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back to article HP's big splash on EDS all about shrinkage

I love this Mark Hurd guy. He's turning cost-cutting into an art form. When HP and Compaq were joined in matrimony at the gates of Hell, Carly Fiorina celebrated all of the forthcoming "synergies." She promised that the combined companies would teach Spending a lesson it would never forget. But such pledges failed to generate …

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Black Helicopters

Ouch!

Glad I don't work for EDS. Lot of people I know who do work for EDS, complain that it is very inefficient and bloated. Probably make the cost cutting easier.

Helicopter because it will be like the US leaving S Vietnam. (Sorry no Paris angle.)

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Coat

ahem...

"centers on being useful"...

Blasphemer! You’ll smoke a turd in Hell for that one!

Mine's the one with the shiny new CSC logo on the back...

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Anonymous Coward

if only things worked that way

> throw 20,000 or so services people at a mass consolidation and make them fight to the death to keep their jobs by coming up with things that actually work?

If only things in the IT industry worked that way. The people who win such a bun-fight are the back-stabbers, political astutues and assorted other incompetents who design the system so they become indispensible.

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IT's also about shutting out Dell and EMC.

I have always thought that HP wanting EDS was more about being able to direct hardware business to HP and away from Dell and EMC. EDS is probably one of the biggest customers of Dell and EMC (EDS not only hosts, but also handles purchases, as well as a lot of other services to the customer). By purchasing EDS HP will now have the opportunity to have a greater influence on what the Dell or EMC customer will purchase. Wonder who will win those battles? What do you think? Speaking of purchases what do you think of Druckenmiller wanting to buy the Steelers from the Rooneys? That won't rest easy in the 'Burgh.

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Boffin

They aren't the first...

I guess its clear which company I work for, but, HP is actually lagging substantially behind the game - Big Blue consolidated its data centres in this way a long time ago (~2000). However, as you say its an interesting twist bringing in the EDS acquisition.... of course, if it goes the Levi 'SAP cost us all our profit' Jeans way it could also have exactly the opposite effect.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Ouch!

> (Sorry no Paris angle.)

Before the US lost in Vietnam, France did as well. You're welcome, no charge.

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Flame

Business types just don't get IT.

I only know one person who works for EDS, and they are flogging their guts out because they have not been allowed to have the staff they actually need to do actual work that needs to be done.

This guy Hurd is in a penis-size contest with other businessmen, but knows nothing about actual projects. People like him are why EDS has such a bad record in the UK. But hey, he'll get his bonus, so it's all ok...

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Anonymous Coward

@ if only things worked that way

Yup, been there, done that, consolidated a very large company's datacentres, fixed the problems from the so-called development group, taught said group and the clueless yanks what and how and we still got dumped on one side and the work shipped to the germans because of a political decision to give the work to the people who whispered in management's ears.

There's no future in computing. With all the offshoring, companies slashing their computer support departments whilst suffering outage after outage because the idiots who run the place don't understand and the way that some political institutions are falling in behind the pigopolist leaders, I can only cry, despair for the future and contemplate a long period of unemployment, qualifications and experience notwithstanding.

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Dan
Stop

Spare the techs.

As a hard working member of EDS UK I wellcome our new HP masters. However I'd be grateful If they could limit their cutting to the countless levels of management.

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Thumb Up

It might just work

All this IT and people consolidation wouldn't normally stand a snowball's chance in hell of being successful (remember Fiorina's missed earnings episode, blamed on the SAP migration), but they pinched Randolph C Mott from Dell and he walks on water.

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Flame

Thinning isn't always a bad thing...

Unfortunately they usually trim the wrong people.

13 layers of management is a bit much for any company in my mind, and believe me.. many of those layers do very little to contribute

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Alert

Movin' with the Hurd

@Dan: sorry, you just gave yourself away as an EDSer with that comment! :D

@"Thinning isn't always a bad thing" (AC) couldn't agree more, other than Jordan, Rittenmeyer and co. already did some (much needed) culling - I've certainly managed to "lose" 3 layers of managers since they took over. Way to go guys!

<rant>Got to say that, as a tech, (last time I checked), I hit the ole prayer mat to ask that HP won't just do what they were threatening and put in a kinda "link" manager on the EDS board, change the logo and leave it at that. What the troops what is a wholesale overhaul of the organisation - especially EMEA region, and within that UK definitely needs some major management freshening. There's just too many "managers" who's sole skills seem to be prevarication, meeting arrangement, and ass-kissing. That's especially the case with one of the larger UK accounts (no names mentioned to save blushes/law-suits). Meanwhile, the good managers - the ones that generate major loyalty from their "grunts", and want to do the best job for the customers - get bypassed or pink slipped.

