Unisys

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Unisys Corporation
Public
Traded as
IndustryIT services, Information technology
PredecessorBurroughs Corporation
Sperry Corporation
Founded1986; 33 years ago (1986)
Headquarters,
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Peter Altabef (CEO)
ServicesIT, business consulting and outsourcing services
Revenue$2.83 billion (2018) [1]
$75.5 million (2018)
Total assets$2.45 billion (2018) [2]
Total equity($1.29 billion)(2018)
Number of employees
< 22,000 (2018)
Websitewww.unisys.com

Unisys Corporation is an American global information technology company based in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, that provides IT services, software, and technology. It is the legacy proprietor of the Burroughs and UNIVAC line of computers, formed when the former bought the latter.

History[edit]

Unisys HQ at Blue Bell, Pennsylvania

Unisys was formed in 1986 through the merger of mainframe corporations Sperry and Burroughs, with Burroughs buying Sperry for $4.8 billion.[3] The name was chosen from over 31,000 submissions in an internal competition when Christian L Machen submitted the word "Unisys" which was composed of parts of the words united, information and systems.[4]

The merger was the largest in the computer industry at the time and made Unisys the second largest computer company with annual revenue of $10.5 billion.[5] At the time of the merger, Unisys had approximately 120,000 employees. Michael Blumenthal became CEO and Chairman after the merger and resigned in 1990 after several years of losses. James Unruh (formerly of Memorex and Honeywell) became the new CEO and Chairman after Blumenthal's departure and continued in that role until 1997, when Larry Weinbach of Arthur Andersen became the new CEO. By 1997, layoffs had reduced world-wide employee count to approximately 30,000.[6]

In addition to hardware, both Burroughs and Sperry had a history of working on U.S. government contracts. Unisys continues to provide hardware, software, and services to various government agencies.[7]

Soon after the merger, the market for proprietary mainframe-class systems—the mainstream product of Unisys and its competitors such as IBM—began a long-term decline that continues, at a lesser rate, today. In response, Unisys made the strategic decision to shift into high-end servers (e.g., 32 processor Windows Servers), as well as information technology (IT) services such as systems integration, outsourcing, and related technical services, while holding onto the profitable revenue stream from maintaining its installed base of proprietary mainframe hardware and applications.[8]

Important events in the company's history include the development of the 2200 series in 1986, including the UNISYS 2200/500 CMOS mainframe, and the Micro A in 1989, the first[9] desktop mainframe, the UNISYS ES7000 servers in 2000, and the Unisys blueprinting method of visualizing business rules and workflow in 2004.[10]

In 1988 the company acquired Convergent Technologies, makers of CTOS.[11]

Joseph McGrath served as CEO and President from January 2005, until September, 2008.

On October 7, 2008, J. Edward Coleman replaced J. McGrath as CEO and was named Chairman of the board as well.[12]

On November 10, 2008, the company was removed from the S&P 500 index as the market capitalization of the company had fallen below the S&P 500 minimum of $4 billion.[13]

On October 6, 2014, Unisys announced that Coleman would leave the company effective December 1, 2014. Unisys' share price immediately fell when this news became public.[14]

On January 1, 2015, Unisys officially named Peter Altabef as its new president and CEO, replacing Edward Coleman. Paul Weaver, who was formerly Lead Independent Director, was named Chairman.[15]

Products, services, and clients[edit]

Products and services[edit]

Unisys offers outsourcing and managed services, systems integration and consulting services, high end server technology, cybersecurity and cloud management software, and maintenance and support services.[16]

In line with larger trends in the information technology industry, an increasing amount of Unisys revenue comes from services rather than equipment sales; in 2014, the ratio was 86% for services, up from 65% in 1997.[17] The company maintains a portfolio of over 1,500 U.S. and non-U.S. patents.[18] The company's mainframe line, Clearpath, is capable of running not only mainframe software, but both the Java platform and the JBoss Java EE Application Server concurrently. The Clearpath system is available in either a UNISYS 2200-based system (Sperry) or an MCP-based system (Burroughs).[citation needed]

In 2014, Unisys phased out its CMOS processors, completing the migration of its ClearPath mainframes to Intel x86 chips. Clients are able to run the company’s long- established OS 2200 and MCP operating systems alongside more recent Windows and Linux workloads on Intel-based systems that support cloud and virtualization.[19] The company announced its new ClearPath Dorado 8380 and 8390 systems in May, 2015, its most powerful Dorado systems ever. These new systems culminate the company’s decade-long initiative to transition its ClearPath server families from proprietary complementary metal oxide semiconductor processor technology to a software-based fabric architecture running on Intel processors.[20]

