Unisys reorganizes to focus on services

Move expected to smooth operations and boost sales

Unisys Corp., which transformed itself from a hardware provider to a services company in the mid-1990s, has just completed an internal restructuring designed to focus on its core competences and increase its bottom line.

Unisys has created four distinct business units and four areas of core competence, said Ted Davies, president of the company’s federal systems sector, one of the four units.

“Now the corporation is over 90 percent services, 10 percent hardware. So it’s really a services company now,” Davies said. “But it’s taken a number of years to get the [corporate] culture toward the services culture.”

Davies took over the sector about six months ago, just a day before Ed Coleman joined the company as president and chief executive officer.

“He’s viewed this [appointment] as a turnaround” for Unisys because the company was losing money, Davies said, and added that a critical goal was to improve value to the shareholders.

“It was really time for a change,” he said. “Both of us kind of set out on missions to improve the organization.”

As a result, the company has been realigned into four stand-alone business units, each of which is led by a president. The realignment erased the separate worldwide sales organization and a cumbersome regional structure that overlay the business units, Davies said.

In addition to Davies’ federal unit, Unisys now includes Outsourcing and Infrastructure Services; Global Industries, which includes systems integration and consulting; and the Legacy Systems and Technology group, which combines Unisys’ hardware services and new technology solutions.

“As a result, we not only get better decision making, but also we save money,” he said. “That was part one of the journey for the corporation.”

Part two will focus on the company’s core competencies and grow the business, he added.

Unisys executives came up with four areas of primary focus, which will guide the company’s fortunes for the foreseeable future:

  • Data center transformation and outsourcing: Operating data centers for government and commercial clients.
  • Application modernization and outsourcing: Maintaining older applications and performing patch management or upgrading them to work with newer programs.
  • End-user services and outsourcing: Desk-top support, help-desk services.
  • Security: Providing a variety of security solutions that include ID and credentialing, biometrics and RFID.

Davies said those four areas account for about 85 percent of the $5 billion corporation’s business. The remaining 15 percent will either be sold off or de-emphasized, he added.

“It’s focusing the company, streamlining the company and then looking at how are we going to take those solutions that we do in there and differentiate the marketplace,” Davies said. “That’s sort of the second part of the journey that we’re starting to embark upon right now.”

Unisys, of Blue Bell, Pa., ranks No. 32 on Washington Technology’s 2009 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

Reader Comments

Tue, May 12, 2009 Ex-Unisys Mission Viejo, CA

Wow! "Re-focusing on core competencies!" Is it a silk purse, yet? Unisys has re-organized ad-infinitum in the past 25 years, and the stock has plummeted inexorably. How about learning to market? They've never learned to read the IBM playbook.

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