back to article Hewlett Packard Enterprise axing services techies again

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is ditching techies at its Lytham site who provide infrastructure services for public sector clients, including the Department for Work & Pensions. According to the Public & Commercial Services (PCS) union, HPE has put 166 employees in the infrastructure technology outsourcing business at risk of …

  1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Mandatory

    Will the last person standing please turn off the lights. Gotta keep them beancounters happy.

    Why would anyone want to work for HPE any more? There can't be any real careers left unless you are in HR/Legal that is.

    1. Franco Silver badge

      Re: Mandatory

      I contracted with HP for a while and refused an extension cos it was a truly miserable place to work. And that was before the split.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Mandatory

      "Why would anyone want to work for HPE any more? There can't be any real careers left unless you are in HR/Legal that is."

      There aren't. When I got out of Lytham a couple of years back, the managers & project managers outnumbered the technical staff at least 5:1. Last I heard even the managers have been culled, leaving a handful of managers managing contractor project managers managing contractors.

      Whilst I lived in dread of the recurring 45 day round of redundancies (down from the old 90 day, thanks to the government of big business 'cutting red tape'), finally getting the compulsory heave ho was the best thing that could have happened. Collected the lump sum, found a job I love working for people who don't spend every waking hour dreaming up new way to screw their staff on behalf of Wall Street. It's amazing how the omnipresent lack of dread can improve your sense of wellbeing when you no longer work for HPE/HPES/EDS.

      And union guy in the article - don't hold out any hope of the local MP helping out. When the campaigns were running when I was there, the MP could barely be bothered with a token show of hand-wringing at the prospect of skilled local employment disappearing. I'm sure he just regards the HPE buildings & staff left at Lytham as the last obstruction to be removed on behalf of his mates building the housing estate/pub/supermarket.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mandatory

        The lack of Techies to Managers (of any flavour) is an industry wide malaise. At board level all they are interested in is SLA's and fancy presentations. It is irrelevant if the latest fad is an ill-conceived, expensive disaster because it will be managed by an army of Project Managers and associated pen-pushers. The situation is only going to get worse as the current batch of IT Directors and their assistants recruit an ever increasing number of like minded pen pushers. Hard core Techies are a dying breed and are an expensive disposable resource. Putting everything into a cloud solution solves all the problems, no requirement for Techies, no advice to ignore and more highly paid managers. The fact that you still need to do technical stuff, whether it be on premise or in a cloud is an inconvenient detail that is ignored.

        We appear to have a University system the specialises in producing inept, highly paid politicians, managers (or all descriptions) that get into a position, with no experience or common sense. Everything is fine because they have a raft of frameworks to follow, all created by some consultancy outfit (KPMG, Capita, Gartner), usually created at the tax payers expense for some Government department.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In other news this morning

    Apple want their teams to be closer to their customers.

    So there you have it.

    HPE teams don't need to be close to their customers, they need to be in as few sites as possible, HPE sites where poss.

    Isn't modern economics wonderful. Black is white, true is false, etc.

    ps

    which of those two is struggling, and which of them is a runaway success? Yes I know they're in different markets.

  3. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Trollface

    Going to get hard for the marketing team

    When they try to convince a prospect that HPE can do on-site support they're going to start hearing "Oh yeah ? With who ?"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Going to get hard for the marketing team

      When they try to convince a prospect that HPE can do on-site support they're going to start hearing "Oh yeah ? With who ?"

      Sadly not. The ITO (and BPO) markets are driven by knowledge asymmetry between client and vendor. The decision makers at the client don't have a clue what costs the vendor has, and suck up the promises of vast savings AND superior service. By the time they find out otherwise they've signed a long term, and very one sided SLA and its too late.

      Even if the client asks the right questions, they'll get the sort "of acknowledge-bridge-convert" response of a greasy politician being quizzed by Eddie Mair, so they they don't actually definitively answer the original question, but leave an impression that they have. This very morning I spent a pleasant hour with one of the leading UK academics on the subject of BPO, at which we agreed that BPO rarely delivers, because the SLA's don't do what the client expects, and because of the information imbalance between the negotiators.

