probably then the GREAT American Belly-ups.

Reliability: Any one who studied engineering will know that the less efficient an engine, the more heat it produces and so the more is the wear and tear. So I'll leave it to you to guess the rankings.

Engine refinement, Transmission smoothness, Consistency of Pick ups and ease of handling w.r.t revving/breaking: Toyota comes first, then the Honda. GM cars (Pontiac, Malibu) have inconsistent pickups. E.g You have to really slow a Malibu down before entering a parking lot, else you will hit something. You can drive a Toyota @ 30 miles into a crowded parking lot and park just right i.e. the place you want and the way u want. This is because a Toyota behaves exactly the same every time, even during sharp turns.

Usable interior Space divided by Car Size: Honda First, then Toyota, then Koreans and then probably every one else who can make a car and then finally the great american Belly ups.

Car Companies for Share holders in Last 2 years: Maruti (India) shares multiplied 4 times, FAW shares multiplied 3 times, Toyota doubled and GM and Chrysler Shares hit Absolute Zero (a decrease by infinite times).

Regarding the news about Pedal Sticking: Do we know 1 Toyota car that had this problem?? Also a problem in 1 Toyota car doesn't make all American cars better. When the Americans come back with cars that are more efficient, reliable and refined than the Japanese, their car companies will no longer be run by the govt and the unions but by investors and capitalists.

It will take America more than Obama's charming words or a Nobel prize to get out of this mess. So lets stop meaningless blogging and start working, because the world is catch up with us and not only in cars!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Full disclosure: I currently work for an IOM competitor. Recently I took a look at the new IOM website and happened upon the executive team listing. Was shocked and surprised at a couple of the so-called "executives" Bhattacharya has brought in. His buddy from Geometric is hardly prepared to run an operation like IOM's APAC organization, and the guy he brought in from ABB was the one responsible for its Skyva debacle. Who's minding the store there? Keep hiring these kind of "leaders"! We love it!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Now ODC resignations started like bombs in GSD, which was exactly forecasted when edge got operated. Senior person in PRO/II resigned. Can anybody dare to think to replace or recruit such a talent? Even a lot of others are just waiting their turn to leave GSD. One side it is enjoyment for the US staff because their jobs are secure; on other side their work load will be tremendously increasing soon because the best talent is leaving very soon, from especially GSD.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My Reply to the blog stating Cognizant is paying up to 1 Lakh (100,000 Indian rupees) monthly salary for engineers with ONLY 1 year experience:

The information you got is totally wrong. A person with 1 year experience in Cognizant is getting paid around 3.2 - 3.4 Lakhs per Annum. which is equialent to 7200 USD per year, and 590$ per month. Even in India, where living costs are less (Not really), it is enough only to fill the stomach of the employee. Nothing more.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The last blogger is clearly stuck in the 1990's. Domestic vehicle quality has definitely reached parity with Japanese manufacturers. Or don't you read the news?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

FYI. I moved to one of the developing countries and do not work for Invensys anymore. I agree with reasoning of the post - why GE? Always my argument is that there is no dearth of human intellect anywhere. I respect US as a country where lot of great innovators are available. Having said that, there are enough people capable of doing same tasks in India and elsewhere. One should understand why they are cheap: they are cheap not because of low quality, but due to the low cost of living. I have seen many instances where people moved from US work for quarter the salary that they used to command in the US. These are people who had US education and had been sucessfull for years in US industry.

Also my other argument was, why not Invensys? If the entire competetion is doing that, and if Invensys don't do, that they may not survive.

Another reason I truly believe - why there is so much backlash in IT related stuff was the reason of unmatured outsourcing in US terms. Usually US companies innovate run through it for few decades, then outsource to elsewhere. A good example was ship-building, which peaked in US later in the 80's, moved Japan and currently happens in Korea. However, as IT related stuff doesn't require much infrastructure, it moved on quickly.

Regarding Cognizant hiring at very high salaries - that could not be true. The Indian market pays around US$ 10-15k per yr for one year experience, and Cognizant is not an exception.

Boeing and GM life cycles are longer; they started their R&D 4-5 yrs back, and have yet to see the results. Every one knows why Boeing got delayed, and the delay was much before the outsourcing boom. It's because of poor PM in that org. I am wise enough not to say that the US doesn't have a good PM. GM's failure is not doing manufacturing outsourcing. While rivals like Ford source components mostly from India, and Toyata gets from Japan, GM hadn't been able to move quickly, and so they paid the price.

Someone was debating about IP. Yes that's a debatable question when you are outsourcing to a third party.

I truly believe that the success of any entity depends on how it was built and managed. How well you attracted the best talent. The same is true with IDC.

My final words - let me end by saying that people had a perception that Japanesse cars were inferior to American ones in 80's, and now the most diehard American fans cannot say that. Japanese cars are better than American cars. I understand the pain it causes while technology moves away, impacting lives. But one cannot do anything except to be sympathetic. That's the charm, or the brutality, of global free markets.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

What a terribly uninformed comment regarding Boeing. There is no better example of why NOT to outsource than the Boeing 787 example!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Quoting names of companies doing R&D in India... Aren't Boeing years late with there 787...and haven't GM gone bankrupt?!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - To the person who blogged "Sunday, January 24, 2010" regarding all the "successful" companies doing R&D in India:

I'd like to Point Out that Honeywell and ABB may be currently enjoying success, but their reputations is getting as bad as their products. Microsoft is "Hit and Miss". I can't really speak of the other companies.

I'd also like to point out that the USA. was the first country to put a man on the moon, and lead the world in technology, medical research, automotive, computers, etc., long before India, China, Brazil, and other counties even had electricity, let alone modern capabilities. There are a few reasons for the decline, but without a doubt, the biggest is the offshoring of jobs. It's impossible to innovate and improve things when you no longer make things.

Lastly if you are so fond of other counties, perhaps you should go live in those countries. The USA (and for that matter Canada, UK, Australia and Japan) could do with one less person with such a defeatist attitude.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Heard from one of my off-shore India collegue that Cognizant in India is doing a "mass" hiring in major Indian "Tech" cities like Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad, etc. It was alleged that Cognizant is paying up to 1 Laksh (100,000 Indian rupees) monthly salary, which today is equivalent to about US$ 2,150 for engineers with ONLY 1 year experience. It is quite a fair bit of money, to have with India's low cost of living.

If this is true, then I have doubts about the recruitment process of Cognizant in such mass recruitment scale. Going by such a recruitment method, I wonder how this will affect the quality of Cognizant work for Invensys in the long run?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

To answer "why GE?" "why XXX?", one must first analyze the behavior of corporate leadership and what drives them.

Fundamentally, many US-based and global multinationals take a quarter-to-quarter, near term view of their strategic and operational planning. This is driven by their own compensation schemes, pressures from the capital markets, and by fundamental inabilities to think on a longer-term scale. Corporations in many of the emerging markets, notably those in the Far East, operate amidst different pressures and motivations and are able to think of much longer planning horizons, even multi-generationally at times.

The outsourcing/offshoring trend was and is driven largely by this short term operational mentality. Most of these corporations are mortgaging their futures to meet near term financial targets. They are losing critical intellectual property (you don't believe for a minute that Indian outsourcers don't indirectly sell what they learn at ABB to Honeywell, do you?), operational flexibility, and are taking the easy way out, but one that fattens the bonuses of the top executives.

There are a number of fantastic oppportunities and reasons to establish a multi-dimensional presence in emerging economies. However, short term cost management is the very worst reason of all, for all participants.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I do not comment on the efficiency of IDC. Everyone has different perceptions based on which BU you worked for. I would wish that there was no dearth of talent in India; the results depends on how you build and manage. As said, one should not bother about the comments of people getting impacted and the same holds good for IDC folks reaction few months back. It should be the business interests, not any percieved opinions.

My only question is that if the entire bashing of high value creation at low cost is true, then how come most innovations are appearing with companies that are applying the above business model. To name a few: Microsoft, Apple, Google, Yahoo, Oracle, IBM etc. FYI Boeing, LHK, GM, GE are doing most of R&D in India. Don't tell me automation software is more complicated than Aeronautics, Operating systems. Even if you convince, then the next point is how come Honeywell and ABB, who operate in this space, are sucessfull with above model?

It is interesting to see comments coming from Wonderware guys, not from Foxboro or SimSci, where domain is nothing more than software engineering.

Saturday, January 23, 2010 - To the person who made the comment on Wednesday, January 20, 2010 about exploiting the cheap overseas labor as other so called successful companies:

I just got a job offer from a friend of mine to work with him at an OEM, as he is now the lead of the Automation group there. The company is now re-building its automation group after a failed attempt to offshore the automation and controls to India.

In this case it came down to logistics. Yes India has very bright and hard working people, and technologies have improved world wide communications. But it is still another country on a different time zone. Most clients want and appreciate face to face meeting and clear understanding of project scope, schedule, and challenges. You'll never get that when dealing with someone on the other side of the planet.

Now if your creating a product that requires little or no customization, you might get away with that doing it in another country (look at many of the bug free products from Microsoft). Otherwise you need local people that understand local requirements.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Folks, the problems with Invensys are a shortage of real strategic direction, and an utter and complete lack of execution. Ulf, Sudipta and crew simply haven't a clue. A Power point deck does not a strategy make.

It has been mentioned many times, but Sudipta's decision to bring along his band of merry men (mostly from Wonderware, and certainly short on cultural diversity) will be the death of the company. These guys are almost all lightweights and amateurs who haven't spent much time actually earning a living in 20 years, as they've been busy nursing off the teat of the cow in the Wonderware lobby. Most of them haven't the foggiest idea about the world outside. The inevitable outcome will be sad, yes, but predictable.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010 - Re: "exploiting what is called value-creation at lower cost"

Utter BS. We have seen "value-creation at lower cost" - it was called IDC. They weren't very good, but they were a lot cheaper on paper than the US developers. Invensys don't think about domain knowledge and they may never have. These products are hard to write and cannot be done by any old developer pulled in off the streets of Lake Forest, Foxboro or Hyderabad. The people who know how these systems work and can develop them are rare and expensive.

Management is trying to sell the company to whatever fool will buy it. At that time, the SOBs at the top will cash out with a happy smile and "I'm all right, Jack!" to the rest of us poor sods. There is no other explanation for such utter stupidity.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I feel why Invensys isn't sucessfull is because they shy away from exploiting what is called value-creation at lower cost. Invensys is still trying to do more with region based, rather than exploiting the low cost engineering/ development. Meanwhile, competetion like HONEYWELL, ABB, Siemens, Emerson have tens of thousands working in low cost countries (India), but Invensys hardly have one eighth of them. Invensys should shed inhibitions and go ahead with what the market is doing, or the competetion is doing. They shouldn't be bothered about people that get impacted writing blogs about or preaching about 'their own percieved value' which isn't anymore than emotional comments. They should invest where business is growing (APAC).

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The current state of the business is best described with this quote: "The anguish of low quality lingers long after the sweetness of low cost is forgotten." This is true for all business units throughout Invensys.

All this cost saving plans (while demanding double digit growth) are done at the expense of the working base, who are still trying to serve the customers while working in survival mode. This will first come to an end, when the Top Level Management has sucked the very last penny out of the once successful companies.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Investors are more than likely factoring in rumours regarding the disposal of the rail group, and the resultant cash such a transaction would generate, rather than the upside potential of the company. This is a "book value" play, not a growth investment. The markets that Invensys serves may be expanding in the years ahead, but as the #7 or #8 player globally, they will be an afterthought, not a first choice as a supplier when compared to much larger, more well respected brands.

Were Invensys to have some unique product offerings, the situation might be different, but this is clearly not the case. The R&D pipeline is not primed with anything particularly interesting, either. The head of development has successfully killed off most of the high potential initiatives as they were not in alignment with his views or goals. Sad state of affairs, indeed.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The real effects of the IOM change won't come through the balance sheet for another year. What comes through immediately is the reduced head-count and contracting off the cost overheads (Development) so things look rosy. Watch in a year when there are no new products, no support for the existing products and no sales force able to sell the old products!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

On paper, the company looks strong at first glance. No debts, oceans of pounds in bank, and in an industry that has strong growth potential. What is not visible to casual investores is that morale is low, we are looking for other work, and the domain knowledge is streaming out the door to the competition. Most investors are fools and do not look further than the current balance sheet. The company has no good future but it's present is very bright. This won't last but it will last long enough to fool people who are easily fooled.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

When I read this blog and look at Invensys' stock performance, there isn't any correlation. The stock perfomance has been quite strong. So what is the flaw? There must be some good news to offset the facts described on this blog or folks are quite negative. Where is the truth? Are the Investors blind? Isn't Sir Nigel Rudd smart?

Saturday, January 16, 2010 - Regarding the last post:

I am an employee of Invensys Middle East and I agree completely. Everyone is taking it one day at a time and there is no motivation or any long term plan. Everybody is just thinking about the next commission or incentive he can make on orders / projects and looking at job opportunities with the competition.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Invensys Middle East operations are in shambles. Morale is below zero and the management is a joke. Invensys is no longer even considered serious competition by Yokogawa, Honeywell, Emerson and ABB in the Middle East. Worse even the customers think that the Invensys Middle East team is a bunch of jokers floundering from one mismanaged disaster to another.

There are some proprietary jobs that are falling in their laps and these are highlighted as major achievements and crowed about to the powers that be who are absolutely cut off from reality. What else can you expect from a technical organization where the Finance Manager and the Supply Chain Manager call the shots?

Monday, January 11, 2010

I heard that ABB is doing well and have moved most of their America- Europe activities to India / China as well. Even during the most difficult times last year they have managed to do well. I am not sure whether they also have plans to hire people.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Most of the remaining people have seen the examples of their braver or incautious or naive friends who tried speaking up and are now gone. We're all just waiting for our job offers to come in and we'll leave. There isn't a good reason to speak up. No one in authority cares and the people sucking up to them at the next level are spineless sellouts.

What makes me sad is that after all these years of working here, this company is falling apart. We'll never get our company back from these jerks. Beatings will continue until morale improves.

Monday, January 11, 2010 - RE:On Mr. Bhattacharya's watch:

This is true to a large extent. Invensys, as a company, has ceased to exist in true spirit from a year or so. Just a few individuals are managing and manipulating the entire company and driving the company to crazy ends. Who is going to bell the cat?!

Monday, January 11, 2010

On Mr. Bhattacharya's watch, whilst the order book was slightly up, revenues fell and profits dropped nearly in half. Product innovation has also come to a virtual standstill, employee morale is near an all time low, buddy politics have returned to high levels, and customers have significant concern over the long term viability of their existing IOM solutions. Mr. Bhattacharya's response? To dust off the same tired ideas he espoused at SAP.

It is becoming more and more clear that shareholder value would be optimised by the near term disposal/sale of the remaining components of Invensys. If a reasonable offer for the rail group can be obtained from Alstom or others, it should be accepted. Similarly, the IOM group would fetch more value today than it will a year from now. There are a number of diversified companies in Europe, India, and China who would be able to leverage IOM's assets.

Mr. Henrikkson has overstayed his period of utility to the organisation, and rather than riding the curve back to the bottom again, he should, if for no other reason than personal gain, dispose of the assets of the company whilst they still have value.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I see the shares have shot up, probably in response to Alstom declaring they want to buy Rail. No doubt this would be welcomed from Invensys corporate level. Better start learning French, guys!

Thursday, January 7, 2010 - RE: Once the job market revives, ODC Managers will have a hard time retaining the product knowledge.

Do not exclude managers - they are also eager to leave Cognizant and in-fact would like to be the first ones (but would be interesting to watch whether their wish can succeed). Their technical and managerial inabilities to lead teams has become an open secret in Cognizant and they are finding very hard to meet the SLAs and schedules. Added to their woes, their counterparts in Invensys are busy in making their ends meet by troubling the ODC employees. Which makes it obvious that it is not a partnership deal (as announced by Cognizant and Invensys) and but appears to be parting-away deal. ODC employees beware of the danger and be prepared.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The dilution of domain knowledge isn't unique to ODC. It happened at Wonderware many years ago, mostly due to growth, not attrition. It was just difficult to find solid developers who also had domain knowledge. Only a handful remain.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The management does not understand that domain knowledge is what made this company so good, and why the company is failing now. We are all expected to know everything about a product or project after working with the code for a few weeks. Domain knowledge takes much more than that; but telling this to your team lead or project manager shows up on your performance review as having a poor work ethic and a negative attitude.

Honeywell knows the value of domain knowledge. It's why they have so many of our CVs now.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The funny part with ODC is that Cognizant is stressing on replacing domain guys that are leaving with computer science engineers, as they are cheaply available to this services company. We see ODC and Cognizant senior management downplaying the need for domain engineers. With management asking questions if we really need domain engineers and can other software engineers be trained to do our job, we wonder if the new business objectives of ODC will hold a promising future for us domain engineers.

This apprehension is fueling resignations, and while our cunning management is trying to do damage control by emphasizing the importance of domain experience, we see that they are in fact acting in opposite direction and most new hirings are not of domain engineers.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It's now evident that Cognizant is finding it too difficult to retain the ODC employees. In Jan 2010, there have been 3 resignations in GSD, 4 in Wonderware and 3 in Foxboro. As per reports Honeywell(India) is sitting with 160 resumes from 0DC, but they are waiting for better market forces. Once the job market revives, ODC Managers will have a hard time retaining the product knowledge.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I have heard from another exec that our leader in development has been given specific objectives that he must achieve in order to preserve his job. I hope they are measures like innovation, customer satisfaction, on time delivery and quality - not just cost.

Sunday, January 3, 2010 - Re "15 Signs your workplace is dysfunctional":

I think those of you who commentred on the comparison between their Invensys workplace and the 15 points of a dysfunctional workplace in this article got it WRONG. One person counted 12, and another counted 14. But I did it and got all 15. My surprise is that some parts of the group only rate 12 matches out of a possible 15.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The current executive team thinks that "long term" means two quarters ahead. I'm sure no one has considered actually MEASURING the results of these initiatives, perhaps with the exception of Mr. Freburger. As stated other times on this blog, Mr. Mody could care less whether it works or doesn't work. If it works, he'll take credit; and if it doesn't, he'll blame it on being "told" to do it.

Sunday, January 3, 2010 - Regarding the outsourcing:

Excellent observation. There were plenty of "slides" pointing out the benefits (cost mostly) but no looking back to measure. I guess the inititaives were not very S.M.A.R.T..... This question should be answered.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Can anyone give me an update (factual vs original business case) of the following outsourcing initiatives:

  1. R&D - Led by Mr. Mody;
  2. Finance - Led by Mr. Alison;
  3. HR - Led by Ms Larson;
  4. Manufacturing - Led by Mr. Freburger.
Are they working or are just a bubble of optimism? How do you see the future of the organisation beyond potential cost savings (intellectual property, succession planning, etc)? I want to preserve my investment for the long term.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

How can Matamoros be called a "Center of Excellence". They had no SMT and very little electronic manufacturing when the consolodation was announced. Their only qualifications for being the recieving plant for the consolidation was cheap labor and available floor space. All technical expertise had to be hired.

Saturday, January 2, 2010 - Re"15 Signs" article:

I looked it up and counted 14 out of 15 at IOM. I did not think of when it was a bad idea to put things in writing. I thought of examples of the other 14 though, so pretty bad.

Here is the link:

Click here 15 Signs Your Workplace is Dysfunctional

Friday, January 1, 2010

The description of the "untouchables" not being fired, even though they are the "responsibles", is no more obvious than at the top of development. What kind of voodoo does he have to keep Ulf and Sudipta convinced to keep him on?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I just saw an article online "15 Signs Your Workplace is Dysfunctional". I counted 12 out of 15 for here. I particularly liked the first sign the article says: Conspicuously posted vision or value statements are filled with vague but important-sounding words like "excellence" and "quality". These words are seldom defined and the concepts they allude to are never measured.

Here is the link:

Click here 15 Signs Your Workplace is Dysfunctional

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I'm hearing that Invensys Controls lost 3 of their 4 top customers by moving Holland and Chihuahua to "One Center of Excellence" in Matamoros. Their top appliance customer has determined that Invensys will no longer quote on new business. Their automotive customer moved to another facility in Holland. Another top appliance customer is irate about lack of proper labels and is leaving. Was this move an attempt to get rid of a division that couldn't be sold or just a poor attempt at a cost savings?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

$300M US is lost in Middle East champions organization! How do you doing Mr.Ulf? And the untouchables still gain more recognition? I wish to see some resposible heads fying, instead of firing only the inoccents.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Replying to the post on 17 Dec. regarding Middle East president. He is not firing & hiring. He is just firing. If you are not 100% in line with his ideas, you are terminated on the spot. I wonder who selected a president who stayed only 10 months in each of the his last two jobs.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Few of my colleagues in Lake Forest are always complaining about the quality of work received from development groups; but how about the work done by project managers at Invensys ODC, is this of any quality? I keeping hearing from Indian staff right from IDC days that most of the time development groups end up doing project management activities. I suggest that we should stop paying for these low-quality (project management) activities from Cognizant and request the outsourcing Program Management of Invensys R&D to do atleast some justice to their positions by evaluating and taking-off this kind of low-quality work from Cognizant.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What was the 401k match before this latest change?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Why so negative? The 401K enhancements are a positive thing, nothing more. Let's hope for a better 2010 at IOM!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The consolidation of Chihuahua and Holland Controls facilities into one "Center of Excellence" in Matamoros is not going as planned. The Holland automotive customer pulled his product quite quickly. The largest customer, by sales dollar, has disqualified Invensys Controls from quoting new business. Another large appliance customer is irate about the current performance. In spite of this, everyone would claim that all is going well. After not being able to sell this division, it doesn't appear to be holding the value it may have once commanded.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The 401K plan change is probably just as much to clear up any unvested contributions to clean up the balance sheet to make it easier for a potential acquirer to value the company. Let's not forget the pension liability issues elsewhere in the world and how paralyzing they were to our ability to invest and acquire or be acquired.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Today, I received the following in my email:

    I am pleased to announce some enhancements to the Invensys 401(k) Plan. Effective April 1, 2010, the company will match dollar for dollar up to 6% of pay. This aligns with our strategy of offering a competitive and consistent retirement program across all US Invensys locations. All employer matching contributions will vest immediately. For those employees whose current 401(k) plan design does not provide for immediate vesting, all current employer contributions that are not vested will immediately vest on April 1, 2010.

    Over the coming weeks leading up to this important plan design change, I encourage you to evaluate your current 401(k) saving strategy and maximize your saving opportunity within the Plan. We will be scheduling onsite educational seminars and/or webinars to help educate you on how this change impacts you and to help you understand the investment options available to you in the Invensys 401(k) Plan. Scheduling information for these seminars will be promoted beginning in late January 2010. If you need more personalized help with your 401(k) account, you can utilize our planís free retirement consultation services.

I am not an Invensys Manager, but I have been an employee of Invensys long enough to remember that our Christmas bonus was a layoff. I am pleased to see that this year is different, and I hope that all will recognize that this is a step foreword to recognizing that employees are people.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Another fatal mistake is happening in the Middle East, new President with no experience, and just manage peoples (fire, and hire). This is not good sign. Talents people are leaving, and others waiting for the best time, and the new joiners are trying to digest what is going on (but?!)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The post about the Invensys Middle East employees is incorrect. There have been employees sacked over the past few months but hardly any of those have joined Honeywell. Most of them are still desperately looking for jobs.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The IOM CEO had better wake up. The employees that have domain expertise in the business are leaving and they can't be replaced overnight. There is no way to execute Sudipta's vision for the business if the individuals that understand the automation space pack up and go work for the competition.

