Oracle to shutter most Euro hardware support teams

Based in Romania? You are safe

By Rebecca Hill

Posted in Data Centre, 12th September 2017 12:00 GMT

Exclusive Oracle is cutting costs by shifting pan-European hardware support to Romania in a move that could see hundreds of existing staff made redundant, multiple insiders have told The Register.

The process of winding up the in-country operations started in recent weeks, though the deadline for migrating the support seems to differ for the locations.

Figures provided by one Oracle staffer, who spoke to us on the condition of anonymity, show there are a little over 424 support employees in Europe, including managers and directors. Some 137 of these people are already based in Romania.

That leaves 287 people outside of Romania at risk of losing their jobs, with the lion’s share - 77 - of these being based in Germany, followed by 67 in Spain, 55 in France, 53 in the UK and the remainder located in other countries across the region.

According to Oracle internal communications - seen by us - the hardware support team in Germany is expected to shutter H2 FY2018 - which for Oracle would be the six months to May 2018. A source indicated they expected closure by the end of February.

The equivalent function in Italy and France could close by the end of this calendar year, with Spain expected to shut down around the same time as Germany.

The UK hardware support branch has more directors than other countries, and is estimated to have the longest life span and be the last major team to hand over responsibilities to their Romanian counterparts.

El Reg understands that in addition to Romania, European hardware support during the night shift will be taken on by the operation in India, which has around 200 heads.

Dale Vile, analyst at Freeform Dynamics, said that established support teams accumulate experience, understanding and a collective knowledge of "tips, tricks and traps" that could not easily be passed on outside of the existing environment.

"The concern is losing this institutional and cultural ‘memory', particularly for more specialist teams. This can make the difference between an efficient peer-to-peer support experience for the customer, and script-driven hell, no matter how well-trained the outsourced resources happen to be."

The migration of support to Eastern Europe follows last month’s departure of John Fowler, Oracle’s executive vice-president for systems.

This comes after revenues for hardware and on-premise software repeatedly fell. In fiscal ’17, Oracle reported 11 per cent and 2 per cent declines in hardware and old world software sales, and it was the first time that cloud brought in more than physical systems.

Near-shoring support to Romania isn’t new for Oracle, the process for the software support function began in late 2015, as previously revealed, but the latest development comes amid a flurry of redundancies at Big Red.

Sales people in the hardware division, and workers from the SPARC and Solaris OS teams were given their marching order in recent weeks.

Oracle refused to comment. ®

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