back to article HP Enterprise Services readies deeper cuts in UK: Now 1,000 techies face axe

HPE is planning to axe roughly 1,000 Enterprise Services techies in the UK, The Register has learned today. The bulk of the cuts will hit the Infrastructure Technology Outsourcing (ITO) wing: as many as 780 people in that division are now at risk of losing their jobs. Staff in the UK were sent an "internal use only" memo on …

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Holmes

Lytham: Are the people going, or the roles?

Once those 166 walk away does the work they were doing before not get done, or turn out to not have to have needed to be done in the first place, as is often par for the course when civil servants are involved?

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Re: Lytham: Are the people going, or the roles?

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Re: Lytham: Are the people going, or the roles?

I'm sorry, we have attempted to contact you about the issue involving "

Lytham: Are the people going, or the roles?

Once those 166 walk away does the work they were doing before not get done, or turn out to not have to have needed to be done in the first place, as is often par for the course when civil servants are involved?

"

However we have recieved no response therefore this ticket is now closed. Thankyou for your patience in this matter, however if we can help further please contact our support department 24/7.

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Re: Lytham: Are the people going, or the roles?

"Once those 166 walk away does the work they were doing before not get done, or turn out to not have to have needed to be done in the first place, as is often par for the course when civil servants are involved?"

Too much to hope that we won't see this Daily Mail reader bullshit on here, I suppose...

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Re: Lytham: Are the people going, or the roles?

"does the work they were doing before not get done, or turn out to not have to have needed to be done in the first place"

If needed, likely it now gets done by someone cheaper in Manila....

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Megaphone

Or - turns out it does really really need to be done, but by the time they realise it, it will be horribly expensive to resurrect and do?

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"Or - turns out it does really really need to be done, but by the time they realise it, it will be horribly expensive to resurrect and do?"

The actual "par for the course", in other words...

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Mushroom

4000 holes in Lytham Lancashire?

Interesting how nit-Whitmans's spokesbot says:

"that will help the company transition to the new style of business"

Seems "don't care a whit"-man has no clue as to what the new style of business will be. Except smaller.

Rather like this Dilbert: www.dilbert.com/strip/1994-08-11

Or the previous day was good, too: (don't get any ideas, Meglet)

www.dilbert.com/strip/1994-08-10

All the best to those hit by the latest round (and the folks left behind).

Seems the new HP Way is the "way out the door". Reminds me of the days of Carly, where an article came out saying she WFM'd 120 percent of the employees at HP. I wouldn't put it past Whitless to try it...

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Anonymous Coward

I also today received both these emails which came as a complete kick in the teeth to those if us who stayed loyal to HPE

Those that wanted to take VR have done so already....those that thought they might as well retire early have done so already.

This means the vast majority of those of us still working for this shambles of a company either cannot afford to leave, or simply do not want to.

But hey, what do 780 loyal workers matter to HPE?

What the shareholders don't realise is that with all the redundancies made so far, HPE are struggling to maintain existing support contracts as all of those that were there from the ground up have been tossed aside and replaced with contractors earning in most cases over 5 times the salary of those they have replaced.

Where I work almost an entire support team is made up of contractors with no knowledge of the systems, so SLA's are being broken everywhere, the service given is utterly woeful, and the customer receives little or no actual support.

But hey, Meg says we're on the right track and everything is rosy, so that's ok then.

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Meg says we're on the right track and everything is rosy, so that's ok then.

Sounds like the track in question is back to Bill & Dave's garage.

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Anonymous Coward

Sentimental crap

The garage always comes out when they want us to feel loyal. Maybe when there's few enough left they'll drive us all in, seal it and leave the engine running

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"Where I work almost an entire support team is made up of contractors with no knowledge of the systems, so SLA's are being broken everywhere, the service given is utterly woeful, and the customer receives little or no actual support.

Sadly, I've seen that from the view of the client; and service levels that were bad are now shockingly awful.

What was once a company that provided a good service at a reasonable price is clearly doomed. I feel tremendously sorry for those people that have tried to do the right thing, but have been shafted by corporate greed and incompetence.