Sudipta, this is your wake up call. We had a CEO before that didn't understand the business; we expect more from you. Your people are the only assets that keep your clients coming back; if you lose them, you won't have a business. Reducing cost is important to remain competitive, but you can't outsource everything. You have to balance the clients needs and what they are willing to pay for. You need to start to surround yourself with individuals that understand the business and know how to execute. "Yes Men" are not what you need. Take a hard look at the individuals that have been at IOM and know what works and what doesn't work. Get their input, in fact, empower them to execute your vision.

The current leadership team has strengths, but most have no experience running large organizations and there doesn't appear to be any sense of urgency. We lost a dozen good people in the last 30 days at level 3 and 4. You can't keep that pace and expect to win.

Eco-Systems? Take care of your own first, sending business to your partners and expecting they will do the same in return is a noble thought, but in this ecomony it is everybody for themselves. We need to protect our bottom line and outsourcing work to system integrators who you think will return the favor isn't happening. Those SI's can barely keep their doors open in this ecomony let alone send us business. Focus on the core business and grow into the emerging markets. We all want to win, but we can't if the quality talent departs.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Only the people in IDC are crying? What about the other Business units? Invensys Middle-east is bleeding, a lot of talent had been fired or left in last 6 months. The good news that they joined Honeywell in a week.

Sunday, December 13, 2009 - RE: 'Like many other groups, this group has added problem, hopeless leadership.'

Not sure about the other groups, but in MES/EMI group managers are hopeless while they were in IDC or now at ODC. Important change after moving to ODC in this group is even the group leads commitment and interest has come down considerably because their concerns regarding the managers of this group are not addressed so far.

Sunday, December 13, 2009 - Re: "Wonderware, Lake Forest, has seen improvements in meeting schedule."

Quoting "Maybe the few disgruntled people in ODC should resign so the rest can move on."

This statement assumes that some ODC employees are voicing concerns which is affecting the morale for many others. So this person believes that most of ODC employees can be directed like a herd of sheep if no one complains about the path. Also this person knows that there are disgruntled people in ODC that are resigning and more that will resign in near future. He also knows that most employees in ODC are finding it hard to move on. So this person has to be from Invensys / Cognizant / ODC Top management. All I would like to tell this guy is the following: Most professionally sound engineers possess good intelligence and the ability to determine the favorable career path. Also many of them can think ahead of what you guys plan and so they should not be misjudged to be a herd of sheep. Of course, there is a some dirt in IDC that will move on, but will they deliver?

Quoting "Wonderware, Lake Forest, has seen improvements in meeting schedule."

I challenge this individual to state the schedule milestones that were met in this short time! I don't think that we are in the field of business where improvement in project "milestones" can be suggested based on a period of 3 months as few meaningful development projects can be completed in this short time. The very fact that he feels this way once again suggests that he can only belong to incompetent Invensys / Cognizant / ODC Top management! So I am not going to write on his quality improvement claim.

I see most ODC employees working less than IDC as the projects that should come from Invensys are getting delayed. Also I see the scope of many ambitious projects being reduced in scope and also an uncertainty about when they will start. I think this is because of budget constraints and uncertain returns on these ill conceived projects. Despite less work everyone here is billing full 45 hours / week to Invensys.

Also the resignations have recently started and in last one month we have heard of at least 11 people resigning. Most of these guys are experienced individuals who had been contributing to IDC delivery. We have to see if the rate goes up or sustains. None of these resignations were ODC Managers.

Regarding better communication, we see less transparency as the Dev managers in Invensys are supposed to primarily communicate to the managers in ODC or Cognizant Onsite / Offsite coordinators and not to the Dev team directly. So its for Invensys Dev managers to judge how worthy and meaningful they find the sweet words that they hear from ODC.

Friday, December 11, 2009 - RE: "We do not know why few people at IDC are crying...":

Correct yourself first, it is ODC now and it is not few employees but many. If these people are not attached to Invensys and continue contributing, it is Invensys which would be crying few months from now (in case it is allowed to survive), understand this and support to improve the working conditions at ODC, if you have the guts. Otherwsie please mind your own business.

Friday, December 11, 2009 - Re: "Wonderware, Lake Forest, has seen improvements in meeting schedule.":

This person must be either the Invensys management representative overseeing the Cognizant operations trying to protect the job, or Cognizant representative trying to protect the Invensys order. Reality is completely different. This was divulged through this blog by many people, many times. So, many yesterday's STAR PERFORMERS at IDC, are todays NON PERFORMERS at ODC. It is true that the quality of work received from MES/EMI groups has worsened. Like many other groups, this group has added problem, hopeless leadership.

Friday, December 11, 2009

We do not know why few people at IDC are crying. All is happening for good cause. If you people are not satisfied, pave way for others by leaving IDC. Let them work and achieve for the organisation.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I have to disagree with my colleague in Lake Forest who says that things are getting better in any substantial way. Our outsourcing and offshoring approach was broken before, and it is just as broken now, except that we don't have any control over hiring/firing and we've lost the few good people who know anything about our products and our industry. The quality of work we get is consistently bad, particularly in the MES and intelligence areas. We end up re-doing lots of it anyway, so what's the point? It made Sudipta look like a star, that's about it. But we'll have to pay for this short term decision in the long term.

I sit back and wonder often when we lost our way. Why on earth Ulf and Sudipta cannot - or will not - do anything about this baffles us.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

This blog makes it clear that Invensys doesn't include it's employees in anything except work-load and blame. So, to some a "ONE CONTROLS" sounds like a change for the better. But be careful, because history shows that it could mean your days are numbered. History has it that by being "ONE CONTROLS", it means information sharing & collection from Control employees globally will be collected and stored in ONE location & not the existing one you know of. Head office management knows exactly what you have been doing, quoting, saying, planning, etc. √Ī because they plan to reduce costs by you leaving & not being missed. Then you & your colleagues can be pressured into leaving √Ī saving them money but they won't lose business (i.e. give your potential clients details and discussion notes, quotes etc. to a distributor or a different employee). Money, Money, Money only Money it's rich mans world.

Let's face it, Controls were once a much bigger company with many more employees, and now its smaller and still struggling. The Dec 1st PPT for Invensys Controls says headcount reduced 39%, working capital reduced 42% and inventory reduced 49%. (Some of these numbers may include the 2010 plans). Given that the sales are via channels (OEMs, Distributors, etc) Controls might be the equipment section that was noted in the IOM PPT presentations by Sudipta Bhattacharya there Dec. 1st 2009?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I was (and still am) very happy to leave Invensys Controls 4 years ago. Biolchini was 100% arrogant, intimidating and incompetent and we see today how very good companies as Eliwell and Eberle have been left. A part Ulf who promoted Biolchini to his position, there is also a big responsibility of human resources: do they make any Management appraisal and performance review?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

From Wonderware, Lake Forest, we have seen improvements in meeting schedule milestones, improved quality and much better communication and accountability and commitment from the ODC. Admittedly this is only true of some teams but it is gettign better. The feared attrition has not occured. Maybe the few disgruntled people in ODC should resign so the rest can move on.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It is time for Invensys to take stock of the situation at ODC in Cognizant, what benefits Invensys has achieved as compared to this group being part of IDC - any improvements in:

  • meeting schedules
  • employee commitment levels
  • employee utilization
  • attrition rates
  • managing projects
  • managing people
But one thing for sure, ODC requires immediate re-organization to retain the good talent

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Invensys ODC at Cognizant is about to complete 100 days (disgusting, worrisome and troublesome). Per employees at Invensys ODC, Cognizant has gifted them each a water bottle, and the gift to Invensys is unproductive person hours of ~2500.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Can anyone guess the benefits that Invensys received in these 100 days, after the IOM development in India was moved to Cognizant?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Any guess who could be the next CEO of Invensys? No great effort, the man who influenced to screw-up the development organizations of IOM and IRG. He has few more dreams left to be fulfilled, selling the Engineering and Project Managements groups of Invensys

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

---Flash--- Another 120 goats of Invensys (IDC) are being bought by/transferred to Cognizant.

Cognizant is quite clear, their interest is to serve IOM and IRG customers by delivering end-to-end solutions rather than just developing products. In this situation it makes more sense to transfer the EEC groups of Invensys to Cognizant rather than the development groups.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I've been an employee in Controls Europe for long time. Is still not understandable to me, what the reasons were to put a person like Biolchini in his role within Controls. The only answer could be the inconsistency of Ulf, just able to interface with sales people and nothing else; but that is still not enough. Why Biolchini? Why a person so arrogant and incompetent can achieve a position like that in Invensys? Just one suggestion to Balcunas (that is a well proven capable manager): call back in Controls all the Managers who left the Company for any reasons in the last two years and clean the sales organization.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009 - Ref: ONE CONTROLS:

Yes , the situation in Controls is very much difficult and none seems having new ideas . This new edition of ww organisation is probably being motivated by need to reduce management layers , difficult to see any real focus on market and customers. On Biolcini - yes, never seen so uncapable and arrogant person, his management has only generated inconsistent, not adapted strategy and phenomenal internal bureaucracy.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Ulf to depart before the end of the fiscal year - which concludes at the end of March 2010. Please say this is more than a rumour.

Monday, December 7, 2009

T Shape structure. Surely the beginning of the end?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I sent an email "months ago" immediately after Bernard Biochini was fired. You did not mention anything. Please note that he completely destroyed controls. Inside Controls everybody is fighting against everybody. The company is managed buy the ex "yes man" that Bernard chose because he is a stupid idiot that loves people that say always yes. No decisions are taken and all Controls Europe is completely frozen. Salesmen change cars, they spend a lot of money in lunch, dinners and they feel like kings. Motivation is lower than ever. It's not anymore a metter of engagement but of credibility. Nobody believe anymore in Ulf and in this management.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I've heard that its true that both the Managing Director and Finance Director of Invensys Rail UK (Westinghouse)have been fired. Looks like a sensible move as the company has gone downhill since both Direcrors took their positions. As for a single Invensys Rail senior team, well its been there a while now with R&D reporting on a global basis. The Manufacturing organisation has always been a global Invensys Rail function supplying more customers outside Westinghluse. Equally HR and Finance have had reporting lines into IRG. The only local Westinghouse dedicated function has been for local delivery in projects. To me this makes sense.

Friday, December 4, 2009

I hear that the Finance Director for Invensys Rail Northern Europe (UK) is soon to be out of the door. This follows the announcement that the Managing Director has already been replaced. Looks like we are shaping up to have one Invensys Rail Group Executive committee, rather than one per current region (former companies WRSL, WRSA, Dimetronic and Safetran). I can see radical changes happening next year. More redundancies?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Weeks ago, Ulf has announced new organisation and strategy for Invensys Controls - the creation of a worlwide organisation "ONE CONTROLS" to better respond to market. Incredible! If someone takes the announcement of two years ago, it will read the opposite strategy and arguments. This just shows how ideas are confused and how the future of Controls Divison is hard.

The good news is that Bernard Biolchini has been fired and will leave by end of December. The result of his management is a drammatic lost of turnover, and more important of credibility with all customers. Internally also he has only created conflicts and a general loss of engagment at all levels. Hope the company will not pay too much money for exit package and for departure parties.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The idea of a T structure organisation is new, different, and really exciting. I think nobody has ever tried this before. Probably because it is such a bloody stupid idea that no one ever wanted to.

But wait: if the T structure doesn't do it for them, there are other shapes left to waste time by restructuring into. The O shape organisation is equilateral and allows for criticism equally from all sides. The Q shape is similar but it lets management hide off in the corner. The K shape gives lots of meaningless corners and angles which they appear to like.

Or they could cut right to it and just say that their management structure is one big CF.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

T Structure is a normal way up T. Basically all the "boring" detail design is done by Infotech in Hyderabad, speced by "senior" engineers and then reviewed/checked by those "senior" engineers. The more junior staff have asked in the recent past where they fit into the new T shaped world - the answer was that the recent round of redundancies targetted those grades.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

"Invensys Operations Management, a division of Invensys, is headquartered in Plano, TX. Its solutions are used by more than 40,000 clients around the world in more than 200,000 plants and facilities. Invensys Operations Management's offerings are delivered under several prominent industry brands, including Action Instruments, ArchestrA, Avantis, Barber-Colman, Chessell, Continental, Eurotherm, Foxboro, IMServ, InFusion, SimSci-Esscor, Triconex and Wonderware........"

Already few "prominent industry brands" have vanished, and rest are going to DIE shortly ...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What I cannot believe is how all of this in this organisation are expected to swallow every bit of this. The Ulf, Sudipta and Co. have made it plain that they have no concern about anything but lining their pockets at our expense. But I am still unable to understand how they can say all of this with a straight face while they are all shoveling out more and faster. That they have no compunction about lying to us we all knew, but just how gullible do they think we are?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

For those of us in other parts of the organisation, would you tell us a little more about this T shape? Is that an inverted-T or a T straight up? And if the latter, it makes me think of a thin column of workers supporting that huge crosspiece of management.

I also think that good engineering means that form follows function and that you shouldn't pick the goals before you do the analysis. And, yes, that you should know how to get from one to the other.

Funny stuff. I think we're all having a Dilbert experience in real life.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

On one hand, Invensys is practicing severe austerity measures but on the other hand wasting lot of cash-in-hand to maintain the not so productive ODC at Cognizant.

Employees of Invensys ODC in Cognizant are billing Invensys by charging to on-hold projects, since most of them have no on-going projects to charge (all the major projects are either scrapped or put on hold). Even then, Cognizant (could be on the advice of Invensys) is on recruitment spree to earn more dollars. This said, whose vested interests are being fulfilled? Perhaps the Invensys shareholders and employees should unearth the culprits.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Inadequate and apparently shambolic planning is also present in Invensys Rail. There is a plan to restructure the organisation "for the future". The briefing passed on to technical staff was basically "This is the current structure" - a nice triangular shape, and then the next slide (in a 2 slide Powerpoint) was a T shape, with the comment "This is how the structure would be in the future - any ideas how we are going to do it?"

The fact that the proposed structure revealed was literally a coloured shape on a screen is quite telling. Even more so the fact that technical staff have been asked how they can achieve the structure change. When the obvious questions, such as: "How do varying grades of engineer fit into this plan?" and "How is the transition from one to the other structuregoing to happen?" and "How long will this take?" were asked, no answer could be provided.

As far as anyone can tell therefore, the "restructuring plan" consists of a coloured T shape on a powerpoint slide and nothing more.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

All IOM top management can up in name of objective is that we want to earn more money. While that is good (Of course, you don't need an MBA to come up with that objective!), the problem comes in the next stage. The methods they suggest are of little value to the customers. The basic concept of "Integrating Top Floor to Shop Floor" is more of a management Jargon and at a technical level it is neither properly defined nor desired by our customers. It just fuels some random development projects and hopes to create a market out of nowhere, by integrating the existing products so that our customer who need one product have to buy other products from us which they really don't need.

The management should be trying to create better products that add more value to the customers, rather than be thinking how they can succeed in selling junk to customers. Else our customers, who are not stupid, will refuse to pay a higher price for the so called "Integrated Product", and will simply walk away.

But wait a minute. How will our management, that has little domain and Industry experience, and one that does not even want to retain a development team, come up with good Ideas for better products? Once more, they will fail to deliver!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The lack of planning is one thing, but the best plan is meaningless if you don't know how to execute. Which is exactly the problem today at IOM. The basics aren't getting completed, and we have all sorts of VP's with great ideas, but nothing that can be implemented. Too many leadership members having to sign off, and yet not one of them is accountable. When leadership is communicating that we have to hire individuals that are in India to support our business and clients, regardless of what our clients want, and are willing to pay for, you know we are in trouble. Back to basics, listen to the client, deliver on your commitments and execute what you promised to the employees, clients, and shareholders.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Brand destruction? What about the 150(ish) years of history that was Westinghouse?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Consider yourself lucky that none of the "planning" gets to the channel, since it is mostly a useless exercise anyway and would merely confuse and misdirect you. Besides, those doing the "planning" have no idea how the business really works anyway. They should ask us.

Monday, November 30, 2009

And, of course, none of the "Planning" gets conveyed to the distributor channel (sorry, "ecosystem partners").

Monday, November 30, 2009

Oh, there's plenty of "planning". The STRAP process chews up countless hours each year, but nothing useful or valuable ever actually gets done.

Monday, November 30, 2009 - Re: lack of planning:

The only people who are not aware that there's no plan are the shareholders. The rest of us are all too clear on the complete lack of planning.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Eurotherm first, then Wonderware. The brand destruction has begun!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Eurotherm Gone! It's begun - The end of Eurotherm as we know it, is real and it's now. Eurotherm in Australia is first. It took IPS no time at all to take the products and flatten a once good company. Is this "The first domimo falling" or is this the real Invensys plan? Previously I thought that there was a plan and it was being kept a secret but now I think that the secret is the lack of a plan.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009 - Re: Indian job market upward trend:

I do not think the current Invensys management cares about the company's money. If they did, by now they should have allowed/advised Cognizant to move/remove the non-productive managerial staff/employees from Invensys ODC. In the better interests of Cognizant/Invensys, for the type of work being executed from ODC the setup just requires the staff like:

  • Director - one is adequate but can go for two (experience can be 10-12 yrs)
  • Senior Managers - not essential
  • Managers - Ten to twelve in number is sufficient with an experience level 8 - 10 yrs; normal work these people does is email forwarding with little/ nil technical contribution to the projects. These managers could be given the project management responsibilities thereby eliminating seperate PMs
  • Development and QA leads - number is as the per requirements, experience levels 6 to 8 yrs
  • Working staff - number is as the per requirements, experience levels can eb between 0 to 7 yrs
Cognizant can improve their margins and can passon the financial benefits to Invensys and go hand in hand.

Note to experienced people: Please relocate to other businesses of Cognizant or find your way. Some of the managerial staff in Cognizant ODC are indicating to their experienced staff that their continuation may be impossible in the organization in future.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It is interesting to read the comments of 24th November. If the Indian job market is on an upward trend, where does this leave the outsourcing that Invensys Rail (Nee Westinghouse) does? To compete, will the oursourcing company (Infotech) have to up wages, thereby raising costs to Invensys?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

So far these days, I was thinking that Invensys is doing wrong selling IDC to Cognizant. But todays, Function Point training class (IDC RAIL) proved to me that they are doing right. I got answers to many questions. I am working for IDC Rail division. We are ordered to go to "Mandatory" training on function-point estimation skills.

To my surprise, the trainer himself admitted that he doesn't know anything about function-point estimating technique, and he had downloaded some "video" from some website and wants us to show it. The only "eligibility" he got is that he is a Ex-Collegue and friend. This is how we are train our people. Management overseas will see that engineers are unproductive despite expensive training.

If Indian management is wasting valuble resources (in recession period) for their part of kick backs, or commisions like this, why should it not be sold to CTS?

Anyhow, the situations in IDC Rail are not going good. We have already seen two Senior people submitting their resignations this month, one quoting "Selling Peanuts is better than Working at IDC" openly... With the job market getting better in India, IDC rail is going to have HUGE attrition in the near future.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The person at IRL who talks about IDC's inability to innovate/create anything new should be careful - Sudipta (and by proxy, Ulf) think otherwise. They think that the great educated (but inexperienced) minds of the untapped masses are far superior to the proven minds that have gotten the company to where it is. Past results mean nothing to them, and this philosophy will be foisted upon the others in the team in due time.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I'm a long-term employee of Invensys Rail. I don't think there are too many people shedding tears in Invensys Rail about the departure of Mr. McPhee. The new acting MD, Mark Wild, is an altogether more inclusive and likeable person and is highly capable; I for one hope he becomes the permanent incumbent. I also agree with the comments here about the return of Steve Barry - another fine director.

As for the IDC fuss - IR won't be handing over any real IP as IDC haven't got that involved in our real technology. IDC have generally failed to show any real innovative abilities, so they have always been given the boring stuff - V&V, low level coding etc. (they are OK if you tell them EXACTLY what to do, but don't ask them to invent something...)

It's all just business as usual from my perspective - none of this really affects the day-to-day work or the strategies that are in place for the future.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I work in Safetran and as far as I'm concerned Westinghouse is lucky to have Steve Barry help them out. I know this from the year Steve spent with us a few years ago. All our managers said he was a great guy. He drove us hard and made us deliver but worked every weekend himself along side us. He knows the business and you can count on him.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Is Nigel Rudd asleep at the wheel? It borders on the absurd that Invensys is dispersing its intellectual property, directly and indirectly, at the expense of a false short term gain. Most studies have shown that in the period following an outsourcing decision, output actually decreases for a period of 12-24 months. Certainly our experiences in IOM thus far lay proof to this claim. I do not know what form of magic dust Mr. Bhattacharya has sprinkled into the eyes of Messrs. Henrikkson and Rudd, but unless these two snap out of it shortly, we shall surely find ourselves in a far, far worse position than when we began this "journey". The only possible explanation is a desire to dispense with the company shortly and an attempt at sweetening the bottom line. If this is the plan, be up front with it so that the rest of us can do our part to help prepare the company and ourselves for this eventuality.

Friday, November 20, 2009 - Re: If IDC was ineffective:

I am not supporting the Cognizant transaction, nor Sudipta. But want to straighten the facts about soiftware India. India is the place where most of industrial automation industry software development is happening. To quote, Honeywell employs 8,000, ABB 6,000, Siemens 10,000 and the list continues for every major automation vendor. Hope you don't articulate the theory that all these CEOs are also giving special favours to India. Please get ready to accept the dominant status of India in software development, and in the automation industry in particular. Also Invensys' biggest customer and largest implementation comes from India. The local teams who implemented these know better than any one else, even in application engineering.

Thursday, November 19, 2009 - RE: Westinghouse:

I think its good news that Alistair McPhee is going and so do all my colleagues. I don't know about Invensys Rail people but the announcment I received said that Steve Barry was coming back to help. For me a former Westinghouse Director with over 10 years of experience is good news. He transformed our manufacturing business into the most profitable part of the business and built a strong and competent management team. I think thats help we could use. I don't know anything about Richard Prophet but hope he is a good sales person as we need the orders. This could be a turning point.

Thursday, November 19, 2009 - Re: 'Tuesday, November 17, 2009 - If IDC was so ineffective...':

In IDC, each group had few effective, efficient people because of which every group had survived. These people used to be in regular touch with the stakeholders in the US and be uptodate on project matters even when the managers were not effective and efficient. It is rightly pointed here that these people are getting sidelined in Cognizant's Invensys ODC, may be in the name of protocol.

Even the stakeholders and project in-changers from Invensys are not showing the same encouragement for these people, some of them even stopped responding to these employees queries. But Invensys should remember that this change in attitude would be to their disadvantage. The exodus of good talent from Cognizant's Invensys ODC has started and will increase unless the Cognizant and Invensys managements take necessary corrective measures. It is a wakeup call.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Now that Alistair McPhee is on his way out, suddenly Invensys Rail global bodies are being parachuted into senior roles in the former Westinghouse UK operation. Who will be next to follow Mr McPhee?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009 - RE: If IDC was so ineffective, which it was...

There were parts of IDC that were ineffective, while on the other hand there were also groups in IDC that were effective, efficient and so much more productive than any group in US or Europe, simply because India has a low cost advantage.

With the Cognizant deal, the ineffective part of IDC gets stronger as Invensys loses direct control on ODC resources and so they cannot directly support the resources that are productive based on delivery. As a result the part of IDC that thrived on performance is now isolated in ODC.

