Unisys launches major services push

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IT consultancy and outsourcing giant Unisys today launched a major new services-led strategy, designed to help customers maximise the efficiency and utilisation of their technology resources and enhance IT agility.

The initiative, which aims to provide customers with what Unisys has christened a "real time infrastructure", is a major departure for the firm, which has previously led with a hardware-driven push into organisations, according to chief executive Rich Marcello.

"CIOs want to know how to solve business problems in an agile way… [and build] an infrastructure which can respond in real time to changing business conditions," he argued. "We have a 3-D blueprinting methodology which aligns business processes and high level strategy all the way down to the infrastructure underneath."

Central to the new strategy is the Infrastructure Management Suite (IMS) – new best-of-breed data centre solutions based on in-house and third party technology which customers can implement at their own pace, said Marcello.

"If customers like two or three [certain components] or want to use different hardware, then because we are framework and services-led we can swap components in and out," explained Marcello. "And they can enter in at any level of the stack and do as much as they want."

The IMS includes solutions to aid migration to more efficient data centres, automate the management of virtualised server environments, and repurpose testing infrastructure for disaster recovery requirements.

The new middleware software underpinning the management suite includes uAdapt from Scalent Systems, which enables the repurposing of server assets in real time, and uOrchestrate from Enigmatec Corporation, which helps to automates key IT processes, according to the firm. Unisys Chargeback, meanwhile, allows IT administrators to measure resource usage and charge the relevant business units.

Finally, Unisys expanded its blade and mid-range server portfolio with the new ES5000 family of blades featuring greater power and cost efficiency and the addition of the ES3215L two-socket quad-core server with Intel Xeon processing. Unisys also launched upgrades to the ES3220, ES3220L and ES3420L servers which now include Intel Virtualisation technology to improve performance in virtualised environments.

Kate Hanaghan of analyst firm Ovum commented that the new initiative is in line with the trend among large IT services companies to move up the value chain and provide customers with solutions to help them save money and increase efficiency and agility in the date centre.

"One of the biggest problems CIOs have is their vast sprawling data centres full of legacy equipment of different makes which is very difficult to manage and expensive to run," she added. "This announcement makes perfect sense - there will be lots of mileage to provide solutions to address these problems."

However, she argued that Unisys might struggle to differentiate from firms like IBM and HP in what is a very competitive market. Hanaghan added that it could also be held back by acting slightly later than its competitors in relocating its human resources to lower cost locations such as India.
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itweek.co.uk @ 2010 Incisive Media

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