Unisys eyes WA govt tenders

Unisys is talking tough and keen to take on competitor CSC in Western Australia with the extra resources it's picked up in its joint venture deal with BankWest.

The creation of the joint venture company Unisys West "opens up the doors in a number of initiatives involving outsourcing and facilities management with IBM infrastructure", said Unisys WA state manager Murray Rosa.

He said there are a number of WA government tenders coming up. For example, BIPAC and BDMW are due for renewal next year.

"We're certainly keen to go head to head with CSC to secure that business in some form. We're keen to talk to the commercial sector as well."

Around 70 staff each from BankWest and Unisys make up the new business, Unisys West. Besides some job redefinition, one of the biggest challenges for ex-BankWest staff will be in adapting to an external service culture. BankWest general manager, emerging business and systems, Chris Whitehead said there will, for example, be more measurement of job performance. "But note they have been benchmarked [by Gartner] and are clearly capable people".

The company begins operations on September 1, is 51 per cent owned by Unisys, and 49 per cent owned by BankWest. As part of the deal Unisys will no longer operate on its own in WA.

Rosa said historically there has been a number of outsourcing initiatives in WA and the state government wanted a competitive environment, but when CSC took over GE that created a monopoly situation in the state.

"We're keen to provide an alternative to the WA market," he said.

"[The deal] enables us to have critical mass in the state to focus both in the public space and private. It allows us to address the ASP space and in particular the e-business market. [BankWest] had the best and largest IBM infrastructure in WA."

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