Also Cognizant for now fails to realize that they need to interface faster with the real productive part of ODC that is now isolated; else the delivery of ODC which was mainly sustained by a few effective resources will start faultering.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

If true (IRL development moving to Cognizant also) this is an utter disaster. A criminal investigation should be seriously considered. Someone is getting rich at the expense of Invensys employee and shareholders, and we want to know who.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

How do past actions move into the future?

  1. Invensys divested part/whole of its development staff located outside India to Cognizant.
  2. Invensys divested part/whole of its project execution staff (Cognizant could be the preferred vendor as its strategy is made clear through the self-sponsored ARC Briefing).
  3. Invensys divested part/whole of its business development staff (again Cognizant could be the preferred vendor).
  4. Invensys is sold off, in parts or the whole, to one of its vendors.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009 - Press release: Chippenham, UK, 16th November 2009:

Alistair McPhee, Managing Director of Invensys Rail Ltd (previously known as Westinghouse Rail Systems Ltd) has decided to leave the company on 31st December 2009. Alistair, who joined the company in 2002 as Projects Director, became Managing Director in 2006 and has overseen the growth of the company in both the UK and in export markets in Europe and the Far East.

James Drummond, CEO and President of Invensys Rail said "I would like to thank Alistair for his leadership and contribution to the success of the business over the past 7 years and wish him well for the future". Mark Wild, currently General Manager Core Markets, will become Acting Managing Director.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It is now official that Invensys Rail software development is also going to move to Cognizant in early January. Hearty Welcome to all Rail friends.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I believe that the Cognizant alliance for core development adds value to the product roadmap and product life cycle support. IOM should focus on their core strenght in the automation domain. In this competitive era, there is no point of vertical integration to duplicatee other automation vendors.

Monday, November 16, 2009

If IDC was so ineffective, which it was, Sudipta had a number of options. He could have expanded capacity in the USA, China, South America, Eastern Europe, or any number of highly capable locations. One could make a strong case that domain knowledge in our industry is far higher in the USA and Europe than elsewhere. Have we already forgotten the disaster with Geometric? Sudipta's loyalties are quite clear, unlike his thinking.

Monday, November 16, 2009

It's official. MD for Invensys Rail (UK) will be leaving 31st December.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

IDC was operational long before Sudipta joined. Once it was decided to sell IDC, where would they look for a possible candidate? In China? It has to be in India! The important thing to note is that 400 odd developers were to be transferred. It would be best if the partner had an office in the same city, Hyderabad.

Another thing to note - Cognizant is US based and headquartered in Teaneck, N.J. Maybe the Invensys people in UK should complain that the profits are going to US and not UK.

So much for Sudipta's allegiance to his native country. While I have no idea of Sudipta's capability, at least let's keep the complaints meaningful.

Coming to "interchangeable body theorem" - it's nothing new and wasn't invented by Sudipta or Ulf. This is the standard management mantra today (just see the Honeywell blog). When top management believes that a person with no automation experience can run the company (the former IPS CEO), why would they have an issue in applying the same principles to developers?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

It would be wrong to say that Sudipta's allegiance lies with his native country as people in IDC are looking at a loss in Cognizant. I think Sudipta's allegiances lie only with himself and so he wants to take steps that look good on his resume and by the time the effects of these steps are felt by Invensys, he would be long gone to some other company (may be to Cognizant :D ).

The sale of IDC is going to hit Invensys hard as the development cost of ODC will be much higher than IDC simply because ODC uses more managers than IDC and because Cognizant will like to make profit, something that IDC did not! On the other hand this deal seems to be really good for Cognizant as they get good business and they can always push their margins against a customer that is left with no other option.

The deal also hit IDC employees hard as they end up losing the work culture they cherished. They are suddenly part of an organisation where client interface and business development are much more important than core R&D and domain engineering. The conditions in ODC have been described in previous blogs in much detail and they haven't changed, so they don't have to be repeated. What should be noted in ODC's perspective is that as the frustration of mistreated employees grows, the best will be the first to leave the organisation while the desperate ones will remain till last.

Saturday, November 14, 2009 - Re: Sudipita truly believes in the interchangeable body theorem of development:

Most of us thought that Wonderware was dying because of bad management. But it also seems that Sudipta is the man truly responsible for the big stupid decisions. The fallacy of the interchangeable body theorem is easy to prove. This belief is unbelievably stupid in the executive of a major company but I doubt that it will be a major company much longer.

Saturday, November 14, 2009 - Re: "IOM decision to open up its software platform to partner development.":

Methinks some spin mastering is afoot! WonderWare's platform has been among the most open and extendible since 1990 or so. This is nothing new. Just a new guy responsible for it claiming that it is something new. Would be nice if there was ACTUALLY something new from WonderWare. Sheesh.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sudipita truly believes in the interchangeable body theorem of development and has told us so in not so dissimilar words. Of course, he is completely wrong about it. At times, I truly wonder if his allegiance to his native country is much stronger than his allegiance to the country that created the opportunities that have brought him to where he is in his career now.

Friday, November 13, 2009

I have to agree about at least one thing: I think that IOM is a really good idea and I would have liked to see this in place several years ago. There's a lot of strength to be gained through all of the subordinate companies working together. If there's anyone left to develop products, it may work.

Cognizant was a dumb idea. It's based on the beliefs that (1) any competent developer can work on the products without a lot of product knowledge and experience and (2) that Cognizant isn't going to really stick it hard to Invensys the day after the current services contract and (3) that the IDC developers are going to be so pleased with Cognizant that they will stay there for Invensys. None of these are true.

Friday, November 13, 2009 - Re: "Invensys Rail UK Managing Director is leaving":

Where did that come from? No sign of this happening at Invensys Rail UK! Methinks this might be just wishful thinking...

Friday, November 13, 2009

For Sudipta's survival, he needs a chance to deliver on his vision for IOM. We can argue all day long about the Cognizant situation, but at face value, what Sudipta wants to do long term is good for the company and therefore us all, if we can get the team in place to make it happen. I just hope we can get this whole mess in development behind us and move forward.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Yes, the Invensys board should take up Invensys' top leaders abilities and the recent decisions made at their level. This is on a war footing, because company's existence is at stake.

Thursday, November 12, 2009 - extracts from Control Engineering Sustainable Engineering News:

Invensys Operations Management explains new approach

At the annual Invensys user conference, IOM president Sudipta Bhattacharya addressed the company's recent merger of divisions and how it plans to differentiate itself in the industrial automation market.

Against the unexpected backdrop of rising attendance at this year's OpsManage conference in Anaheim, USA (November 3-5, 2009) - overall attendance is said to have increased 9% this year versus last - the major theme at this year's conference is the company's focus on the new business drivers in the manufacturing market. According to Sudipta Bhattacharya, the drives are: environmental excellence, production excellence, asset excellence, and control/safety excellence. "Five years ago, the only thing that really mattered was production optimisation. Today, several issues play a key role."

In response to these changes, Bhattacharya noted that Invensys Operations Management, that incorporates IMServe, Invensys Process Systems, Wonderware, and Eurotherm, has shifted its focus. Now the company stresses the issues of addressing control and safety, as well as simulation, optimisation and execution more so than it does a specific product-oriented strategy.

Detailing plans for wave one, the Wonderware system platform will have core supervisory and control capabilities for all vertical industries. It will also feature a common configuration tool for HMI, MES, and mobile applications. Visualisation will also be a feature common to all applications regardless of end device used to access the application. Also key will be the system's ability to interact with any field device or I/O unit.

Another issue prominently noted was Invensys Operations Management decision to open up its software platform to partner development. Partners bring specific industry expertise to the table.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Let us just summarize the current Invensys leadership crisis with one assessment: Ulf Henriksson was the right person to bring Invensys out of its financial challenges, but is absolutely the WRONG person to lead Invensys to growth. Sadly, Sudipta Bhattacharya is not the right person either, as he lacks both experience and execution ability for a role of this magnitude. Perhaps James Drummond could fill the role, but he has his hands full with Invensys Rail at present. The board must put in place new metrics for the top level leadership that focus on growth, which will have the effect of either modifying their behavior or forcing them out.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Ulf and his direct reports should attend a course on 'Open Approach' and 'trustworthiness'. While addressing the townhall along with Cognizant, Sudipta promised to share the terms and conditions pertaining to the moved IOM employees in the agreement. But, till today, these have not been disclosed.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It really is disturbing how often the rumors are accurate and management's denials and obfuscations aren't. Here's a tip to management: we all of us know when you are lying. It's just that we choose not to say so to your face. But you aren't good at it (and why would we have ever told you that to your face either?).

If you know what a 'tell' is in poker, one of the best-known liars in management has two of them that he isn't aware of. One is in his face and the other is not. Watch closely and you should be able to spot them.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

So it's finally out that the Invensys Rail UK Managing Director is leaving. There have been rumours for weeks that he has been fired although we can expect the usual "major contribution and thanks but has decided to seek new opportunities elsewhere, personal reasons blah blah blah". What a joke. Hopefully we can now concentrate on engineering. Invensys Rail remains a great business and the old Westinghouse company is still (just about) an industry leader.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It is a big joke when some one says Invensys follows "open communication". Where was this when all the IOM development team at IDC was transferred to Cognizant? Most of the employees came to know this news through this website, rather than through their managers and Invensys Management. The managers outrightly denied all this to their employees.

In fact Invensys could still have the paternership model with Cognizant (whose strategy is to develop and deploy a seamlessly integrated OM solution, from sensors to enterprise systems) without trasferring the IOM development team. This strategy is made clear through the ARC Briefing (Dawn of a New Era in Operations Management Solution Delivery) sponsored in part by Cognizant. So, the million dollar question remains: to whose benifit?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009 - RE: "Open Approach" document:

What a bunch of bunk from above, once again. Our dear leaders are far more adept at creating slogans and Powerpoints than at creating a vision and strategy for improving our competitive position and our customer value proposition. I am getting sick of this. First Invensys Values, now this.

A lot of people have suggested that we need to change players if we want to make progress. But Sudipta has kept around a lot of the people who got us into trouble in the first place. Our managers are not just holding back progress at WonderWare, they also had responsibility for IPS for a while now - and where is InFusion, huh? We need new blood in there, and we have good people in WonderWare, SimSci, and even Rail who could step in and do a much better job.

Monday, November 9, 2009

In June 2009, Ulf Henriksson, announced "An Open Approach" and published a document (www.invensys.com/isys/docs/ar/2009/profile2009.pdf) that states:

    "Invensys is changing. This year we have revealed a new brand and identity, reflecting the changes we are making within our businesses to become more efficient, more cohesive and more able to deliver on our objectives. One of our goals is to communicate more effectively with our customers, our employees and other interested audiences on what Invensys is, where we are going and the value we offer."
How is Ulf doing with that? By the look of the comments here, this is a complete failure. He knows that communication is the key to an efficient, cohesive staff that will deliver (that's clear by the fact that he promised Invensys would be open and the result of this is stated) and so when he clearly does the opposite, you must assume that he actually doesn't want to be efficient, cohesive or deliver, OR one could assume he is clueless about what his underlings are doing.

Cluelessness has been accused of bringing down companies like Enron. I hope some of the INVENSYS investors read this, or Ulf and Invensys managers read it. Hey Ulf, here is a tip from management 101: "It's time to put the promises into action, because promising it doesn't make it happen. And let's be clear, THE BUTT STOPS WITH YOU."

P.S. You had better do a risk assessment on how exposed Invensys is from all the promises made and not kept - i.e., if anyone lost their job from a secret agenda, then Invensys is exposed. And from what I see here, it sounds like a class-action suit coming.

If any-one out there can say that Invensys is now OPEN with its employees and Clients etc, don't sit there complaining about this posting. Write in and tell all the other lost souls what is happening before the shareholders, customers and other staff realise that they are also mushrooms.

Monday, November 9, 2009

If we are all becoming managers, we are allmost all becoming redundant, given the work that we can see.

Monday, November 9, 2009 - Re: "we're all going to become managers of projects rather than developers...":

Do you really have so many projects? But the information in this page says all the major projects are put on hold. Enjoy the holidays!

Monday, November 9, 2009

So it is Invensys' turn to add managers (managers for projects), WAH what a development organization, structure resembles cylindrical or rather inverted pyramid.

Monday, November 9, 2009

It has been said many times here by many people, but Sudipta doesn't seem to get it yet: unless development priorities are aligned, nothing else will change. Even if Sudipta's ambitious plans are on the right track, we will fail in executing on them and will lose a lot of talented staff in the meanwhile. We still don't know what our development priorities are supposed to be for 2010. We get (bits and pieces) trickled down from Sudipta, and have another set of our own priorities. And we here yet another set of priorities from marketing. And yet another from sales and our distributors. Somebody needs to get on the same page.

Sunday, November 8, 2009 - Re: Interesting message from Sudipta: First half performance was off due to "reorganizing"....please work with a sense of urgency in H2.

That sounds like its self-fulfilling. "Things weren't good because we reorganized and we reorganized because things weren't good." So after we've had our benefits cut, our pension turned off, no raises, and the promise that we're all going to become managers of projects rather than developers, with nothing forthcoming from management but more smoke and mirrors and no promises, after all of that, we're supposed to trust the company and work harder. Sure, we can all do that. Sure.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Interesting message from Sudipta: First half performance was off due to "reorganizing"....please work with a sense of urgency in H2.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

From The Times (November 6, 2009):

    Two days after Warren Buffettís $34 billion bid for Burlington Northern underlined the long-term attractions of railways, Thursdayís first-half results from Invensys made much the same point.

    Once again, it was the rail division of the FTSE 100 automation and controls group ó which develops and installs signalling equipment and other trackside technology ó that was the stand-out performer. At £73 million, the divisionís operating profit for the six months to September 30 was 11 per cent ahead of consensus forecasts. The divisionís operating margins also continue to improve ó to 21.8 per cent, up from 21.2 per cent a year ago.

    True, orders were down 13 per cent but that owed more to last yearís boost from a contract for a high-speed line in Spain and a lull in procurement by Network Rail ahead of the next phase of track renewal.

    Encouragingly, since the end of September, Invensys has made up that deficit √≥ picking up its first big contract in Brazil (a ¬£153 million deal to resignal three metro lines in S‚Äěo Paulo) and ¬£41 million of upgrade work in America.

    The broader reassurance is that spending on rail infrastructure ó driven by worldwide moves to shift more freight by train, the construction of mass-transit systems in emerging markets and tightened safety standards ó shows no signs of slowdown.

    So why did Invensys√≠s shares fall 10 per cent at their worst? [Note on Friday November 6 the shares were back to where they were before the earnings announcement] The culprit was operations management, the company√≠s biggest division, which makes and installs technology that helps processing plants √≥ such as petrochemical facilities and power stations √≥ to run at optimal efficiency. Orders dropped 23 per cent, sales fell 17 per cent and operating margins weakened from 9.6 per cent to 7 per cent. Spending cuts by oil and gas companies, especially in the US, are part of the explanation but the concern is that process equipment is the bit of Invensys in which the full effects of recession have yet to be felt. In short, it is a √¨late cycle√ģ activity in which the long lead times behind big capital projects mean they have previously been protected from downturn.

    For its part, Invensys remains sanguine. The company expects a stronger second-half trading period, such that it will still be able to meet full-year profit forecasts. Given Invensysís recent record in reading its markets correctly, it should be given the benefit of the doubt. The underlying appeal is a company with a huge installed base of process equipment. Elsewhere, its controls division, which makes timers and displays for consumer appliances, should be quick to benefit from cyclical recovery.

    Invensys sits on net cash, now pays a dividend and, valued at £2.4 billion, is a small ó and therefore eminently digestible ó constituent in a sector dominated by US and European giants. At 290p, or 14 times next yearís earnings, the shares are a buy."

Saturday, November 7, 2009

It is not just Sudipta; all the people involved in the implementation of these strategic decisions which has brought down Invensys reputation in the market should be made responsible. Invensys has wasted and continues to waste lot of money for some of the recent decisions. It is quite evident that there are no plans to start the much talked about projects (Infusion Acceleration, Mega HIstorian, NextGenSimulator, etc) in the near future but Cognizant has recruited many employees for this account. Per Cognizant these resources will be billed to Invensys from their 16th day onwards.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Some of the guys who could have moved the products forward were pushed out of the company a while ago. As long as Sudipta's gang of pals is running the show, we just have to sit back and wait and watch the clock tick away. We are changing the wrong things. If we changed the VP responsible for development, the mood and the results would change nearly overnight.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Too bad we can't pull a Zilog on them. But then the Zilog guys didn't outlast Intel either. But they did prove you could make a better product.

Thursday, November 5, - Re: comment on 31/10/2009 - "if there wasn't a recession I wouldn't be working here":

I am sad to say this, but I doubt we can say anything now that will matter. I believe we are, all of us, for the chop soon enough. There is too much absurdity to believe that management cares about us. The midyear evaluation process is a sick joke. Who reads or cares about this? We fill out difficult forms, talking about meaningless goals solely to make HR happy. We fill out time sheets that always tell the same story about bad planning and budgets that don't matter, and nothing changes. We get our benefits cut and my pension is frozen so that Invensys can pay for trips to Aruba on our labor. We do meaningless training on company ethics practices while there are questions about how managers are handling money spent on vendors. We are told that this is a Meritocracy but people with a history of failure and abuse still have jobs.

If we formed a trade union and every man Jack of us strode into Sudipta's office, we would just get eliminated faster. Nothing can be done now and I am sorry that this is true.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Should Invensys require product roadmaps after outsourcing the developemnt and project execution activities? Nay, they would not need road maps to run from pillar to post.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

From what I've seen here at Ops Manage, I must agree that there is no believable roadmap for Wonderware. I've heard it all before. This is not at all surprising, looking at who Sudipta has made his inner group of advisers. I remember calling Tech Support and some of those guys answered the phone. Maybe they should listen to us a bit more, since we live with the products every day. I've been using Wonderware for almost 15 years now, and don't have any plans to change at least for HMI or historian. We've had our hiccups with some new versions, but overall it just works well and we know how to get the most out of it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009 - Responding to "Most of what is said on this blog is totally untrue."

That person should look at Wonderware's software Roadmap and see absolutely nothing on the horizon for core products (i.e. the ones that keep the lights on). Development has stopped and so has the communication from management. Speaking of which, has anyone seen an organisation chart? Or does everyone report to Sudipta?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009 - Responding to "Most of what is said on this blog is totally untrue."

WHAT is untrue here?

  1. That managers are not generally respected? Yup, that's true.
  2. That there were going to be layoffs? Whoever called the shots on the layoffs in July seems to have been right.
  3. That the motivations for whatever Invensys management is doing are unclear? That's REALLY true: nobody can figure this out and none of the explanations make sense.
  4. That there are lots of people looking for work right now? The turnover rate used to be 11% just a few years ago. Even if you ignore the layoffs, I'll bet the turnover rate is going up and up as people leave.
  5. That there's going to be another layoff soon with Dev managers? Put your money on the table, son. I think there is going to be one not long from now. I would be glad to be mistaken.
  6. That it isn't safe to speak up at the company? I don't put my name on this because it isn't safe to speak up and I have no reason to bet what's left of my job. You think it's safe?
I don't see you posting your name on this blog. No guts? Or are you just shilling for management?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009 - Re.: "what would happen if we were to form some type of Developers Union?"

Based on what happened at Foxboro about 20-years ago when some small local trade union handed out leaflets outside the Neponset plant one morning ...

Management will go into full DEFCON 1 status. They didn't have Predator drones 20-years ago to track and eradicate subversives but I bet they do now.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009 - Response to "So a bunch of us were sitting around wondering, ... or would it make a difference?":

Suggest to organize a meeting with the top invensys executive team and quiz them till they reveal the real motives behind all the recent and future happenings. Tip of the iceberg

  • Past - Transfer of IOM development team in India to Cognizant; layoffs in other offices.
  • Present - Transfer of Rails development team in India, mostly to Cognizant; more layoffs in other offices.
  • Future - Transfer of Project execution teams too. Strong news is afloat around that Invensys has already engaged in discussions with few parties; more and more layoffs. Finally, Invensys would be filled with middle-persons.
Go ahead and get the truth out, have no fear - there is no guarantee for your continued employment with Invensys.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009 - Responding to "Most of what is said on this blog is totally untrue."

Is Invensys/Cognizant hiring such foolish (devoid of good sense or judgment) people who can't see/accept what is happening around?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Invensys transferred along with the IOM team the habit of renaming groups/divisions. Now Cognizant wants to rename the Invensys ODC.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

So a bunch of us were sitting around wondering, what would happen if we were to form some type of Developers Union? Would we be all canned on the spot or would it make a difference?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Most of what is said on this blog is totally untrue. Are you all from Rockwell or Siemens?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It's only the economy that's been holding me back. There are a lot of development managers on the market in Orange Cty and the price is down. I have been looking ever since the first layoff in July. It is only a matter of time now until we see another layoff that hits Dev. managers hard. WW is moving all of the Dev. functions to India, and Lake Forest will become a company of architects and project managers. They think they don't need Dev. managers any more. If I have a job lined up already when it happens, I can collect a lot of severence pay and then go to the new job. But even if I just leave, I am still better off.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Keep alert for big announcements at the Ops Manage meetings in Anaheim, followed shortly by Q2/half year financial results. Should be a very interesting week for shareholders.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I find it interesting that the most vociferous of comments on this webblog come from the United States. Invensys plc is a British company and unfortunately not many of my UK colleagues seem to feel inclined to comment. What is happening to Wonderware is happening everwhere within the world of Invensys as we know it. Is it not time for people to stand up and be counted? We are doing it in Europe; it's not getting us very far admittedly, but maybe it would be a good idea to buy a few shares and attend the AGM.

Everyday I am seeing colleagues who are suffering from stress. They have the 'learned helplessness' attitude, whatever they do it won't change the outcome, but when the next 'Employee Engagement' survey comes out, maybe we should all answer honestly and insist upon seeing the results. We are essentially a global company and it is about time to consolidate what we all feel. How we do that without Big Brother Invensys watching is a bit of a dilema.

I would appreciate comments on this. As an aside, due to outsourcing to companies, whose people don't assimilate information, ask the same questions over again (Groundhog Day), and the additional work given to the remaining workforce, how appropriate is it to send out the I-grow email? How many of us have time to grow? We're merely trying to keep our heads above water. Once again a lack of understanding and care for the workforce. 'I want to work here' - if there wasn't a recession I wouldn't be working here.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Yes, there in no doubt in saying that it is time to optimize the Invensys ODC organization structure which appears to be in complete disorder. On one side there is a fat managerial staff acquired from Invensys, and on the other side another set of managerial staff like on-site coordinators, off-site coordinators, account management staff, talent management staff, etc., created by Cognizant. There are many redundant and unwanted positions which makes the structure look ridiculous. Simple thing to remember, not this many managers, senior managers, directors, coordinators, etc are required to maintain five hundred people and to carry out the type of work Invensys ODC is asked to do. So, lot of managerial staff has not much to contribute in this structure. May be it is a good idea to ask the managerial staff to take lead responsibilities either in development or in QA for at least one project other than just mail forwarding. Senior managers are like middle men/women, should be scrapped right away. Realize and trim it soon, the current organization structure is neither good for Invensys nor for Cognizant.

