Industry's Take on Innovation in India

Jim Thompson, VP- Systems Software Development, and LNV Samy, Global Leader, SSD Program Management Office, Unisys Corporation

Headquartered in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, United States, Unisys Corporation’s (NYSE: UIS) full year 2015 revenue was USD 3.01 billion and it has more than 20,000 employees globally. Unisys provides integrated solutions in the government, financial services and commercial markets. Its offerings include cloud and infrastructure services, application services, security solutions, and high-end server technology.

Q) What is the global market opportunity for IT service providers in aviation and banking sectors?

Jim: ` We have heavily invested in the travel industry whether it is airport administration, airlines or cargo along with financial services. These are key to our business.

Samy: Banking and aviation are key strategic domains for us to focus on. We have invested heavily in those areas in India.

Q) How are you leveraging existing Intellectual Property (IP) and software to enhance revenue on products and services side and identifying new opportunities in India?

Samy: We have identified number of IPs. We have looked at all our applications and products that we support and identified IPs in our own products that we further want to invest in and further expand. We have shortlisted a set of products in which we are going to invest based on the value the IP will be bringing and we are expanding on those. So a lot of activities are happening on that in various domains. Similarly, on Stealth which is our security product we have identified new areas where we want to invest in terms of providing security to Amazon and Azure platforms.

Q) What are the recent trends in enterprise consumption of cloud?

Jim: Many enterprises will tell you that they are not using cloud for production, but they are doing so. Cloud is vital for many new companies like startups which do not have investments for IT infrastructure. More established companies are discovering the elasticity of cloud. There is some trepidation around security and what kind of information they want to put in the cloud. They do not want to put intellectual property there. With security products, there is a way to mitigate risk for the customers and many customers will consume from the cloud. Decades ago, we used to talk about utility computing, that is what cloud is. Cloud is a resource where we do not have to invest in. It is just like plugging in something into power point to get power, you plug something into like data port to get access to compute and for storage. So cloud is being used in ingenious ways.

Q) What can we expect from Unisys in the near future in the cloud space?

Jim: We are firmly entrenched in transportation and finance and some other chosen spaces. Security is an area where we have great expertise and we will continue to provide advances there and provide best cloud security for clients. We see cloud as the future for many of our clients and we see that is an area where our products can help and give them the comfort they need to do their business.

Samy: Unisys has done extremely well in terms of investments in India delivery centres to the extent that we now have reasonable number of patents coming out of India. India will be contributing more and more to the IPs and the innovations of Unisys being embedded into the products –which will be our own products coming out of India. At the moment, we have reasonable number of products and we will find more and more innovation happening in India.

Q) So can India be considered a think tank for Unisys?

Jim: I can tell you about my seven years of involvement in Cloud 20/20, the annual technical project organized by Unisys India, I have seen a steady improvement in the ability of university students to provide original thought and increasing complexity and quality in that thought. So when Cloud 20/20 was a paper program years ago, the paper was not easily translated into something that we describe as IP or something that can be productized easily. We modified the program to encourage innovative thinking by the students and what we see now is higher quality of projects that are making it to the final round. We see more universities getting involved, the universities that made into the final this year have participated significantly in the past so we have seen improved quality, complexity, increased participation across sections in the kind of people Indian universities are producing.

India provides a market perspective you cannot get from North America or Europe. What I mean by this is there are product ideas and markets that you can see in India that you cannot see so easily from a purely western perspective. India brings not only intellect, well-educated students and creativity but it also brings perspective on global market that is incredibly valuable in different perspectives on the kinds of products we are producing.