Is Xerox's European services plan in tatters and is ACS to it what EDS is to HP?

Xerox’s plans to grow its services business in Europe could be in tatters. A source told me it is about to lay off lots of people.

This is the Xerox that acquired US IT and business process services giant Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) for billions of dollars in 2009.

The firm gave Xerox a services footprint in over 100 countries from 500 locations.

Speaking at the time Xerox CEO Ursula Burns said the deal was “a game-changer for Xerox”. “By combining Xerox’s strengths in document technology with ACS’s expertise in managing and automating work processes, we’re creating a new class of solution provider,” she said. Xerox wanted to use its brand to grow ACS’s business outside the US with a strong focus on Europe.

But according to a source close with good knowledge of the company it is about to retrench in Europe and lay off lots of people.

Xerox like HP, with its EDS acquisition, and Dell, with its Perot Systems acquisition is a hardware giant attempting to expand into services. We all know that HP has halved EDS’s market value since its take-over in 2008.

Do hardware firms and services suppliers have incompatible DNA?

Tell me what you think.

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