Unisys hosted its first in-person Analyst Day event in Boston on June 2 to bring together leaders from segment groups and the top leadership team to discuss the company’s strategy pivot and refreshed branding image within the IT services space. CEO Peter Altabef; SVP and CTO Dwayne Allen; SVP and CMO Teresa Poggenpohl; and SVP and Chief Commercial Officer Maureen Sweeny led the presentation, walking through partnerships, modern workplace solutions and cloud strategies that will propel the company through 2022 and into 2023. Leon Gilbert, GM of Digital Workplace Solutions, and Mike McGarvey, senior director of Global Hybrid Cloud, led the discussion on Digital Workplace Solutions, and Manju Naglapur, GM of Cloud and Infrastructure Solutions, and Dan Chalk, senior director of Cloud and Infrastructure Solutions, discussed Cloud, Infrastructure and Application Services.
Over the past year, Unisys has executed on rebranding and marketing efforts to transform its image in the IT services space and offer a refreshed technology portfolio that allows the company to expand revenue and profitability.
Centering its solutions and talent around four key areas — Digital Workplace Solutions, Cloud, Infrastructure and Application Services, Business Process Solutions and Enterprise Computing Solutions — helps Unisys provide clients with the tools and services to uphold their modernized workplaces. To execute on this transformation, Unisys expanded its ecosystem to include the expertise, technology capabilities and scale required to move beyond traditional services needs and highlight its broadened experience and optimized portfolio. By leaning on its expanded ecosystem and undertaking internal innovation projects, Unisys has developed industry-specialized applications that better fit within clients’ environments.
As part of its rebranding, Unisys refined its talent strategy, looking to fill gaps around technology and make cultural improvements to bolster its companywide shift. With increasing competition around talent, Unisys aims to ensure it can recruit and retain resources that support growth opportunities. Unisys is not alone with attrition pressures as peers have also experienced jumps in attrition rates, particularly over the last 18 months, pushing vendors to hire and offset talent shortages.
Changing marketing and portfolio trends
Unisys executed on refreshing its brand and marketing plan to better align its business offerings and market positioning to clients’ needs. A core piece of the company’s marketing transition was building partnerships with clients and instilling trust across its engagements, which will serve as a lead-in for both new and old clients and guide the integration of new technologies and solutions within IT environments. To support this end, Unisys updated its website to leverage a more content-oriented approach, showcasing client testimonials and experiences as well as outcomes. Additionally, increased marketing efforts to grow awareness of its portfolio and wealth of experience transform Unisys’ image and guide business model shifts. Increasing brand trust improves market perception, which will help Unisys grow its client base and existing engagements as well as attract new talent.
Shifting its marketing approach created opportunities for Unisys in the C-Suite. As clients look to establish new security, cloud, digital, and environmental, social and governance (ESG) offerings, Unisys strengthens its ability to engage with different levels within the C-Suite to guide these projects. The content-driven approach is geared toward attracting higher-level stakeholders and generating larger-scale transformation projects.
By deepening its involvement in the ESG market, Unisys is able to better help clients address their sustainability targets and improve their environmental footprints. In 2006 Unisys set internal targets to control and reduce emissions and outputs, which helped it gain experience and outcomes in the area. Unisys has since updated its targets to continue its progress toward the company’s sustainability goals.
Developing the internal skills and resources needed to implement the company’s sustainability goals enables Unisys to execute on similar efforts for clients, particularly in Europe, where it has helped clients adapt to new regulations regarding emissions and energy consumption. Unisys also executes on the social and cultural aspects of ESG to help clients improve internally and externally.
In July TBR published the special report, Atos’ sustainability play relies on ecosystems, science and leading by example, which expands on the customer-zero approach, showcasing the SI vendors that have created more resonant use cases. For example, according to the report, “Atos has rarely presented itself as customer zero, but with sustainability the vendor has been showing its own standards to clients and the internal lessons learned on adoption, measurement and change management.” By expanding its breadth of ESG capabilities and its brand recognition, Unisys has established a foundation it can build upon in its growth areas.
Business models shifts, including support from Unisys’ external branding and marketing efforts to transform market perception, have allowed the company to lead with trust and deliver on clients’ needs to drive outcomes, leaning on its portfolio depth and partner ecosystem. Showcasing the depth of its portfolio and services will allow Unisys to better lead discussions with new stakeholders within emerging areas.
Emphasizing digital workplace and cloud
As clients execute on larger-scale transformation projects, they look for vendors to guide projects from beginning to end and to provide support following completion. Repositioning through marketing plans and a refreshed portfolio image allows Unisys to serve as a go-to partner for its clients.
