back to article HPE is still swinging the layoffs axe: 500 more services folk get chop

Another quarter and another round of people are being crammed into Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services’ employment cannon – 500 poor souls in the UK and Ireland have been told to stand in line. As revealed by El Reg some months ago, HPE’s Enterprise Services (ES) division – the one being merged with CSC – put nearly 1,100 …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Smashing - I read about it on the Register

    ... not in my HPE inbox.

    Just a small example of the contempt with which this company treats its employees.

    Glad I'm headed out the door already.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Smashing - I read about it on the Register

      Former EDSer/HPer here.

      Even back in my day (I got the push in 2012 though I was getting ready to jump anyway) it was businss as usual to get inside company information from El Reg long before more conventional intenal channels.

      Best thing that happened to my career. Tongue definitely not in cheek.

      1. Infrastructure That

        Re: Smashing - I read about it on the Register

        The writing is on the wall i'm afraid.

        The reasons behind the exercise to reduce fixed costs at any cost was and is clear for all to see.

        Its long been suspected that Whitman and her share grabbing cronies have been working toward an exit from Enterprise Services such has been their blatant disregard for their staff and customers. Customer escalations are through the roof and they just keep on cutting regardless intending to try and repair the damage through a merger.

        The recent announcement Merger/Takeover form CSC has been long in the planning with both companies limping along with the same strategy to make the merger more seamless.

        We have HP who has absolutely been the "bad, evil, thoughtless and inhumane guy" in the eyes of staff and its customers and on the other side there is CSC whom will be captaining the new ship is also making cuts but in a much more gentle way but will end up looking like the good guy.

        For me HP and CSC are big fish in a small pond facing an uncertain future as parts of both companies are being left for dead without value having squandered tons of money.

        HP has been aimlessly walking on by trying to sell expensive and dare i say pointless 7 course meals to its customers who are either 1) Learning to cook for themselves or 2) Started to partake in the hoards of fast food restaurants who are delivering and feeding them well at a very reasonable cost.

        I'm sorry to say but HP and CSC just don't offer fast food, furthermore its doubtful that by the time the set up a chain of restaurants that customers will be dining out anymore in favor of making their own meals with a live in Chef.

        It is my belief that they will establish a new company and the merger will mean that they'll try to takeover other fast food franchises to buy into a product they should have been making all along.

        However i think they will be a shift to more in-house cookery, out-sourcing will become more of a thing of the past as costs to do your own cooking continues to fall. Lets make all our food in India and out-source it we hear them cry and when it gets delivered the person taking the order has failed to understand the order and simply has no cooking prowess and the quality and ingredients are inferior. I wouldn't want to dine out on those half baked meals at any price.

        Instead let me see the chef, let me see what she is cooking, let me see how good he/she is at cooking and let me taste how good the food is. More important let their bosses pay them a fair wage and not treat them like slaves in foreign climates.

        The food and restaurant business is my analogy of ES if you hadn't already noticed, i'm not insane really.

    2. yetanotherperson

      Re: Smashing - I read about it on the Register

      other parts of HPE don't get told about these cuts except by gossip and customers told get told either.

      They find out when they attempt to contact their favourite tech and the email bounces. Then its a struggle to find who to talk to.

      Build relationships with customers? Why bother when the execs get epic bonuses then leave.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Organization that doesn't value its employees, is destined to fail.. signs are already visible

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    it's a shame - more victims of the "cloud" BS machine. Your on premise systems require costly hardware, software, and support staff and are prone to security flaws whereas if you "put it in the cloud" no hardware or software is ever needed or need be paid for, you'll have zero staff costs and will become instantly cyber-invulnerable.

    A good part of HPE sales were to corporate and government IT programs. The cloud stuff generally comes direct from China, helpfully configured by volunteers from PRC intelligence services.

  4. Stephen McLaughlin

    Carly Fiorina

    I see her spirit lives on at HPE

  5. Howard Hanek


    Can one purchase a gas mask and protective clothing against the 'cloud'. Are there treatments available if exposed? Are there any medical facilities that specialize in the treatment of the disease or are THEY already infected?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Its not "redundancy" unless your job has become redundant - its dismissal.

    Oh but your outsourcing the work offshore, somewhere cheaper, less skilled, and without the experience. Good job IT is performed by unskilled drones then.

    What? You want me to train the outsource staff before I go?

    1. Triggerfish

      Re: Outsourcing...

      Course I'll train you, this is rm *.* it's very useful if a servers causing a problem. Now you just need to find the directory marked / .....

