Open Text prepares to axe 15% of staff

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By  Published  October 27, 2006

Enterprise content management (ECM) software vendor Open Text is preparing to axe 15% of its global workforce following the recent acquisition of rival Hummingbird.

The firm currently employs more than 3,500 staff, but will cut that number by around 500 as part of the integration process.

Open Text has not yet revealed which geographic regions will be most impacted by the news, but admitted that job functions within areas of the business that fit outside its core strategic focus remain most at risk.

In a further move to reduce duplication costs from the merger, Open Text also disclosed plans to scale back facilities by closing and consolidating offices. Details of the cuts are still being thrashed out, but the Canada-based vendor said it expected to reveal more information in early 2007.

John Shackleton, president and CEO at Open Text, commented: “The changes we’re making involve some tough decisions. Unfortunately, this is necessary to eliminate the redundancies that invariably come when turning two companies into one.

“As we go through this transition, customers will remain our top priority. Customers expect us to be there for them when they need us. We have a track record of delivering excellent service and we will continue to do so through a combined organisation composed of highly-trained service and support professionals,” he added.

Open Text tied up the US$489 million acquisition of Hummingbird earlier this month and wants to quickly integrate to ensure minimum disruption to its business.

It is maintaining its strategy of organising its product and solutions expertise into groups focused on key vertical segments, including legal, financial services, energy, pharmaceuticals, retail, manufacturing, and media and entertainment.

This structure allows it to align its industry and ECM solutions expertise with specific customer needs in each segment, according to the company.

It has also confirmed that RedDot Solutions — which it has gained from the acquisition — will be maintained as part of its web content management strategy while the Hummingbird Connectivity unit will continue to operate as a distinct brand.

Open Text launched a Middle East operation in Dubai in 2000, and earlier this month signed systems integrator Itqan as its prime partner in the UAE.

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