IBM Source: Layoffs Fewer Than Feared, Just In Excess Of 10,000 Globally

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While job losses and employee unease about job security is always unfortunate, it's possible the company's channel will benefit by being asked to pick up some slack in delivering consulting services, said Kevin Goodman, managing director at BlueBridge Networks, a hosting provider based in Cleveland that partners with IBM.

"This gap that comes [from] growth, change and innovation also provides smaller regional boutique shops and providers like our company, BlueBridge Networks, the opportunity to provide service and meet and exceed business and IT objectives in the areas not filled by the void," Goodman told CRN.

The source inside IBM said the company has been increasing the number of its developers who work directly with channel partners, "and you can expect that to continue."

Goodman told CRN that any time a company backs off from an aspect of their services and consulting business, especially those focused on the SMB market, "there are players like us who are ready, willing and able to pick up the opportunities and serve them as we would to large enterprise-class companies."

IBM, like other established tech companies, needs to continue reinventing to maintain a leadership position in the digital age, with its ever-changing technology landscape, Goodman said.

IBM "continues to demonstrate the way to get to personalization in the world is by taking cloud platforms and infusing them with cognition and delivering them as a service. Much of what they do seems to reinforce this," Goodman said. "I fully expect IBM and other more established players in the digital age to take on new roles in the ecosystem in a nontraditional way to their DNA."

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