As Windows Server 2003 neared end of support on July 14, 2015, Unisys and AppZero were collaborating with Microsoft to support public sector and commercial customers globally in migrating applications to modern Microsoft platforms.[21]

Clients[edit]

Unisys clients are typically large corporations or government agencies, such as the New York Clearinghouse, Dell/EMC, Lufthansa Systems, Lloyds Bank, SWIFT, state governments (e.g., for unemployment insurance, licensing), various branches of the U.S. military, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), numerous airports, the General Services Administration, U.S. Transportation Security Administration, Internal Revenue Service, Nextel, and Telefonica of Spain. Unisys systems are used for many industrial and government purposes, including banking, check processing, income tax processing, airline passenger reservations, biometric identification, newspaper content management, and shipping port management, as well as providing weather data services.[22]

Projects[edit]

The company launched a new set of initiatives which include

Consumerization of IT[edit]

A study sponsored by Unisys and conducted by IDC revealed the gap between the activities and expectations of new generation of "iWorkers" and the ability of organizations to support their needs.[23] The results showed that organizations continue to work with standardized command and control IT models of the past and are not able to profit from the widespread use of newer networked technologies.[24]

Security index[edit]

A biannual global study that provides statistically relevant insights into the attitudes of consumers on a wide range of security related issues, including:

  • National security: including concerns related to terrorism and health epidemics[25]
  • Financial security: regarding financial fraud and ability to meet personal financial obligations
  • Internet security: related to spam, virus, and online financial transactions
  • Personal security: concerning physical safety and identity theft

Cloud 20/20: Unisys Corporation launched Cloud 20/20, an annual technical paper contest for tertiary students from India in October 2009. The contest allows students to explore the possibilities and complexities of cloud computing in areas such as automation, virtualization, application development, security, consumerization of IT and airports.[26] The contest has drawn participation from universities across India two years in a row, with over 570 institutes taking part in 2009 and more than a thousand in 2010.[27] The contest culminates in an event where five finalists present their papers before a panel of judges that comprise academicians and technologists. Prizes include the latest technology gadgets, internship projects and career opportunities with Unisys.[28]

Service quality[edit]

Unisys offices in Leeds.

Unisys operates data centers around the world.[29]

Location Country ISO 9001 ISO 20000 ISO 27001
Eagan-Minnesota United States Certified Certified Certified
Reston-Virginia United States N/A Certified Certified
Salt Lake City-Utah United States Certified Certified Certified
Rio de Janeiro Brazil Certified Certified Certified
Sao Paulo Brazil Certified Certified Certified
Milton Keynes United Kingdom Certified Certified Certified
Alingsås Sweden Certified Certified Certified
Sydney Australia Certified Certified Certified
Auckland New Zealand Certified Certified Certified
Kapiti New Zealand Certified Certified Certified

Controversies[edit]

In 1987, Unisys was sued with Rockwell Shuttle Operations Company for $5.2 million by two former employees of the Unisys Corporation, one a subcontractor responsible for the computer programs for the space shuttle.[30] The suit filed by Sylvia Robins, a former Unisys engineer, and Ria Solomon, who worked for Robins, charges that the two were forced from their jobs and harassed after complaining about safety violations and inflated costs.

Unisys overcharged the U.S. government and in 1998 was found guilty of failure to supply adequate equipment.[31] In 1998, Unisys Corporation agreed to pay the government $2.25 million to settle allegations that it supplied refurbished, rather than new, computer materials to several federal agencies in violation of the terms of its contract. Unisys admitted to supplying re-worked or refurbished computer components to various civilian and military agencies in the early 1990s, when the contract required the company to provide new equipment. The market price for the refurbished material was less than the price for new material which the government paid.

In 1998, Unisys was found guilty of price inflation and Government Contract Fraud with the company settling to avoid further prosecution.[32] Lockheed Martin and Unisys paid the government $3.15 million to settle allegations that Unisys inflated the prices of spare parts sold to the U.S. Department of Commerce for its NEXRAD Doppler Radar System, in violation of the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3729, et seq. "[T]he settlement resolves allegations that Unisys knew that prices it paid Concurrent Computer Corporation for the spare parts were inflated when it passed on those prices to the government. Unisys had obtained price discounts from Concurrent on other items Unisys was purchasing from Concurrent at Unisys' own expense in exchange for agreeing to pay Concurrent the inflated prices".[33] Prior to 1993 Unisys paid Senator D'Amato's brother, Armand P. D'Amato for access to the senator. Armand P. D'Amato was convicted for mail fraud in connection with $120,500 he received from Unisys to lobby the Senator.