      Directors the world over still fall for the idea that a job they don't want to manage will somehow be performed better by somebody else, for less money. Presumably these people still believe in unicorns.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I would propose a law stating that...

    1) Every n sacks an executive *must* be also sacked. After all, less employees requires less executives.

    2) After massive sacks, bonuses can't be paid to executives for the following five years. After all, it your company is the need of sacking people it's because business is going bad. Thereby, no bonuses even if profits could be increased artificially by sacks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I would propose a law stating that...

      After massive sacks, bonuses can't be paid to executives for the following five years.

      That's the sort of protectionist legislation that's left the French economy as the sick man of Europe. I think companies should be at liberty to dump staff whenever they want, subject to two caveats:

      1) Where jobs are moved offshore, duties should be imposed equivalent to the avoided UK employment taxes. At c13% employers NI, say 12% employee NI, and an average rate of 7% for income tax, so that'd be about 32% of the UK salary. That'd make UK based companies think twice before hollowing out the UK economy.

      2) Statutory redundancy pay to be significantly higher, and with few get out clauses for employers. If companies need or want to get rid of people, let them do it. But as somebody who has been lucky enough to be paid off handsomely twice by virtue of generous employers, I'd like to see that cushion far more widely offered. And the thieves of government could also raise the tax free element by about double.

      I suspect that there's more than a few of HP's discarded workforce who are actually delighted to have gone, if they've had decent exit terms.

  5. TMinfidel

    Take your job and stick it.

    As an ex EDS'er who became an HPE'er and then promptly escaped, I feel sorry for all my ex-colleagues who are constantly in fear of losing their jobs. It's not an environment I miss working in one bit.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The revolving door that is HPE

    1. Take £x million from the Scottish Government to "create" hundreds of jobs in Erskine.

    2. Find there aren't enough IT bods locally and that no one is prepared to relocate anywhere further north than Potter's Bar

    3. Fly in contractors on £300 a day from Heathrow every Monday morning in order to get bums on seats

    4. Profit!

    Not sure about 4 actually.

  7. Hans 1
    Gimp

    >Whitman, who broke up the company in November and is CEO at HPE, will maintain the strategy - up to 30,000 more employees will leave over the next few years.

    HPE is dead, what do they have, HP-UX 11i? Who runs HP-UX 11i? I mean, they killed off all enterprise worthy software (Tru64 and VMS), nothing left. HP-UX is outdated, 90's UNIX, on par with FreeBSD 3.0, for example, Solaris 8, or AIX 4.2. Itanic is a dead platform, even Windows no longer cares ... HP-UX is dead. What "enterprise software" do they have ? Meg Whitman has chosen the incorrect offspring ...

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To the staff at Lytham

    Try and find anyone who regrets leaving HP.

    Difficult isn’t it.

    I can't even imagine how depressing that place must be now. Wherever you go next pretty much has to be an improvement.

  9. zebm

    The HP merry go round

    I worked with ex-HP staff who had subsequently joined the client. No one technical left at HP so when they got a work order from us they would contact their ex-staff at the clients to do the work then charge the client for having done the work. Nice work if you can get it...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The HP merry go round

      "contact their ex-staff at the clients to do the work then charge the client for having done the work. Nice work if you can get it..."

      When I knew people at DEC, and subsequently Compaq, management were quite keen (at least in public) on something called an "ethics policy".

      I guess times must have changed. Or maybe the managers in this picture still think like EDS outsourcing managers (which is a whole different story).

  10. x 7

    it was only a matter of time. With the two H-block sites at Norcross and St Annes bulldozed, and Peel Park running at a fraction of capacity (unless its also been finally closed in the last couple of years) anything left in the Blackpool area related to the DWP was at risk.

