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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.

We are focused on working with key alliance partners to serve global accounts that have a presence in India in the Public Sector, Transportation (Aviation) (eg: Air India, Delhi International Airport, and most recently Mumbai International Airport) and Financial Services industries. India also plays a critical role in the Unisys global sourcing strategy, providing services to many international clients.

Unisys Global Sourcing India (UGSI) has the largest contingent of Unisys global offshore delivery resources, with an employee base that now exceeds 4,000.

Given that the India organizations tend to be quite conservative in their approach to adopting new technologies, how do see your foresee Unisys's chances of being able to successfully penetrate the Indian market?
The good news is that many of our customer are also conservative. If you think about it they are the likes of the bankers and airline companies, and they have zero tolerance for disruption in their day.

One of our financial clients had recently moved from our proprietary systems to the Xeon based systems and this is a firm that clears trillions of dollar every evening - they are a bank clearing operation. You can imagine the impact of them not being able to moving the money. It's not just newspaper headlines, its regulatory issues and real economic impact. So they are viewed by government regulators as an essential utility and are highly scrutinized and managed. So we moved them from a proprietary technology to a Xeon technology and they cleared 1.3 trillion dollars on Friday and they cleared 1.3 trillion dollars on Monday and no one noticed. So in many respects that was a very depressing day for me because this is my life's work and no one noticed but on the other hand the very point of my life's work is that nobody notices. At the end of the day you have to see the wonderful outcome in the context of the customer but I would really like somebody to notice when we do stuff like that (laughs). Now clearly the customer knows and they are happy that we have done it. That's the hallmark of what we are trying to do here. We are a different kind of company -- we don't make much noise but you see us on a path to push the technological envelope. Our story, while different, revolves around a set of well proven technologies such as Intel Xeon and not a lot of people are going to doubt its stability in the Indian market, or any other, for its suitability to the task. The technology we are using for partitioning is not brand new either; it has been in the market for 4 years. It's proven itself in some pretty rough spots. So that's kind of the way we speak to those sets of messages, is that we peel back the onion and then talk about the techs we are bringing in to play. And it is our role as a responsible tech partner to bring proven tech to critical business problems. We don't do casual computing. We are not just a web server, this is not about light weight stuff this is the serious core business.


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