What is IBM?

The International Business Machines Corporation, or IBM, is a multinational computer hardware company.

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IBMINTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORP.126.12+0.67+0.53%

American financier and businessman Charles Ranlett Flint founded IBM -- formerly the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company -- in 1911.

The New York-based company produces and sells computer hardware and software and offers a number of other different technology, business-planning and research services.

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IBM debuted its first ATM in 1973 and released its first personal computer in 1981. IBM also takes credit for inventing the first floppy disk, commercial hard drive, magnetic stripe card and other technology that shaped the technology-driven world.

IBM Canada Head Office Building in Markham near Toronto, Ontario (iStock)

IBM became a leader in digital storage and artificial intelligence as early as the 1950s and helped build the computers that send NASA astronauts to the moon in the 1960s.

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Since then, the company has extended its reach into 170 countries and offers a number of services and touts its Summit supercomputer, which IBM's website says is "the most powerful processor on the planet."

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IBM's brands include IBM Watson, an artificial-intelligence-powered platform for businesses; IBM Cloud, a digital storage platform; IMB Services, an AI and cloud planning platform for businesses; IBM Security, a cybersecurity platform; IBM Research, a research platform focusing on AI, blockchain and quantum computing; and IBM IT Infrastructure, a digital architecture platform that combines the use of hardware and software.

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The company has partnerships with a number of large corporations including Apple, Cisco, Salesforce, SAP and Workday.