Major IT projects are being hit with delays at Aecom following the announcement that the entire department will be outsourced to IBM, an inside source has claimed.
The source stated that two large projects are currently being delayed, whilst smaller programmes are rushed through before staff are lost.
Having grown largely via acquisition, including the purchase of rival firm URS in 2014 for $6bn, Aecom still operates a large number of domains, and their migration programme is one of the works allegedly being delayed.
"Aecom's umbrella has over 50 domains from other companies that we've been working on migrating into a single domain," stated the source, claiming that this work is being delayed, in addition to another project to upgrade all Microsoft Office installations to the latest version.
At the same time, some smaller unified communications projects have allegedly been rushed through.
"They actually sped up the timeline of a conversion from Lync/Skype to Cisco Jabber so that it was rolled out enterprise-wide just a few days before the layoffs were announced," said the source.
The source added that morale within IT at the firm is understandably low, describing the mood as "uncertain", with most set to lose their jobs.
"There's such a huge lack of communication from the Aecom side that most of us, even those with the four-month offers [to work with IBM on the transition with the possibility of full-time employment with IBM thereafter], are unsure of how things will play out. It's hard to stay motivated to continue working knowing many of us will be done in May.
"There's general distention by the users knowing that IT is being outsourced to India and Costa Rica," the source added.
They explained that employees are being advised to try to find any work within IBM, suggesting that only a few will be retained from Aecom's workforce to run the outsourcing contract.
"Most employees are not going to have a job after May, and we are being very actively pushed to explore IBM's entire job listings to find something suitable, which indicates that very few Aecom IT folks will be retained to continue working specifically on the Aecom contract," the source said.
They also explained that turning down employment with IBM would mean foregoing any severance pay.
"Either you accept the IBM offer, or you are voluntarily terminating your own employment. In other words, there are 3 scenarios at play:
Hired by IBM to work on AECOM contract at the end of May, in which case your salary stays the same.
If you decline, you forfeit severance.
You get an offer to work at a sub-contractor of IBM
However, they claimed that whilst a comparable salary and relocation package has been promised, the details are left to the sub-contractor, and Aecom's HR department has refused to define these terms, the source said.
"HR at IBM and AECOM is flat out refusing to define what constitutes a comparable offer in order to keep things vague. So if they give you an offer of, say, moving to a location 50 miles away or more at a 10 per cent pay cut, who decides if that's acceptable? This question is vital because it determines if we would get severance or not for refusing to relocate at a lesser wage," the source claimed.
Finally, the source added that in their opinion, the deal can only work out well for Aecom.
"[Aecom global CIO] Tom Peck is looking out for the Board and Shareholders. Aecom bought URS and added $30m to the IT budget. Then, that money was just removed from the budget and Tom Peck started exploring outsourcing options. It's a win-win for AECOM: If outsourcing works, great, they saved millions in labor by paying lesser wages in India and Costa Rica. If it fails, they bring it back in-house in seven years, and still save money because they've gotten rid of all the older, higher paid staff and can pay new, younger staff less money and they saved seven years' worth of benefits and retirement coverage."
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