Another important point to mention: Cognizant management is also making the same mistake that Invensys management made, by not directly talking to the working level staff to understand their aspirations, concerns and complaints. So far not even a single meeting is addressed by EMS group heads at Chennai involving working level staff but there were so many visits made by these heads and meetings with managerial staff in the last two months. Lot of working level employees are not happy with their managers as they contribution very little to the projects, poor in coordinating the day-to-day activities but will be ready to take the credit for the success and pass-on the blame to their staff. Heard this is very predominant in the MES/EMI group and lots of staff has complaints against their managers. Just to remind, most of the revenue Cognizant's revenue is because of the working level staff. If their needs are not taken care of, sustaining this business is doubtful.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Project Orange? Of course there are more redundancies to come. Look at the orderbook. Don't make me laugh. The HR department are now known as Business Partners. What a laugh. Chief HR Officer? All they need to do is get people recruited as needed, paid on time and treated fairly. Instead they are full of mindless actvities, pretending that HR runs the business. COO that is responsible for none of the operations? What a joke. I've heard this said by senior managers. At the end of the day this Invensys problem has now infected Rail and it will go the same way as IPS and Controls unless there is a change at the top.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sudipta's Twitter feed seems like it is written by someone in Marketing, not by Sudipta, does it not?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Westinghouse insider tells me that the management there are getting very jittery about these comments. Perhaps they are getting too near the truth. Take "Project Orange", for example. It has been speculated that this was to do with the current redundancy round. It goes beyond that, and even beyond round two already being planned. (Your reps are not allowed to talk about it, but look them in the eye when they deny that talks are ongoing). The ultimate aim is closure of regional offices. Oops, I should not have said that. Your management do not want you to know that.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It is time for Invensys to open its eyes wide and measure the performance of its creation at Cognizant (Invensys ODC). This does not mean that the setup created at Invensys IDC was of any high standard. But it was far better, when compared with the setup at Cognizant.

Some of the important issues reported so far:

  1. In all the town hall meetings organized before the transition of IOM employees to CTS, much hype was created about Cognizant, its pro-employee policies, work place environment, etc. But in reality (to name few) the work place at DLF office sucks (resembles a big fish market, but nothing close to a product development setup), rest rooms stink, inadequate and unequipped meeting rooms, sub-standard work spaces, etc.
  2. The partnership term (between Invensys and Cognizant) was used only in the initial town-halls. In Cognizant, the top bosses always view Invensys as another customer/client whose emphasis is to get more and more revenue from the Invensys deal. In fact, from day one - charge Invensys 9 hrs per-day-per-person, even when the Invensys ODC employees have not put the required effort. Charge Invensys even when employees - especially managerial staff - are spending time on Cognizant specific, people management related issues.
  3. Most of the good talent at Invensys ODC are vexed with the Cognizant policies, credibility, treatment towards them, work environment offered. They are actively seeking other employment opportunities.
  4. Not an optimized organization structure is in place, especially the fat managerial staff acquired from Invensys. They do very little contribution to the projects, other than just mail forwarding. Ssimilar views were expressed when this organization was part of Invensys IDC - too many managers, senior mangers and directors. Added to this fat managerial staff, after shifting to Cognizant, there is another set of managerial staff like on-site coordinators, off-site coordinators, account management staff, talent management staff, etc.

Invensys should really evaluate whether Invensys ODC at Cognizant is a sustainable creation. Invensys needs to guide this setup, if this needs to be a successful creation. One thing is quite clear and Invensys should always remember: if the agreement between Cognizant and Invensys falls apart, Cognizant at-most would add another five hundred employees to its bench strength. But for Invensys, most of the product development activity might be halted, if there is no Plan B. As there is a strong news that IDC Rail group is also moving to Cognizant in a couple of months from now, Invensys should do this evaluation at the earliest.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009 - RE Monday 26th "Friendly Channel Partners":

I don't know if there are any "Friendly Channel Partners" left. Certainly in the UK this is not the case. We have integrated Wonderware ever since it was released and had a good working relationship with the local distributor and WW/Invensys directly but it has become too difficult to deal with these people with all the changes.

All we have seen in the UK is price rises, price rises and guess what? more price rises. Less service (4 sales guys have left in the last 6 months and none have been replaced).

What makes it even better is the sham that is their own inhouse integrator, which we keep getting told is not competitive and then we find them competing, surely the Distributor can't also be the Integrator? What a conflict of interest? How to turn off your channel in an instant, where, everything I tell you, every licence I buy will be used to your advantage to develop your own Systems Integrator business for when WW take the business back in house!

How do they get away with it and what the hell are WW doing about this? Or do they not know - seems that they disbanded most of the European Channel Management and senior guys in Lake Forest? Do they even care? Hopefully SI's will talk with their feet.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The intent is probably to use more friendly channel partners that may already be part of the IOM family, such as the WonderWare distributors. I don't think the WonderWare people want to be selling instrumentation, loop controllers and DCS stuff, though! No doubt though that Invensys will be cleaning up its channels to both extract margin and to get more control. Both of which are possible indicators of a future move to sell the business.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

IPS seems to be trying to shift away from sales channels other than direct Invensys salesmen; in the US at least. Something happened 1 April and it seems to result in a severe cutback in sales support, discount capability, product support and just the general ability of several of these "channel sales partners" to work with them. Looks like some are even trying to expand capabilities with competing products in anticipation of Invensys cutting them loose.

A few days ago a post suggested that small systems were becoming more important in the IPS mix. This move seems to suggest that customers for small systems are becoming less important.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The head of IOM development stands idly by and allows these horrible decisions to be made, because he has no other job options. He should be shown the door, and we can all get back to the work of making Invensys a better company with better products.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

For those of you at the Westinghouse Rail facility of Invensys Rail, don't be too hard on yourselves over the Network rail problems.

Do not forget that Network Rail is in turmoil at this time, and their chairman Rick Haythornthwaite (where have I heard that name before?) may be very busy as Chairman of the Risk and Regulation Advisory Council and Chairman of Mastercard Inc, and he is also Chairman of Londonís South Bank Centre, President of PSA Energy, and an advisor to Star Capital Partners Limited. It must be good to be wanted.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It seems to be a shambles here in Westinghouse Rail. We were told today that we have lost the last 4 Network Rail bids and that the contracts in Asia are facing damages claims from our customers. Apparently its down to us not recruiting enough people, while at the same time we are making redundancies!

While this is going on, there are preparations for major management conferences and the total waste of time "Together we will" presentations that people only attend because a named attendance list is kept. Without that nobody would bother. This company has been falling apart with image more important than our customer service. There used to be Directors of stature who would come around and talk to us. Two in particular were with the comapny for over 10 years and they seem to have moved to IRG over the last 12 months. I'm told by my manager that both of these Directors were responsible for making things happen. Now we appear lost.

I'm also told by my manager that Invensys Rail makes up the majority of profit and cash for Invensys. God help us under the current leadership. By the way it is true that the PPP team have started a sweepstake on when he gets fired. Sooner the better as its what most are thinking.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009 - Response to 'The new setup with Cognizant (CTS) ...' (Monday, October 19, 2009):

Yes, the ones listed in this posting are few out of many more. It is not just Invensys losing good talent in the US but also at Invensys ODC in Cognizant, as most of the good talent are vexed with the new employer's policies, credibility, treatment they have received so far, work environment that is offered - just to name a few from the huge list (growing day by day). These people are just waiting for an appropriate timing to say good bye, unless dramatic changes happen within a few days to make them stay.

There is strong news that IDC Rail group is also moving to Cognizant in couple of months from now. It is better and the right time for Invensys to remind itself: "Don't Put All Your Eggs In One Basket (don't risk everything all at once.)"

Another comment to offer is: what is the best Invensys (IOM) can get from a CEO/Business President who can not imagine the market situation beyond two years? I can only wish "Best of Luck to Invensys Employees and Shareholders".

Monday, October 19, 2009

The new setup with Cognizant (CTS) has a major flaw that can hurt Invensys. Going by the concept of the partnership, Invensys becomes a company of Managers who manages client requirements and oversees the respective development in India. Of course there are other functions also, like Marketing, HR etc. Here the development in India is handled by Cognizant which in turn is paid on the size of projects it gets to execute. So, if we consider that Cognizant gets a project for a specific task and it has two paths to accomplish that task; one path that takes 2 man years and another that takes 5 man years. Cognizant earns more if it chooses the path that takes 5 man years and so would be inclined to extend the project time. On the other hand, Invensys being a company of managers with limited development expertise will have no idea that other path of 2 man years exists. If Invensys would have maintained its own development team in India, they would have been glad to point out the better path as they were part of the same organization, and the benefits of the shorter path would be shared with them also. However, now Invensys has alienated most of its India development team with the sale of IDC and they are no longer interested in increasing the benefits for Invensys.

While Invensys top management would like to claim that they intend to retain some experienced developers to monitor and mentor the development in CTS, the fact is that the leftover development team in US is rapidly aging and new younger replacements are not coming in. Also, as the development team in US would be taking little part in development, and as they are being treated so poorly by their own management, it's hard to believe that Invensys will be able to retain technical expertise capable of monitoring and mentoring CTS development.

I can understand a retailer being a company of only managers. But trying the same in a technology company would be a disaster.

The team in India had not only the experience and expertise, but also the enthusiasm of youth and continuous inflow of new engineers to provide better products in the long-term future. Not owning that team is unwise and so is to think that Invensys top management, which has no idea about this field, will provide proper guidance to this technology company. Once the experienced development mangers and developers in US who have good knowledge about our products and their technology retire, Invensys is bound to decline.

Sunday, October 18, 2009 - Regarding what you'd get if you bought Wonderware:

The real Wonderware assets are the same ones from 10 years ago, which are a loyal customer base and a great distribution channel, riding on the strength of a great HMI that was built nearly 20 years ago. No one would buy it for any of the more recent developments or the people. One could make a good case that Wonderware has been in maintenance mode for years, and is ripe for outsourcing all maintenance and driving great margins with the existing products.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

In India, most of the Cognizant guys are creating environment outside like Cognizant acquired Invensys. They were mentioning this in interviews, while hiring the new people. New employees who are joining Cognizant and working for Invensys are in confusion after joining, and creating confusion in other people. Now, this has gone wild. Every corner of the Software industry, all other IT guys are asking us like "Is Invensys acquired by Cognizant?" Why? What happened to invensys? Are they not doing well etc... If at all they have to sell, why they have choosen Cognizant? This is really bad to hear. Invensys is a great company for ever in our hearts, even how many stupid people come and spoil its fame.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Yesterday, we were offsite far enough that we felt safe talking about work. We argued if they're trying to make Wonderware or IOM look good enough on paper to sell. We were almost convinced they're selling us when one of us said "What would you get if you buy Wonderware"?

If someone came in and wanted to buy us out, he'd get Wonderware, the buildings, a bunch of people who are probably not really happy but might stick around to see what happens. They would also get the source code and the right to build more. But they wouldn't be able to build new code. There are almost no developers or QA left in LF. And it would violate the contract with CTS to not use their services. So if someone buys Wonderware, they just get tired marketers and a lot of source code they can't maintain. To develop new stuff, they have to crawl to CTS and deal with a third party vendor.

We ordered more drinks. If someone wanted to buy Wonderware, they'd instead look at hiring away the dissatisfied senior people here who can make a company work. Offer them a 25% raise, stock options, fund the pension, and the possibility of salary increases bigger than 3% for the rank and file. Guarantee that Pankaj will never be welcome through the doors of the new company. Do the same thing for the IDC developers now at CTS you want to keep for their experience and you suddenly have a DIY Wonderware for a fraction of the cost. And you cripple Wonderware's ability to turn out more products at the same time so no competition for a long time.

This is scary and ugly. Our senior management has turned Wonderware from the industry leader into a company nobody in their right minds could want to buy.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Has anyone seen the Yokogawa blog page recently? Looks like these guys have woken up. It looks like the UK MD is doing what he did previously at Invensys: sell the buildings and land to balance the books and move everything closer to where he lives. De ja vu? Wonder if the they want to hire anymore of our failing execs?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sudipta Bhattacharya is now on Twitter, and he will be "tweeting" about work (we hope), opinions on travel, books, music and other interesting topics.

Twitter is a popular social networking site that allows users provide status updates in 140 characters or less with an answer to the question, "What are you doing?" Some of you may use Twitter, and for others this is new territory. To get started, you'll need a Twitter account. Then, use the "Find People" tab and search for "Sudipta Bhattacharya" and the link should appear to follow Sudipta. His username on the site is "sudi_bhat". If you donít have a Twitter account, you will need to sign up for one before you can follow Sudipta. Go to Sudiptaís Space for a link to Twitter.com

Thursday, October 15, 2009

It is nice, in a strange way, to know that the management stupidity happening here in Lake Forest, CA. is also happening in the Rail Group in the UK.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - To the UK Rail blogger:

Project "Orange" is the amateur attempt of a very poor senior management team to restructure. Lead by an incompetent managing director the whole thing is backfiring with little or no business benefits. Meanwhile as new projects plunge in the UK rail business, the PPP project team have started a sweepstake on when the managing director will be fired. Cruel? Yes, but so are redundancies. Calling the project "Orange" at the same time as the company transfered to Orange mobile phones (managed by the IT function) meant that all details of redundancies, names, costs etc. were visible to the IT department. Stupidity doesn't even come close to this fiasco.

There are a couple of real directors at the top but in the last year we have lost the real thing to IRG leaving amateurs trying to lead a huge organisation, while the managing director is more interested in making self publicity videos!

Who knows what the future is. IS will certainly come back under central control. My view, and that of my close collegues, is that we need a "one" Invensys Rail culture and organisation and not the current Westinghouse Way. Manufacturing is already a separate organisation with an IRG feel and culture. Walk around it and see - it doesn't even look like Westinghouse. I get a similar feeing in R&D. It's just the usual idiots like the managing director and his mate that hold things back. Having said that, what is the "new markets" bit about? Total rubbish. Our business is about mass-transit and main-line. Another stupid organisation change a year ago.

So lets hope IRG get stuck in and reslove things before there is a collapse. The best people are looking to leave now.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Interesting news from JimPinto's eNews No. 273 - 12 October 2009

For sale:

  • Rockwell - whether they like it or not.
  • Invensys - whether they like it or not. Their pension planwas under funded, and was a poison-pill for potential buyers.
  • Honeywell - the Process Systems Division is likely to be divested by a hungry-for-growth-and-glory CEO Dave Cote.
Other (than GE) Buyers :
  • ABB - Joe Hogan (ex-GE) would find GE's Automation businesstoo small. He is more likely to be focused on Rockwell. ABB has the cash, and Joe Hogan needs to make a move. A bigger ABB would create a global alternative to Siemens.
  • Siemens, the largest industrial company, has never been ableto make a successful acquisition. They'll be in the bidding.
  • Schneider - one of the winners during this decade. They couldwant GE's software business to add to Citect. They may also bein the market for DCS player. Invensys would be a good fit and make Schneider a world player in software and Process Control.
Click here (Click)- GE will emerge as next big automation player

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

If Sudipta is allowed to execute on his vision of IOM, it can be a true success story. He needs to be given the resources and flexibility to do it, and he needs to be vigilant of those around him who may not be the right people to help him get there.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Here (in the UK) some local IT staff are being absorbed into Global Invensys, whilst others are made redundant. There is to be no specialised IT support. One size will have to fit all. I gather this approach will be applied to the rail group too [currently a money-making group].

Now we are being beaten, round the head, with "project Orange". What on earth is that all about? If it to affect us, then why cannot we be told what it is?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Eurotherm in Leesburg, VA is so poorly managed, it is amazing they are still part of Invensys. The sales force continues to get screwed on commission with managments "fuzzy math". The Plastics BD Manager for NA is absolutley clueless on what is transpiring in the market. Poorly thought out marketing programs and continuous ill-fated planning will be the demize of this vertical as well. He is more concerned about his ego and covering up for his previous family-owned failures in the plastic sector. Additionally, the MACO product is so poorley designed and over-priced than any level headed engineer would even think of considering.

Friday, October 9, 2009

It looks like small systems will be again important for Invensys.

Eurotherm system 2550 series + Eycon, T940 etc. Will be transfer 100% to Foxboro. Now with a different plan for A2, they decided to invest lots of money on A2. It seems they are now going for the small projects (water, pharma etc.) All Eurotherm Leesburgh system structure will be now part of Foxboro, they will change the whole structure of A2, new developments are ready to go out, new service and support team, etc. They are even thinking on an A2 SIL 2 rated mainly to compete with GE MTL = EMERSON SAFETY SYSTEM. Mainly they will compete at a simnple SIL 2 market which has been growing a lot lately. It seems Eurotherm will continue being a small controller, recorder company dedicated mainly to plastic solutions. Just waiting to see what will be part of Foxboro and what will be sold out. Eurotherm has been wrongly managed; they lose their glass team - they invested a lot on it, and many people have left the company.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

How will Invensys deliver RBATCH-II on SOTM, when people from RBATCH-II team have left the company?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The head of development at IOM is the primary source of many of our problems. He manages through fear, intimidation, and bends with the political winds. He lacks up-to-date market or technology skills, and it the bottleneck for progress. He is loving the Cognizant deal because it gives him someone else to blame when things are late, over budget, and buggy. He is running out of excuses. The time has come for him to move on, and I know there are a lot of us who would be excited about IOM again and work longer and harder for the company.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Does anyone think the new product delivery structure will actually deliver anything in any time frame !? By time it gets throught he contract layers, glaciers will have melted rather than moved!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

If we lose our skilled developers and testers, Wonderware is going to have a hard time making promised schedules for new products. Our technology is complex. I didn't feel rock solid until after my 4th anniversary and it still was hard for me when I moved to a few different projects after that.

Does our contract with Cognizant say that they have to deliver no matter what? (Who does Wonderware contract administration. I don't know, but I would like to ask a few questions.)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Invensys recently sold its Indian Development Centre (IDC) to Cognizant. As our associates in India are getting to know more about the new setup, it is getting clear that the partnership between Invensys and Cognizant may be heading for rough waters.

While the seating, office space, food and air quality in new Indian office are all known problems, recently it was communicated to them that the work hours are increased from 8 to 9 hours/day. Given these circumstances the team in India seems to have lost both faith and enthusiasm. Also our associates in India feel that the level of monitoring and restrictions indicate that Cognizant is a company that runs BPOs, and so core R&D is something that they are new to.

As the job scenario in India is good, if situation in Cognizant ODC is not changed soon, Invensys risks losing most of their India development team.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Can you define "many". As far as I know average ratio is of 3-4 developers for each Manager. Soon may be all the empty offices will be occupied by Cognizant employees.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

There are many developers and testers still at Wonderware, Lake Forest. Are they all becoming managers?

They must be trying to sell the company by cleaning the bottom line. Could any management be so stupid as to make all these decisions and think it was for the good of the company?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I find it interesting that no one has commented on EDGE. Here a program has been rolled out where we are told flat out that no new development will be done by IOM. All IOM personnel will do is create statements of work (SOW) to be given to Cognizant. When the work is done IOM will compare it to the SOW. So IOM will no longer be needing any software engineers. When current projects are done they are gone. IOM will become a company of managers.

Friday, October 2, 2009

As someone who has posted a comment, complaining about the many dumb things that have been happening and are still happening, I want to say that Sudipta's recent offer of 1-1 meetings and posting his schedule is a really good thing. This is a step beyond saying that his door is always open. He's offering specific times when we can talk to him privately. I am choosing if I want to take advantage of his generous offer. My concern is not for me but for my manager, who is a great guy and I don't want to risk getting him in trouble for something that I might disagree with Sudipta about. Nevertheless, I want to give credit where due to a very good idea.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

After reading many of the statements on this blog, it is obvious that there are unhappy people; but in turn there are happy people. Yes we can all agree or disagree to where things are going, but let's face it - the competition is no better. We all talk to each other. I have had many different bosses since being here, but each comes with a learning experience. Let's stop complaining about the company and get back to the technical and good things we offer as a company. We have a lot of great talent in this organization that bring great value to our customers. We are here to help our customers better succeed. Let's get back to talking about our good not anymore about the way we feel about management. It is getting real old here and much more embarrassing!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I am pleased that you have enjoyed your career here, but this place really is falling to pieces and a lot of it is because there are people in too many places who are just plain no good at what they do. In a good company they might have been removed, but you can get away with almost anything here if you are likeable. There are development managers and product managers and website people who are all complete witless, but people like them so they stay here for decades making a mess of everything they do.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I have really enjoyed my 20 year stint with Invensys. A challenge from the start. All the naysayers of negitivity should get a life.

Managers come and go. The good ones that are not after the next rung stay and enjoy their management life, helping us that don't care to be managers. We all have to know our own limits. Step out of line and the man will take you away.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What is it about HR advocacy for talent management? A non-performer can continue to stay in the company, while capable and competent people depart, as they want to do a good job for customer and the company, not for the selfish interests of few "Simply Antagonizing Players". The company is now disintegrating into "Internal Organization Malfunction". (read the Capital lettera). What is a job match and compatibility when a previous director of Strategic Sales Center take on a new role as Channel Sales leader? (It's like a private banker taking on the role of teller, trying to earn tiny commission by pushing insurance/unit trust sales). Is it that difficult to understand that you must have a good job fit to motivate performance?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Bullying and intimidation are key to the company culture. I still laugh whenever they talk about meritocracy and integrity. Merit comes from how well you can kiss up to your boss and your boss's boss and integrity is keeping your boss happy without causing something embarrassing they have to deny. I've known a couple of people who complained to the ethics hotline over the years and were told that they looked into the complaint and there wasn't anything to worry about. It wasn't worrying about this that was the problem. It was the unethical behavior that causes a stink.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Invensys' code of conduct condems bullying and intimidation; and yet to me, it appears that it's the company's culture. We're told that IOM is a new group, but it is actually the justification for reduced costs through zero pay rises, zero expenditure, whilst intimidating staff to resign. The staff reduction creates a short term gain that has the board's bonusses paid. However if not stopped, it will actually result in shareholder pain. It's time that the share holders and the managers of other people's retirment funds take a much closer look at this bubble, before it bursts.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Most of our "Process Know How" left the company quite a few years ago, and the effects are still being felt. IPS's "Process Know How" is being shown the door on a daily basis. Sadly, our boss in development is stuck in the 1990's and hasn't the foggiest idea about what the market needs today, nor how to run a modern development team. Sudipta and Rashesh - and some of us in development - have a bunch of good ideas that will never get a chance as long as Pankaj has effectively veto power. We need a new head of development soon so that we can save this company. Maybe Ulf will figure this out soon.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Wonderware's core competency is the combination of its "Technology, Process Knowhow" and "IT expertise". Such a player in the automation arena yet to be invented. Having handed over its IDC to an IT company, Invensys has also handed over its "Secrecy", which will ultimately cause it to lose to its core competency. It is almost equivalent to Technology Transfer. By this Ulf & Company have committed a sin to the shareholders and employees.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ulf needs no pension, since he has such a massive number of shares and options of his own - and some of which he has sold. He can readily bank millions for himself, while the rest of us scrimp and save for college, retirement, and even survival. The latest change is the modern day version of 'let them eat cake'.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I just got Ulf's message about killing off the pension program in the U.S. in order to remain competitive.

So few companies have a pension these days that it was the only reason I've remained with Invensys. I mean... no raises, mediocre benefits, having to pass 25 years to add to vacation. I can get that at any number of places.

