15 May 2008
Creating value for your business increasingly means differentiating yourself from the competition. More and more companies and industries – including the public sector – are handing over their standardised back-office processes to Unisys, helping them focus on the issues that create value for them.
Real business value is easier to create when your business is focused. As many companies are realising, handing over their routine business processing and IT outsourcing can create many advantages: less hassle, more time for the issues that really matter to their operation. And – potentially – significant cost savings.
“Unisys focuses on very specific industry processes such as payments business, bank execution payments, typically where money needs to be cleared and deposited,” says Unisys’ UK Vice President and General Manager for
Global Outsourcing and Infrastructure Services, Duncan Tait. “These markets are growing because industries like banks are realising that they want to spend their time creating value for shareholders and customers, carving out real value to themselves and their investors.”
Unisys’s unique outsourcing service solutions are driven by its 3D Blueprinting approach. 3D Blueprinting creates incredible visibility into how change affects your organisation’s strategy, processes, applications and IT infrastructure. It helps define your specific outsourcing needs and goals as well as criteria for measuring success. It also identifies the parties responsible for your systems and processes.
Unisys has a deep understanding of business and IT requirements for vertical industries like Financial Services, the Public Sector and Telco. The Unisys difference though extends beyond services delivered by average horizontal outsourcing service providers such as HR and administration. Unisys creates visibility and transparency – and key support for issues such as emerging e-payment requirements and regulations like Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA).
Unisys delivers outstanding capability via four outsourcing services suites:
IT Outsourcing (ITO): Covers everything from the desktop and mobile computing realm back to the data centre servers. Our approach ensures your outsourced environment is managed securely, reliably and flexibly.
Application Services: leverages deep Unisys domain expertise to help you get more value out of your legacy applications, or transition your business to new, high-value application environments.
Business Process Outsourcing (BPO): Drawing on our special expertise in payment processing (including remittance and check processing) these capabilities help you significantly lower costs. While maintaining high performance and customer satisfaction.
Technology Support and Maintenance Services: Spans installation, deployment, technical support, maintenance, warranty repairs and other functions that keep your software and hardware running.
Consulting and systems integration
Unisys knows the importance of keeping your company’s IT solutions secure for your business – as well as making them easy and attractive to use for employees. Consulting and integration is also about using Unisys’ proprietary 3D-Blueprinting methodology, enabling clients to see vital cause and effect relationships of strategic decisions – and before they make those decisions. This allows Unisys clients to implement their visions faster, with more effective results and cost savings.
“It’s an exciting time to be in these two markets,” says Duncan Tait. “We set out to be the leaders in both. We developed a three-year program enabling us to be more focused and capable wherever our clients are, be it Europe, Asia or Latin America. We streamlined the business. And we’re now starting to see the real fruits of that labour come back to us with 500 global clients.”
Unisys industry expertise spans
Financial servicesFund management
Public sector including the Police
Deep industry expertise
Tait says the Unisys difference is about deep industry knowledge. “Unisys focuses on a band of industries where we have real industry knowledge, rather than a generalised industry background. This is gleaned from a profound experience built up over many years of that industry, whether it’s financial services, the police, telecoms and transport.”
And unlike other outsourcing companies, Unisys regularly recruits their own employees from inside the existing industries of their clients. “It makes for a real understanding of our client’s business and how we can best leverage maximum value out of this experience to give clients the best return for their money.”
When you break down the fundamentals of a business operation, you can standardise many of their back-office process. But Tait says that though standardisation always means savings for clients, it has to be locked to an intricate knowledge of the client’s own industry in their own country. “Payment processing might be standard knowledge for some UK companies, but there are all kinds of subtle differences locally and regionally in continental Europe. Unless you’re confident and know the market, then you could easily make horrendous mistakes, either for yourself or for your clients.”
Credit crunch pressure creates new emphasis on value
Although the recent credit crunch is making it tough for business, Tait says one consequence is that many operators are starting to look hard at just where management time is being spent and just how productively it is used. “Client time is best spent when they’re dealing with issues at the heart of their business. It’s also part of their responsibility to shareholders and their employees. But it’s a great opportunity for companies like us who can move in quickly and take control of processes, like business process outsourcing.”
