Unisys Africa looks to grow SA outsourcing

Unisys Africa, a division of Unysis Corp., is set to attack the South Africa (SA) market for managed and outsourcing services more aggressively, in line with the strategy for the Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (EMEIA) region.

Jos Schoemaker, recently appointed vice-president and GM for Unisys Global Infrastructure Services in the EMEIA, says that the company believes that there is strong potential to grow its stature as a managed services and outsourcing player in the local market. Unisys Africa will be looking for revenue growth that outstrips the projected seven per cent growth in SA ICT spending for 2004.

“Unisys Africa has already won a number of key outsourcing deals in the local financial services, tourism and retail industries. These multi-year deals provide the company with a solid base of annuity incomes,” says Schoemaker.

Schoemaker visited SA in October to assess the local market and to devise a strategy for the African business going forward. His brief is to drive the creation, sales and delivery of outsourcing, consulting, management and support services for clients’ ICT infrastructure in the EMEIA region.

He says he will focus especially on services for the distributed ICT infrastructure — the desktops, mobile systems, servers and networks that are increasingly the point of service delivery and revenue generation between organizations and their clients.

“Over the coming months, we will be investing heavily in marketing our managed services capabilities to the local market. We have an enviable range of skills, a powerful set of proprietary tools and methodologies and a massive geographical footprint in the country — we need to articulate those strengths more clearly to the market.

“Initially, we will focus heavily on deals centered around the outsourcing of distributed infrastructure with customers that operate across borders. However, over time, I believe that there will be opportunities for Unisys Africa to follow the example of some of our European subsidiaries, and become involved in the business process outsourcing market,” says Schoemaker.

Schoemaker served as MD for Europe at American Management Systems Inc. (AMS), responsible for all of AMS’ business in the European theatre. Before that, he spent 13 years with Electronic Data Systems Corp., serving in numerous positions around the world, including regional director, MD and vice-president.

Says Schoemaker: “I bring a bit of management experience, a bit of sales and marketing experience and some turnaround experience to my new role at Unisys. All of this experience is applicable to Unisys as it continues its transformation into a provider of outsourced and managed services in the territories where it operates.”

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