A look at Unisys - now more services provider than hardware manufacturer

* Facts about Unisys outsourcing

Unisys has a legacy in computing that rivals Big Blue. From the roots of Buroughs, Sperry and Rand, Unisys was formed in 1986, and has a history back to the beginning of electronic computing in business and science. Unisys began to deliver IT services in 1992, and today services are more than 83% of its $5.76 billion in 2005 revenue. This is one provider that I wanted to learn more about, so I recently spoke with Joe Hogan, VP Strategic Programs, Outsourcing.

Unisys delivers its outsourcing services via four outsourcing suites that include:

* IT Outsourcing - covering desktop and mobile computing, servers and data center operations.

* Application Outsourcing - includes maintenance, new development and refreshing older applications.

* Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) - long history in payment processing including check processing and remittance.

* Technology support and Maintenance Services - installation, deployment and maintenance for hardware and software.

Quick facts about Unisys Outsourcing:

* Among the top 10 full-service IT outsourcers in the world.Recently announced two new India-based offshore centers to grow offshore resources to 6,000 by 2008.

* More than 10,000 people supporting outsourcing engagements worldwide.

* Provides BPO from more than 30 services centers.

* Provides information technology outsourcing (ITO) from more than 20 data centers and 30 managed services centers.

* Manages more than 1.2 million client seats


According to Hogan, the cornerstone of Unisys’ outsourcing offerings is its 3D-VE for Outsourcing framework. 3D-VE is shorthand for three dimensional visible enterprise, and is a framework for looking at processes, infrastructure needs and how they serve the business strategies. Applied to outsourcing, it incorporates service management methodologies including IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) and Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology (COBIT). 3D-VE creates visibility into how change affects an organization’s strategy, processes, applications and IT infrastructure. It helps define specific outsourcing needs and goals as well as criteria for measuring success.

While a number of outsourcers have focused on Capability Maturity Model (CMM) certifications and COBIT, Unisys is putting more emphasis on ITIL than I have seen from their competitors. Many of the management software companies have incorporated ITIL process support in their applications. But ITIL has been missing as more than just a mention by many of the outsourcers. Unisys is driving forward rather than looking back by embracing ITIL in its process for evaluating and planning client engagements. This is a real differentiator. It goes beyond process control to really tie IT to the business goals. Process is great, but process that is structured to support the strategic direction of the business is even better.

Unisys is really structured for government and bigger companies, and not a likely option for small and midsize businesses. It has an impressive client list in the local government space, providing significant IT services and full outsourcing for several major cities. It is also serving a number financial institutions globally. Workstation support is a major part of its services, with a real strength in 5,000-plus desktop environments. While not the force in offshore resources as some of the other large outsourcers, Unisys has recently stepped up its efforts in India. The discipline to thinking through and planning for change created by the 3D-VE framework must certainly make it easier to take work offshore.


Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

The 10 most powerful companies in enterprise networking 2022