Datacentres drive Unisys NZ growth

While its global parent posts its worst quarterly results ever, Unisys in New Zealand is thriving.

Datacentre investment is paying off for Unisys New Zealand, which reported sales of NZ$104.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2013, up from NZ$85.7 million.

That's in stark contrast with results recorded by Unisys globally, which is posting its worst quarterly numbers ever while trying to lift performance with new products such as its Stealth security software and Forward fabric architecture.

Global sales declined 6 percent in both the first and second quarters this year, compared with the same quarters in 2013.

New Zealand country manager Steve Griffin was not prepared to comment on the global numbers, but said the local growth was from both new customers and some significant legacy renewals and project work.

Application development work is also strong, he said.

Last November, Unisys inked a new, eight-year, NZ$130 million contract with the Inland Revenue Department to supply mainframe services. Unisys has been a long-standing technology partner of the department.

The company also managed to leverage a similar 20-year relationship with the New Zealand Transport Agency to deliver a transformation program to increase the agency's flexibility and reduce the cost of its IT infrastructure. That project included the migration of more than 1.7 billion driver and vehicle records.

Griffin said he couldn't underplay the significance of the IRD deal, but growth is coming in other areas, as well as from both enterprise and government clients.

The nature of the Unisys business in New Zealand is also quite unique, he said, with the datacentres at the heart of it, delivering a strong annuity base to build on. It is also easier to demonstrate Unisys' wider capabilities to its datacentre clients.

New enterprise clients include Toyota and media company APN, which are both utilising Unisys NZ's datacentres alongside indirect clients such as Genesis Energy.

Such "white labelling" of its datacentre services is likely to increase in future, Griffin said.

2012 also saw a big win when Unisys NZ brought Vodafone on as a client.

Griffin said Unisys is now serving its first trans-Tasman client with software-as-a-service (SaaS) compliance systems out of its New Zealand datacentre. Unisys NZ wants to continue to build that business, especially as Griffin believes hybrid solutions are the current sweet spot in the cloud market.

"It will be the job of the CIO to manage that hybrid enterprise," he said.

Griffin said Unisys NZ had invested in its datacentres over a long time, and they are now a very mature offering. However, he wants to keep building on their capabilities, including planning a business recovery capability in the Unisys Kapiti datacentre, which has enough space to accommodate one.

"It would not be a huge revenue generator," Griffin said. "That's not the intention. It's an extension of 'datacentre as a service'.

"It might be slightly 'old school', but in my mind it's another value add."