Cost-hurling IBM seeks more volunteers for employment bonfire

IS Delivery gets the memo now too, 1,000+ heads at risk – sources

It wasn't only staff in IBM's Technical Services Support (TSS) unit that this week received the memo urging volunteers to come forward to toss themselves on the redundancy heap, folk in IS Delivery (ISD) got it too.

Sources at IBM told us the only difference between the letters the departments received was the name of the managers – there must be a template that Big Blue now uses to save itself time and money.

"We got the same memo," one insider told The Reg, "identical wording, but it came from Jon Grubb [IBM UK and Ireland director for Global Technology Services]. Identical terms. Same dates."

As revealed by us in recent weeks, IBM told staff in TSS and ISD to form Employee Consultation Committees ahead of entering a 45-day consultation to discuss ways to improve margins – i.e. by cutting jobs.

The length of the consultation, which started on December 6, indicates at least 100 people from each of the two departments will be kicked to the curb once the period ends. Before that happens, IBM is giving employees a chance to apply to leave. Applicants that are accepted will be out on December 31.

The ISD memo, like TSS, stated: "We are now launching an Open Voluntary Separation Programme. The programme is open to all in-scope UK IBM regular employees working in the IS Delivery business area in the UK.

"This is an opportunity for each of you to evaluate whether you wish to make a proactive decision to leave IBM at this time. If we do not receive enough volunteers that we can accept in this phase of the programme, we will move to an involuntary separation phase."

El Reg understands that up to 1,100 people in ISD are "in scope", meaning they are at risk of redundancy. IBM has yet to confirm to staff how many heads it needs to roll to reach its target.

IBM wants eight in ten of its services personnel to be based in parts of the world where staff are lower paid by the end of the year, as fewer customers sign up big ticket outsourcing deals, preferring instead to use the cloud. The company hasn't reported growth for 22 quarters. ®

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