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Unisys Repositioning for Growth


NelsonHall recently attended Unisys’ Analyst and Advisor Event 2022 in Boston, MA. As IRL meetings and events begin to resume, it was great to engage with Unisys executives face-to-face once more.

The $1.2bn sale of its Federal business to SAIC back in February 2020 is being partly used to fund acquisitions and portfolio investments for Unisys’ digital workplace and cloud & infrastructure solutions businesses. Unisys has made three acquisitions to date: two have enhanced its digital workplace services capabilities, the third its cloud and infrastructure management services capabilities.

Unisys has well-established capabilities in cybersecurity, particularly Stealth and digital workplace services. There is now an increasing emphasis on cloud-native applications and taking a more consultative-led approach across Unisys.

There has been a nearly total refresh of the senior leadership over the last 18 months, with new appointments for CFO (Debra McCann; former CFO Mike Thomson is now COO), CTO (Dwayne Allen), CMO (Teresa Poggenpohl), CCO (Maureen Sweeny), and new heads for Digital Workplace (Leon Gilbert), Cloud and Infrastructure Solutions (Manju Naglapur) and Enterprise Computing Solutions (Chris Arrasmith). All are external hires (Naglapur came with CompuGain, acquired in December 2021). We note much greater diversity in the senior leadership.

The tagline for the event was ‘what’s next – accelerating success’. CEO Peter Altabef focused on Unisys’ new emphasis of driving outcomes that enable enterprises to be more profitable with supporting hybrid, cloud, and multi-cloud environments playing a pivotal role.

Digital workplace solutions: focus on the proactive UX

Leon Gilbert, SVP of Digital Workplace Solutions, highlighted the traction gained since his appointment in February 2021 and the increased focus on driving proactive experiences across the workplace and helping clients transform through next-gen capabilities. Unisys has enabled all existing clients with the latest technology, including journey analytics, at no charge. It also exited some non-strategic DWS contracts in 2021. Unisys claims to be enabling ~1.4m end-users with proactive experiences, up from 50k just 18 months ago.

Two recent acquisitions enhancing Unisys’ digital workplace services capabilities are:

  • Unify Square, acquired last June for $150m, whose cloud-based PowerSuite solution for Enterprise Communications and Collaboration captures an individual's experience and can operationalize and improve that experience in real-time through analytics. Unify Square also brought in ~50 digital workplace consultants who can support Unisys’ consulting-led approach
  • Mobinergy, a much smaller acquisition last November, has enhanced Unisys’ UEM capabilities and its positioning around modern device management.

There is an ongoing emphasis on VDI (Dell, VMware, Azure) and cloud-native VDI services to support secure and modern workspace environments and AIOps in support of first-time fix across field services, AR, and automation in service desks. Again, there have been several recent senior hires supporting these capabilities.

Priorities for Unisys’ digital workplace services include aligning offerings by geography, optimizing hybrid working models, and driving more outcomes-based engagements.

Driving application modernization and containerization

Unisys is also investing in its cloud and infrastructure business and recently acquired CompuGain, bringing 400 employees with capabilities across cloud-native, application modernization, and data analytics.

Unisys continues to invest in its CloudForte portfolio, including CloudForte CMP AIOps for AI-led operations. In addition, CloudForte Containers automate the end-to-end container infrastructure, application modernization, and DevSecOps deployment processes. This enables applications to be brought quickly into production and provides automation across the entire lifecycle, including security. It is also investing in Stealth and its hybrid cloud-managed security solution (MDR), providing AI-enabled threat response.

Unisys continues to ramp its investments across automation, self-healing, and AI/ML capabilities in support of cloud services.


Unisys has overhauled its senior leadership team and is looking to pivot to a business-unit-led organization to increase traction in selected markets and geographies. There will be a stronger focus on using a consulting-led approach and on driving client outcomes: expect to see a further increase in dedicated business consultants. Also expect to see additional bolt-on acquisitions in support of application and data modernization capabilities, plus further developments in its CloudForte container services roadmap, and a greater focus on DevSecOps and automation enablement across the entire lifecycle. We also expect to see more joint-IP and GTM offerings with key hyperscalers.

With digital workplace services, expect to see greater traction across Unisys’ XMO organization, proactive experience, dedicated XLAs through the PowerSuite platform and partner ecosystem, and expansion of modern device management with Mobinergy capabilities. This should enhance field services, including AR/VR and immersive technologies. We also expect to see further acquisitions supporting digital workplace transformation advisory and a greater focus on AIOps and SRE-led operations.

Unisys will be rebranding this year: expect to see a greater emphasis on how Unisys’ offerings can support specific client outcomes.

John Laherty and Rachael Stormonth

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