I guess I'll hang in here long enough to early retire and start collecting another paycheck elsewhere. Experience just has no value these days.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ulf just announced that Invensys is freezing the pension plan on 1 Nov 2009. He made money when he sold IDC, he saved money laying off people at Wonderware, and he makes $2B revenue from the IOM companies, but matching pension fund pmts is too much money. Thanks for making it crystal clear what the employees mean to you.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Are people on this weblog looking for new jobs? Or are they simply waiting to see what happens at Wonderware Lake Forest, CA. facility? I see small signs that support the idea of LF moving 90% of business to India. Do not know if this means more lay offs at LF or not.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Does anyone know what is behind the rapid rise in Ivensys shares over the last few days?

Thursday, September 3, 2009 - An interesting note from somebody at Cognizant working for Invensys ODC facility.

It is quite evident that Invensys ODC facility at DLF is purely made for improving the Cognizant margins with no consideration for employeesí (working level) health. Do not be surprised when after few weeks, most of the IOM ODC employees visit doctors for knee, back, etc related complaints. Almost every one felt that the first two days were miserable, not seen in their professional career so far.

As is always the case, the managers had taken care their needs and requirements very well with very little consideration for their associates. Managers greediness: there is no match for it.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009 - Re: the first entry on September 1, 2009:

For you as an Invensys employee who just wants to do his work, you may be right: Shut up, get your paycheck and thank God for "still" having a job.

I can understand and confirm concerns of all the other people who do not dare to open their mouth, because I personally had to experience the consequences. I had been working for Wonderware for almost 12 years, I always had open discussions with my bosses, and this had been no problem until approx. 3 or 4 years ago. The new regime was put in place and the $$-driven managers did not want people with ideas and opinions other than their own. Their charter was to take care of profit and quarterly results, not about markets and customers, who finally pay their bonusses, and not about employees, who finally make it possible.

My career in Wonderware ended after I had an open word with Sudipta and other LF based VPs. It was not them, who gave me the kick, but my new boss who was obviously taken to task by Sudipta.

So you only can be brave in this company, if your wife has a good job and the house is fully paid.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The restructuring of IOM is a mystery which gets murkier with every new announcement. Lack of clarity of roles pervades all over and the whole APAC/ME IOM organization looks like someone is monkeying around with no long term vision. Its unfortunate for Invensys that every new change at top in IPS in past 2-3 years has brought massive organisational changes which have costed millions without any tangible benefit and sincere employees are getting the brunt. Please stop experimentation, else this once great company will sink.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I'd suggest avoiding the personal attacks and name calling here, as it borders on very fragile legal ground and adds no value to the discussion. There's no need for that in this forum, as the same points can be made with out it. If you think you are anonymous, think again!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

It sounds like the old Indian proverb is being followed at Invensys: "The nail that has it's head sticking up will get nailed!"

Wednesday, September 2, 2009 - To the person who said that opinions should be taken to management:

Management at WW doesn't want opinions - they want workers to simply put their heads down and do what they are told. As a former manager at WW, I told management above me many times what the issues were. I was told that I had a bad attitude. That my goal was to get people to "like" me and to "trust" me. I thought my goals should be to do good work that supported the customers and impacted the bottom line, delivered on time and in budget. I was told that was the wrong attitude.

I left because it's not possible to try to improve the products or the company. Management doesn't want that. They actively target people who make suggestions about how to improve products or processes. These are people who are not "liked" or "trusted". It's 7th grade all over. And who doesn't want to be 13 years old again?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

It is true that invensys managers should relook at their strategies, if any, and give due respect to the working level organization, which is almost missing. A healthy organization in place will help, for sure, to take up the business challenges rather in-house issues.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Yes, many of my peers are enjoying the paychecks and the coffee and hiding in the grass while doing their jobs as well as can be. Speaking up is a bad idea here and it is far worse than I have ever seen it in all my years here too. This may be because the people in charge know they don't know what is going on and so they fear that any criticism may expose them as incompetent so they squish anyone who criticizes and then preen themselves publicly and a little nervously. We all see what's happening, but most of us don't think its worth bringing up.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The underlying problem that will lead to Invensys's demise is that the powers that be do not know how to assess talent. They value loyalty - or more correctly, fealty - over ability. Sudipta's band of merry men he has recently appointed are hopelessly underskilled and unqualified for the roles they have been given, but they are loyal lapdogs and in many cases fellow countrymen. Sudipta's bosses and the board are so horribly out of touch with the market and the business that they simply nod like bobblehead dolls when the anointed one makes a proclamation. It really is a living comedy show, but a tragic comedy. There are very few exceptions to the general lack of qualifications of most of Sudipta's recent appointees. As long as the paycheck keeps coming, I'm in no great rush to leave but have learned to keep my head down. I only wish somehow, someway, the board could see what utterly incompetent and unqualified people are in key roles within IOM now.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I agree strongly. I tried to talk about this to my manager and didn't care and then to his manager, who was actively hostile to the idea that anything was wrong other than my attitude for thinking something was wrong. I'm still recovering from that myself, but the message was received: keep quiet and do my job or leave.

Can I do a better job than these people? Yes. I know it because I know better than to insult my team and sabotage their efforts. My people have always turned in great performances because I support them. So with respect to the person who suggested we put up or shut up, many of us have tried to alert our managers to problems and have been hurt badly for it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I also was one took that chance. I spoke to my manager about what I and many others saw as potentially better solutions, and offered suggestions on how to acheive more active participation. I have many years of sucessful sales and management experience. I was told quite bluntly "They (upper management) don't want to hear it. Period. We suggest you stop now." So I stopped before the axe hit. It was very close though. I was demoted and removed from my career path. For now, I will just hold on, keep taking a paycheck home, and keep looking for other employment. It is better to be employed at a lousy company that doesn't care than be at home unemployed. This recession will end and then a lot of good people will be leaving "Brokesys".

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I was one of those brave souls who did make suggestions to management on how things could be done better. What did I get for my initiative? I was shown the door and told to turn in all my company property.

The senior managers at Invensys don't want to hear any differing opinions. They want the mindless drones to do what they say so that they can take as much money from the company as they can before they leave.

Itoo would love to see Invensys succeed. I think they have some great products and services. If senior management can only get out of the way, they could be very successful.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

To all the folks at Invensys or non-Invensys. Do you really have nothing better to do then to talk garbage about the company? Step up to the plate if you can do a better job. If you are one that has not taken the time to discuss your ideas or thoughts with senior managers, then do not complain. Keep getting your paycheck and thank God you have a job.

If you think you have the answers and can turn things around better, then contact your Regional President, Sudipta or Ulf. Trust me folks, this is the worst economic crisis in history. Nobody has the correct answers. We all just need to work together. We can not all agree on everthing that is happening at Invensys; but if you at least discuss your thoughts/ideas with decision makers at Invensys, you at least can say I told them so.

So I challenge everyone who has negative comments who work at Invensys on this blog, send your issues and solution to the issue to your top managers. You have nothing to lose! If you are one that is no longer at Invensys, I wish you well. There is a reason for everything in life.

As a side note, I am not a manager in this company. I am a employee not new to the company who actually wants this to work!

Friday, August 28, 2009

The only reasons for an active rumor mill in a company are when the management has lost credibility and is not telling people what's happening. At WW, the person who did the last company presentation has had no credibility for years. We listen carefully to what he says and doesn't say and then use it as the roadmap to the real situation. It works; but it would be nice to have someone we believed when he says the sun is up and didn't want or need to then go check for ourselves.

If management cares about the people and the company, they should start actively responding to the rumors and concerns they see here. Something with the class of Rick Bullotta's recent post would go along way to calming fears. I'm sure they want all this noise to go away, but it won't happen. It's too late to tell us all to trust the vision for the company and make our deadlines, because it's us doing the work; and us that got passed over for raises and us that are losing most of the week off at the end of the year; and us that Ulf said he is going to reduce the benefits on while they brag about how the IOM companies make $2B a year in revenues. I don't think anyone minds make executives rich, but being kicked in the teeth while hearing that we should work harder to make the same people richer was stupid and self-centered.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I strongly agree that Rick Bullotta is a class act. My hat's off to him for letting us know more about his departure and what he's up to now.

Morale here at WW-LF continues to deteriorate. It's just a little every day, but it's something we all can notice. You can feel the difference from week to week as you walk the halls. Almost everyone is wondering what's going to happen to their job, their groups, even their function - as Cognizant comes on board. As a result, too many good people are out shopping for jobs. I'm pleased to say that I've been talking to people and am in the process of leaving for far greener (in all ways) pastures. I'm very thankful to the company for the many years I've had here, but I am now thinking daily of the great relief of not working here any more. My only regret is that Wonderware's management can't see or doesn't care that they're doing this to a formerly good company.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Is anyone going to attend the "IPS NA Client Conference" in Houston this September? Why would one attend this when Emerson Exchange is the following week in Orlando? I have attended Wonderworld and other Invensys events as well as Emerson's and there is NO DOUBT - Emerson Exchange is hand's down way better.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Rick Bullotta remains one of the true gentlemen of the industry and a class act. Others could and should learn from and follow his example.

Signed: A former Wonderware employee who knows the Invensys cast of characters well.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009 - eLetter received from Rick Bullotta:

Hi, Jim.

I wanted to clear a few things up since there seems to be some misinformation being posted on your discussion forum.

First of all, my name has two "L's" and two "T's". ;-)
Next, my departure from Invensys/Wonderware was not all that sudden, nor was it the result of some nefarious plot. In early 2008, there were a series of organizational changes made that shifted my original CTO role into something that was not really a fit with where I wanted to go from a career perspective, and to be most effective the new role would probably have best been based in California.

Additionally, I've become hooked on the enterpreneurial/startup life, and it made it very difficult to return to the more traditional corporate world. It soon became clear that it was best to part as friends rather than continuing on in a role that was neither beneficial to Wonderware or to me. While I did not always agree with the strategic directions we were taking, I have nothing but admiration for the Wonderware and IOM team. They have people, brands, products and a market position that remain the envy of the industry. I wish them nothing but the best wherever the future may take them amidst a sea of constant change. That's just life in this day and age.

As for me, I'm busy in a new startup, Burning Sky Software, which I co-founded with my business partner from Lighthammer and with the former CEO of Cimnet. We're currently in "stealth mode", but are busy working on products, positioning, and staffing up our team. We're excited about creating a new segment of the industrial software market, similar to when we helped pioneer the EMI market nearly a decade ago. It's time for some excitement in this industry, beyond mergers and acquisitions and political intrigue. ;-)

Feel free to post this message in its entirety.

Kindest regards,
Rick Bullotta
Burning Sky Software

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ulf loves his boondoggles. Nice resorts around the world, trips to the pyramids, south beach, golf courses. Must be nice to not care about how people perceive you.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Very Interesting! While everything at Invensys is in total disarray, people are getting laid off and others are waiting for the axe to fall, management is partying. I mean meeting in Aruba. Sounds like they took a page out of the AIG management handbook.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

To borrow from Wonderware's very early advertising campaign: This is NOT Wonderware.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

So, they renamed WonderWorld to OpsManage; here's the tagline for the event: "The One Multi-Discipline Event Where You Can Learn How to Empower Your Sustainable Success".

Wow! So many words to say so little. I'm guessing the original Wonderware marketeers didn't make the IOM cut...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

ABB in talks with Invensys? Keep an eye out for familiar Invensys faces in the Zurich airport.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Rick Bulotta gave a great talk at our sales conference last year, with some good ideas on things we needed to do to shore up our products and get into some new areas. Seemed like everything was rosy back then. Never heard why his sudden departure. Caught a lot of us off guard, especially because we were pretty psyched up by what we saw at the S&M conference.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

In the Provience of Massachusetts, in the tiny hamlet of Foxboro, was Camelot. Camelot was a place of hard work that was well rewarded. Then came the Black Knight that supressed the Good King Ben and his brother Rex, and clouds covered the land. A curse was apon the land, a plague began taking its toll and the population dwindled. To save themselves they left Camelot. Stay and you will be rewarded with pieces of silver (the king takes his share first) and what was left was copper pennies.

After many years the story is still the same. More serfs ben taken by the plague, crops are failing still, the Royal Vault is almost empty. Yet the King & his Court sailed to a far away place called ARUBA to hold Court.

Many time we hear the Town Crier call out, "Hear ye! Hear ye! More work for the serfs! The King will pay many pieces of silver for services." Yet we do not see pieces of silver. What we see is people of foreign lands coming to our village, and they speak in words we cannot understand. They are taking the pieces of silver.

After the new crops were planted in the spring of the year, the Lord of Camelot said, "The King will give you 3 days of rest from your labors. I know you will keep up with the work, but remember that you will only recieve 4 days wages." Yet the Lords & Ladies and Knights were provided with all the fresh meat & vegetables that could eat.

A proclammation was posted in the town square:

    All Lords, Ladies, Knights and Serfs of Camelot:

    Make yourself ready for the arrival of our good King Sudipta, on the days hence forth 24th August to 28th August, in the year of our Lord AD 1509.

    Come one, come all, and enjoy the pagentry. (No weapons allowed during the celebration).

Monday, August 24, 2009

More distressing is the lack of board oversight or intervention with this latest travesty. Clearly the board must be complicit in a plan to systematically neuter Invensys as is being executed of late. Barring pure insanity or mental illness, the only other possibility is a specific intent to pretty up the income statement to fetch a better price from an acquirer. Any intelligent buyer should be able to see through this charade!

Monday, August 24, 2009 - Re: Invensys IOM is pretty much handing over its crown jewels to Cognizant:

No one is stupid. If the deal is so bad for Invensys, why did they do it? Did anyone question that it is possible someone in Invensys made a sweet deal? A few years ago, a lot of perople made good money this way.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Read the latest Jim Pinto commentary in JimPinto.com eNews, 25 August 2009. Here are extracts:

    The news was brewing on the JimPinto.com Invensys weblogs for months before it finally happened. In mid-July they finally made the announcement - Invensys had "entered a strategic relationship with Cognizant..."

    Astute commentator Andrew Bond suggests in his "Automation Insider" that this looks as if Invensys IOM is pretty much handing over its crown jewels to Cognizant: all of the development for the former Foxboro, Triconex, SimSci-Esscor, Avantis, InFusion, Eurotherm and Wonderware. Wow!

    Back home at Wonderware in California, the source of the Invensys crown-jewels, exits are taking place at an alarming rate. Sudipta remains mum.

    After all this idiocy comes the latest laugh. They have renamed the long established and highly successful "WonderWorld" events for this year as "OpsManage09". One can only guess how the WonderWare sales channel will greet this gross lack of common sense.

    Is Ulf immune to all this noise? Or, is he just pretending to be asleep? As he was when Paulett Eberhart was creating havoc with Foxboro? The Invensys weblogs reported that he had sold off some of his stock, and that the Cognizant deal was done simply to clean up the balance-sheet prior to the sale of the company.

    Click here (Click) Invensys - Outsourcing the Crown Jewels

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Is the president of Asia who is leaving, the one they just appointed? Or is this old news? I agree that Invensys is in disarray, and will continue to be until they put the right people in place globally. That probably means, bye bye Ulf...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

It's clear the Wonderware organisation is now in total disarray. Two years of leadership by someone who has absolutely no understanding of, or passion for, the Automation Software market, is clearly beginning to show. Will there be a Phoenix?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

It seemed like one of the turning points was when Rick Bulota was forced out last year. I felt like it things started turning bad right about then. We never really heard why it all happened anyway. I always thought he and Sudipta were friends. It just felt like more than a coincidence that we started feeling changes here in Lake Forest about the same time.

Friday, August 21, 2009

I keep thinking that there's too much about to happen. Resumes are being written, projects are starting to slip, critical people are being shafted, and there's an air of uncertainty going on. In 10 days, the final employment numbers from the IDC/CTS changeover will be in place and we'll know how much knowledge has been lost by the sale - though I'm not expecting to hear this from management any time soon. But the numbers will get out, I'm sure.

You know, a year ago, Wonderware had morale. Even if idiot-managers were still being aloud to run wild, employees believed in the products, in the overall goals, and the future. We wanted to try and make WW a billion dollar company. Now, everyone is just trying not to get yelled at by some jerk above them, and put in their time until the economy picks up and its safe to move to another company. The only logical conclusion is that IOM or even Invensys is being prettied up to be sold, because the management is doing everything it can, short of actual public beatings, to discourage people from staying here. Whoever buys this will be buying a corpse because all the good people are leaving.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Nabil Kassem, President Asia Pacific & Middle East at Invensys Process Systems will be leaving Invensys. What is next?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Regarding not making long term plans at IOM - that is because the head of IOM and his reports are completely incapable of doing so. Good business people plan on both horizons, unless there is a predetermined plan to sell the company within that period. Three years is an eternity in IOM's core businesses. Most of the major new product initiatives will span 2 to 3 times that period, and the lifecycle of those products will be 3 to 4 times that period. I am very, very concerned that we have people in place at the top now that know effectively NOTHING about our business. Time to polish up the resume and get out of here when the opportunity presents itself.

Thursday, August 20, 2009 - re: long term plans:

Seems to me I heard the same thing almost twenty years ago at Foxboro from someone high up in management: "Don't make any long term plans based on your continuing employment at Foxboro". So what is new?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

If OSP can gain that type of knowledge on Invensys products and command it, why do not we all join the OSP then? It was made clear by IOM head that making long term plans (>=3 years) in this fast changing game plans is of no use. So, be prepared to be part of the OSP.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The old time Foxboro fellows will remember a similar situation. In the early 70¥s Foxboro transferred technology to a small Japanese company based in Yokohama. A few years later this small company became on of the most tough Foxboro competitors.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Regarding the OSP model, let me paint a picture of the future for you. Fast forward a couple of years, and a current Invensys executive is now CEO of one of the major outsourcing partners. This OSP now has accumulated a wealth of intellectual property knowledge as well as the effective ability to hold its partners hostage to whatever commercial structure they see fit, as the cost and impact of changing would be impractical. The OSP now also offers its services to many of Invensys' competitors, and begins to develop products of its own. This future scenario is not far fetched!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

One need only look at the problems Boeing has faced and is facing with the 787 Dreamliner to know that the OSP model on complex products cannot be as effective as in-house. Our customers could likely see a stream of quality issues, late deliveries, products that do not align with market needs, and poor support responsiveness as a result of the disintermediated value chain that Henrikson and Bhattacharya are embarking upon. The only possible explanation is a desire to improve the financial statements in the short term to facilitate a higher price in the liquidation or sale of the company.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Having worked for ICE for several years, I am dismayed that Ulf has been gullible enough to beleive in these 'Harebrained' out-sourcing initiatives. It is evident that our OSP's are transactional, unfortunately, AP & AR, particularly in Europe are more about building relationships with suppliers and customers and are less transactional than Ulf obviously believes, but hey get a good salesman and he can talk the customer in to believing anything. Invensys may be cash rich, but what happens when suppliers hold supplies, halting production, because invoices have not been posted on to the ledgers? What happens when our customers feel that Honeywell or Siemans understand their issues and can resolve them and understand them, when Invensys can't? What happens when past dues on AR increase to in excess of 15% from less than 5%, result will be a lack of confidence in the company, both from Suppliers and Customers? Is this how we build relationships with our partners?

Our OSP's are transactional, therefore if the work being passed over is not particularly transactional, what do they do - put in another process which is transactional, totally irrelevant and increasing the time for processing of invoices - good move? Surely, the time must come when Senior Management realise that out-sourcing or co-sourcing (which sounds much cosier)does not work. It was not intended as a cost saving device but to improve efficiency. How is this being measured and do we really know the costs? But in any case if it doesn't work, what do we do - we move it to another country, the way it is going Invensys will soon have world dominance in failed outsourcing.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

There are a number of people currently keeping there heads down and lips buttoned up at WW. They are getting work done as best they can and working business networks and waiting for the economy to improve a little. Expect the turnover rate to hit 30% in 2010. That assumes that WW will even remain where it is and not get split between TX and India as some on this list have suggested.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Well, darn - it's a suspenseful time for Jim Pinto to be on vacation! :) There is a cheap, petty, sensation-seeking crowd out here (like me) which wants to be able to find out what's happening at WW-LF. I do have some news, which I'll contribute in a separate note.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Does anyone knows what is main reason for winding up the Invensys development from India, and who are main catalysts and benifeciareis for this operation

Friday, July 31, 2009

At what point in time will someone with power make a real decision?

We all appreciate the reminders on how not to contract Swine Flu. What we don't appreciate is the refusal to accept the reality of the situation - HPS are strangling themselves in a muddy pool of self denial, while our competition happily skip past Bracknell, Manchester and Aberdeen with pockets stuffed full of orders from all those "loyal" customers who are fed up being treated with distain, apathy and arrogance.What's the response from the blinkered management and those covered in moss because they've not moved from their desk in last 15 years, "We're Honeywell. The stupid customer doesn't know what he's doing" Wake up! the customer knows exactly what he's doing. As St Paul found the light on the road to Damascus our faithful SESP victims have found the light of Emerson, Yoko and many others too bright to resist.

Look to the example of BSA and Honda in 1960's. BSA had had a monopoly on racing bikes for years and due to arrogance and ignorance refused to believe that the new kids on the block, Honda were a real bike company. After all what could this new shiny bike offer? Better value, better reliablity, better service - but it didn't have a BSA badge. So why would any one want it? MMM! BSA disappeared from main stream within a few years, to be resigned to the nostalgic musings of those whose memories have nothing better to think on. Sound familiar? "We're Honeywell. That's enough to get business look at our history." Sorry, no marketing, no sales strategy, no connection between service and projects (in fact exact opposite with too many piggies trying to feed from same trough), no acceptance of market demands. Take OneWireless as an example, often repeated mantra that Honeywell has the best technical wireless system is lost to an unlistening public, who cares? Customers believe the Emerson hype and sales figures, which are all that matter, proving Honeywell are so far behind it's past embarrasing. You want a wireless network for your home? Do you buy Linksys Premier Home System because it's worth £1000 to get extra 5m range and ability to connect 15 devices or do you happily accept free router from your broadband supplier?

I hope those with the ability to make changes are listening. HPS is sinking, morale is zero, sales team are demotivated -just tell the truth that there will be no comission scheme instead of pretending the figurs are still being worked. August and no targets set? Come on. Please stop pretending you are listening. Honesty can be hard to accept, but if you've not worked it out let me make it simple: Honeywell Attitude = No Customers = No Job for you and me.

Thursday, July 30, 2009 - from "Sick in Freeport":

I am completely disgusted with this company and "management" at this point. Freeport's plant 4 has always been more a place of making ones self look good and protecting ones friends rather than making parts faster, cheaper, and with better quality. Nothing has shown this more than the most recent episode, in which a team leader proved to have more power and influence than supervisors, cell leads, and the value stream manager.

This team-lead knows nothing about the machines and will admit that troubleshooting is beyond their meager skills and abilities (unless you count being recently married to a cell lead in a different plant to be a good TL ability). This person is disliked by virtually all who work with them, short of the engineers and supervisors who meet them at the bar every Thursday evening. The reason for the dislike is because the TL knows nothing about how to lead, and refuses to adapt or change to new conditions that require new strategies. The TL has been turned in to HR numerous times for offenses that would get others fired, but the drinking buddies always come to the rescue. The TL has even been turned in to EEOC, but the spin doctors were there once again. This person for years has had more authority than the off-shift supervisors, and has been able to over-ride their decisions on a frequent basis. This is the only team lead in Freeport who has their own little office area, not even close to being on the floor where they are supposed to be. The TL spends hours in this area talking to their buddies and plotting against those who are trying to actually make improvements and do their jobs. This while the operators are ignored (until they make a mistake that is, then they face the wrath of the TL, who I have seen yell at and berate operators [and even other TLs] with no repurcussions).

