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back to article Serco sharpens the IT guillotine

Government services firm Serco is looking to cut up to 500 jobs from its IT division, with satellite offices and its Birmingham HQ all likely to be hit. Serco bought ITNet in 2004 and has contracts with the RAF and several local authorities. A spokesman for the firm confirmed to The Register that restructuring meant jobs would …

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Dead Vulture

Satellite Offices

Sounds pretty cool to work in a satellite office, though I suppose you don't get very many visitors?

Anyway, Secro can go to hell, don't they service the nations Speed Cameras?

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Unhappy

Dont mix Serco Group with its Solutions arm

Yes, Serco do all the speed cameras etc which we all hate, but this artical is in reference to Serco Solutions, which was basically ITNet. Nothing to so with the Serco Group and there evil-ness!

A lot of good people being effected by Seroc's poor management.

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Anonymous Coward

This is not new news

They started redundancy procedures way back in December with the effective date being something like beginning of March 2008.

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Thumb Down

Not quite accurate

The consultation period is over and those for the chop will be told on Monday. Offshore workers can sleep soundly as only UK staff are getting the boot.

Basically UK teams are being shrunk and in some cases amalgamated, most server and database support is already with Indian workers and the rest will be soon.

Mines the one with the ticket to Mumbai sticking out of the pocket.

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Paris Hilton

@Dont mix Serco Group with its Solutions arm

"A lot of good people being effected by Seroc's poor management."

They must be somewhere other than the shop floor then - every desktop and network tech I have met from Serco/ITNet have been utter planks with all the technical nouse of a cabbage.

in fact, I'd trust a cabbage to build me a desktop image before I'd let anyone from Serco near it.

Might just be a Local Govt thing though...?

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Anonymous Coward

@Chad Clifton

Although I agree with the poor management bit I have to disagree with the "good people" argument.

I would agree if you said "a lot of nice people" but not good. I worked fro Serco Solutions for a time and the people I dealt with were far from good, take the following examples:

At any one time out of a team of 13 at least 8 were "working from home". If you called them "at home" you would get an answer maybe once a day if you were lucky. A new set of management was brought in to oversee the initial rounds of redundancies and the sub-boss clearly stated that he saw working from home as a skive I do not agree with this, however anyone with half a brain would then work from the office at least until the redundancies were sorted.

So they continued working from home 2 days a week.

I tried to phone one guy working from home and after a lot of fuss I got through for him to apologise because he had order a skip and it had just arrived and he was busy.

I phoned another guy and I will bet my house that when I phoned him "working from home" he was in actual fact fucking his wife whilst the kids were at school.

I liked Serco Solutions, they were nice people, but unfortunately they were neither competitive nor politically aware.

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Dead Vulture

Bye Kevin, hello Kevin 2.0

I understand staff are simply being told over the phone if they have a job or not on Monday- nice.

Well, Kevin Lavery is out the door (Serco Solutions Head Honcho) and yet and another faceless suit enters the fray.

Serco it seems, have ring-fenced some staff and are trying to off-load them to CumputaCentre, but seeing as how they are themselves making cuts, this in itself may fall through and those very staff find themselves back in the firing line.

Good luck to everyone involved for next week - the job-front can only go uphill from here...

The avatar speaks for itself.

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National Security

errrr.

As the systems supported underpin government in this country should the support operatives not be from here too by law in the interests of national security.

Sure we have good relations with India now but diplomatic relations can change overnight.

In the same way, no other state should have control over our nuke stockpile (american companies such as Lockheed Martin own shares in places such as the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) and the bases that service the subs that carry the missiles and the associated nuclear warheads.

oh but wait, then our MPs wouldn't get backhanders and might have to reign in their spending.

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Anonymous Coward

Glad I am out of there

Used to work in this division and I am sure as hell glad I got out of there whn I did.

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Alert

More job losses to come

The summer 2008 redundancy programme ('project spring') at Serco Solutions is the 4th such reorg in the 3 years since ITNET was acquired. It is correct that staff will be told early next week of their fate.

The Serco Solutions business is clearly suffering on all fronts, with lack of new business and problems with delivery. It has been severely mismanaged, and some are now (finally) being held to account for this. Last week saw the departure of the CEO Kevin Lavery, you will most likely see more senior people exit the company over the next few days (eg HR Director).

For those who are told that they are safe, don't get too comfortable. I have it on good authority that another streamlining is due to take place early in 2009 (Jan/Feb). I would suggest now is a good time to go.

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Black Helicopters

Out in sympathy?

That'll be why the Docklands Light Railway (DLR, a Serco operated franchise London's Docklands - http://www.serco.com/markets/transport/news/pressrelease/2006/dlr.asp ) had a major systems failure this morning then...

Did they ask the wrong person to leave?

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Unhappy

A symptom of poor management

I'm another former ITNET/Solutions employee (left of my own accord a couple of years ago, thank goodness) and this horrible mess basically just comes down to one thing: incompetent management.

