Oracle to axe over 450 jobs in Euro support centres – sources

Database giant declines to comment

Exclusive Oracle is rumoured to be closing all its European support centres with less than 100 staff - a move that could affect hundreds of employees.

The plans would effectively mean all software support centres outside the UK, Romania and the Netherlands will be affected, sources have told El Reg. The firm has up to 40 support centres listed in Europe.

One of our sources says they understand that this will affect over 450 jobs. El Reg was told that countries with less than 10 support staff already went through this process in April/May this year.

Another source said more than 150 jobs were expected to go in the Germany support centres. It is understood that news got out because German worker protection laws required Oracle to notify the company's representative works council body of the lay-offs so it could prepare.

The source added there has been "unofficial" confirmation that the redundancy process is due to be complete by the end of the corporate fiscal year, 31 May.

They also claimed customers are likely to suffer as a result of the changes and are unlikely to see a reduction in their licence fees, adding: "The company is axing experienced tech people for inexperienced, cheap labour."

Oracle's financial results have repeatedly missed analysts' expectations of late, with the firm's hardware business, core on-premise software business, and ventures into cloud computing struggling to grow.

In September Oracle posted revenue of $8.6bn (£5.5bn) for the last quarter, up 2.68 per cent on the same period last year. Ahead of the results the company announced its founder, Larry Ellison, was stepping down.

Oracle has neither denied or confirmed the closure rumours, declining to comment.

Under the plans the database giant would also be laying off staff and reassigning roles where possible, the first insider said.

The source added they understand the roles being axed are technical positions, such as support engineers providing end-user help to customers using Oracle software.

"Work was slowly underway last year to move roles via natural attrition to the cheaper support centres, like Romania, Egypt, India. And I believe they've now reached the tipping point, and are going the whole hog," the source said.

As one of the firm's main European markets, the UK will not be affected by the plans. However, the source said some Oracle staff would be expected to be out of work in Q1 2015. ®

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