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IBM Layoffs 2016: Europe Faces 2nd Round of Staff Cuts

IBM Corp. apparently is set to begin a second round of 2016 layoffs in Europe. The latest firings apparently will include a "massive restructuring" of IBM's European workforce, International Business Times reported.

Although IBM hasn't disclosed exact layoff figures, the European Works Council estimated that 10 percent to 15 percent of staff in some Western-European countries could lose their jobs, IBT added. Ironically, the rumored European job cuts surface only a few days after IBM acquired a Microsoft Dynamics CRM consulting company in the region.

IBM's so-called "workforce rebalancing" for 2016 began with layoffs a few weeks ago. Even as the company ramps up in such areas as cognitive computing, cloud, mobile and security, IBM has also been trimming headcount in other areas. The total worldwide cuts could involve 14,000 IBM layoffs by mid-2016, according to a Bernstein analyst.

IBM isn't the only IT giant rethinking headcount and financial commitments in slow-growth or no-growth areas like IT services. Dell has been trying to sell off its IT services business (Perot Systems) in recent months. And Hewlett Packard Enterprise appears poised to make some IT services cuts in Europe soon.

Amid weak revenues and falling profits, IBM has also overhauled its partner program to more effectively serve growth markets like cognitive computing and cloud services. But many of the actual specialization areas won't be formalized for partners until later this year, the company said during its PartnerWorld conference in February.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.