It really pisses me off big time - we've got some bloody good guys and gals here (and I've been privileged to work with some of the best) - but you try and get something real neat done for the end customer, and it gets squished by some Amani'd PHB (see Dilbert.com for an explanation) or accounting troll. ("Real neat" in this context being a solution that's better than the customer needs, cheaper and delivered before their deadline - the best kind of technical "product" imho!)

And while I agree that there's a warehouse load of (paperwork-based mainly?) processes that I'd like to "friendly fire" out of existence, there's also some pretty good stuff too. The quality system for the engineers, is neat and does the job without stopping the work unduly. Time/holiday/etc booking is also pretty simple and shows a good use of tech.

Ah well, I guess like most of mi amigo's I'll keep the head down, but make sure the c.v. is up to date... ;) That and - like I said - hoping that our wonderful new HP overlords want to make EDS a division that people want to work for, as opposed to a place you stay at until something less crap comes up.</rant>

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Silver badge
Happy

Hurd is obviously not that good a butcher....

..... otherwise he'd taken on the biggest deadwood-trimming exercise in the market, have chipped out the $7bn needed to buy Sun, and then hacked away until he found the only five Sunshiners worth keeping!

:P

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Alien

The name of the game

All companies start small. The ones that succeed do so by finding a niche... something they do well enough to be competitive. If they succeed at finding that niche, they begin to grow as more people want what they have. During this early stage you need a certain type of thinking... innovative, creative, risk-taking type thinking that takes the company out of the competitive set and catapults it into blue sky territory where it continues to grow.

At some point, however, someone else will see the same blue sky and flies there to compete. And once they are in your blue sky the game has to change because you can't mount catapults on clouds and expect any useful result. New skills are required, so your management either acquires those skills or they get pushed aside. They may be the nicest people in the world, but if they can't handle the new challenge, they have to be replaced.

Assuming the company learns the new aerial combat techniques and successfully defends the blue sky, it has the opportunity to grow some more... but now growth has to be balanced against the cost of maintaining the structure aloft.

Eventually the size of the sky fortress becomes a problem... the smaller more nimble competition may not be able to stand up to the big guns of the flying fortress, bus since it takes to long to bring those guns to bear they don't really have to... they can simply take a piece of the market and move on before the guns are effectively aimed at them. In this stage the commander must learn how to address the new threat... how to make the big behemoth more nimble, or develop and array of nimble defenses around the behemoth.

But they soon learn that there are problems to each approach. Adding bigger engines and control surfaces to the behemoth to make it more nimble increases the cost of keeping it aloft. Arraying forces around the behemoth has the risk of those forces being unaligned. So at this stage the savvy leader begins to jettison dead weight. The infantry troops that helped catalpult you into the sky don't serve much use in a flying fortress. So you give them parachutes and show them the door. And while you're at it, don't forget to throw out the bench they were sitting on and the supplies they were consuming. If you're really lucky something you throw out will foul the engine of a competitor.

If you can lighten the behemoth enough, you just might be able to keep it aloft long enough to find the next big opportunity. Some of the people you pick up on the way should be working on space technology, in hopes that the behemoth can become a space station. Of course, space stations need to operate a LOT more efficiently than flying fortresses, so you can bet a lot of efficiency measures will be required along the way. Who needs toilet paper when you have fingers? Toss out ALL unnecessary weight.

If you succeed you'll be in a place where the scrappy little fighters can't catch up... for a while anyway. It's those happy and secure times when you rule a certain segment of the universe that everyone enjoys. Of course, it's a little harder to enjoy the success of the company when you're confined to a 2 x 2 cubicle in a resource-starved space station... but harder still to enjoy failure, so you count yourself lucky just the same.

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Coat

I hope this is the coming of the revolution

For far too long now EDS has been stumbling about and looking like it has lost the plot. As we get closer to the year end EDS are ramping up to again bid on anything that moves to make the year end numbers. And delivery continues to suffer with more and more management layers, wanting more and more internal data, and more and more pointless metric reporting. With any luck HP will see this mass internal job creation scheme that is in operation and do something about it. Perhaps put a few EDS'ers in the consumer position for the Job centre systems they have been cocking up for the last few years. I think this merger / take over has come just in the nick of time. EDS neededs to be put out of its missery or taken warmly by the throat and shaken till it stops beleiveing it own retoric and gets a grip. Perhaps new branding and a sharp wakeup call from some new owners will be the shot in the arm it so badly needs.

I for one will be looking forward to being made an offer that could be refused *payouts for soldiers of foot are never good in EDS* and legging out of the door. I would leave early but A) I want my 50cents and B) This is going to be soooo much fun to watch from the inside for a while.

I'll be the one in line at the job centre around September, giggling to myself ;-)

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