Unisys attracted attention in 1994 after announcing its patent on the LZW data compression algorithm, which is used in the common GIF image file format. For a more complete discussion of this issue, see Graphics Interchange Format#Unisys and LZW patent enforcement.[34] All global patents that Unisys held relating to the standard GIF format expired as of 7 July 2004, so the Unisys LZW patent issue is no longer an encumbrance to GIF.

Unisys was the target of "Operation Ill Wind", a major corruption investigation in the mid-to-late 1980s. As part of the settlement, all Unisys employees were required to receive ethics training each year, a practice that continues today.[35]

In 2003 and 2004, Unisys retained the influential lobbyist Jack Abramoff, paying his firm $640,000 for his services in those two years. In January 2006, Abramoff pleaded guilty to five felony counts for various crimes related to his federal lobbying activities, though none of his crimes involved work on behalf of Unisys.[36] The lobbying activities of Abramoff and his associates were the subject of a large federal investigation.

In October 2005, the Washington Post reported that the company had allegedly overbilled on the $1-to-3-billion Transportation Security Administration contract for almost 171,000 hours of labor and overtime at up to the maximum rate of $131.13 per hour, including 24,983 hours not allowed by the contract. Unisys denied wrongdoing.[37]

In 2006, the Washington Post reported that the FBI was investigating Unisys for alleged cybersecurity lapses under the company's contract with the United States Department of Homeland Security. A number of security lapses supposedly occurred during the contract, including incidents in which data was transmitted to Chinese servers.[38] Unisys denies all charges and said it has documentation disproving the allegations.[39]

In 2007, Unisys was found guilty of Misrepresentation of Retiree Benefits.[40] A federal judge in Pennsylvania ordered Unisys Corp. to reinstate within 60 days free lifetime retiree medical benefits to 12 former employees who were employed by a Unisys predecessor, the Burroughs Corporation. The judge ruled that Unisys "misrepresented the cost and duration of retiree medical benefits" at a time "trial plaintiffs were making retirement decisions" and while it was advising them about the benefits the company would provide during retirement.

Also in 2007, Unisys was found guilty of wilful trademark infringement in Visible Systems v. Unisys (Trademark Infringement).[41] Computer company Visible Systems prevailed over Unisys Corp. in a trademark infringement lawsuit filed in Massachusetts federal court. In November 2007, the court entered an injunction and final judgment ordering Unisys to discontinue its use of the "Visible" trademark, upholding the jury’s award to Visible Systems of $250,000 in damages, and awarding an additional $17,555 in interest. Visible Systems claimed Unisys wrongfully used the name "Visible" in marketing its software and services. The jury found the infringement by Unisys was willful. Visible Systems appealed the final judgment, believing the court wrongly excluded the issues of bad faith and disgorgement of an estimated $17 billion in unjust profits from the consideration of the jury.

In 2008, Joe McGrath stepped down after a no confidence vote from the board, and was replaced by J. Edward Coleman, former CEO of Gateway Incorporated. The president of the federal sector, Greg Baroni, was also fired.[42] Unisys announced on June 30, 2008, that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) had not selected the company for Phase 2 of procurement for the Information Technology Infrastructure Program.[43] In July, Unisys announced its plans to file a formal protest of the TSA decision with the Government Accountability Office (GAO).[44] On August 20, 2008, the TSA announced it was allowing bidding from all competitors including Unisys and Northrop Grumman, who both filed formal protests with the GAO and protested TSA's decision to the Federal Aviation Administration's Office of Dispute Resolution, after not initially being selected.[45]

In 2010, Unisys "jettisoned" its Medicare processing Health Information Management service to Molina Healthcare for $135 million.[46]

Also in 2010, Unisys Hungary terminated the local Workers' Union representative Gabor Pinter's employment contract with immediate effect for raising concerns on the company's practice about the overtime payments and the non-respect of the health regulations in its local Shared Services Center. According to the verdict of the Labour Court of Budapest, Unisys' act was illegal and the Company must reimburse all damages of the Workers' Union representative.[47][48]

