IBM Australia cuts analytics and support staff

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IBM Australia cuts analytics and support staff

Redundancy round over past fortnight.

IBM Australia is believed to have cut dozens of staff from its analytics pre-sales and technical support areas over consecutive weeks.

The cuts affected solution client architects working in IBM’s software group, as well as remote technical support analysts from the technical support and services (TSS) group.

An IBM Australia spokesperson did not respond to requests for comment.

iTnews understands that the TSS reductions affected about 25 support analysts in Australia. They are due to leave at the end of June.

They came as part of a wider reduction in TSS staff globally that is known to have also impacted the company’s UK operations.

The cuts to solution client architects in the software group, meanwhile, are understood to have impacted staff that worked in pre-sales for divisions that oversaw the likes of DB2, Netezza’s data warehouse products, and Cognos business intelligence.

Overall, it is understood as many as half of all solution client architects at IBM Australia will be lost, although the exact number is unclear.

IBM has been through a number of rounds of redundancies in recent years, due to shrinking revenues.

In January this year, the company reported its first quarterly revenue growth in five-and-a-half years, after “22 consecutive quarters of shrinking sales”, the New York Times said.

The company’s Australian headcount plummeted by 1000 people in 2016, according to financial filings, one of the few times the effect of redundancies at the vendor was able to be quantified.

IBM has refocused in the past couple of years around cloud services and particularly artificial intelligence under its Watson brand.

Locally, Watson has found a home in large organisations including Woodside Energy, Suncorp and NAB-owned UBank.

Update, 2.00pm: An IBM Australia spokesperson said in a statement after publication that the company "made extensive hires in the business in Q1 2018 in the high value growth areas of cloud, AI, analytics and security."

"In addition, we have over 160 open professional roles to be filled - all to meet client demand.”

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