43 jobs go at Hitachi Data Systems

Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) has sacked 43 staffers in Australia and New Zealand as part of a worldwide restructuring to counteract dwindling returns from its mainframe business.

Australasian cutbacks were expected after HDS' mid-November announcement its global workforce of 2700 would be pared by 400. But the size of the cutback - about 20% of HDS' Australian workforce - was larger than many both inside and outside HDS were predicting.

The axe was felt most heavily among administrative, accounting and marketing personnel in the company's Sydney and Melbourne offices.

Putting a brave face on the restructuring, Australia and New Zealand CEO Tim Ward said it would pave the way for "unprecedented growth...(by) creating anorganisation poised to implement improved sales and support models andneeding fewer back office staff."

HDS will implement new channel programs, non-S/390 computing programs and OEM programs. Ward said he did not accept criticism the company was tardy in reacting to problems in its S/390-compatible business where IBM has been in an aggressive mood this year.

HDS will implement new channel programs, non-S/390 computing programs and OEM programs whose details will emerge over the next few months, he said.

It is expected to diversify more rapidly into Unix and Windows NT platforms, as rival S/390-compatible vendor Amdahl already has. lt may also turn to indirect channel sales of its enterprise storage products.

Services already account for 30% of HDS revenues in Australia and New Zealand.

Year 2000 compliance and disaster recovery services are a current hot spot but HDS also supplies data centre processing and application development services and runs data centres in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland.

The accent on the services side of its business does not mean that HDS will abandon the S/390-compatible sector, Ward said.

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