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My Job is to Hallucinate: Unisys CTO

Eric Ernest | March 20, 2014
Jim Thompson, CTO, Unisys, talks to Computerworld India about the company's Forward! solution, the state of the Unix mission critical market and how India figures in Unisys's future plans.

People have been talking about how the Unix market has not been having a smooth run of late.Do you see Intel joining with you as a sign of things to come -- of the eventual demise of the Unix segment? Do you see your product going on to dominate the Unix environment?
I certainly would like to believe all those things and I have no problem if that comes true. I think that I have to let Intel's worlds speak for themselves. They have made a number of press releases that have included Forward! in them, and they have been very supportive of the work we do - they have cited us as being the most secure Xeon platform that there is. So I think those things speak for themselves. The Unix market is what the Unix market is, there are different parts of it that are growing, parts that are declining, but as a whole it is probably declining. So then you have to analyse why people are moving away from it? Because it's proprietary in many respects, and those skills are not what organizations want. So they look at something like Linux and see it as being more open, more readily adoptable, more flexible and having all the goodness they are looking for. From the risk perspective, the enterprises will think 'if I were to make this jump from a traditional Unix or whatever to this other space, what am I doing to my business in the process? What am I exposing myself to?' So I think we are uniquely positioned as a vendor who has credibility in the enterprise space. Moreover we are not really pushing one architecture of our own; we are pushing one that the world owns. And I think that is another powerful message and we have taken a deliberate choice to stop producing proprietary processors and embrace Xeon as the processor architecture of choice for Unisys. We stopped producing MCP processors for Burroughs line and we are going to stop producing proprietary processors for OS2200 line and deliver everything that the customers had on Xeon -- performance, security, resiliency.

How important is India in Unisys's overall plans?
We have a large and significant investment in India, both on the services and engineering fronts. I try to get to Bangalore once or twice a year. (This is significant because)I have not been in the company's South California lab in 15-16 months.

India is a key component of our cost-efficient global delivery model and our ability to innovate and provide consistently high levels of client service. A good part of everything that happens at Unisys is happening in Unisys India. It cuts across all verticals, portfolios, and functional areas. We are targeting specific growth opportunities for Unisys within India tied to our areas of strength.


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