Unisys West opens for business

Unisys' joint venture company with Perth-based BankWest, Unisys West, opened for business yesterday, appointing general manager Doug Cox to lead the company's national direction.

For Unisys, the joint venture is the IT services provider's first foray into the local banking sector, according to Alan Smith, a spokesman for Unisys Australia.

Contrary to public perception, Smith said the JV was not an outsourcing deal but a newly formed company, whereby Unisys will provide IT services to BankWest's IT division.

Unisys West will target the Western seaboard's IT services market initially, competing head to head with WA IT services giant CFC.

Services will range from B2B procurement, data centre outsourcing, business process outsourcing, network management, help-desk operations, disaster recovery services, managed services and application service provision (ASP).

The company has long-term ambitions to compete with the IT arms of the Big Five consulting houses, Smith hinted.

Unisys West has also received "strong interest" from the commercial and Government sectors since launching in mid-August, according to Smith. However no contracts have been signed at this stage.

Smith insisted Unisys' venture into the B2B e-business consulting market was hardly late. "The point about e-business is the 'e' will drop off and e-commerce will just become business," he said. "Companies are not merely interested in Web sites, but the e-business transactions online."

"We're not a webmaster but we provide the e-commerce services behind the scenes via systems integration, IT outsourcing and e-procurement," he said.

Unisys executives would not provide details on financial investments backing the joint venture.