Unify – the comms player formerly known as Siemens Enterprise Communications – plans to slash staff numbers worldwide from 7,700 to just 3,800.
The move is part of its ongoing restructure in favour of software development, integration and managed services, according to Unify chief executive Dean Douglas. About half of the layoffs will come from central Europe.
"Today's marketplace is changing rapidly, and the demands that the next generation of users are placing on our customers are changing quickly as well," he said.
The firm must transform itself to be more competitive, putting much more focus on "technology deployment options" around OpenScape products and services provided by "a broader choice" of partners. The restructure was both necessary and "very difficult", Douglas (pictured) said.
Further initiatives have been planned to help streamline the company to focus on innovation, including a shift to a multi-tier go-to-market approach, and consolidation of its locations around the globe.
"This also includes a review of the future location of the global headquarters," he indicated.
"The company has previously taken steps to modernise its operations and processes, expand the product portfolio under the OpenScape umbrella,unveil market-leading innovation with Project Ansible and rebrand as Unify."
These moves had not been enough to compensate for "dramatic" changes in the way comms and collaboration tools are being used in the workplace, the rise of cloud computing, and the expansion of "software-oriented" rivals, he said.
"This requires Unify to take steps immediately to accelerate its transition from a traditional hardware manufacturer to a true communications and collaboration software and services company," he said.
The global channel programme will continue to develop, Douglas added, with an increased emphasis on SMB customers as well as large-enterprise firms.
A SaaS offering from Project Ansible is expected in October.
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