Consumer accountancy software developer Intuit will reduce its workforce by 10 per cent after deciding to offload its technical support to third parties.
The company announced plans to cut 270 staff worldwide after it decided to outsource all of its technical support operations. Intuit will move its European headquarters to Munich, but will retain sales offices in the UK and France. About 70 jobs are expected to be lost in Europe.
Guy Berruyer, Intuit general manager, Europe, said the channel would not be affected by the redundancies. He said Intuit was looking for a large European-wide partner to provide support, and confirmed that it had been talking to UK companies.
The redundancies come at the same time as Intuit takes a $40 million equity investment stake in Excite to create an online financial channel, providing information, stock quotes and financial directories.
As part of the investment, Intuit will buy 2.9 million shares at $13.50 per share, amounting to a 19 per cent stake in Excite, after the two companies entered into a seven-year programme for the Web financial channel.
The announcements were seen as a move away from Intuit?s traditional reliance on its software to providing general financial services. Over the past year, Intuit has relied less on its market-leading packages Quicken, Quick Books and Turbo Tax and has moved towards providing financial services.
Quicken is sold purely through retail, but the higher-end Quick Books is sold through about 3,500 resellers.
Bill Mackay, general manager for retail at Ingram Micro, said: ?The products are great. The problem is that Intuit wants to move to the higher end market, which is dominated by Sage and Pegasus at the moment.
?Intuit needs to work harder to win the hearts and minds of the accountants.?
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