If you don't see images, click here to view
Got a Story Idea? . Events To ensure delivery, please add mark@bisnow.com to your address book, learn how
Tech Bisnow
 Nav Bar
January 25, 2008

How Unisys Got
Its Groove Back


Celebrities in our midst!  Craigslist's Craig Newmark and former Apple CEO John Sculley, among others, at the upcoming Southeast Venture Conference. Feb 27-28, Tysons Ritz.   


Unisys had spent a year trying to sell its Federal Systems division when they reversed course and gave Greg Baroni a shot to transform the outfit in 2001.  Since then, revenue has doubled to $1 billion (with services accounting for $900 million), Unisys Federal Systems has become the Dept. of Homeland Security’s top contractor, and they’re setting their sights on once again cracking the top 10 overall federal tech contractors.  


When we stopped by yesterday, Greg showed us his James Bond-ian lab for future technologies.  Unisys has partnered with Bionics to create this “finger vein recognition” gadget that verifies identity by shooting light through your finger and reading the unique pattern of your veins.  (Cool or scary?  You decide.)  It’s already being used in a Japanese apartment complex.  


Arriving at Unisys shortly after Sept. 11th, Greg made a decision that the company would “focus like a laser” on the homeland security market, which he saw as the field with “the most white space in it.”  He scored an early success when the newly formed Transportation Security Administration chose Unisys Federal to provide IT infrastructure (beginning with basics like PDAs and laptops) that would be needed by its 50,000 new airport screeners.  Contracts have expanded to include, for instance, work on DHS’s “SBInet” border security operation.


Greg refers to Unisys’s shift to Homeland Security work as a “student body right” maneuver.  The football reference is only appropriate, considering he’s good pals with CBS pigskin commentator James Brown.  The two met up last night at a Boys & Girls Club fundraiser at the Bethesda Marriott.


To emphasize the company’s new direction, Greg created a Homeland Security division at Unisys to go along with the Civilian and Defense divisions typical at federal tech contractors.  (Yes, other companies have since adopted this approach—but Unisys was a pioneer.)  Greg says that being part of the federal government’s security mission has had at least two benefits.  It added a patriotic component to the company’s self-image, which was suffering from malaise when he arrived.  And for once in his career (Greg spent 20 years at KPMG before landing at Unisys), his kids can actually understand what he does:  help keep the country safe.



Now he’s looking corporate again!  But how will Unisys sustain its momentum?  Greg is looking to tackle “adjacent verticals” (we think that’s English) with security needs, such as DOJ and the Director of National Intelligence’s office.  Unisys is already developing DOJ’s Next-Generation Combined DNA Index System (NGCODIS!), that allows federal and state labs to share DNA profiles.  Greg has also established a new goal—“10 by 10”:  becoming a top-ten federal tech contractor by 2010.  With his aggressive plans, Greg plans to put that football helmet to use.


Brookfield Properties
Cardinal Bank
Advertise with Bisnow

This newsletter is a journalistic news source which accepts no payment for featured interviews. It is supported by conventional advertisers clearly identified in the right hand column. You have been selected to receive it either through prior contact or professional association. If you have received it in error, please accept our apologies and unsubscribe below. ? 2008, Bisnow on Business, Inc., 2300 N Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037. All rights reserved.

DC Real Estate Legal Bisnow Women Bisnow Association Bisnow NYC Real Estate