Apparently, sometimes you have to hire consultants to help you fire employees. A case in point: Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) hired management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. to organize an HP layoff plan, according to Bloomberg. The layoffs (involving as many as 25,000 to 30,000 employees) could be announced next week, The Wall Street Journal reported. The silver lining in all this: HP will need partners more than ever.

Indeed, many of the cuts will allegedly involve HP's services business -- home of the former EDS. At the same time, HP is looking to boost demand for its PCs and printers amid fierce competition from Apple's iPad and online document sharing services. Plus, HP is looking to ramp up its public cloud initiatives.

Add it all up and HP will need to lean harder than ever on channel partners.

The big questions:
  • What exactly will CEO Meg Whitman announce when HP delivers earnings on May 23?
  • Moreover, how will HP deliver "upbeat" strategic information during the HP Discover 2012 conference (June 4-7, Las Vegas)?
  • Why is The VAR Guy up so late blogging again?
That last bullet is easy to answer: Our resident blogger genuinely enjoys his job, though he doesn't enjoy blogging about job losses... especially when highly paid consultants appear to be writing portions of the job cut plan.