Last week this TL was told that they were being moved to another department in a consolodation of TLs. This came from 2 cell leaders and the value stream manager. The TL threw a fit. An operator would have been written up or walked to the door for such an episode (as we have been told numerous times). Instead, this TL was able to round up all their buddies to fight on their behalf, and they got the VSM to move another TL and leave this one in their position. Not only is this TL staying in the position now, but they are picking up another area as well. The other TL has no powerful buddies and, despite going to HR, will suffer because of it. The reason behind the change? Who knows, but the rumor is that the VSM came to believe the lies that this is the only person who can do the job. This is a flat out lie. This TL is the reason why this area has shown no improvement in 10 years or so. The numbers on paper may look like it has, but that's only because of accounting tricks pulled off by one of the buddies who helped to save the job. Other areas are suffering because of these accounting tricks.

On top of this, the VSM has lost what little respect he might have had remaining. The morale on the floor is utterly gone. There is no morale whatsoever. To mention the name of the VSM brings groans and eye rolls, and every person I know thinks he is worthless and hurting our jobs. Virtually all think that him and one of the drinking buddies (acocunting trick guy) are the direct reason for one area moving to China later this year. Nobody believes one word that comes out of his mouth, and he cannot give a simple yes or no answer to any question. He is laughed at on a daily basis, but he is hated as well for his poor leadership, double-talk, and two-faced comments.

This recent episode is not the worst episode I have seen in this company, but it is just too much on top of everything else. The announcement that the TL was moving was the only thing I have heard in the past two years that actually cheered up the operators in this area and made them feel good about their jobs and the progress the area might make in the future. Now, they are more depressed and dejected than ever before.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

As an engineer working for UOP, it's horrible to see the recent decline in quality of work due to "cheap" labor. Now, a small number of the India engineers are very good; however, a lot of them are brainess people. They can't seem to follow procedures and ask questions as needed. They make unsound assumptions and believe that anything the computer splits out must be good. What happened to understanding the technology and knowing what you are doing? It's all about pushing buttons on the computer and get an answer spit out to you. UOP's downfall will be soon. Who knows, may be the whole engineering dept will move to Delhi!

Monday, July 27, 2009

The July 24 comment once again proves that the only philosophy Cote and his bunch understand is CYA and FIFO (fit in or f--- off.) They know nothing about running a factory. Hear that? When you look at the long and growing list of blunders, bewildering decisions, contradictory directives, incredible oversights, and squandered assets (both physical and personnel) it leads to the inescapeable conclusion that actually running a factory---doing all the things normally associated with valuing customers, producing quality products, and treating employees fairly---is something they know nothing about.

Wozniak (president of ACS) is a classic example. She loves to brag about Honeywell's ability to design and manufacture sensors. But she's only a poseur, a pretender. The real truth is that she (and Cote) have effectively eviscerated that capability. There is nothing but a hollow shell of a company behind her bold pronouncements, and still she leads the company ever downwards. She clearly believes that if she has the ability to speak those words, then others must have the ability to make it so. They do, but it will never happen as long as management continues on a destructive path.

Cote and his group need to go.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The reason it went from 60 to 90 is because finance don't have a clue how things are made. All the supplier has to do is go "COD" and they will quickly move payments to 60 days or less. No, they are not going to go rushing off to get a new supplier because they don't have someone on staff to do that work. The reason for this is that Honeywell works within verticals and verticals within those verticals. All sites are vertical dependent, and then in each site the departments are all vertical dependent. So in one site the engineers don't know what the fabricators are doing and vice versa. When the logistic person in the supply chain tries to get a better supplier for a product and the benefit goes to engineering, then all 3000 managers in the supply chain find ways to get rid of the logistic person. You would think that its a benefit to the whole site and Honeywell as a whole. But alas everything must be of benefit to the cost center that pays your salary. All you have to do is leave a paper trail that looks like your vertical is saving and they leave you alone.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009 - To: Outside supplier - PO's from 60 to 90 days:

I think that you know how to resolve this problem as a supplier. Just jack up your future quotations up by 2% to cover your financing/carrying costs. You are lucky you got 90 days. Our site would quote 60 but pay in 120 days. Contractors were pretty pissed about this and, after awhile, would put the Honeywell site on COD. This is one of Honeywell's dirty little embarrasing secrets.

Oh, and by the way...watch out for the national agreements. To my experience, national contract are always more expensive to Honeywell than what you can get locally through your own purchasing agreements. So if you are able to quote a national agreement you can make a significant premium - with little extra effort.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

It isn't much better as an outside supplier. Purchasing's latest way of sticking it to us is by changing the payment terms on existing PO's from 60 to 90 days, after the job is delivered and invoiced! Strange place to do work for.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I think that "Animal Farm" would be a more appropriate book choice.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Have you read "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair? We are reliving it at Honeywell.

Friday, July 17, 2009 - RE Wednesday July 15th, blog:

You sound like a guy who is not under threat of losing his job because your boss has decided to use engineering skills from India. Well listen up, those people earn under $20K a year and do not get paid over time even though they might do 18 hour days. And your bosses are charging the customer at your hourly rate. How ethical is that?

Perhaps you will change your mind when you are standing in the unemployed line, while your job is being done by someone from India, and your boss is getting paid incentive based on the difference between the two salaries.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I have worked in a number of companies before joining Honeywell UK some years ago. In all my years in working in a multi national enviroment, I have never met such a bunch of backside kissing, box ticking management before. We go through pointless exercises, where even the local management see absolutely no benefit, because they have been instructed to do so from the senior management in Europe. Even local, relatively low level, appointemnts have to be agreed right at the top of the food chain.

Management are constantly chasing the monthly figures, custmer service comes a very poor second. Management on day to day decision is taken from the senior management in Europe, and the UK management just do as they are told. I suppose it's a good excuse that they are "Just following orders" - now where have we heard that before? Morale is very low, but the comittment to delivering a quality product from the guys at the coal face is second to none. Ask anyone who has to do an honest days work what the situation is at Honeywell. The truth will be out!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Ref: "If there is a perverse sort of silver lining in these clouds, it is the fact that the mind-boggling arrogance, sense of entitlement and racist condescension that was seemingly bred into most North American and Western European (especially British) engineers has really taken a hit."

I'm not the blogger who made the '3rd world engineers' comment, but I am a white, North American engineer who resents comments such as yours. I am objective enough to recognize and appreciate engineering talent and ability regardless of its country of origin. Any engineer who can make a positive contribution to a project is welcome, as far as I'm concerned.

However, Honeywell seems to have taken the approach of hiring inexperienced engineers straight out of college, giving them fancy titles, and calling them 'experts'. If you don't like the term '3rd world', then let's call them 'Chinese'. You want to talk about arrogance, entitlement, and condescension? I've worked numerous projects with these folks. Without any consideration towards actual experience and ability, Honeywell management has placed project after project squarely in their laps. And without exception, the advice and guidance offered has been ignored to the point where each project has serious technical flaws, is behind schedule, and requires extensive intervention(trips) from North American engineers in an attempt to salvage a small fraction of the project's original goals.

I don't fault the Chinese engineers for their inexperience. But I do fault them for their arrogance and condescension towards more experienced western engineers. Then again, what do you expect when you tell a newly minted grad that he's an expert?

Most of all I fault Honeywell management for their incredible stupidity to assume a poorly thought out plan such as this could possibly work.

Along the way I've learned to avoid generalizations, something which you lot and your sunshine comment might consider.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009 - Re the comment from June 9, 2009, ending with "Good luck with your 3rd world engineers."

Goodness knows that plenty of mistakes have been, and continue to be made by short-sighted people obsessed with irrelevant Six Sigma projects and other time-wasting initiatives. However, that final comment about √¨3rd world engineers√ģ really struck a nerve with me (and I'm neither an engineer nor from the "3rd world").

If there is a perverse sort of silver lining in these clouds, it is the fact that the mind-boggling arrogance, sense of entitlement and racist condescension that was seemingly bred into most North American and Western European (especially British) engineers has really taken a hit.

You lot are learning the hard way that the world actually doesnít revolve around you, and that brilliant rays of sunshine actually donít emanate from your behinds. Good on you.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

It would be most refreshing if the board of directors would get off their dead a$$es and take action before this company is completely down the pipes. Unfortunately, their past history of inactivity provides little reason for optimism. Does the BOD really do anything? Are they really just a rubber stamp for Cote? Or is it just a good old boys (and girls) club? Once you sit on enough BOD's for various corporations you no longer have to work for a living? How can a sane person watch what's happening and do nothing?

Monday, July 13, 2009

If you look at how communications works in its various modes, only 7% of people actually read the written material - like the pretty colored charts on the shop floor. This is even worse if the charts are produced by people other than those that are directly involved. The committment becomes detatched and it becomes a "we" - "they" situation. The Toyota system does not work like that.

There is another reason that the imported Toyota system does not work at Honeywell. Toyota makes a commitment to its employees that if they have a great idea that will not put them out of a job, they are redeployed & retrained into another position where the same great thinking can be used again. This is a powerful motivator. At Honeywell you never hear this committment from Cote. I have heard it on videotape from Toyota. Cote is always about "responding to market conditions" (code for lowest marginal cost). So great ideas most likely result in your outsourcing - as we see from many of the blog entries.

Bosidy was the last one to come close to ensuring your job when he was rolling out Total Quality. I know that my TQ Facilitator had Bosidy's direct private number to take care of any Manager's resistance to the process - and he used it!. But this too has failed under Cote stand backish approach. HOS and Six Sigma have been moved to number 5 in Cote's Five Inituitives - an after thought. Yes, there have been programs and ad posters on site promoting growth idesa - but most sites can't compete at that level.

As far as capital is comcerned. The process is terrible. It is more about how classy and smooth-tongued you are to make an arguement to the VP. This is the problem. The VP's are setting themselves up as the center of the universe - especially in Aerospace ISC. All attention is directed at them by site managers. So the sites see this more as a game of winning the VPs favor at any cost to get the capital funds. The capital reviews are usually setup up as a round-robin of conference calls.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I have worked in Freeport, IL (home of the old Micro Switch, and now part of ACS) since the early '90s. The longer I work here, the more I see the complete lack of leadership. Leadership, by definition, means to lead. The definition of leadership in this part of the company is to lie, cheat, and manipulate people and numbers to make it look like they are doing their jobs.

HOS was put in place to take advantage of the knowledge of the factory employees who actually perform the tasks. This was taken from Toyota, which has used it for many decades to be one of the world's leaders in efficiency and reducing waste. Management has turned this into a visual system to show their bosses something pretty to look at when they visit Freeport once or twice a year. Virtually no improvement has been shown in the majority of areas that have implemented HOS. This is becaue management ignores the workers who know what works and what doesn't work, and because they show no faith in the system because they do not enforce it. What could be a valuable tool to improve efficiency is instead an expensive waste of time that results in some pretty colored papers and charts that nobody looks at or uses.

Some of the areas in Freeport are run by virtual cartels of 'drinking buddies' who oust anybody who disagrees with them, and who continue to promote their own who are not qualified for the positions. Truthfully, I would not put most of the 'leaders' I work with in charge of a McDonald's, let alone a large manufacturing company or a department.

Many of the factory jobs in Freeport plant 4 are now in the process of moving to China and Mexico. These jobs are not moving because the employees can't compete with overseas workers. These jobs are moving because management failed to provide the equipment and support needed to improve output and reduce costs. For too many years, management routinely denied requests for automated equipment, for requests to update old equipment, and just about any other improvement that would cost money or take some sort of effort on their part. Now, a multitude of highly skilled and dedicated workers are being let go so that cheaper labor can build the parts. The sad part is that the managers who denied the improvement requests that probably would have kept the jobs here are keeping their jobs. Many of them will be promoted eventually, allowing them to destroy ever larger parts of the company in their zeal to make themselves look better.

It's mind bogling to think what this company could be like if the leaders actually knew how to lead.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Concerning the Honeywell weblog. Please, always remember that Honeywell is not really Honeywell anymore. It is Allied Signal hiding under the name Honeywell. And it is the Allied Signal mentality that is ruining not only Honeywell operations, but also the Honeywell name.

Friday, July 10, 2009 - To: "Having been with Honeywell here in the UK for 5 years or so...."

This summary is bang on! If you didn't say UK, one could have thought that you were writing about North America. Cote has presided on a stock loss from over $60 to under $30 per share. You can't blame this loss only on the recession. The lapdog Board of Directors needs to get out of the swine-fat feeding pen. Honeywell needs to be broken up for improved shareholder value. This type of breakup is already being discussed at GE because of the fiasco that GE Capital brought upon the company.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Having been with Honeywell here in the UK for 5 years or so, I think have sufficient knowledge and experience to post a fairly accurate description of life in HPS today.

In all my working career I have never seen such a disjointed company where the "silo" mentality is as prevalent and entrenched as here in HPS. Operations √Ī sales √Ī project management - HR, all have there own agendas and management structures; no big picture and no strategic thinking; and supported by an inept, incompetent and aloof management who are in the main inward-looking and provide little or no guidance. They are incapable of leadership, don't fundamentally understand what it is we actually do, and have lost the respect of the majority of staff. In fact, I would go as far as saying that swine flu is more popular than this lot.

A good working relationship between sales and operations, which is fundamental to the success of any company, to use a management term is "challenging". Indeed, they are virtually at war in some affiliates. For those HR and management people who are reading this post, you are an overhead - you are neither chargeable to the customer i.e. engineering, nor do you bring in orders i.e. sales; instead you just sit in your ivory towers, presenting other people's work and achievements as your own, writing endless, pointless e-mails instead of actually doing something, and telling each other what a wonderful job you are doing √Ī it's a club. Simple as that!

The hurdles in place (processes as they are called) are now so numerous, complex and convoluted that getting anything done has become virtually impossible.

We are losing projects in our key accounts. Winning new business is becoming increasingly difficult, with Emerson and Yokogawa in particular being aggressive commercially, and being prepared to work with customers in a collaborative approach. Much of the fault for this lies with senior Honeywell HPS management who, quite frankly, are more concerned about instigating new processes, risk avoidance, cost cutting, centralizing decision making. These are all issues which impact customer responsiveness and agility, at a time in the economy when Honeywell needs to be building bridges with its customers instead of burning them.

"Growing the business" amounts to putting up prices by a disproportionate percentage, year on year, to milk the existing customers (using exchange rate fluctuations as cover) whilst employing the Honeywell Process Development pretty much universally despised by all (except the management and their toadies) to either minimize pay rises or used to justify redundancies. Management who have personal issues with employees will target those individuals using the HPD process. When redundancies are planned, guess who get Riffed first? There are many, many examples.

Recent Low Lights

  • All Band 4 & Band 5 staff will receive a 0% pay rise this year regardless of 2008 performance. For the remaining employees most will consider themselves to be lucky for any sort of merit increase.
  • People asked to take upto 10 days additional unpaid leave
  • Removal of rule of 82
  • Fuel card removed and a compensation scheme put in place that is nothing short of a disgrace and being told utter lies by this management.
Very, very few Honeywell employees are customer-facing. Most account managers are now so burdened complying with process and dealing with the utter nonsense that pervades this company at every level, that even these guys have only minimal customer-facing time.

The net result is that a good number of Honeywell employees have forgotten who actually pays their salary. For clarity, it's not Honeywell - who are nothing more than middle men in the process - but in fact every single customer who places orders each and every year. Until the management and senior staff of this company realize this, the continued decline of this once great company, which these people are presiding over, will continue.

The cost structure is far, far too high. Honeywell has too many non-contributors. The number of utterly pointless internal positions that contribute absolutely nothing to this company is beyond belief). There is too little staff with a "can do" attitude with only minimal customer focus. But for this too change will require many of these people who have directly contributed to this mess and instigated this structure to fall on their swords. So expect no change there.

There are many, many outstanding employees in this company, employees who have carried this company for many many years in spite of its management defencies. Too many people have been marginalized and treated with utter contempt, to a point that they have simply lost any respect for the management of this company. Morale within the staff is at an all time low, and has gone from frustration to disbelief to anger and now contempt. The management, in conjunction with HR, continues to destroy and act in a manner that some would describe as underhanded, and others would describe as shameful. As this behavior continues, productivity continues to fall, and management continue to send out e-mails about "Growth Strategy" and "customer focus" and "doing a great job" and hold monthly "Town Hall Meetings". It's like something straight out of a Dilbert cartoon. But it's not funny its actually tragic.

We, here in HPS UK, considered ourselves to be one of the best Honeywell affiliates, not just in EMEA but also globally. Now we are being destroyed bit-by-bit, and the sad thing is that management don't get it. In short, the lack of any leadership, joined up thinking and too many personal agendas at local level are crippling us. This is combined with HR (opps, sorry Business Partners) who recently employed a certain person who has said quite openly that they enjoyed "sacking people" and quotes the word FIFO √Ī Fit In or F&!k Off. What is happening is nothing short of shameful.

And for those senior management within the UK - if you are reading this and you genuinely want to make things better, come down and speak with the guys who are at the front-end and listen to what they have to say. But please - without the Business Partners. But sadly, you almost certainly won't. But, in the unlikely event that you do, you will probably send a middle ranking managers, who will filter and distort the facts to suit there own agendas. And the mess we are currently in will continue.

Friday, July 10, 2009 - from a lifetime Honeywell employee:

Ethics - what a joke! Honeywell is just a mass of defective upper managers. They don't have an ounce of caring for employees. One of the worst excuses for a leader takes advantage of everyone; Honeywell,employees, customers, contracts, for his own gain. Well that is a model for most HI upper managers; fire all your senior people so they are not a threat to uncover your lack of knowledge. Human resources is just Honeywell's legal system, and should never be trusted.

Thursday, July 9, 2009 - To: "just found this site and it breaks my heart...in the UK...":

Don't feel too bad. I was around at the time that Yeovil people were reduced by 1/3 or more. Managers at the time were affectionately named the "Butchers of Honeywell" - similar to the nut bag "Neutron Jack". It was unjustified to call the individuals this at a personal level since we knew their history, which was positive and strong - but it's what evil Honeywell made them do. It's like mixing matter and anti-matter. Because they could not reconcile the conflict, they couldn't live with the evil Honeywell, so they left.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

At Honeywell in Houston, it's sad to see the the organization has become so completely gutted that it is now a hollow shell with only marginal technical capability. If a specialist is needed, they fly them in from India. On one project I worked on, almost all technical staff were brougt from India to do the technical work such as configuration and graphics development. It's a shame that Honeywell management lies to the U.S immigration service saying that the workers are being brought in as 'management'. Perhaps Cote could be replaced by a far less expensive Indian 'Manager'.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I just found this site and it breaks my heart to read it. I worked for Honeywell industrial in the UK and Europe from 1976 until I got fired in 2001 after the Allied merger. It used to be a great company and people were proud to work for it. "Integrity" was an important value, as was customer service, and it was a brilliant place to work with brilliant people to work with. I'm now reading about unmotivated, disenfranchised workers and an uncaring fatcat management. Sad. Very, very sad. I shouldn't care any more, but I do. Time I got a life.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Honeywell has been using the bad economy as a cover to move manufacturing from North America to Asia and Mexico. Whenever Honeywell has had layoffs everyone assumed it was the bad economy and nobody has dug any deeper. We have had plans for moving the product lines for a few years and the only reason why we didn't do it was because of the adverse publicity of laying off tonnes of people in a good economy. That sort of move invites awkward questions. The moment the economy tanked we saw the opportunity to move the lines, offload thousands of workers and use the bad economy as an excuse. We are working hard and fast to get the product lines moved before the economy picks up again.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

June 18 will be the day Q3 furloughs are announced for SM, as reported from the people in the trenches at the analyst described "jewel" in the SM crown, UOP. I can understand it being necessary to prevent job losses, but it's hard to swallow, considering that Morristown is still sitting pretty. I doubt Diamond Dave cares; he just wants us to swallow. Long live the King.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Here is the fall of Caesar, compared to the impending fall of Honeywell (Cote), as spoken by Shakespeare....

    Caesar: Doth not Brutus bootless kneel?
    Casca: Speak, hands, for me! ....
    Caesar: Et tu, Brute? Then fall, Caesar!
    Cinna: Liberty! Freedom! Tyranny is dead!
    Freedom at last!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009 - Re: "Maybe the really upper people can take pay cuts of 20% or more" ...

This writer is bang on. Leadership starts at the top. But there are really no Leaders at Honeywell - not in the Poter sense. They are all just detail Managers - and really insecure Managers, at that. A Leader, to me, sets the stage and has the charisma, through his words and tone alone, to engage my passion and emotion where I will pickup the sword and charge ahead for him/her. It is powerful. Don't appeal to my logic. This will never work. Logic is just a method used to justify a decision that has already been made through emotion.

There actually have been a few of these passionate Leaders at Honeywell through the years, but to the last person, they have all left. It makes me angry that they did not stay for an extended period to make a lasting difference.

There is no such thing as a Leader at Honeywell today - inspite of all the rhetoric and creative titles. I have no idea on how many times I have been on the phone with several layers of Management, including VP's, going over the same spreadsheet or powerpoint on some minuscule detail that should always be irrelevant to a VP - just to micro manage and make sure that it is politically correct for him/her to present to the next level. How shallow can the upper layers be? Honestly, it is more painful on the nerves than the Chinese water torture. But they do it again and again and again! If you object in the slighest, you are labled as uncooperative. These are all signs of excessive control. It's a condition that kills innovation and kills caring.

This was not as it used to be. It reflect the level of lack of confidence that is rising. It is growing like a cancer. Without confidence and trust, the Captain can yell out all the orders he wants, but the troops will listen only because they do not want to end up in the hole (or poor performance review).

I know that these are tough economic times. I follow the details daily and research material. So, it is easy for someone to frame their response to this within the difficult economic events of the last six months. But look at the nature of the postings over a number of years. The seeds of discontentment have been planted long ago. The tree is now bearing the sour fruit.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I guess those of us who have to retire to keep our retiree medical benefits are doing it for reasons of health. When I signed the binding contract for the old S&C pension, I agreed to take less money for guaranteed retiree insurance.

Sensing & Control was a great division of Honeywell. Upper management ran the business profitably and treated the employees with fairness and integrity. Apparently the Jack Welch school of management does not teach this.

Senior management, just remember: What we senior engineers know about the business and products we worked with will leave with us. Good luck with your 3rd world engineers.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

So Jack Bolick retired for "health reason"; some yes-man made a big issue about Jack's health. Evidently, Jack was just sick of Honeywell, and like everyone else that has left, their health improves drastically a few weeks later. Jack is now healthy enough to be CEO of Adura Technologies. It will just be a matter of time before he ships work off to India, like the good Dave-Cote student that he is.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Strategy? The only strategy I see is that "Employees are our best asset" and "We have to get rid of out best assets to be successful". Honeywell has been on a one-track mindset since the downturn; "cut costs" is all they are doing. There is no thought behind it, no other concepts, and no other plans. Just "cut costs, cut costs, cut costs". That is not a strategy, it is a statement. A business is a very complex thing filled with little details that all interact. By focusing on just one detail you end up upsetting the balance and screwing up the rest of it. Cutting costs is a good move and it will help, but it is only one of many things that can be done. It gives immediate results and can be plotted on a spreadsheet which is why Honeywell uses it. Anything more in-depth and complex than that requires understanding the business.