    To be honest, from my experience of occasional contract working on those sites, the redundancies were well deserved. A large proportion of the staff (both DWP and Contract) were backbiting competitively overdressed bitches who spent more time slagging off each others plastic fingernails, tans waist and hemlines than actually doing work. While most of the male staff were lazy socially inadequate incompetents. The DWP sites around Blackpool appeared to attract a "special" kind of person - one you wouldn't want near a real business

    1. Bob Vistakin
      Headmaster

      s/The DWP sites around Blackpool/civil service

      FYFY

    2. Infrastructure That

      What a combination of ridiculous statements to make, i worked there for many years and your statement tells me you didn't get on with someone or some people.

      I have never witnessed these things that you mention. If anything the people there were saints having gone through the stress of WFH from HP and the crazy yank Meg Whitman.

      Regarding HP i would say yes they needed to be restructured but everyone with half an ounce sense knows it is all about the share price and how much money the executives can make from the lives or ordinary working people. The executives disregard of humanity in the whole WFH management exercise was beyond belief. No number of excuses they can make will make up for the way they have treated people.

      Personally i'm glad to be out but only because HP is a god awful, lying, contemptible and abhorrent enterprise. Not because of the people as you have put it. Eds when it was EDS was the best company i had ever worked for and my colleagues were top class individuals.

      EDS had it right, but HP came to the party and decided to trash the place. If EDS was still around it would have morphed into a successful enterprise. HP tried to get too big, buying failing products such as Palm to try and compete with Apple and other failed expensive acquisitions.

      They squandered £billions away for nothing and wasted effort without doing their due diligence and then decided that everyone else should pay for their mismanagement.

      You took the eye off the ball HP and now I long for your demise because frankly you have gotten too big, The left hand knows nothing about the right and now its trying to save itself because the right hand was right all along.

      I truly wish that anyone working at HP can get out and spread the word about its demise, about its failing products, about its legacy as it was and still is.

      Its my belief that outsourcing will lose lose lose and in-sourcing will win win win in the future and the techies will rise again leading smaller companies onto greater things as they wrestle for control of their own destiny again. HP will be buried in a seas of failed hardware.

      DWP Rip-Off: Last year at HP i witnessed the created of a spreadsheet that showed the details of user accounts on all of the Department of Work and Pensions systems.

      HP charged the DWP £120,000 for that information (a list of users data). Something that was already theirs as it resided on their services provided by HP. I saw the scandalous charges, i know how long it took and how many people worked on it.. I know that it was already being done in the most part anyway (collecting this data) but HP still charged the DWP £120,000 for it.

      I hope the towers of HP come tumbling down but not before the staff can escape to safety under a new wing that will provide them quite rightly with the reward they deserve.

      I hope that soon the public sector and even the private sector stops throwing their money at HP for promises that are never delivered and the eventual realization that it would have been much much cheaper and more efficient and worthwhile to have done it themselves.

      End rant >>

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Please release me , let me go !!!

    The vast majority of HP people left at Lytham are begging their managers every quarter to be let go. Redundancies virtually every quarter for ten years. They have all had enough of working for this 'ethical' company . they treat their resources, employees to you and me , poorly. They have extracted as much profit as they can without spending a dime on those who earned it . it's been wasted on bad buys and setting up centres elsewhere.

    Will the last Indian or contractor please turn the lights off when the site closes....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Please release me , let me go !!!

      Agreed - any company where staff are desperate to be let go (even when most of those left aren't on any kind of Civil Service / Legacy payoff packages) needs to take a long hard look at themselves. Sadly, HP Senior NoManagement will just congratulate each other on a job well done, and collect a big bonus for "saving" money.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All the "how much my life improved when I left" comments don't help the staff left there that are now in fear of their jobs.

    Most have worked for the same employer for years, who then transferred them to HP when they outsourced their services. Many are in their 50's and were hoping to see out the last few years of their working life doing something they have done for years, and not have to have to reskill.

    The remaining staff have been progressively deskilled, and pushed sideways to look after the legacy infrastructure that the Offshore teams don't understand fully. They have not been allowed to work on the newer technologies, and as the older systems are decommissioned, their world shrinks.