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Are we all in the same boat in this industry now? All of us so called "permanent" staff are effectively contractors? Because we know that our employers would shit on us at the drop of a hat, so they get the same kind of loyalty in return. Nobody is inclined to commit themselves and really put everything into a job any more because it's repaid with scorn.

Five more years is all I have to survive, then I can step off this hamster wheel and go and do something where I can feel like my actual livelihood is in my own hands.

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Anonymous Coward

Yep, it is called the good ship "Titanic"

"Are we all in the same boat in this industry now? All of us so called "permanent" staff are effectively contractors? Because we know that our employers would shit on us at the drop of a hat, so they get the same kind of loyalty in return. Nobody is inclined to commit themselves and really put everything into a job any more because it's repaid with scorn."

Yes, we are. Having been both, it helps to think like a contractor. Keep up your skill set. Try to maintain a slush fund, even if means not having the latest shiny toys or that hazelnut latte. Do the job - nothing more , nothing less. Don't go to Town Halls or other corporate bullshit. Always support (but not carry) your co-workers.

I've been a manager in some of these big organisations. If the corner office dwellers think you won't walk (because despite not getting pay rises, training nor any other reward you've stayed) they will continue to treat you with contempt.

Finally, the best advice is from Jason Bourne - always , always know where the exits are.

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Look them in the eyes

I respect a manager who personally announces something like this to the assemble staff and is willing to answer questions from the floor. I have seen a few senior managers do this. Hiding behind an email written flack and shyster is despicable.

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Unhappy

what else do you expect

when so many of the PHB class are trained by IBM before seeding other companies with the same behaviour? Could it be a plot by IBM backers to destroy competition before the all new glass housed mainframe in a cloud is announced ? Whatever, its working. In Oz undone work promised and impossible to deliver is backing up, my sauces tell me. Which one? Tomato as it covers the blood better.

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Anonymous Coward

Brazen contempt for staff

At the same time that they are sacking 780 people across the UK they are running recruitment fairs offering 250+ identical jobs in both Glasgow and Newcastle.

The contempt that HPE shows for employees is boundless.

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Contributory negligence...

I'm sorry, but if you take a job with a company that has "Workforce Management" (or "Resource Actions") then you should know on that basis alone that you are dealing with unmitigated tossers of the highest possible caliber. Organisations with even a tenuous grasp of ethics make people redundant or just fire them. Obfuscation, sophistry and mendacity go hand in hand with contempt, disloyalty and hubris.

I'm not siding with HPE in any manner, shape or form; but if you go staggering drunk and alone through the back alleys of Rio with $100 bills poking out of your pockets you should expect to get mugged. Similarly, work for a company with WFM or RA's and you should expect to be treated like silage.

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Re: Contributory negligence...

What about the thousands that became HP employees when EDS was taken over. How does that work. HP(E) is a sick company run by morons - but our day to day work is with low level people all supporting and delivering to the customers. It has got so bad that we actually totally ignore what corporate is up to, and the meetings with out HR managers (now monthly) and the others are attended with the dread of what are they gonna tell us this month.

The current ploy - drag everyone back into an office shows how backward a company they are, and moving the work to the RDC's is the next move of maddness. But the highups will always get there 6 figure wages, and bonuses - and never suffer, and never get sacked

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What about the thousands that became HP employees when EDS was taken over...

a) I'm pretty sure EDS was just as bad. I can't imagine a division of General Motors being anything other than a PHB zoo.

b) If I'm wrong about EDS and the rot didn't start until HP got involved: it was still 8 years ago. That's plenty of time to get the hell out of there. If you've been with one employer longer than 5 years and are not a major shareholder then you should consider yourself on borrowed time. 4.7 years is the average length of "permanent" employment these days.

I've been in this situation ("EDS" I mean). I was a systems architect for with the Department of Employment back in the '90's when my section was contracted out to Capita. I resigned[1]. This was a problem for them since I was the lead designer of one of the systems they were taking over. They essentially offered me full transfer of benefits and a 25% pay rise. I still resigned and no; I didn't have anything else lined up. Six months of no income was still better than working for Crapita (or, it seems, HPE).