Honeywell is very top-heavy and far too authoritarian for its own good. We have people making decision on things they have never been involved in before. This is the first place I have worked where my immediate boss could not do my job. In fact, my immediate boss would not know where to begin to try and do my job. My bosses boss has even less idea and the further up you go the more they are divorced from the process. However, people 2 or 3 levels above me are making decisions on technical issues that they do not understand. I have absolutely no input on the matter which means I get the blame when a really bad idea does not work.

What we need to do is to implement the 10% salary cut across the board, so that management can show their solidarity. Maybe the really upper people can do 20% or more. After all, will Dave Cote go under if he only has $20 million per year? He managed it a year or two ago. Anyway, the pay cut across the board would help, followed by a streamlining of supervisory positions. Do we really need 3 managers for 9 people? And 1 super-manager for 3 managers? Then we need to bring the "technical or detailed" decision-making back down the chain. Upper management can do what they do best, steer the ship in the right direction, but let us workers handle boiler pressure and hull stress.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009 - RE: "We have not had any competitive advantage since Dave Cote joined.":

At the risk of putting too fine of a point on the subject, I think many areas of the company *had* a competitive advantage when Cote joined. Likewise, I think many of the companies since acquired *had* a competitive advantage also. However, in both cases and under Cote's "leadership" the competitive advantages have been lost as knowledge and resources have been squandered in the rush to move production overseas. It's no longer about building and selling quality products, it's about achieving some arbitrarily set number at the risk of whatever it takes.

Monday, June 8, 2009

We know that management reads comments on this site; the sad part is when they add comments of thier own, they still speak in Dave Cote's voice. We, the people, listen to the same load of garbage, so when some management person adds comments, you pick it up like radar.

The way to make money is to sell something. Too bad the management have not got this yet. Moving numbers around a spreadsheet will not improve the bottom line, no matter how fancy the spreadsheet is. Name brands are no longer the big selling feature; quality and price is what the customers want, and the Honeywell brand name is slowly starting to stink. We have lost quality in the pursuit of making the quarterly numbers. Somebody needs to tell people like Dave Cote and his buddies in GM, and other so called big business, that their time has come to take their big millions and go retire somewhere, and let's get someone in who knows how to run a business.

If there is anyone out there that thinks the current management is going to pull this company out of the downward spiral it is in, they are more stupid than the management, whose feet they are kissing. The main reason management can't share their "strategies" is because they don't have any - not because of the "potential competitive advantage". We have not had any competitive advantage since Dave Cote joined.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Yes, they are two different universes. The fact is that the company must be run by the numbers, not emotion... and labor is a cost. Companies have to relentlessly push out/down costs while increasing revenues - these are direct conflicts (you can't increase sales and not increase costs). This is probably why it make very little sense to most people. Management is making tough decisions and really trying to be creative to save headcount for the upswing in the economy. It certainly seems heartless... I'm not in that management chain, I'm a worker, but I do have a little feel about how business works. There is a clear division in running the business and producing in the business. The workers will feel the pinch every time these decisions are deployed.

Now, being a cost leader is NOT a sustainable competitive advantage. Cote and others simply MUST put more effort (or evidence of at least trying) into pursuing the other avenues to build and sustain competitive advantage. But it's going to be tough to do that in a multi-national conglomerate... if not cost leadership, then generically (per Porter) it needs to be: a/ Differentiation or b/ Focus (niche markets or product lines). That's going to be tough - again due to too broad of a product mixes and market range.

Cote and company will need to set up some very specific strategies (like dumping products/lines... which might appear to be simply layoffs when they are not). But be forewarned, they will not be able to share those strategies as that will kill any potential competitive advantage. You can't give away the secret recipe! But cost-leadership is generic, everyone is doing it, and there is nothing secret about it. And THAT strategy is really the only one you are going to easily see. You will have to just understand and deal with that. Sucks when it's you, though.... If REALLY you want to see a better picture of what they are doing, dig through the financials (look at % changes YoY, changes in margins, capitalization strategies, cash flows, etc for each segment as well as the business in total).

It *would* be very nice to see some concern for managing the gray space between running the company and producing for the company. Solidarity would go a long way at this point.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I work for ACS. We are having multiple furloughs (unpaid time off) so they can make our numbers. We made 10% growth instead of 15% so we are most likely having another week in December unpaid. We are currently moving multiple products from Juarez to China to save money. I believe it is time to move on to another company.

Friday, June 5, 2009 - On the topic: Great example of the people making decisions - ISC:

I'm not surprised how ISC conducts itself. VP Aftermarket Services and VP Integrated Supply Chain are known for this behaviour. They are also known for closing sites and exporting jobs to Asia and gutting the USA. These guys also use the Media Relations puppet. He uses the same tired text for all the closures. How uncreative!

Friday, June 5, 2009

I am not surprised that Dave Cote doesn't show solidarity with the workers. I met him once a few years ago and I thought to myself "what an a**hole". The only person he cares about is himself. He would fire the whole company in an instant if it meant him getting a bigger bonus. He sees himself as some sort of CEO and god-like figure in the world of management. If he had another life he would fall in love with himself. The people hanging round him were like sheep, laughing when he laughed and agreeing with his every word. It was such a sad sight to see. If he is the sort of person that being a CEO turns you into, then I do not want to go any further up the management chain.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Cote and the average US Honeywell worker live in two different universes. The workers believe their jobs are to excell at manufacturing products or providing services. Cote couldn't care less about this. His job is about taking over other companies, exploiting their assets to make the numbers, and then sending the jobs overseas. One domino after another.

I, too, keep waiting for any indication from Cote of solidarity with the employees. But I'm certain now that it will never happen. He views himself as a tiger in a company filled with mice. If you think for an instant that there is any care or concern for Joe Average, you're wrong. Your job is just another potential asset for him to use on his way towards making the numbers, and the heck with jobs and careers.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Great example of the people making decisions. Corporate policy calls for a prorated bouns based on the number of months worked prior to retirement. Prior to retiring in Nov 08 I contacted HR and they confirmed I would be paid for the 11 months based on the formula in the policy. After I retired they decided not to pay the bonus to retirees, however Cote got his at $3.5M. this is paid out of a pool of money that is set aside to be devided between all "Participants". Note the response "lack of Budget" must mean more was needed for Cote.

I have reviewed the concerns you have raised regarding the decision not to pay you MIP in March 2009. While I appreciate your disappointment, as you are aware, consistent with the plan documents, while you were eligible for consideration for payout, there is simply no guarantee of a MIP payout for any employee. For the 2008 MIP plan year, Aerospace ISC in the U.S. decided not to pay individuals who were not active at the time of payout due to limited funding. This decision was entirely within the ISC Functionís discretion and the decision is final.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Utter B.S. regarding Wonderware staying out of MES and other areas like EMI. Since the early 90's, there was significant money to be made, and we were in the best position to capture it due to our very strong channel. However,the head of development continually stood in the way of progress in these areas, instead focusing on the money pit we know today as Archestra.

The Cimnet acquisition is paying for itself just fine, thank you. The numbers are strong, better than expected, and Factelligence and EPM have helped secure/protect our strategic position in a number of very large accounts, where our HMI/SCADA business was definitely in jeopardy.

Monday, March 30, 2009

...and again on the need for measuring solutions. I pointed out the acquisition of Cimnet: one solution there would be "do not waste $23 million". It's not that people do not have better ideas, it's the fact that you cannot prevent something that you do not expect to happen. A solution would be to stick with what you do best and what got you some success in the past: data acquisition, control, etc. Do not try to play in the SAP, Oracle, IBM sandboxes. Or, at least, play along not against. So, sometimes it's just too late...

Monday, March 30, 2009

To the "bean counter"...yes, of course, the financial metrics are what will determine the measure of success. But the problem to date is that Invensys leadership has created endless proforma financials without a coherent strategy to actually achieve them. Anyone can create an Excel spreadsheet to present during STRAP/AOP that says anything they like. Actually executing on a multiyear growth plan requires a very different set of skills. Most of the decisions we are making now are based on a quarter or two lookahead, not a multiyear perspective. And we will pay the price for this shortsightedness if we do not recognize it and address it. You can reduce costs all the way to zero with the stroke of a pen, but you will be out of business in a week.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Foxboro released RBATCH-II batch product on SOLARIS-8. There is no information about future of RBATCH-II

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The reason I call some bloggers malcontents is because I read a lot of griping but no solutions. Some of you will have access to the market and financial figures needed to sketch out a workable alternative. What are the elements of a realistic alternative strategy? What should the company look like in 5 years? What turnover level? EBITDA? How much capital will be required? How would you raise the capital? Post it on the blog and forward it to the incoming chairman. Anybody can criticize. But it take some thought and some quantification to submit a realistic alternative strategy.

Unfortunately many of the √¨malcontents√ģ that write on this blog think that the company exist to employ them. When is the last time Invensys paid a dividend? The employees of Invensys are hired to create wealth for the shareholders.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Wonderware's acquisitions were forced by the inability to create and new and interesting products organically. Nothing new has really come out since InTouch in the early 1990's. As mentioned many times, we need a change in the development leadership; they rule with fear and have influenced our development and product directions down numerous dead ends and failed to let us move into new high value areas.

Instead we spent a boatload of money on Archestra and App Server and were forced to spend more tens of millions on acquisitions because we were caught with our pants down when the competitors came up with new stuff. Anyone who dares to publicly question our misguided directions does not last long. We lost some good people in the past year who really could have made a difference.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Invensys is out of touch. After the big consolidation (again, an "inward" driven strategy more than a new proposition for the market) the goal has been stated to be manufacturing execution and enterprise interoperability.

Wonderware spent 20+ million dollar to buy yet another MES product (in the last few years, we saw them changing from InTrack, to PEM, to MEM, to Factelligence), which point blank DOES NOT work. As it happened for their batch software, this is not yet integrated to the ArchestrA elephant (no matter what they'll tell you). And in investing all this money on something that clearly is not in high demand in this economy, nor it will be as the downturn ends. The offering is clueless, and often carried out by incompetent representatives. And yet you see this some-few-hundred-people outfit behave as arrogantly as they were Honeywell or Emerson.

Saturday, March 28, 2009 - for the "very senior position with Siebe" who called this a blog of "malcontents":

How do you expect there not to be malcontents, when management continues to make moves that negatively effect the organization and the ability to serve the customers and compete?

Ulf has made numerous dreadful decisions, including hiring Paulette and allowing HQ to be moved to Dallas, hiring people like Lance Vandenbrook to lead sales, and dismissing valuable, experienced people who understand the industry and have valuable expertise, as well as customer's trust and relationships.

IPS is becoming completely irrelevant to the customers and the industry. The focus under current management is entirely internal. And worst of all, they can't even execute the internal focus well. Customers don't care or look to IPS for value anymore!

Friday, March 27, 2009

I stand by my comments about uninformed malcontents. I was with Siebe in a very senior position. I happen to know that Yurko (and Miller) deserves all the blame that is meted to him, and then some. Siebe used to play the game of USGAAP vs UKGAAP. In Windsor there was one senior accountant that had the "totem pole" to keep track of all the accounting irregularities, particularly sale-and-lease-back, and acquisitions. When the rules finally caught up with Yurko, he was forced out! Stephens left in disgust in 1998, and Marshall should have acted earlier. But Siebe was riding high on contrived financial statements. To put it in perspective: there was 50% between the financial results prepared according to UKGAAP and USGAAP prepared for a syndicated bank loan!

Ulf may not be very good, but the value of the shares collapsed well before he came to Invensys. I have my own thoughts on the matter. But I have not seen a reasonable rationale offered on this blog that explains any alternative strategy and how it can be achieved.

Friday, March 27, 2009

To answer some of blogger's questions: Invensys' market share in process (according to latest ARC analysis) is declining, to an "also-ran" position. Cash position is misleading when you consider the pension liability. It should be put to work. Why must Ulf go? Because he has no plan for moving the company forward and has made many poor key personnel choices. He was a fine choice for restoring financial stability, but now a new leader is needed.

Friday, March 27, 2009 - to the blogger who referred to "uninformed malcontents", and asks "why Ulf should go":

I find the comments unintentionally hilarious. Why would there be negative comments about a company that is less then 20% the total size it was just 7 years ago with less then a quarter of the total employees? I just can't imagine.

This is a company that was in financial trouble when the market was booming. Does that strike anybody as a well managed company? I know Allen Yurko gets bad press in this column, for some bad decisions that were actually pushed by the the unlamented Lord Marshall, but Invensys is the classic case where a CEO that was knowledgeable but in trouble is replaced by a CEO, Rick H, who knew absolutely nothing and made things much worse.

There are still some great people at IPS and Rail but the numbers drop every month and the average age increases. Too many are just trying to make it to retirement age before the inevitable take over or collapse. There are no real malcontents - just realists.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I have been monitoring this weblog for a few years. It seem to me that the main contributors are uninformed malcontents. Only one entry for the last several months seems to have any interesting information that is not complaining without any facts. That is the recent entry about the attempt to divest Eliwell. Does anybody have confirmation of that? How do we stack up vs competition in the process control industry on market share? We seem to have a lot of cash in the bank, who are the fools that say Ulf should go? Why?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Big ISYS selloff today. Down 7% while the FTSE 100 held its own, on nearly twice the usual volume, yet no news. What might this obviously pre-informed movement portend?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I do enjoy reading this blog as it genuinely proves and reassures me that I made the right decision to leave Invensys. Having kept in touch with many of my fellow workers from the IPS glory days, I find that the cream of the group have moved on to greener pastures. Let me tell you that there is a need for the expertise of the better people left at Invensys and if you are going to leave, now is the time. The smarter, more aggressive companies are positioning themselves for the inevitable recovery, and those that do, will ride the next economic boom, grow marketshare and thrive. From what I am hearing and seeing, inwardly focused companies like Invensys, who do not understand who ultimately pays the bills, will not survive.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Yes, jobs are scarce. And yes, we need to be grateful we have them. But how would you feel when your job or your office-mates' jobs are given to completely and totally unqualified people in another part of the world purely because they are cheaper and are in a favorite location of your boss? And what does this do for our customers? Nothing good, that is for sure. Then we outsource development to people, also friends of the boss, that are not competent and we have to handhold and rewrite most of their work. Our leadership is free to do as they wish, but they need to put the customer in the picture as well when considering the impact of their choices. They also need to think about the true savings, when the quality of the work is less then acceptable and onshore resources are still needed to fix it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Jobs for engineers are scarce, particularly middle aged ones. It may upset your pride or sense of justice to go to work at IPS every day. But consider the alternative ... no job. It's not a vocation or even a career, but it pays the bills. Find other things in life to satisfy your higher intellectual or spiritual needs. Just fake it and make it. Do whatever you have to do to keep your job and keep taking their money as long as you can. The mission is personal survival, not the glory of IPS and its executives and stockholders.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

One time many years ago, my father went on a deep sea fishing trip with a lot of the senior management of his company. When the boat returned to shore many hours later, the unloved CEO had myteriously disappeared - overboard they presume. He was never found and never heard from again. A new, well liked leader took his place and the company turned itself around and became very prosperous. If I told you the name of this company, you would all know it. Perhaps IPS needs to arrange a fishing trip...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Stop crying! You've got exactly what you deserved. Did you do something when you saw the wrong decisions and/or actions? Invensys has plenty of 'yes men', and I'm not sure it's only at the top management level!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Folks, politics is an inevitable part of any large group of people, whether in a community, a company, or a country. That said, one difference inside of a company is that you don't have a vote and you can't throw your leaders out of office if they're doing you wrong (nor can you impeach them for ethics violations).

It is really hard to suck it up and keep your mouth shut when you see things that make you cringe. But in this day and age, if you want to keep your job, sometimes you have to internalize it. No wonder people go 'postal' at times.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

When I started here 6 years ago this was a company where almost everyone was happy to be at work. There was a real sense of community, and trust. Now, it's turned into everyone for themselves. This isn't the same company anymore, and it's sad. I agree with the last post: if we admit there is a problem we can weed it out and work on it. However, in the current culture of so-called "open door policies", saying you think there is a problem lands you in the unemployment line. Until some real change starts at the top, we cannot fix anything down here in the trenches.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I think the rose-colored-glasses blogger is missing the point. We could be a lot better if there was a change in leadership at a number of places in the company. We want it to be better, we really do. The politics and poor decision making that are being made at that level make it really hard to get excited about coming to work. Invensys can be a great place to work again and a vibrant, growing, healthy company. It just isn't that now.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Making headway? I guess you haven't been watching the DCS market share reports. We have a lot of work to do, and the first step (like an alcoholic) is admitting that we have problems. Then we can fix them.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Invensys is making headway as a company. Negative comments that are baseless and border on character assasination are just not acceptable. If anyone is unhappy with the company, they should just leave, rather than perpetuate such a negative spirit. Now is the time for everyone to work together to make Invensys a better company, not tear it down further.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Regarding the post about Ulf leaving - let us certainly hope that he takes his 'chosen ones' with him. Not exactly a team that demonstrates or lives the 'Invensys Values' we are asked to live up to.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

With a little luck, Ulf will be gone soon and the company can move forward on its path to having a future, not just a past. And with his departure, hopefully a new leader will clean house and get Invensys back on track.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Earlier this year, a large UK based private equity firm has offered to acquire CONTROLS for a very attractive price. Ulf has turned down the offer. Sources inside Invensys believe that going forward, Invensys will need the EBITDA from CONTROLS to shore up the other businesses. According to Business Week in September 2008, "banking sources" valued the CONTROLS business between £400-500 million. According to this inside source, Invensys contacted Carel with the view of selling Eliwell during May/June 2008. (Apparently the asking price was too high for Carel, since no deal was concluded)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Don't forget Invensys Rail Group! Some of the user interface technology in IRG is much more capable than the corresponding WonderWare/InFusion offerings. There is much to learn between the different businesses, though large egos stand in the way.

Monday, March 9, 2009

There are other parts of Invensys doing much more interesting things: See Virtual plant at : http://ips.virtual-plant.com

Thursday, March 5, 2009

It would be wrong to assume that all the software needs to come from Wonderware. There are other parts of Invensys doing much more interesting things.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

In theory good, but in practice it will be a problem, because people and personalities are involved. The WonderWare software, while, OK for its target audience, does not have the capability or performance to meet the needs of the DCS platform requirements or operator station requirements. So, to build something that works would likely mean that a lot of budget would be redirected from other projects. I think if we undertake this project, we need a new leader for development that does not think the world revolves around Archestra.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I think that it depends a lot on the details. Lots of potential synergy between Wonderware and IPS (which it formerly was a member) but previous efforts to port Wonderware products over to the DCS world have been somewhat less than successful (Archestra, Infusion etc). Eurotherm is an odd duck in the group. Their primary products are temperature controls for the extrusion/molding market. Hard to imagine how they would add value to the "new" IA without a significant rework of their products.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009 - Re: Integration of Wonderware, IPS, & Eurotherm:

Each component has its strengths and weaknesses. A good integration of products can offer advantages to customers. A key part of the secret to success will be the tools provided to build and maintain an integrated system. To build and deliver the system at reasonable cost, and to be able to maintain/modify/growth the system after installation will require tools that are friendly, efficient, and reliable. The system builder must be able to efficienly deliver good quality configuration/programming and documention. The end user must be able to live with the system without incurring excessive costs in time and training. Past experience has shown us that many complex tools, while powerful aids to the original builder, are not well-suited to the simpler requirements of our day-to-day plant maintenance. They are abandoned or bypassed, the investment in their purchase and training of personnel is wasted, and the system itself deteriorates because nobody likes to use the tools to maintain it. Remember Keep It Simple, Stupid. (KISS)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Could be a good thing (combining those three businesses). For customers, a more integrated approach to their needs is probably welcome. Not sure they worked together in a particularly coordinated fashion in the past. If I'm a customer and can go to one place for DCS,IA,Open Software platform, applications, consulting,other products---I'd rather do that than have to deal with different vendors. Proof is always in the pudding, but has nice potential.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

So what does the assimilation IPS, WonderWare, and Eurotherm mean to the customers of those respective brands? A good thing? A bad thing? Some of both?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Yes, IDC has been around for years, but Pankaj was given a specific charter to dramatically increase the percentage of work done external to Invensys, and Sudipta is a major driving force behind this decision. He has also chosen to give outsourcing work to some companies he knows from his SAP days. Those projects have not gone particularly well, as we have had to rework quite a bit.

Sudipta, as far as we can tell, looked at India alone, and did not look at China, South America, Africa, or Eastern European providers. Pankaj has good work being done in China right now. Pankaj has generally been quite practical and considerate of what is right for outsourcing and what is not, but he is being heavily pressured to go against his own experience and best judgment.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

IDC was started 6-7 years ago, long before Sudipta joined Invensys. The emphasis on off-shore development has been going on for several years now. Sudipta's origin IS not tied to IDC.

It is really based on copying of IT / software industry practices. India had established itself as the hub of off-shore development and so it was natural to go there. Tomorrow if the IT industry starts development centers in Africa and claims cost savings, that's where management will go next. Whether it provides the claimed benefits or not is a different story / discussion.

Thursday, February 26, 2009 - N. Keith Duncan [Keith.Duncan@IPS.Invensys.com]:

I am a 20 year employee with Invensys/Foxboro and have spent many years living and executing projects overseas. I currently reside in the USA and manage a number of development projects. Over all of my years with the company I have always found excellent employees around the globe, with everyone working towards the common good of the project at hand.

I must take issue with your recent "xenephobic" comment. Just this past week I conducted a Lessons Learned session on a project that was jointly executed between Foxmass and IDC. I received consistent and positive feed back from the teams conerning the collaboration between the various groups. Given that this mirrored my own 20 year experience, I was very pleased.

While weblogs can at time be beneficial, the anonymous nature tends to enhance negativity and not necessarily present a true picture. Please include my comments so that your readers may see a more complete picture of life within Invensys.

N. Keith Duncan

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Read the latest issue of JimPinto.com eNews, 25 February 2009:

Meanwhile, speculation is rife on the JimPinto.com weblogs. Sudipta, Wonderware's Pankaj Mody (VP Development), Rashesh Mody (Global Product Management) and Vinay Moorthy (VP Engineering Solutions) are all from India; and a significant share of software developments are being transferred to the Invensys Development Center (IDC) in India. So turf wars and xenophobic comments are flying back and forth through anonymous weblogs.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

SimSci management at IDC, is no different from the management of other business units at IDC.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"We could not continue to operate the plant competitively in the current economic environment. The home appliance market has dropped with the economy," said Kathy Maynard.

Nonsense. IC in Holland has been a long time cash cow for the organization. So much so that its corporate fees have increased by as much as 80% in one year. Head quarters in Carol Stream has done so little to bring new business to Holland that the local employees (non-sales) have personally brought in millions in recent new sales. All of which will disappear when the operations move to Mexico. Theses new customers want the local manufacturing and will most likely drop Invensys in the coming months. It is unfortunate that more Americans will lose there jobs to an ill-laid plan that will undoubtably cost the organization millions.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Why no InFusion software on the two deals at Qatargas and with SEPCO in Gujarat? Is there something wrong with it?

Monday, February 23, 2009

There is one notable exception to the quality/capability issue at IDC, and that is the SimSci team. They do good work.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The only "zero" at IDC India is the amount of quality software that is produced. I would like to see an investigation into some of the USA and UK management and whether there are any questionable motivations for moving so much work to a place that so clearly is not capable.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

News flash - Invensys Controls to shut down Holland, MI and Chihuahua plants by December.