      1. Dadmin

        Re: Outsourcing...

        Don't forget the option: -rf

        You want them Forcibly and Recursively removed, just like the poor ex-staff of their cleverly named Enterprise Services...

        (In sing-song) Enterprise Services! We do the work, you do the pleasure!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Outsourcing...

      Legally, redundancy is dismissal anyway - it is "dismissal by reason of redundancy".

  7. fidodogbreath Silver badge

    How is HPE still a thing?

    Compaq, EDS, Palm, Autonomy, Itanium, Carly, Mark, Leo. Most companies would have collapsed under the crushing expense and distraction of so many disastrous acquisitions, failed strategies, incompetent CEOs, and the relentless organizational turmoil that they continue to produce.

    I worked with some amazing people at HP, but the constant chaos wore me out. It amazes me that so many of my former colleagues still care.

    HPE's continued existence is a testament to the quality of the people in the trenches. I believe that when the remaining "old HP" diehards are finally driven out, it will collapse under its own weight.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How is HPE still a thing?

      I worked with some amazing people at HP

      This is central to this tragedy. Many of my former in-house colleagues were TUPEd across to the ghastly job-destroying dinosaur that HP is. And they were excellent, and continued to do their best within the allowable restrictions that HP imposed on them. But they've been whittled down time and again, ground down by HPE's shit-headed processes and even-shitter-headed management, and the latest slap in the face is that most of them are being further TUPE'd across to Manpower, and I'll wager they'll soon (if not already) be on zero hours contracts.

      There is no fate so vile that I would not wish it upon the managements of HP, HPE, CSC and Manpower. Ghastly, third rate outfits. Any company stupid enough to outsource staffing or operations to those companies deserves the results.

    2. energystar

      Re: How is HPE still a thing?

      " but the constant chaos wore me out."

      Randomness, a lack of intelligible pattern or combination.

      Chaos (genus), a type of giant amoeba.

      19521 Chaos, a [far, far] Trans-Neptunian Kuiper belt object.

      Chaosnet, an early [extremely primitive] set of network communication protocols.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One assumes that HPE can only be recruiting now in order to have fodder for the rounds of redundancy that never end, in the same manner one might have to drink water during a stomach upset; to have something to bring back lest one wind up dry heaving.

    SO glad I was given the royal order of the boot from them a couple of years back. Vile, unpleasant company. Life is better on the outside.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They are recruiting VERY aggressively in Scotland right now. Almost once a week I get a call at the moment.

      They're spinning it as redundancy for employees in Hook and other places, with the jobs going to either Erskine or Newcastle. Usual 2 year cycle of replace veteran staff with grads, until their initial contracts run out and/or they realise that the grass genuinely IS greener and leave. Rinse and repeat.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "They are recruiting VERY aggressively in Scotland right now."

        And how's that working out for them? cf SE England contractors, weekly Heathrow flights, hotels etc.

        1. Mr Dogshit

          "They are recruiting VERY aggressively in Scotland right now."

          Yeah, the main selling points of the job being "free parking" (big deal) and a "Costa cart".

          Whoa! I get to park my car in the company car park for free, and I'm allowed to buy coffee for £1.50 a cup. Live the dream, man!

      2. energystar

        " Usual 2 year cycle of replace veteran staff with grads, until their initial contracts run out and/or they realise that the grass genuinely IS greener and leave. Rinse and repeat. "

        Vultures would be strongly offended on personal comparison.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        As an affected individual in the South East, I can't wait. I've had it with poor senior managerial decisions being played out on the workforce. Do any legally-minded commentards have a view on the legality of a role being made redundant in the South East of England but being TRANSFERRED to a different part of the UK, i.e. the role isn't actually redundant at all? I ily ask because that is what is happening...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          i.e. the role isn't actually redundant at all?

          But locational consolidation is entirely permissible. If they offered you the role in Scotland, would you move your life up there, just to be cannon fodder when they need to sack more people in a year's time, given that regular sackings is their business model?

          UK employment protection is surprisingly weak when it comes down to the rub, but were it beefed up we'd probably end up like France rather than Germany. Would you take the risk of going to tribunal? Hardly a positive thing to put on your CV, I'd have thought, no matter what the rights and wrongs. It would be stressful, no guarantee of success, you'd have to pay the claim and hearing fees (of £1,200 if going for unfair dismissal) and the average settlement for a successful claim is about £12k. It appears at first glance that about 75% of claims result in some form of settlement, but equally 25% get nothing (failed at appeal, withdrawn, struck out on technical grounds etc). As a general rule the award will also be judged on what is merited, which means if they had offered you £6k, and the tribunal judged you should have got £12k, you get £12k, not £18k.

