HP, Unisys partner on OEM, services

HP, Unisys partner on OEM, services

After quietly living together for more than a year, Hewlett-Packard and Unisys are making their relationship official, revealing a partnership in which HP provides client hardware in exchange for Unisys services for major accounts.

Though the two companies have had an extensive co-branding and co-marketing relationship since November of last year, it just recently occurred to them that customers, both current and potential, would want to know of the strength of that partnership. Thus is born the Hewlett-Packard and Unisys Partner Plus program.

When Unisys decided to get out of the high-volume, low-margin PC business over a year ago, the company went looking for an OEM that could provide build-to-customer-order PCs that Unisys could co-brand and resell, officials said.

Officials at Unisys felt that the type of major accounts that Unisys' extensive services organisation served differed enough from those of HP's services division that there would be minimal competition for accounts.

"When we looked to partner, we saw that there was not too much overlap between ourselves and HP and that it made perfect sense," said George Gazerwitz, executive vice president and president of computer systems at Unisys.

In tandem, Unisys and HP officials believe they are in a better position to compete with the global reach of IBM's products and services offerings worldwide, and have a more compelling story to tell to major accounts.

Though Unisys derives significant revenue from doing warranty work for Dell PCs, the company keeps that type of work separate from its systems integrator duties.

"If there is a product requirement for PCs, we will sell HP PCs," said Gazerwitz, who brands the PCs OEMed from HP as "Hewlett Packard for Unisys," PCs.

Since they began their partnership both companies have seen an increase in business.

"Unisys has become one of our top resellers," said Webb McKinney, senior vice president and general manager of Hewlett-Packard's business PC organisation.

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