[1] Technically, I accused them of constructive dismissal. The Department paid £10k to avoid an embarrassing tribunal bun fight.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Contributory negligence...

The corporate-speak seems to apply to all large IT companies and has done for many years; when I worked for the Services bit of Bull twenty years ago they too refused to use the "redundancy" word, instead referring to "taking costs out of the organisation".

Corporate emails seem to go through the spin machine to ensure there is no negativity. HP (pre-split) used to refer to "Workforce Reduction" but decided that was too negative so changed it to "Workforce Management" which sounds so much better, doesn't it?

The corporate-speak is one of the downsides of working for a large IT company; for some there are still some advantages which is why they stay.

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The corporate-speak seems to apply to all large IT companies...

Absolutely, but just like "undocumented features" (bugs) and "restructured SKU feature sets" (downgrades) it should be mercilessly mocked and treated with the visceral contempt that it deserves.

Redundancy is invariably negative and usually attributable to declining business performance. For a listed company obfuscation of this should be regarded as a blatant attempt at share price manipulation and treated (prosecuted) accordingly.

The flip side is that if your employer engages in such sophistry you know you are working for a bunch of corrupt, unethical crooks and you therefore have limited scope to feign surprise when it's your turn under the guillotine.

Part of the reason I got a payment in the Crapita situation was the argument that "Redundancy" has a defined meaning under the Employment Rights Act and failure to use the correct terminology constituted a violation of the statutory notice period.

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Re: Contributory negligence...

" if you take a job with a company that has "Workforce Management..." Most of those affected by this latest round of WFM have been with the company for longer than the WFM program has been running, which is about 3 years now.

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WFM program has been running, which is about 3 years now.

Nope. At least 6 years. PCSU were issuing guidance notes on WFM back in 2010.

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Facepalm

Gotta pay

Of course they have to axe people now - Gotta pay for the Hewlett You Inn! And all of the rebranding of everything from HP to HPE. Yeah, change is good... ?

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Re: Gotta pay

At this rate change is all that's going to be left in the bank account.

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Anonymous Coward

Pathetic

I got the email yesterday.

Accelerating Next my arse.

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Re: Pathetic

Accelerating (the) Next (roùnd of job cuts)

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Anonymous Coward

If you think you are safe - you are kidding yourself

Another late friday aftenoon email to bring more good news to the employees. These are not redundancies in the true sense of that word.

I would not be surprised if government money is being used to move these jobs around the country.

That's how these multinational tax dodgers work.

So don't get comfy in Newcastle and Erskine. Once a job is moved once it can and will be moved again.

Bulgaria next?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: If you think you are safe - you are kidding yourself

Yep, great timing wasn't it? Redundancy 101 - do not make the announcement on a Friday - some may require support which will not be available over the weekend.

You're right - these aren't redundancies in that the roles will cease to exist, the roles will simply be moved, which I understand can be a valid reason for redundancy.

Sad for the people involved...

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Anonymous Coward

The end

So they are going to get rid of us, we knew it was coming with the migration of work to Newcastle and Erskine. But how will the new recruits actually do any work - as there are no processes or procedures to follow. I have worked on the DWP account for three years, and have delivered project after project - but to do that I had in place a network of people to work with, and nothing else.

But the account will stumble on, HPE paying large amounts for failing. But we will be long gone from this sick company.

I look forward to leaving now.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The end

But the account will stumble on, HPE paying large amounts for failing.

I'd like to think so but I don't see this. I work for one of HPE's bigger "corporate accounts", and the service quality is shite. Total and utter shite, from the hideously ineffectual, time wasting "global service desk" to simple operational tasks like actually fixing broken hardware.

And we've never made the savings that outsourcing promised, although we have lost any semblance of control. Even when HPE (regularly) flunk the SLA, because their new sales team are far more experienced in writing SLAs than our generalist procurement chaps, we never see a brass farthing back. To keep out total IT spend under control we've had to cut IT investment in order to pay the much higher than expected outsource costs, although for reasons of wounded pride our directors refuse to acknowledge their stupidity on this.