          So having been in the tumbril a few times myself, I'd advise you to take whatever you get offered, and move on. Notwithstanding the poor reputation of HP round these parts, it's a fabulously blue chip name on your CV, and you've probably got very good transferrable skills and experience. Stay positive, use the opportunity to think what you'd like to be doing with your career - easier said than done when you're aggrieved, but like I say I've been there, I speak from experience. If you try and fight an employer that wants rid of you, that'll absorb a lot of your energy that you should be using to push yourself on to better things, you'll be at risk of depression if you're wallowing in the unfairness of it all, and any bitterness towards HP will come out at interview, which will harm your employability.

          For a small number of people going to tribunal and claiming against a former employer is the right thing to do. For most of us, going down that route means investing our effort in the past, not in our own future.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @Ledswinger - I have *no intention* of sticking with HPE. As you say, I have many years experience with a blue chip company that has allowed me to walk into another job, better paid and on an up-curve rather than a race to the bottom, so that's all good. No, I was wondering if what they are doing is actually legitimate, and apparently (of course) it is. Not very moral/ethical, perhaps, but legitimate.

            Discussing EU labour laws, HPE is maintaing a higher-cost delivery capability based in France purely because they can't make these workers redundant with quite so much ease as they can in the UK. Not sure how German colleagues are faring.

            I don't think anyone has been offered the opportunity to take up their role in Erskine rather than the SE. Although I can't imagine many wanting to take the offer up, I still don't think it has been made. And relocation would be on the worker's own nickel, naturally. Ah well.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Yep, it's legal - you can be made redundant based solely on the fact that an employer no longer require certain types of employee at a particular location.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          As someone who was (happily) subjected to CR in HPE a couple of years back, I was in the exact same position as yourself. My position at Lytham was declared 'redundant' at the same time as the exact same role was filled in Erskine, and would I mind doing a skills transfer before leaving (Read my pink furry lips. No.). The Erskine role was self evidently required and was the exact same set of skills and requirements as my LSA role.

          Legally this is easily dodged by having an ever so slightly different job description for the new role and Tah Dah! Your role hasn't been transferred any more, therefore no need to offer you the chance to relocate or defend having simply given you the chop. And of course you do have a signed of job description for your current role? What? Your manager has no idea what it is you even do? Ah well. Your role is whatever they assert it to be, and it is most definitely not the role that has arisen elsewhere in the UK however similar you mistakenly believe it to be,

          You can contest it of course; just cough up the four figures to even get started with a tribunal and you might possibly win.

          On paper, you're right; companies cannot simply transfer roles elsewhere in the UK and declare you redundant as the role is not redundant. Proving it in reality is a different matter and the burden of proof lies with you, not the company. The playing field has been tilted in favour of corporations by government (cutting red tape, don't you know...). Even if you were to win at tribunal, you'll be gone in the next round of redundancies anyway.

          The writing has been on the wall for years. HPE is now just an entity trousering cash for 'creating' jobs in enterprise zones. Testimony from HPE employees past and present in El Reg article comments paint a picture of an organisation falling inexorably towards catastrophic failure, concerned only with managing its own financial position for the benefit of the higher ups. Get out and take the whatever redundancy pay is on offer before they follow IBMs lead (and trust me, they will) in only offering the statutory minimum. EDS/HPE is already dead, it's just taking a while for the corpse to stop twitching.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This stuff is starting to irritate:

    “Hewlett Packard Enterprise needs to create a more efficient and accountable organisation to ensure a healthy long term sustainable business, with a market competitive cost structure."

    How does getting rid of people create a more accountable organisation?

    The previous cuts have already had a major impact; another 500 can only make things worse.

    Is this cost-cutting to make the numbers look better for investors in the merged ES-CSC I wonder?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "How does getting rid of people create a more accountable organisation?

      The previous cuts have already had a major impact; another 500 can only make things worse."

      You start with the dogmatic %ThingManagementWantsToDo% inevitably land only eads to %ThingManagementAssertsAsTrueAndInevitable%. If %ThingManagementAssertsAsTrueAndInevitable% has not yet been reached after one pass, then keep repeating %ThingManagementWantsToDo% over and over until it is reached.

      The fact that %ThingManagementWantsToDo% has either nothing to do with %ThingManagementWantsToDo%, or worse still works in complete opposition to it is neither here nor there. In management world if it takes 9 months for 1 woman to have a baby then it stands to reason that if you get 9 women together they can have a baby in 1 month. Stands to reason, the spreadsheet says so.

