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Unisys ‘tailoring services to NZ market’

By Donovan Jackson, Fri 15 Mar 2013
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Enterprise tech company Unisys reckons it has the means to reach smaller businesses by bringing ‘x as a service’ to market on the back of its enterprise Intel-based mainframe technology. That’s a key component of its strategy to grow in New Zealand, where the greater portion of organisations fall into that classification.

That’s according to recently-appointed country manager Steve Griffin, who says it is bullish about local prospects. While schmoozing journos over lunch, Griffin went with the (by now) received wisdom that small companies can benefit from enterprise technology thanks to xaaS.

It’s the usual benefits: enterprise class solutions as hosted services ‘accessible to NZ’s typically smaller organisations’ (suck on that, Telecom, Westpac, etc), pay for what you use, move from Capex to Opex, flexibility in consumption. “For example, we’re offering Remedy as a service, which gives even smaller companies the ability to access an enterprise management solution,” says Griffin.

Other vertical market solutions include cargo services, baggage recon services, storage as a servce, compute as a service and ‘lots more under development’.

But ‘small’ for Unisys does mean around the 500 seats mark, he qualifies; in NZ terms, one is tempted to insist that that is more medium than small.

In terms of areas of focus, mobility and security are fairly ho-hum as obvious ‘hot spots’ for service providers of every stripe. But perhaps a little more specific to Unisys is its capability in application modernisation – it recently delivered a major project for NZTA, on time and without interruption (could you fix Novopay, we jokingly asked; Griffin’s reply: ‘We’re always willing to talk’) – and its ClearPath server platform.

The latter is, effectively, the modern Unisys mainframe, based on an Intel platform, and something that puts a literal sparkle in the eye of Unisys tech guru (and APAC sales director) Vic Herring, who says ‘We’ve got some pretty exciting stuff lined up on ClearPath; we’re bursting to talk about it, but those announcements will come later’. We’ll report on them later, too.

With some 300 people in New Zealand, Unisys has grown its headcount slightly over the past year, Griffin says, reflecting the 8% growth the APAC region has delivered between 2011 and 2012. Six months into the job, he is confident of maintaining this performance through a combination of technology, customer focus and a portfolio tailored to local businesses.

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