Right from the time Serco took over ITNET, they basically got rid of (or sidelined) all the old management team and brought in their own "Serco people" - most of whom hadn't the first clue about the IT industry or how to win IT business. Many of them, I'm sure, weren't even interested in being there and couldn't wait to return to their comfortable homes elsewhere in Serco Group.

The evidence is clear: ITNET was a pretty decent and successful player in the local government market, but Serco's grand philosophy was to win bigger and bigger contracts with central government. Now anyone with half a brain working in IT could have told them that they'd never compete with the likes of EDS, IBM, CSC (etc etc) in IT outsourcing, but that's what they tried to do.

I imagine this latest cull signals the end of Serco trying to make it in IT which, if it's true, is a colossal waste of the £235m Serco spent to acquire the company. If I was a shareholder, I'd be asking some very tough questions of management...

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Anonymous Coward

Ex!

My partner was made redundant from Serco in 2007 (Transport), it looks like Serco are on a very slippery slope - their redundancy procedure leaves more than a lot to be desired so check it out before the bullet hits! When asked what the redundancy package was, they replied 'We can't tell you that!' Eh?

My partner took legal advice, and on one of the issues put to HR they actually asked if my partner could show them where to get the information!!! You can imagine the response!

Get out now - and watch your back!

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Coat

But it only shows

I was one of the people IT net shafted whilst running Islington Housing Benefit, after 3 years I finally got my money back....then I get asked by my employer (SERCO) if i want to work at IT net that they just bought?.

The problem with buying a failing company is you have to TUPE all the crap staff too (the useful ones would have been picked off by agencies long ago) so now it's failing again? WOW who'd have thought it. At a time when SERCO are not exactly delivering on their other Govt contracts it's a wonder they are surviving. I got out and now they keep upping the offers to get me back, but I'm not re-boarding a sinking ship. They pay badly for what they expect you to do.

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Coat

Bye then...

I am one of the ones told this morning that I'm out the door. Garden Leave looks imminent this coming Friday.

After reading the above comments about the abismal Serco HR Department, I'll be checking any documentation sent to my house very carefully over the next few days.

Mines the one with the incorrectly-calculated Payoff sticking out the pocket...

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SERCO MAINTAIN STANDARDS

Not surprised at some of the comments in here about SERCO. This organisation have been behaving like this for years. They were much the same when called ITNET, and just as incompetent. Must admit I feel sorry for any poor sod who works for this crowd. SERCO are bad for your health. Avoid them at all costs.

God help anybody who gets into bed with this bunch.

Noel

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Pirate

Glad to leave

I am one of the unfortunate souls who received a phone call on monday to inform me that I was not successful in applying for a new job , and could I clear my desk and leave the building immediately.

I got about 10 minutes to pack and leave.

I don't feel bitter , but I feel really sorry for the poor old sods left behind.

For Solutions , English is a second language. They have out-sourced everything they can to India , and got rid of as many people in the UK that they possible can.

Since the takeover of ITNet , well over 1000 staff members have been given the chop , but of course , this as not been publicised or advertised at all. It has been swept under the carpet to avoid upsetting shareholders.

The communication has been appaling from Serco , for example the last communicaiotn said that 500 people will be given the chop in July , but there was still time to apply for the Serco ShareSave scheme !!

It does look like 'Solutions' is a dying company on its last legs , and is being prep'd for a takeover / merger real soon.

I too , am looking forward to my redundancy cheque , hopefully it will arrive soon.

As for National Security , Air safety and other UK key infrastructure services , as long as the UK is friends with India , we can all sleep well at night.

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Unhappy

Items to ponder

Here is something to ponder:

"Of course, jobs are outsourced - sorry, that word again - to save money. That often means a tight contract and some job losses. 'Our rule on redundancies is that we make the changes on day one. You lose credibility if you don't do it on day one. We go in, we speak to the people, we decide. Drip-drip is a disaster - you lose credibility and you lose trust with the new staff."

Management Today Interviewee 01/12/07

Stupidity has a knack of getting its way The Plague, Albert Camus - 1947

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Anonymous Coward

hehe

i received an email with that particular quote on......gee I wonder who posted that then :)

good luck in stevenage!

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Not me Guv - honest!

Twas not the originator of the email who posted the quote from the Serco CEO here!

However, here is another piece about the CEO from the FT for good measure.

'Christopher Rajendran Hyman, the chief of Serco Group, is a Pentecostal Christian who admits to being “evangelical” about ensuring people feel their work really matters, no matter how humdrum it seems from the outside. His people-centred philosophy extends to putting staff happiness and well-being before profits'.

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Flame

It was me

I posted the comment from Mr O as I thought that it needed a wider audience.

There are many unhappy people here in Serco Solutions(ex ITNET) the sooner that we are sold and the mgmt changed to ones who know about IT the better.

So much for ITiL in relation to Service Management - what a laugh.

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