      Personally I'm just sat here marvelling at just how accountable HPE is after these years of repeated round of redundancies, as I'm sure are all their clients such as the DWP. Or not.

  10. Dadmin

    Here's what HP does really well...

    They make the worst laptops, and they are famous for doing so. I had the displeasure of being forced to use one of their craptops, and a past job and just marveled at what a badly designed piece of shit it was. Everything else aside, the very worst "feature," obviously designed by some of their crack (smoking) managers, was the abundance of LEDs both inside and out on it! After all, this is a portable, battery driven device that should be thrifty with the power, no? At HP that answer is YES; NO! I counted over a dozen LEDs on it and they lit that craptop up like an xmas tree that had caught fire! Just a single, really stupid design that only a manager could love. Just garbage dipped in crap. Avoid these guys at all costs. As you can see, they are not well thought out at just about every level.

    1. Miss Lincolnshire

      Re: Here's what HP does really well...

      What a lovely story. Thanks for sharing.

      HP is bugger all to do with HPE. Do try to keep up

      1. Mr Dogshit

        Re: They make the worst laptops

        HPE don't make laptops.

        Indeed, neither do HP. They get Foxconn and Wistron to knock up some crap in China and flog it with an HP badge on.

    2. twsm

      Re: Here's what HP does really well...

      By putting LED's in series with a transistor to bypass it (to turn it off) you can have three led's (assuming 5V motherboard) for the same current consumption as one LED and a resistor. Not saying that HP did this, but they may have done.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Their lack of numbers surely must be down to patriarchy and sexism.

  12. JS-W

    On and on...

    To anyone left in HPE UK this should no longer be news: WFM will continue Q upon Q ad infinitum.

    If you are not based in Newcastle, Erskine, Sofia (and unwilling to relocate at your own cost) - then it is not a case of 'if' but 'when'. Don't kid yourself that it'll never happen to you - I saw good people given the boot simple because they were not in the right place.

    I finally left (voluntarily) in April after I'd had enough of apologising to clients for every single project being late. There is no strategy at HPE that involves customers and it was obvious to me that the writing was on the wall.

    Good luck to those friends and colleagues that remain - you have my admiration and pity for what you endure.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: On and on...

      Well said. From another HPE survivor.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The business of Outsourcing

    To All the ex and current EDS (yes I mean current EDS) employees, the cultural behavior you ALL have demonstrated since being acquired .. you have brought this on yourself. Case and point, I still see current ES employees walking round in EDS shirts and acting like the wider HPE business should "fit into" the EDS way of life, cloud models or data center outsource contracts.

    Meanwhile Indian outsourcing companies (HCL, WiPro, Tech M) etc continue to win contracts against ES. Wonder why ? could it be this cultural issue, could it be you failed to understand that you needed to work with the HP/HPE wider sales teams ? I don't know how many times I saw ES customers refresh with other vendors substandard equipment. Surely this behavior couldn't go unnoticed (unpunished?). If you were a sales rep from another vendor selling to HPE via ES you must have thought it was the most comedic secret in the industry !

    Put simply ES didn't bring much to the revenue table when it comes to the wider HPE revenue stream. They are a big problem to fix and now its going to be someone else's problem. I for one am very happy to see them go and allow Meg and the SLT to continue their laser focus on what we are great at - innovation and delivering competitive solutions to our customers - and Yes this will mean continuing to work with our partners, systems integrators AND outsourcers who see the value in our technology.

    Cost of labor goes down when you get out of the UK, US.. surely you all can see that. It's funny how no one on this comment trail has even mentioned how the shareholders loved the idea and the share price jumped and continues to accelerate.

    1. Miss Lincolnshire

      That post is .....

      ..... a perfect illustration of the attitude that made the acquisition doomed from day one.

      I don't recall seeing people scooting about in EDS gear for a long time. EDS was acquired in 2008, I should imagine that most logo kit rotted years ago.

      EDS's USP was its agnostic approach to solutions. We built with the most suitable solution for the Customer's requirement. The Customer being the one that was paying, the Customer being the one whose view ought to count in some shape way or form.

      HP and Mark Hurd apparently knew better. They believed we should push HP at all costs even where a Customer specifically wanted something else. I'll give you an example, I was upgrading infrastructure from Ultrasparc iii to Ultrasparc iv+. The solution, the application was not changing, was designed to run on Solaris. The Customer specified that the upgrade was to be to Ultrasparc iv+ and this fitted their roadmap and wider strategy. It also kept Oracle licence costs down.