Saturday, February 21, 2009 - Re: "The ZERO was invented in India, blah-blah-blah":

Yeah, right. Poor Maya... But wait, I also heard that English was invented in India, too. But the Brits stolen it.

Friday, February 20, 2009

The recruitment of Software Managers at IDC is big mockery of technology. A person with civil engineering background recruited as Project Managers for PI group. He works only with Microsoft spreadsheets. A commerce (accouting) graduate recruited as documentation manager. It will be hell to ask them prepare a document by giving all necessary inputs, because their computer/IPS understanding is a VERY BIG ZERO. Project Managers from SCADA,WONDERWARE mostly will be near TABLE-TENNIS tables, I think from 6-7 hours a day. Mind they are from BAAN systems?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I agree with comments regarding management of IDC. Most of the people close to management cannot get a job once they are given the pink slip. Most of the project managers butter top management and some how are surviving in the organization. Technically all project managers are BIG ZERO. It would be good if they respond directly to these negative weblogs.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The end of the buisness year is approaching and I think the work force is about to pay for the mistakes that mangement has made over the last few years.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Forget quality, forget cost. Management only cares about themselves. Most of the managers one or two levels below Ulf couldn't find a job somewhere else if they wanted to, so they kowtow to him at the expense of personal honor and self-respect. Invensys hasn't really done anything innovative since IA and InTouch. InFusion is a terrible, horrible joke within the company, since Archestra is largely unusable to replace IA. Yet those responsible still manage to survive, due to their ability to bend with the wind and bend at the waist to service their masters.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

People recruited at IDC thru referral are typically discarded from other IT companies. The referral system is a good source of income for project managers apart from their salary. Most of the people recruited thru referral leave the organization after six months. Most of the project managers are busy with other tasks. Since top management is not aware of IPS technology, they recruit low-standard people with nepotism. What can they contribute to the organization? Till now IDC has not released any product on it's own.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Management only cares about the costs and not the quality at this point. That used to not be the case. They were told by Ulf to greatly increase the percentage of development offshore, and that is what they have done. In doing so, they have failed their company and themselves by not advising Ulf that this was not the best thing to do.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Copying of public domain software by IDC engineers without understanding it's implications are common. Project managers are not in a position to identify whether it is copied from public domain or developed by IDC engineers. It is common to fool project managers at IDC to claim public domain software as the original developed code. Project managers/Senior Software enginees/Principal Software enginners at IDC are not technically sound to work in such high technology automation software.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

I worked at IPS development in the US. I also had some IDC developers on the team. We did code reviews for software developed at IDC and on more than one occasion, code was copied verbatim from a public website into the product. The manager on the project was even fine with it, despite the copyright violations. IDC may have saved costs but the quality is below par in general.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My advice on leadership would be to import more execution-oriented visonaries from the wider automation field, manufacturing industry. Invensys needs the brave and razor like focus exhibited by companies such as Cisco, or Yokogawa. The process guys are too engineer-like and move too slow. There are some great execution guys out there, and with the market in disarray, Invensys could make it attractive for them to jump over. However I bet they wont; it's a DCS thing.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I would like to compare the management at IDC, Hyderabad simillar to what has been expressed at HQ. Management at IDC, is not aware of any technological advancements, leave alone the IPS technology. I can simply say that IDC, Management including Project Managers needs replacement with good technical people.

Thursday, February 12, 2009 - to the anonymous blogger:

What else should we add? I fully agree with your comment, and much more with your worry to be the next one.... If you are recognized, then 100% you'll be the next one to go! I just want to underline that if you simply exchange 'Wonderware' with 'Controls' (EMEA) you'll read my comment. Should I tell you all the story of competent people just fired because of their ideas? Invensys values: Courage...to be sacked.

PS: I'm also commenting here anonymously because I do not want to be the next one ...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

WonderWare is not in much better shape than IPS in terms of qualified executives. Current managemrnt is a nice enough, but is in no way ready or capable of running the company! There were plenty of more qualified people to do so, but they lack the, ahem, "pedigree".

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I fully agree with this previous comment, because this applies not only to development or other HQ areas, e.g. it's also the management in the strongest Wonderware region worldwide (talking about EMEA) that behaves exactly this way. If someone reports what's really going on, he's called a moaner and is put on the deathlist. That's why we lost too many excellent people and lots of valuable expertise in the last 4 to 5 years.

Senior managers in EMEA are champions in self-profiling, "Excel-sheeting" and over-administration. They don't really care about customers (except that they are keen on getting their money), nor do they care about employees as individuals (how could they do so with "zero social competence").

The poor numbers that we see actually are excused as a result of economic downturn and glossed over by exchange rates, but they are more likely a result of wasting money in the past for creating unproductive overhead, pathologic travelling, countless meetings, recruiting of replacements for "outplaced" people and not investing in strengthening our market position.

Wonderware used to be an outstanding company with an outstanding culture, an outstanding reputation and outstanding people. Since the take-over by our UK-based friends, Wonderware has only been seen as a cash cow, and all attempts of integration and cooperation with IPS and others have failed so far. It's not a Wonderware problem, it's an Invensys problem. As long as our decision makers do not watch out and listen, there will be no change in the frustration of the majority of employees. What is posted in this log is less than the tip of the iceberg, believe me.

Good luck, Ulf, Sudipta and others, not only in cutting costs and dedicated people, but in creating a sustainable future for us all. But you will not succeed only by changing organizations. You need to watch a bit more carefully what some of your reports and their marionettes dare to sell you! And by the way: talent management is not brainwashing people to fit a regime, but creating an organization that leverages on the skills and talents of people (as long as you still have them).

PS: I'm commenting here anonymously because I do not want to be the next one ...

Monday, February 9, 2009 - Re: Advice from previous weblog - "If constructive feedback has to be given, give it in a right manner and let your voices be heard thru a proper channel":

What's the difference between reporting what's really going on and complaining? It's not always clear. I like what I'm doing at Wonderware and the people I work with, but the senior managers keep saying dumb things and excpect us all to believe it with a straight face. I won't make any points by telling anyone that Management doesn't know what its doing. They aren't good about listening and they tend to take things really personal. I've seen enough people clobbered for that over the last 7 years already. I don't want to be the next one.

I figure I can say things out loud at work and get hung out to dry (and not have any effect). Or, I can say something here on the weblog and hope that someone at WW or Invensys reads this and starts paying attention to how the developers are treated and why so many are out looking for work.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Looking at this tale of woe - the theme is clear - no-one seems to have any confidence in the Invensys CEO and his HQ leadership team. Ulf has surrounded himself with Honeywell half-wits, constantly bringing in favorites from past lives, alienating and losing the odd good-new hires, firing or emasculating the ones he doesn't like regardless of performance or their standing in the organisation - Caliel - Brown . . .

He only offloads his bigger mistakes when - and only when - farce has taken hold. Remember the Football Allstars hired by Ulf to sort out APV? They were surely the stupidest man to EVER be put on an Invensys salary. How many presidents did APV have? 4 or 5 in last 4 years in Invensys? We lost count!

The best thing Ulf did was sell APV to SPX - to do what he could never do i.e. fix and return a once good business to it's right place. Not that SPX are making any friends here right now; but at least they have a track record for delivering sustainable results. We can but hope we survive the treatment!

PS: So when will Ulf offload Paula? Actually he can't as he needs someone to play his favorite tunes for his game of Executive Musical Chairs! Perhaps he did offload her, but she changed the termination letter from Paula to Paullette...a sleight of hand Ulf that may have missed until it was too late...

Monday, February 9, 2009 - RE: Invensys share price:

Saturday's Daily Telegraph, UK had the following explanation of the recent surge in the Invensys share price:

    "Market practitioners said hedge funds started buying well-known shorted blue-chips - such as Invensys, 3i and Rio Tinto - the moment the Financial Services Authority (FSA) announced it had recommended that rules on disclosing short positions in financial stocks should be extended to all companies. Short-sellers were forced to quickly cover their positions, which helped push prices significantly higher. Invensys, for example, soared to the top of the leader board on very limited news. The shares climbed 22.4 or 14pc- to 194.4p.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

I have to disagree about Sudipta's track record. He was the driving force behind the resurgence of SAP's interest in manufacturing, which was a significant success for SAP and for the industry as whole. He deserves this opportunity as well if not more than anyone else, and he should be judged on results, not on expectation and supposition.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Invensys stock up strong on higher than usual volume. Either a response from the UBS buy signal, or someone is accumulating. Or both. Ulf stands to make a nice payday when this thing is sold.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Bhattacharya hasn't stuck around in a job long enough in his career to have actually accomplished much, so it is impossible to judge whether he will succeed or fail. He is very good at telling people what they want to hear, but very suspect on execution. No shortage of ambition, however.

Friday, February 6, 2009 - RE: "Ok you whining lot":

The capabilities of Senior Management at IPS have been in decline for over 5 years. To state the truth, it has been a true Gong show. If IPS wants any hope of gaining market share, they will stop hiring incompetant "yes men" and try and recruit some real talent, or even better, listen to the people who know the most, those who deal every day with the existing customers that cling to the hope that IPS will get their act together!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Though I must give props for considering Berra as your leader - that would NEVER happen! John Berra is riding out his deserved legacy of directing Emerson into the powerhouse that it is and will contnue to be. He is way too well respected in the industry to ever consider talking with Invensys. DREAM ON !

Friday, February 6, 2009

If I were to try to give it a go, I would try to lure John Berra away from Emerson to run the whole lot, and I would give let him choose who he wanted to run IPS.

However, I think Invensys' days are numbered as a viable entity, so at this point, I would more likely keep Ulf while he disposes of many of the individual businesses at fair value which should substantially exceed the current market cap. What I most assuredly would not have done is to install such absurdly unqualified leadership at IPS and WonderWare as was done this week.

Friday, February 6, 2009 - spinning off Wonderware:

The opposite is more likely - spinning "in" WonderWare into IPS, along with Eurotherm. The combined entity will have more bulk and will sink into the ocean more slowly.

Friday, February 6, 2009

UBS puts out a "buy" rating on Invensys. Perhaps the first sign of pending acquisition activities?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Ok you whining lot. You complain about CEO decisions on talent. If you had the whole automation world to chose from, who would you hire in any leadership positions? Stop complaining. Help your bosses out here; or maybe you dont know how.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The "complainers" might well be the rats jumping ship. There was a strong rumor when WW was split off from the rest of IPS that it was being shopped to the usual suspects. This might be the first indication that they might follow the path of APV.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

All you complainers out there, stop making fools of yourselves by writing this stuff about the company from where you get your daily bread. At least have respect and decency for the brand you work for, if not for individuals. These comments bring out the frustration you guys have in your life and clearly show that you have been a victim of identity crisis and or have not made it - where you wanted to be in your career - or have not be able to put forth your point of view in front of your managers. Its a vicious cycle, my friends. Look deep and think deep.

If constructive feedback has to be given, give it in a right manner and let your voices be heard thru a proper channel. If you feel you are the so called saviours and gurus of where the company should be, stand up in front of the mgmt team and express your desire to contribute in re-building the strategy for the company, rather than these side-bar comments which simply reflect your poor attitude towards the situation.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What a classic Ulf note. Lacking in substance and direction but full of management speak. If the IPS team thought Paulette was bad, just wait. Ulf reaffirms once again that he and his inner circle have not the slightest clue when it comes to personnel decisions!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bhattacharya is completely and totally unqualified for this position. This is a dark, dark day for Invensys.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009 - From Ulf Henriksson, CEO, Invensys PLC:

    Last week, I communicated with you about the importance of Invensys creating additional value for both our clients and our company through much closer collaboration among our Industrial Automation (IA) businesses - Wonderware, IPS and Eurotherm.

    The IA integration team, a cross-functional group drawn from all three businesses, is under the leadership of Jeff Greene. The team has now met with me and is off to a great start as they explore the opportunities that could arise from closer integration of our IA businesses. Their focus is on defining the new market space between the automation and ERP layeróand then developing the strategy that will make us the leader in that space by fully capitalizing on the strength of the people, technology and industry expertise resident in our three IA businesses. We will share more about the teamís progress as the exploration continues and more definition on this strategy becomes available.

    At the same time we explore our IA synergies, it is imperative that we continue to serve our clients and succeed in our own business as well.

    As we move along both of these paths simultaneously, Iím announcing several interim leadership changes to ensure we serve the day-to-day business needs of our IA clients and have a strong close to the fourth quarter in these businesses.

    Sudipta Bhattacharya , President of Wonderware, will manage the day-to-day operation of our IA business groups (Eurotherm, IPS, Wonderware) as interim Chief Operating Officer, reporting to me.

    Sudipta was appointed Wonderware Business President in November 2007. He joined Invensys from SAP AG, where he served as senior vice president of supply chain, manufacturing and product lifecycle applications. Sudipta holds a bachelor¥s and dual masterís degrees in chemical engineering with specializations in Chemical Plant Design, Fabrication, and Membrane Sciences. He also has a degree in business administration with specialization in Marketing, Finance, and Operations Management. Prior to his roles in the software business, he spent the initial eight years of his career working as a chemical engineer with the Tata group companies where he built domain experience in managing production shifts, plant design, simulation tools, and DCS systems.

    Reporting to Sudipta, and assuming functional responsibilities across our three IA business groups on an interim basis will be:

      Phil Clark --SVP of Sales and Marketing
      Gerhard Du Plessis óVP of Legal
      Wayne Edmunds --VP of Finance and Information Technology
      Keri Jolly --VP of Human Resources
      Pankaj Mody √Ī VP of Development and Technology
      Ron Wichter --SVP of Delivery, Supply Chain and Manufacturing.

    In addition, the following individuals will report to Sudipta in their business-group specific roles:

      Ricardo Agostinelli - IPS President for Latin America
      Chris Bates - in his interim role leading Eurotherm, as announced last week.
      Steve Blair - IPS President for North America
      Rashesh Mody - currently VP of Product Marketing at Wonderware, who will take Sudiptaís place leading Wonderware on an interim basis.
      Franco Restelli - VP for Global Technical Competitiveness

    Within IPS, I have made the decision to merge the APAC and Middle East Regions (the latter will include Libya and Egypt). The EURA region of IPS will now include Europe, Russia and Africa (excluding Libya and Egypt). This regional alignment will enable us to accelerate the consistent implementation of our strategy. The new APAC/ME Region will be led by Nabil Kassem, who has been leading the Middle East Region for IPS. His experience in both the ME and APAC is strong, and he has a track record as a leader who successfully develops people and grows businesses. Lawrence Wee, who was leader of the IPS APAC region, will be leaving at the end of February. I want to take this opportunity to thank Lawrence for his contributions and wish him the best in his future endeavors.

    Stuart Batchelor will continue as Interim leader of IPSí EURA region. Both Nabil and Stuart will report to Sudipta

    Sudiptaís focus is on ensuring we finish the year strong and create momentum heading into the first quarter. He and I will meet regularly with the IA leaders to make sure we stay aligned and meet our commitments.

    My request to all IPS, Wonderware and Eurotherm team members is to please support Sudipta and all these leaders in their above roles and to continue to focus on our clients and their success. Thank you for your efforts to keep Invensys strong.

    Ulf Henriksson
    Chief Executive Officer
    Invensys Plc

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

As for the example posted about stream routing for PRO/II and ROMEO, the offshore people do not own these products, they are supposed to do what is agreed upon based on assigned projects. They are not given the responsibility to steer the products. It is the responsibility of marketing and sales. If the problems are so critical, they need to be assigned as projects with budget and resources and the problem will surely be worked on right away.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What makes this even more curious at IPS is that the individual responsible for development was not a supporter of outsourcing or offshoring - he was sometimes strongly against it. Yet he cowered with fear when 'told' to increase our offshoring percentage, and did what he was instructed to do, knowing full well that it would not be the best thing for Invensys. But it may have been the best thing for him.

Now we sit and wait for Lake Forest to shrink away to irrelevance over time. Claims that we would be the base for IP-centric development ring hollow, since he can no longer be believed or trusted.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I used to work for Invensys and am now working for an EPC.

Invensys' competitors are also doing this - ALL these are under the illusion that it saves money and can bring down project costs. I have nothing against the people from the offshore centres.

All this offshoring work thing are as a result of :

  1. Blind emulation of what the IT industries are doing under the reasoning of a "shortage" of manpower.
  2. Hard selling and touting by these off-shore centres that their people are all competent and trained, in which I DISPUTE! Most of them I have met are NOT that good. Watch out for those that "talk" and promise a lot. It is in their culture to do this.
  3. The "bean counters & some project managers" are also work under the ilusion that it save the project money. In the long run, the project actually bear the cost of putting these people in accomodation and paying them "allowances". The "off-shore" recruits ended up having a better deal than the locals; i.e. no direct responsibilities and no stake in the projects. And they don't have to pay the high tax levels that the local are paying.
  4. In the long run, it is also NOT good to develope the skills of the people in the local engineering office becasue of sometimes over reliance on these offshore people.
This gives a sense of feeling that these offshore people are highly skilled, as touted by one of the people in this blog. I say it is not totally true. There are minimial developments for the people in the local engineering office.

Now it seems that all of a sudden, all the long term and immediate projects are to be "slowed down" or totally cancelled by plants and end-users a result of the current economic slowdown.

What I see as infuriating is that the locals are being laidoff and "retrenched", but yet some of the offshore people are still hanging around. I think resentment will set in soon when this is not handled properly.

Monday, February 2, 2009

How do you expect anything but a cost-cutting mindset whilst you have leadership that has no ideas whatsoever for organic growth? Notice that the insular group of leadership in the software side of the business is also highly biased towards a particular offshoring location. It certainly makes one ruminate as to whether there may be ethical concerns below the water level. As the saying goes, you can cut costs all the way down to zero, but you'll be out of business then. Invensys is certainly on this path.

The only solution for saving Invensys is a wholesale change to the leadership team(s) in the various businesses. This needs to start with a change at the top. Invensys's competitors are out-manoeuvering, out-strategising, and out-executing Invensys at virtually every turn. Mr. Henriksson has done a fine job of restructuring the company's debt and cleaning up the financial messes left behind by his predecessors, but he has largely failed to create any type of unifying strategy - beyond slogans - for the company that prepares it for the future. This is not his forte, nor is it that of those on his leadership team. Attempts to unify the various automation businesses within Invensys have been abject failures, and there is no reason to believe that the recent appointment will have any substantial effect on realising a different outcome this time around.

Even in these trying economic times, whilst a cost management programme is important, we must have someone at the helm who can chart a path for a viable future for Invensys and can, at the same time, identify cost management activities that do not mortgage or destroy our future. Others have highlighted the incredible waste and ineffectiveness in the HR and EH&S organisations. Talent management is a complete joke - our HR organisation has failed terribly in this task, and has created a talent development process based far more on politics than performance.

Our product development results and returns of investment are well below the industry norms, and fault must be laid not at the feet of the employees, but on the leadership.

These are but a few of the challenges that face the company today, and employees and shareholders deserve leadership that is prepared to face and surmount these challenges.

Monday, February 2, 2009 - RE: blog "Outsourcing/offshoring sucks."

Consider a simple live example, 80% of Simsci-Esscor (a group of IPS) revenue comes from the ROMeo and PRO2 products. In these products they are number of stream routing issues.

Why can't onsite people try to fix these types of issues? Is it something like "onsite people do not understand the problems and agreed solutions associated with the project(s) they are working on? And blindly blame outsourcing group.

Saturday, January 31, 2009 - add-on from Ex-IDC employee:

Serve in heaven or rule in hell?

It's hell out there in US with job cuts and bad econony. Only the guys who can rule have place here today. Unfortunately not everybody is born to rule.

India/China may be heaven for now but only if you are ready to serve your onshore masters in US, are always respectful, submissive and acquiescing. Innovation has no place in your workplace.

Where would you like to be?

Friday, January 30, 2009 - from an Ex-IDC (India) employee:

Agreed, "the outsourced/offshored people do not understand the problems, etc." Because, well, they are not made to understand by their counterpart on the other end. That is you who have the proper understanding. And why would you? You have worked hard to gain the expertize and it is the job of the outsourced guys to learn it themselves.

I can assure you, that the understanding and expertize will NOT come easily because the outsourced people don't have the client interaction and other advantages that the USA guys have. They don't know the "real" problem; they just do what they are told based on some design document prepared by someone they haven't seen, or will see once in six months. So what are you worried about? The outsourced guy is just there to help the "experts" to do menial jobs.

So prove that you are the expert in your field to your bosses. If you are not, then your job will be outsourced. Outsourcing is the reality of the day. Use it to your advantage or quit.

Friday, January 30, 2009

I agree with you that offshoring sucks. First of all, its hard to communicate with these people. We just called a meeting at Wonderware to discuss the issues we are having. The list is huge. The senior managers do not not understand how to deal with these issues. They simply cannot solve the problems. Lack of communication, etc. And, they do not take the issues seriously like lower level managers do. Many of us pulled together to try to handle this problem ourselves. We will see what happens....

Friday, January 30, 2009

Outsourcing/offshoring sucks. Period. I don't care what company you work for, the outsourced/offshored people do not understand the problems and agreed solutions associted with the project(s) they are working on. The only reason companies do it is to save money, and even then they are not saving money because it just leads to more frustration and wasted time in communication efforts. I have worked at GE, ABB, and IPS and seen the same result at all three. Upper management thinks they are saving money and does not realize how much they piss off their own employees.

Friday, January 30, 2009 - Appointment √Ī SVP √Ī Industrial Automation Integration

Ulf Henriksson announced today that Jeff Greene, former President of Eurotherm, has been appointed to lead the IA Transformation project as SVP √Ī IA Integration. Chris Bates, Eurotherm CFO will be stepping in to lead Eurotherm on an interim basis.

Ulf : The IA project will define the synergistic value and options for integrating capabilities within our three Industrial Automation (IA) businesses (IPS, Eurotherm and Wonderware) and build an action plan to unlock the potential that synergies can offer to both Invensys and our customers.

Comments: Interesting move that seems to be the opening shot to rebrand everything to IA. Hope this comes off better than the move to port Wonderware software over to IA customers under the infusion banner.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The applications engineers at IDC (India) with more than 15 years exp, have only 10% of the product knowledge. Without full knowledge, they raise software bugs which are not bugs at all.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

"Do not under-estimate offshore operations" - the previous blog, evidently written by the offshore people. Complete BS.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Do not under-estimate offshore operations, People at offshore have good Experience, Excellent Innovative technical minds and are backed by strong leadership quality people.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

If Ulf and his brains-trust had their way, they would close Lake Forest and Foxboro and move everything offshore. They'll do it, one way or another.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Read Jim Pinto's 2 items in the latest issue of JimPinto.com eNews, 27 January 2009:

Monday, January 26, 2009

As Invensys continues to drive cost out at the expense of innovation and expertise, customers have good reason to look elsewhere for solutions. Ulf has bought in to the offshoring/outsourcing of the company, and there is little that can be done now to stop the demise of the organisation.

Monday, January 26, 2009

When gold coins was distributed at IDC (India) for "100 years of Foxboro", top management resorted to all sorts of methods to grab them. People who worked for Foxboro in technical position at IDC did not receive them. People who are not aware of the difference between a "system call/library call" and claim themselves as principal software development engineers and project managers, took them most. It is pity that IPS management is showing a blind eye for IDC mismanagement.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A $250M order that is executed poorly does nothing to help a company. How can an order be executed well when you cut all the knowledgeable personnel?

The real "proof" (not some copy and paste about one order) is the historical track record of Invensys, all the way back to the Siebe merger