    They end up becoming the link between the business users and the Technical teams in {/insert your favorite offshore location here/}, because they know the business, and know the business users, and are trusted by the business users. All technical work is sent offshore, and people start to doubt their technical abilities (despite having done the job for years/decades), because they are not "doing" it on a regular basis. It's so easy to be left behind technically, and when you are busy looking after legacy systems because they don't fit neatly into boxes, you don't get the opportunity to keep up to date.

    Too often staff-management relationships have been sacrificed to give the appearance of progress, when real progress needs the staff to be on the side of the company. Despite the usual corporate mass-distribution mails about how staff are their greatest asset, HP/HPE have forgotten this.

    Yes, most find work when they leave, most enjoy that work.

    But it's the lack of self-belief and stress of being back in the job market that causes the worry for those now under threat.

    Those affected have my sympathies.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "All the "how much my life improved when I left" comments don't help the staff left there that are now in fear of their jobs."

      No, you're right. It doesn't help. As one of the ones given CR a couple of years ago after having been at Lytham since the early ITSA days, I recognise all of the stresses and concerns you identify. The never ending round of redundancies, the constant dread of reading about another x many thousand being sacrificed in this very organ, the feeling of potential obsolescence skills wise at having to join in with the job search market.

      What I didn't expect was the demand for skills *and* a proven record of service delivery. And despite knowing full well just how HPE operated/operates internally, potential employers and interviewers are impressed. What I, and other, were trying to get across is that despite the stresses and worries of job seeking, of having to make ends meet etc that it is still a better option than having to stay at HP. Other employers are interested in the skills and experience people will have gained whilst at HP/EDS/ITSA, that providing IT services to the DWP is considered something worthy of consideration on a job application.

      To cite Arthur C Clarke's quote about which being the more terrifying option; that we are alone in the universe, or that we are not. Apply this to having to stay at HPE until retirement (with the continuation of Hurd/Whitman's persecute the employees policies) or taking the chance finding somewhere else, in all likelihood better.

      My ex-colleagues have my sympathies along with yours. Just trying to shine a little hope born of experience from someone who has been there at Lytham.

  13. HurdImpropriety

    Rank and Yank was horrible... but the seat sensors sent us over the edge

    HP practiced that horrible Rank and Yank nonsense that started with Jack Welch and his Six Sigma nonsense. What a horrible place to work. Not to mention that one particular HP facility in Massachusetts actually had seat sensors installed to detect how used the cubes were.

    Carly Fiorina was the Queen of Offshoring. Made a business out of it. Now she says we "have to keep more jobs in the US". just wow.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Greetings from HPE delivery center in Warsaw. We are very happy here working for English customers :D You wonder where HPE has its techies? In Poland, Slovakia and Bulgaria, many thousands of them. And no one gets fired here. Sorry, global economy and free services market, we didn't invent that, we came to the club when your politicians already organized all that crap. Look for ones to blame among them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I hope I am wrong for your sake but

      1) The DCs have been created as they are "cheaper" therefore as soon as they can locate your work somewhere "cheaper" then you will probably start experiencing what others in Hp are experiencing.

      2) Don't count these DC's as safe. There is already word that they are preparing to make cuts within DCs in the UK,

      3) HP however does not care for it's staff. Eventually this will backfire as these former employee's join other companies and voice concern about Hp being used as a supplier.

      They want brand loyalty without being loyal themselves.

    2. Infrastructure That

      What you don't know is that HP is frantically reorganizing to catch-up with what others are doing in industry. HP will shed work and workers as its my opinion that the out-sourcing model is dead as more and more companies in-source.

      You too will be on the chopping block, you too will be disregarded and throw back into the water. It was nice having you in the keep net but its time to move up stream in search of bigger fish. Another wasted fishing trip no doubt on HP's part.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PCs and Services is hard and unsexy work -- dump it all

    When I was at HP, I recall seeing some numbers that stated the company was making more on its investment holdings than its primary products/services. I think the long term plan is to dump it all and become a tech/stock holding company. HP better work quickly before it burns all its capital nest egg on the sinking ship that is also on fire.

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