Opportunities vary, of course, and Tait says there’s a great need to tread with care. “Financial service companies,” he says, “have to be very careful about VAT and how it’s reclaimed and we can advise on this on business outsourcing agreements. But some clients will simply use us because they need a fundamental change to their business and need a partner that has managed the process time and time again.”
Meanwhile, re-evaluation of business costs continues. “We’re not seeing large projects being cancelled,” says Tait. “It’s more the rate of new projects has slowed. But that also means more outsourcing. Banks in particular who had access to cheap capital before the credit crunch are being more conservative with their cash. Their choices are increasingly about focusing on the processes that create value. The message from clients is that they do want product differentiation, and they’re willing to spend money on that. It’s a solid return on investment for them.”
IT outsourcing is increasingly selective
How do you best leverage your IT benefits right across your organisation – and beyond? It’s one of the perennial IT challenges to ensure technology can be constantly re-used and shared, simply and safely, right across an organisation. Duncan Tait says this need is increasingly putting pressure on companies and the public sector to think more carefully about collaboration, whilst also ensuring risk issues remain priorities.
“We’re seeing this particularly with large companies. They’re becoming more aware of the need to multi-source, to cherry-pick the best possible providers in order to reduce their own risks and expenditure. For a company like ours, which has developed globally, that’s a real opportunity. We have the industry expertise. We know the processes that you typically find in each sector. And we know the granularity of knowledge needed in order to improve their business performance. There’s a generation of IT providers who are steeped in cumbersome and unwieldy contract structures that simply don’t reflect the speed and nimbleness needed by modern businesses. That’s really the Unisys difference.”
Lloyds TSB case study
You’ve also got to make sure your technology is right for the local market. Lloyds TSB is a good example of a company using Unisys payment process technology which fits their market needs for an outsourcing partner perfectly. “Technology is at the heart of Lloyds TSB in terms of giving them a competitive advantage and cutting their operating costs, as well as making sure they are protected from fraud,” says Duncan Tait. “With an annual IT budget in excess of a billion dollars, Lloyds TSB has placed Internet banking at the centre of its strategy. Electronic services deliver the twin benefits of a better, more flexible service for customers whilst dramatically reducing the service costs for the bank.”
IT ‘consumerisation’ – staying ahead of the game
The iPod generation are increasingly entering the mobile workforce in large numbers – and companies are increasingly aware many will choose their future employer on the basis of what technology – computers, PDAs, software – they will use, says Duncan Tait. “Many of the bright young things are making decisions with this. In that sense, at the corporate end, IT has over the years become very cumbersome and inflexible.”
But corporate IT is becoming increasingly open to the idea of using laptops, PDAs and other devices that, for employees, are attractive to use, enhance their productivity and, of course, their employer’s growth and profitability.
Of course, this consumerisation poses quite a challenge to companies. A blended mix of service IT options, particularly for mobile workers, may mean a diverse range of tools being used. But when such tools are being used effectively to drive revenue and client satisfaction, then, says Tait, there are very good reasons for adopting it.
IT security has never been so critical
Can you identify and protect your employees quickly? A big part of Unisys business is making sure your business is secure. Securing your IT assets is increasingly challenging. It’s a huge problem for any CEO. It’s also not just a security issue. It’s a genuine business performance issue too, especially as the growing threat of cyber criminals and terrorists continue to disrupt business and government. The growing number of mobile employees using third generation networks and mobile and PDA devices means a proliferation of IT worries and concerns.
A Unisys IT proposition is also about simplicity – but married to rigorous security. “Many employees use broadband IT from home,” says Tait. “What the company needs to do is to pull all their security back into their data centres, to effectively surround it and make it secure.”
Duncan Tait insists Unisys’ deep IT consulting expertise means companies can make better sense of their IT security and data concerns, while also cutting costs and updating their own infrastructure. The cost of running IT environments has simply spiralled says Tait. “You’ve got so many different types of IT: main frames, local services, servers, web networks… But it’s possible to look to publicly accessed hardware rather than specific hardware main frames which also does away with all the expenditure and expense of running an IT infrastructure outside your own traditional data centres.”
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