In 2012, Unisys Netherlands censured computer security expert Chris Kubecka for an anti-censorship talk at the Hackers_on_Planet_Earth Number Nine. A conference which focused on highlighting censorship with a talk titled: The Internet is for Porn. Unisys responded to the news story by quoting a non-existent policy.[49]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Unisys Corp 2018 10K Sec filing. Refer pg 32 'CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME' https://ir.unisys.com/static-files/676ed40a-1f87-4aea-8ec4-ca527c116e54
  2. ^ Unisys Corp 2018 10K SEC filing. Refer pg 34 'CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS' https://ir.unisys.com/static-files/676ed40a-1f87-4aea-8ec4-ca527c116e54
  3. ^ Sanger, David E. (1986-05-28). "Burroughs, in Challenge to I.b.m., to Acquire Sperry for $4.8 Billion". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-12-25.
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  10. ^ "ING selects Unisys". CBS. Archived from the original on 18 July 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2003.
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  13. ^ "People's United to replace Unisys on S&P 500 Index". Reuters. 10 Nov 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-10.
  14. ^ Hertzler, Lauren (Oct 6, 2014). "Unisys CEO J. Edward Coleman to step down". Philadelphia Business Journal. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
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  17. ^ "Investors: News, Events, Financials, Information". Unisys.
  18. ^ "Patents, Trademarks and Licenses". Wikinvest. Archived from the original on 2015-05-18. Retrieved 2015-05-14.
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  22. ^ "Unisys Weather". Unisys. 11 Feb 2010.
  23. ^ "InformationWeek – "IT Unprepared For Floo Of Consumer Devices, Apps".
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  25. ^ "SecurityInfoWatch – Survey: U.S. cyber security concerns".[permanent dead link]
  26. ^ "Unisys Announces 2011 "Cloud 20/20" Technical Paper Contest in India".
  27. ^ "Unisys Announces 2011 'Cloud 20/20' Technical Paper Contest in India".
  28. ^ "Unisys announces winners of Cloud 20/20 Version 2.0".
  29. ^ "Quality certifications".
  30. ^ Times, Peter Applebome and Special To the New York. "4 Say Problems In Space Shuttle Are Continuing". nytimes.com.
  31. ^ http://www.contractormisconduct.org/ass/contractors/50/cases/257/171/doj-pr.pdf[permanent dead link] Government Contract Fraud 12/03/1998 (Date of Settlement Announcement)
  32. ^ "Wayback Machine" (PDF). archive.org. 31 December 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 December 2013.
  33. ^ and, Jonathan Rabinovitz. "Armand D'Amato Found Guilty Of Fraud in a Lobbying Scheme". nytimes.com.
  34. ^ "GIF is NOW finally free - for real, with a final Unisys joke". www.freesoftwaremagazine.com. Archived from the original on 2012-07-09. Retrieved 2012-09-24.
  35. ^ Contractor Profile - Federal Contractor Misconduct Database - POGO. Contractormisconduct.org (2007-12-11). Retrieved on 2013-08-10.
  36. ^ Caron Carlson (13 Jan 2006). "Abramoff Scandal Could Cast Pall On Tech Lobby". eWeek.
  37. ^ O'Harrow Jr, Robert; Higham, Scott (22 Oct 2005). "Contractor Accused Of Overbilling U.S". Washington Post.
  38. ^ "FBI investigates Unisys over U.S. government hack". IT World. Archived from the original on 2007-11-14.
  39. ^ "Unisys Says Facts, Documentation Contradict Allegations in News Story on DHS". Unisys. Archived from the original on 2007-10-13.
  40. ^ "Wayback Machine" (PDF). archive.org. 31 December 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 December 2013.
  41. ^ "Wayback Machine" (PDF). archive.org. 31 December 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 December 2013.
  42. ^ "Baroni departs as head of Unisys federal". Archived from the original on 2008-10-04.
  43. ^ "Unisys not selected for next phase of TSA contract". Philadelphia Business Journal. 30 June 2008.
  44. ^ Alice Lipowicz (10 July 2008). "Unisys files protest over TSA down-select". Washington Technology.
  45. ^ "TSA lets Unisys, Northrop back into the mix". Federal News Radio. 20 August 2008. Archived from the original on 12 December 2008.
  46. ^ "Unisys jettisons Medicare processing biz". The Register. 19 January 2010.
  47. ^ "Unisys Fired the Worker's Union Representative Illegally". Index.hu. 23 November 2012.
  48. ^ "The Worker's Union Representative Goes to Court After Being Fired". Magyar Nemzet. 30 September 2010. Archived from the original on 15 November 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
  49. ^ Unisys Nederland verbiedt lezing over censuur - UPDATE - Webwereld. Webwereld.nl (2012-07-12). Retrieved on 2013-08-10.

External links[edit]