back to article And so it begins: Veritas lays off UK workers, R&D bods hit hardest

Troubled private-equity-owned Veritas started making layoffs in the UK yesterday as its parent continues to implement cost-cutting measures. pinocchio/buratino Veritas considers 'restructuring' another two offices, with 350+ pink slips possible READ MORE Company insiders across the UK told The Register that at least 100 …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Green Park

    Can't be a great time for anyone there it seems. I have friends there who are now ex-Cisco having been given the axe in this year's Chambers Hunger Games.

    (still, at least they managed a few more years than I did)

  2. Platypus

    The silver lining is that those who were laid off might be better able to apply their talents elsewhere, and might ultimately be paid more for it. There was a time when Veritas did innovative things. That time is long gone. For the last $forever they've seemed intent on *strangling* innovation. When they've wrung the last dollar out of products that were innovative twenty years ago, they'll just fold the whole thing up and they won't be missed.

    1. robidy

      Vulture capitalists are interested in the interest on the loan loaded onto the company the have just bought...R&D is an expensive long term overhead.

      Better to cut R&D now in case the company doesn't survive under the debt burden.

  3. sawatts

    Seems to be a trend -- relentlessly shed staff to cut overheads for shiny reports, but being left without the resources to do productive and profitable work.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      It most definitely is. It's the Management Complex - lower ranks exist only to bulk up the salaries, it's Management that does all the hard work.

      Funnily enough, that's not something that happens in the building industry. There the managers used to be the grunts, lugging bricks, sloshing pails and working out whatever the weather was. When they get to manager levels, they're quite happy keeping the grunts because that's what keeps them from the pickaxe.

      Maybe managers should take charge of the Helldesk every now and then - just to remind them exactly what it is they pay us for.

  4. steamnut

    More boilerplate work

    The statement beginning: "Veritas is moving into the next phase of its transformation...." is just pure boilerplate work with the usual use of words like "transitioning". The bottom line is they have lost the plot and are struggling to stay in business.

    They also sponsor the Williams F1 team and that is cash they can no longer afford.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "...profit margins of between 30 to 40 per cent."

    I've seen this sort of 'profit margin' thinking before, and I'm always shocked that the people responsible do not display any sign that they've even considered the rate of turn-over. Even when prompted, nothing but blank stares.

    Your Green Grocer can survive on razor thin margins, because his fruits and vegetables have to be turned over about once a week. So (over-simplification alert) his annual ROI margin is kinda raised to the 52nd power. Or 52x ROI if flat sales. In either case, turn-over time is a huge factor.

    Any service industry should have Net-30 billing, so turn-over time from payroll and related expenses to receiving payment should be no more than about two months. Annual profit (ROI) should be the basic mark-up raised to about to the 6th power (assuming growth). Or maybe ROI is 6x base mark-up if flat.

    House flippers know all this. That's why they move so fast.

    Managers apparently not so much. It never seems to occur to them. They don't care if things (Invoices) move slowly. Weird.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A legacy overly complex dying set of products

    Their problem is simple - they haven't adjusted to the new cloudy world, their products are too complicated and costly to deploy and add little value when compared to their peers. Every conversation with them is too hard. Their message is old, their sales people focused on licence revenues and their technical people don't fully understand their own portfolio

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. CM2010

    Salvage value for sell off....

    It's my opinion that it's really not cost cutting (sure, but bigger picture). It's posturing to split and sell. Layoff's were were global with an emphasis of hanging on to core items (Enterprise Vault and NetBackup) to maintain value as they try to redeem value lost for Carlyle. Attempt to salvage any financial value (while putting a modernize cloud face on these to market). Remaining Exec's are taking a gamble that they will get highest compensation/payoff as they liquidate. Cost to revenue will look good short term so they can get most out of company as they jettison. Could be a good buy for some big boys, but crunch the numbers!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Salvage value for sell off....

      The real Enterprise vault dev, pm, big fixers and QA are being chopped as well as other information management/governance key staff - they are positioning information governance and management to go and keeping backup and protection and working around the netbackup product suite as the core.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Salvage value for sell off....

      Enterprise Vault has been killed off by Veritas as they have just fired the core development team in Green Park. There is no one left apart from a few people in Pune.

      Its bizarre because they can't sell off the product now to anyone because its been totally trashed although it was still doing >$100 million in revenue.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "private-equity-owned"

    It's irrelevant what state the business is in, or even if they have a business plan. Private equity firms don't care, they just see it as an opportunity to suck out as much cash from the business in as short a time as possible before either selling it on or breaking it up and then moving on to the next vulnerable company.

    They are just corporate leeches.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The end of a love affair

    I started using Netbackup in 2005 at the BBC, and it did exactly what it said on the tin. Moving on to my next company my Netbackup skills were key in securing my Infrastructure Manager role and so it continued until about 2014.

    Working at a very large site that was embracing in-house cloud provision, I spent a long time trying to put a backup solution in place. Netbackup was the incumbent solution.

    Try as I might technically Netbackup was the way to go, but from a commercial point of view it was a million pounds more expensive to deploy than its competitors. So it was that HP Data Protector won, and it was clear would in the long run totally replace Netbackup.

    Clearly Netbackup switched from technically superior, cost effective solution to a a product focused on maximizing licence revenue.

    So the love affair ended back in 2014 when you realise that your partner was just too expensive to run. So time to write in your CV "Specialist in migrating Legacy Netbackup systems".

    1. Kepler
      Facepalm

      Re: The end of a love affair

      The more time passes, the more my pronunciation of “Tempus fugit” changes.

      My up-vote was for your revealing account, and not for the sad facts you relate. How depressing it must have been for you, watching such excellent technology swirl as its owners flushed it down the crapper. (Or the loo, if you prefer.)

  10. Kepler
    Angel

    The article’s title . . .

    gave me chills. I immediately heard the voice of Ambassador Kosh!

    (Do I need to give a “Spoiler Alert” for the icon I chose?)

    1. Kepler
      Thumb Up

      Re: The article’s title . . .

      P.S. I still remember how thrilled — or at least intrigued — I was to read about Veritas, and its then-ingenious, drive-spanning file system, in an article in Byte magazine, some 20-25 years ago.

      Back when Ambassador Kosh and Babylon 5 were still on the air, now that I think of it!

      So sad to see ‘em fall on hard times.

      (So thumbs-up for Veritas, and thumbs-down for what is happening to it now.)

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