      Three times I put in the order for kit and three times it was rejected by Global Procurement so three times I had to explain why HP Itanium was not suitable. Eventually it took a VP's escalation to get me the kit I needed. My project ended up several weeks late purely because HP could not get it into their head that a Customer (i.e. the ones paying) would want something other than HP kit.

      I saw this behaviour time and again. I had a senior Customer tell me directly that he would not be sold HP kit as a reaction to the pressured approach. HP soured relationships and lost sales through their 'needy' sales approach. I could count on the fingers of one mitten how many Customers were overjoyed when HP took EDS over. They knew what was coming.

      HP cost stripping and hard sell killed EDS. An HP sales person not being able to understand that does not surprise me in the least.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The business of Outsourcing

      ES didnt bring much to the table in terms of HP addon because HP completely ignored what customers wanted and by and large they didn't want HP.

      You arent going to turn DWP from a Sun/Oracle shop, that commissions firms like Accenture to develop on that platform, into an HP shop simply because you think you can make it hard to do business with you any other way.

      As any fule kno the Application dictates the platform. Much of EDS's work was Hosting of Apps built by other suppliers. Either accept that, work with it and make your margin on sell back or piss off and leave EDS to get on with it in the first place.

      If HP hardware and software were good enough they'd sell themselves to inteligent customers like DWP. They don't.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The business of Outsourcing

        Whilst I do actually agree with you on the application and UNIX architecture stance, the behavior I saw was for standard run of the mil x86 virtualization, backup and archive, FC fabric and Tier 1 & 2 storage. All of which HPE products could have easily done.

        I remember one occasion seeing EMC storage being wheeled into the building for an ES account and when challenged the ES SA's said directly "well we have always bought EMC and we know and love it and we arent going to change because HP owns us now".

        To be clear, I do agree that some applications simply are suited for other platforms, but not for bread and butter needs.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The business of Outsourcing

      Great and accurate description of the EDS 'legacy' at HPE. With very few exceptions the acquired EDS staff are arrogant, mediocre dinosaurs who resist change at every opportunity. Most are clinging on until retirement and are simply outclassed in every measure you care to use.

    4. ChaoticMike

      Re: The business of Outsourcing

      @AC: Anonymous for a reason, are we?

  14. This post has been deleted by its author

  15. Amersfoort

    Liars, Incompetance & Dumb Assery

    Mattholie stated in the memo he was “fully committed” to this and also to redeployment - LIE. To "redeploy" you have to resign, then apply for a role in one of two end-of-nowhere places in the UK (Erskin or Newcastle). If you try to do this HPE will take the opportunity to ensure your salary drops while your role expands, and if you are thinking of any relocation expenses then forget it, only execs get those.

    The board of HP/HPE simply know jack about IT Outsourcing. The are a bunch of ink makers who think that buying up other companies will increase profits while masturbating their egos. The litany of their failures is out there for all to see. The work force reduction in the UK is a policy that is totally bent out of shape as the escalations that came from clients like a tidal wave can attest to. No sooner had I taken VR and returned home to the Netherlands last week than I got a call from an agency offerring me 50% over my day rate plus flights and hotel expenses to commute to Newcastle each week to work for HPE ! I would like to say it was a surprise but it was not. Needless to say I told the agency exactly what they could tell HPE to do with their offer, I had seen too many excellent former EDSers wasted by HP to ever have anything else to do with that appalling collection of MBA posers who I would not leave in charge of a public convenience let alone a large out sourcing business.

  16. jeffty

    The daft bit about all of these cuts isn't that the company isn't profitable in it's present form, it's just not as profitable as the shareholders want.

    HPE and HPI (pre-split) made $7bn in profit in 2014 (on sales of $111bn).

    I agree there's a lot HPE could be doing better, but a lot of it involves thinking smarter, overhauling internal processes, and investing in their infrastructure and staff. Problem is that all of these measures take years to produce meaningful results, and you can't do them half-heartedly or you end up in a worse mess than you were before.

    The only measure the short-sighted management at HPE can come up with is to cut heads, even if they do meaningful/important/revenue generating work, like my former team.

    If you feel the need to shed 40,000 staff in two years, then really it says one of two things about your stewardship:

    1) You don't have a firm grip on the organisation (you're incompetent) and should resign as chairwoman/director/board member

    2) You don't have a clue what these people do or why they matter to your organisation, and again, you're incompetent and should resign.

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