Microsoft cuts consultancy services staff

Microsoft has cut 161 jobs in the US in an effort to realigning its Microsoft Consulting Services business, following the lead of...

Microsoft has cut 161 jobs in the US in an effort to realigning its Microsoft Consulting Services business, following the lead of other IT suppliers and consultancies in seeking more strategic work in place of routine services and development tasks.

"Rather than the initial deployment, the focus will now be on higher level end-to-end solutions," spokeswoman Stacy Drake said. Microsoft will rely on its partners for implementation services, she added.

As part of the realignment, Microsoft will be hiring to boost the Microsoft Consulting Services group's expertise in the areas on which it will focus, Drake said.

No decisions about what positions will be created have been made. The consulting group, which focuses on helping customers align technology decisions with strategic priorities, is part of a broader services organisation that also includes a product support division.

IBM spent $3.5bn (£2.1bn) last year on PwC Consulting to add more strategic expertise to its consulting organisation, while Hewlett-Packard cited building its services division as a key rationale for its acquisition of Compaq.

Stacy Cowley writes for IDG News Service

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