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February 17, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

We’re going to be on the same train, sitting at the front and knowing where we’re going. That, says John Perry, chairman and managing director of the Stonebridge-based Unisys Ltd UK arm of Unisys Corp, summarises his own personal philosophy. Unisys Ltd executives believe that part of the UK company’s apparent success is due to the provision of highly specialised support staff at each of its four UK divisions, and Perry suggests that regular face-to-face discussion and briefing sessions with employees of all levels, coupled with the dissemination of his own railroad tracks philosophy – has helped to form the new Unisys corporate culture. He characterised the company’s overall performance at yesterday’s first annual review as an outstanding success and described 1987 as a record year for orders, turnover and profits. Worldwide corporate profit for the year was confirmed at $578m, with no fewer than 60 new software and hardware products introduced worldwide during the first year of operation. In the UK, where all sectors of the Unisys market have performed well, turnover reached the equivalent of $442.8m – the company gave the figure in dollars, but at current rates it is equivalent to UKP250m, a growth of 18%, with equipment orders up 49% over 1986; no profit or loss figure was given. A statistical break-down of the 1987 UK market showed that financial service sales accounted for 33% of business orders, with indirect sales, public sector sales and industrial/commercial sales taking 9%, 26% and 32% respectively. Although unwilling to concede that Unisys had shifted its attention away from the mainframe market to push the Unix range, Perry conceded that Unix orders had grown by over 200% in 1987, and that the distributed processing arena was the fastest growing sector of the Unisys UK market. UK investment plans for 1988 include a European logistics and distribution centre to open in Milton Keynes in 1989, and the opening of a new Central London office in the City to replace the existing small offices scattered throughout the capital. Unisys claims that predicted mainframe marketing problems arising from the merger such as which of the two original products is offered to a potential buyer – are solved by the nature of the customer’s envisaged project; the ex-Burroughs A series continues to be sold as a procedural oriented tool for banking institutions and building societies, while the 1100 Sperry mainframe is seen as a competitor within the information retrieval applications market but don’t tell that to 1100 users Nationwide Anglia and Abbey National building societies, or the Trustee Savings Bank. Meanwhile cteps have been taken to ensure that the Mapper and Linc applications development environments can be used on both lines.

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