I have every sympathy with those receiving the boot, its happened to me more than once. But HPE don't have the same "value drivers" as their own customers. It's all about selling high, buying low. So this type of action will keep on until all of HP's tech staff are in wherever is the cheapest shithole on the planet.

HPE: Still a few good, unrewarded and unthanked techies, always at risk of the next axeing.

HPE management: Useless, useless fuckwits, shitting on their own staff and their clients

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Re: The end

And add into the techies, add the project managers as well - we will all get the push.

And the company all seems to be about sales, and nothing about delivery.

HPS is and never was about selling laptops, or hardware - that's the easy bit. And the software we manage, upgrade, and support - this is not COT packages, but complex bespoke deployments that support multi-nationals and governments - none of that is easy.

So in the next few weeks, as we say goodbye - the sales team will still earn their money, the execs will get there bonuses as they make their short term numbers - but in a few months expect the account failures and paybacks

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Anonymous Coward

The end

Absolutely spot on! Ex HR Managers running Tech Teams and Engineering was never going to end well! They all know the price of everything the value of nothing and not much about anything else.

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Anonymous Coward

And exactly how many managers will get the boot?

What's that? None

Par for the course.

HP are doing that Compaq and before them DEC did. Cut the people who actually do the work and hope that contractors will fill the void while getting their rates cut mid contract.

There is a reason why I've said NO to HPE at least four times in the last year. I'd rather be on the bench than work for that lot. The last days of DEC were not pretty. I managed to survive until 1998 when despite my whole team making lots of money we were given the boot by Compaq. What is happening at HPE is all just far too familiar. Gives me the shivvers.

God help all those left (helloooooooooo is there anyonw there) to pick up the pieces.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And exactly how many managers will get the boot?

There'll be plenty of Project, Programme, Delivery and Resource Managers that get shafted. Don't fool yourself into believing that anyone at M2 level or below has anymore of a say or gets treated any better than any Engineer does. Divide and conquer just plays into Whitman's hands.

No doubt there are a few Executive bonuses dependent upon a swift and successful cull but those that face the client or engineer solutions on a daily basis are all cattle in their minds.

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Anonymous Coward

A bunch of shivvers?

"Gives me the shivvers"

Is this a typo or incredibly appropriate to a situation where one was stabbed in the back?

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Anonymous Coward

As someone who fought for and eventually got VR 18 months ago, I read this with a mixture of resignation and wonder; as in I wonder if I could have screwed 18 months more salary before leaving. Of course not! The last 18 months have been happier than the previous 30 years. I sold my last shares to buy some beehives and now have a better knowledge of managing 100,000+ workers than Meg or any of her predecessors ever will.

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Anonymous Coward

I left HP before the split, despite being offered a contract extension, cos it was miserable even then. Guys I'm still in touch with say it's worse now.

I've been contacted several times about open days and ignored it. I mentioned them to a couple of guys at my current contract who are looking to move on, and they laughed at me, despite hating the current job.

Anon for obvious reasons.

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Anonymous Coward

Remain committed to using voluntary redundancies and redeployment...

....this is a load of rubbish

They pick and choose who is allowed to volunteer. So will turn down a willing leaver in favour of ruining someone's life who actually want to stay and keep their job.

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Anonymous Coward

indeed

I'm friendly with a few people who work for HP, and they have been slicing back staff for months. Wife worked for HPe until recently in a call center job, and they have had a hiring freeze since she was there (Literally no new employees, not even temps) meaning they have less than half the staff they need if what I'm told is correct.

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Anonymous Coward

Another day at the office

I left HP long ago after being transitioned from EDS and remember receiving an almost identical email on several occasions.

Funny thing is that when a colleague, who had had enough of this, applied for voluntary redundancy ("Expression of Wish" I think they referred to it as) he was told no. He quit anyway!

I also know people who have left and keep getting requests from their ex managers to come back. But who in their right mind would knowingly return to such a demoralising environment?

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Puzzled

I am surprised that HP still employ such large numbers that they can remove 1000 without it having any effect on the business

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Puzzled

They can't remove 1000 people without any effect. At least some of the 1000 are not redundancies in the sense that the roles will not be performed any more; they are moving roles to other locations.