The key theme of partnerships and value-driven outcomes for clients was embedded throughout the event, serving as evidence of Unisys’ efforts to improve relationship management and the relevancy of its portfolio. By working closely with clients to update their environments and business strategies, underpinned by emerging technologies, Unisys can enable clients to respond more quickly to market changes and operate more cost effectively. While the majority of Unisys’ revenue is generated through outsourcing and support and maintenance — which represent approximately 65% of total revenue — consulting work is helping to guide the adoption of digital workplace and cloud solutions. Expanding those conversations with clients will expand the breadth of Unisys’ consulting experience and ability to guide transformations.
During the event Unisys also highlighted its partner ecosystem and the roles it plays in accelerating digital transformation and helping the company grow its portfolio around both consulting capabilities and emerging technology. Forging partnerships enhances Unisys’ value proposition around industry solutions, improving its ability to identify and address clients’ transformative needs.
Additionally, Unisys incorporates consulting services derived from partnerships to better guide cloud migrations to Amazon Web Services and other hyperscaler solutions. This aligns with TBR’s findings in its May 2022 Digital Transformation: Voice of the Customer Research, which supports the idea that SIs will be capable of delivering an ecosystem of solutions to enable transformation. According to the report, “While cloud migration and IT modernization continue to provide the bulk of the services opportunities, buyers, especially the ones that have led the way in terms of adopting a business-first, technology-second mindset, are now demonstrating an appetite for experimenting with new technologies in areas such as AI, enabling them to further enhance customer experience.”
TBR’s June 2022 Digital Transformation: Cloud Ecosystems Market Landscape also emphasizes the need of hyperscaler partners is deeply rooted in platforms and scale to transformation projects. The market landscape states, “While hyperscalers’ platform capabilities provide the necessary hooks into IT systems, both new and old, to enable the construction of hybrid IT and cloud environments, the SI community serves as the tip of hyperscalers’ go-to-market spear, capable of establishing the business case for emerging DT [digital transformation] initiatives to gain the trust and buy-in from a diverse array of buyers.”
Working with partners supplements Unisys’ internal innovation efforts to deepen its experience around digital workplace services and cloud solutions. During this event, Unisys walked through its digital solutions, including intelligent workplace services, modern device management and Workplace as a Service as well as its cloud solutions such as cloud data and analytics, management and hybrid infrastructure services. The solutions help clients navigate technology debt — debt incurred from technical assets and/or data centers — while also modernizing traditional elements, bridging the gap between legacy and emerging areas. Addressing the cost impacts in addition to technology needs allows Unisys to serve as a trusted partner for its clients, enabling them to sustain and manage transformations.
Differentiation through trust
While differentiation presents a challenge for all vendors, Unisys leans on its client engagement and relationship management to serve as a go-to partner and deliver across different needs. Instilling trust by testing and working on capabilities internally, such as around ESG with company targets, can help bolster conversations with clients. Strong relationships with clients help increase awareness of Unisys’ portfolio depth and efforts to transform the company’s image in the market. Centering engagements on trust through outcome-driven solutions that bring value to clients leads to higher renewals for Unisys and new logo generation. Showcasing client experiences and business outcomes on the website and through digital marketing efforts will resonate with clients and prospects and guide further discussions.
Unisys’ efforts to grow its cloud portfolio and support its partner solution adoption provide opportunities for the company to drive larger-scale transformations. More specifically, Unisys executes on technology debt reduction, creates interoperability between different environments and devices, and increases internal agility to respond more rapidly to client needs. The portfolio expansion allows Unisys to help clients navigate multicloud complexities as well as guide the use of applications to help modernize business operations and utilize data. Leaning on its client relationships, Unisys proactively helps clients solve current problems while creating more resilient business environments that can be more flexible when confronted with unexpected challenges.
As clients’ and market needs change, Unisys evaluated its portfolio offerings and infused an expanded set of digital workplace and cloud solutions to refresh its business strategy and align with client requirements. Coupled with a more active marketing strategy that centers on content and experience underpinned by client testimonials, Unisys helps progress beyond traditional transformation engagements to deliver on more complex cloud and digital transformations.
Working as a partner to guide clients through challenges and improve their flexibility further strengthens Unisys’ position as a trusted vendor that can drive outcomes and value. A greater emphasis on clients’ needs, with outcomes at the center, will continue to showcase Unisys’ ability to deliver on changing market dynamics and accelerate from a revenue growth and portfolio expansion perspective alongside its clients.