Unisys Global Customer Services (GCS) arm has repackaged and repositioned its desktop offerings in an attempt to drag the company back from its previous position of mainframe obscurity.
GCS has refocused its efforts into desktop services through an offering called One Call. Users get a single point of contact from which hardware, networking and software services are provided.
One Call is separated into three levels: Starter servicing Intel-based PCs and a limited number of PC applications and operating systems; Select offering asset management, reporting and other facilities to small and medium-sized organisations; and Custom which is aimed at multi-nationals. Custom users get a dedicated free-phone number and services specifically suited to the customer.
The service uses a call centre provided by Sykes Enterprises, a US helpdesk operator with 2,500 employees. Calls are routed to Sykes? centre in either Holland or the US, depending on where the customer is located. If the call cannot be resolved by the trained Sykes staff, depending on the problem the enquiry will be noted and passed to the relevant expert, usually the software or hardware supplier. If the problem is still not resolved, a Unisys engineer will take over the enquiry.
Unisys says the key is not only a single point of contact but that it is offering to manage everything associated with desktops such as procurement, training, installation, asset management and location moves, ?Who wants to manage different contracts? We can manage all of that for the customer and provide services such as asset management,?said Mike Anderson, One Call director for Europe and the Middle East.
The proposition could be attractive to customers especially IT managers in large organisations who find it difficult to keep up with the growing number of PCs in their organisations let alone maintain them.
According to GCS managing director, Paul Domorski, 77 per cent of the cost of running a distributed computing environment is support. Hardware attributes to 15 per cent of the cost while software and LAN attribute to six and two per cent of the costs respectively.
This issue is compounded when explosion of PCs in organisations is taken into account: "When you talk to an IT manager they don?t know what goes on at the desktop. They don?t know how many PCs their organisations have to the nearest 5,000. That?s because users go out and buy PCs at the weekends and expect the IT department to help them when something goes wrong.? explained Domorski.
But what makes Unisys? proposition so different? Nothing. Puni Rajah, services analyst at IDC does not believe Unisys? offering is any different to what its competitors can offer but is one of the first to brand its range of services in such a way that is easy to understand. ?The One Call branding is making it easier for customers to focus on what the whole thing is all about. Whereas its competitors say they offer the total solution, customers think, do I need all of this?? said Rajah.
She believes Unisys is one of the first to opt for the integated desktop services route but expects similar announcements to be made by its competitors over the next few months.
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