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Silver badge

After receiving five phone calls from them in the space of a week, all asking about my infrastructure, what they can do, etc. and being told that we're not a HP shop, nor have we ever been, and no my predecessor wasn't either so don't try and pull that line on me, I've told them they'll never make a sale now.

They are obviously hard-pressed for customers because before this year, I'd not heard of "HPE" at all and didn't know who they were and they weren't interested in me.

The fact that we're totally IBM/Lenovo didn't dissuade them enough to stop them pestering me, though, so I just started blocking their calls.

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Anonymous Coward

The cuts are more insensitive than normal this time...

To add insult to injury on the same day that they announced these, and had the initial discussions with this quarter's victims Meg took to Facebook to promote staged photos of staff posing in front of a giant green box to promote Employee Appreciation Day.

They don't care, and they're out of ideas. Things will not get any better until Mike Nefkens and Tom Egan are identified as being the one-trick ponies that they are. Cut, cut, cut.

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Anonymous Coward

The beginning of the end

After joining HP (not voluntarily) and 8 years later I wonder how I stuck it out so long.

No pay rises to speak of in 8 years , do training in your own time (at you own cost too!) , get your career development plan going (in your on time too, obviously) : this against a backdrop of being , for the last 3 quarters, at risk of redundancy. During that time I received a bonus for good work !! In the last year I applied for redundancy - and was refused. I've just been asked to apply again. Just like I have been every quarter since the day I joined HP.

This time last year HP was "inundated" with VR requests from project managers. I know that for a fact.

It's a mess from top to bottom.

Grads recruited as cheap labour (if we can recruit any) and leave pretty damn quick when they realize what they signed up for. The company seriously got someone working to find out why grads had such a high churn rate.

HP can't get any more staff into their RDCs - there isn't enough space for the people already working there.

People whose roles are to move to RDCs are being strung along - HP can't/won't tell them when the roles move. Could be 6 0r 7 weeks , could be months.

But keep up the good work lads !!!

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Anonymous Coward

Last week's news

To Whitman, as with any other CEO, the "adjustments" being executed by her hit squads are last year's news and nothing to do with her now. Her decision was in the past, the execution delegated. She'll pose and pout as much as Hurd used to in pursuit of happy images of the future whilst merrily ignoring the carnage being wrought in her wake.

As far as the CEO, Egan etc are concerned the 780 have already gone.

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Anonymous Coward

Freedom in sight......

HPE really do seem intent on blowing their own feet off. I am one of those who was told my job was not in scope for redundancy as such, but would be moving to Erskine.

I and several others had meetings 2 weeks ago with our immediate managers who told us our roles were very important and that we couldn't be given VR until our Erskine based replacements had been recruited, trained up and a handover had taken place. However, last Friday, more senior Manglers sent out an email to us all advising that we were in a pool for redundancy at the end of April (for my pool around 90% of the infrastructure engineers / designers are going, only 2 will be left - other pools at Lytham are similar ratios). They did this without even telling our immediate managers in advance.

This is backfiring badly for HPE, as everyone has been wanting to be CR'd for ages, so they get their payoff and obviously any income protection insurance for mortgages etc. pays out. We are all pretty much over the moon. Meanwhile, the immediate managers, realising whole teams are going to be decimated by last Friday's email, are frantically back-pedalling and asking people if they'll stay on a few months longer whilst they recruit. Everyone to a man is telling them to go forth and multiply.

Anyone who has been foolish enough to outsource to HPE needs to take a long, hard look at their contract as SLA's are already suffering and failures will go through the roof after this round of CR's.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Freedom in sight......

Totally agree - we the one outside of Newcastle and Erskin are just in borrowed time.

In the PM world we are now in a position that we cannot deliver weekend work - but have been told basically to lie to the DWP until it is actually impossible - then people being ditched will not work, can't blame them.So much for open and honest communication with the people that actually pay the bills - HPE in the UK is falling apart and no one cares...

I will personally refuse to provide the bad news when it happens and will demand that the execs whoever they are do the job

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