Enterprise meltdown?

SAP is canning SAPPHIRE Europe Microsoft pinkslips 5,000 employees amid a reasonable but tepid performanceHow bad is it out there?The enterprise grapevine tells me that IBM is likely to dump 16,000 (yes- that's sixteen thousand) peopleSo just how bad is it out there?

SAP is canning SAPPHIRE Europe

 Microsoft pinkslips 5,000 employees amid a reasonable but tepid performance

How bad is it out there?

The enterprise grapevine tells me that IBM is likely to dump 16,000 (yes- that's sixteen thousand) people

So just how bad is it out there? Check this graph of demand in the SAP market:

SAP demand

Talking yesterday to  Jon Reed who keeps his finger on the pulse of the SAP employment market, all around volume demand  is down around 24% this last year, a figure I have seen reflected in the UK. From the chart above, CRM and project management have taken a dramatic downward spin. If that is carried through to competitors then Oracle and Salesforce.com will be feeling the pinch.

Curiously, pay rates are holding up or increasing and show no signs of weakening. However, if the market contracts further then there comes a point where contractor rates will come under pressure.

However you want to parse the figures, the fact SAP, Microsoft and - allegedly IBM - are cutting back hard tells me we're in a deep recession. How bad it gets is anyone's guess.

UPDATE: a website has opened up for IBM'ers who are being canned. It has seen a lot of action today. Sandy Kemlsey adds insight:

There are two weird things about this. First of all, IBM is completely silent about it so far, although they will have to issue some sort of press release soon as the news is leaking out all over the place. Second, they just announced healthy profits in the software group, which seems to be the group taking the biggest hit.

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