Open source is now "a mature technology" and the right, cost-effective option for many companies, according to Peter Blackmore, executive vice-president and president of worldwide sales at Unisys.
Blackmore, who was formerly at HP where he masterminded the Adaptive Enterprise strategy, outlined Unisys' strategy for growth at a meeting in London on Wednesday. He said the enterprise services company is now focused on four core areas: enterprise security, real-time infrastructures, open source and the Microsoft market.
Unisys is now working with some major companies to deliver open source solutions, said Blackmore. "Linux is really in demand now," he said. "We are working with one client [a major European travel business] where we are pitching open source in a large server environment. We can prove the reliability and the maturity and it will save them 30 percent off the bottom line."
Blackmore also revealed that outsourcing is now 50 percent of the company's business, much of it desktop outsourcing. The combination of Windows on the desktop and open source on the server can be the most successful strategy for the company, he told ZDNet UK.
But Blackmore believes that the main problem for Unisys has been to find ways to successfully market itself. One issue is that while the company claims to be very popular with its users it does not have great visibility outside of its core markets.
"Customers say, 'We wish you were better known' and we have to address that," he said.
Blackmore has come full circle in his career after starting with Burroughs Machines which then merged with Sperry-Univac to become Unisys. Blackmore moved on to Compaq and then joined HP in the merger of those two companies before returning to Unisys.
On Wednesday, Unisys also announced that it had plans to develop a new data centre in the UK, located outside London's M25, to provide "state-of-the-art security and technology". The company did not disclose the size of the investment.