Last week, Sun Microsystems announced that it would lay off somewhere between 5,000 and 6,000 employees, or about 15 to 18 percent of its workforce. It wouldn't surprise me if other big tech companies soon follow suit.
Sun of course, has a large sales channel, and the staff reduction may actually work to the channel's favor. Many VARs have indicated that they see the move as positive, and I think they have the right perspective on it. With that much staff reduction, Sun will depend more heavily on non-employee partners, as would any company. There is no indication of precisely where those layoffs will occur, and how much of the layoff will be in the area of direct sales, but one would presume that the strategy would include cutting the direct sales staff. As a result, Sun will depend more heavily on its sales partner channel.