Stealth helps Unisys build European momentum
Unisys is one of the real heritage brands in enterprise technology, and like all of its peers, it has struggled to adapt to the shift away from legacy infrastructure projects to the cloud-centric era.
But there have been clear signs of improvement in recent quarters. After a performance in 2018 that included a return to profitability and its first year of full-year growth since 2003, revenue was up by 13% in the second quarter, with sales from its IT services wing up 11%.
Part of this is down to the strong performance of its US federal business, and it has recently unveiled a $152m contract win with the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) to provide IT infrastructure (including cloud) management services.
Security is another important growth driver for Unisys. The vendor goes to market in security with both standalone products and services, and as a component of its broader offerings. One of the cornerstones of Unisys’ security proposition is Stealth, which has been in development over fifteen years and was initially designed for the US Department of Defence.
Stealth was at the centre of a major recent win with six local governments in the Netherlands. The municipalities of Drechterland, Enkhuizen, Stede Broec, Opmeer, Medemblik and Koggenland are using Stealth, to protect large volumes of sensitive information and secure citizen data for more than 139,000 citizens. Stealth protects the shared services centre supporting the municipalities by providing access to only authorized users using standard cryptographic engines and capabilities.
The Stealth portfolio is being expanded to protect a wider range of endpoints including desktops, servers, cloud, IoT devices, and mobile devices. Unisys recently launched Stealth 4.0, with enhanced automation and a feature it calls “Dynamic Isolation” which is aimed at locking down individual devices or users at the first signs of compromise, and this week announced that it had created a new API to enable users to implement an additional layer of security for using the Microsoft Azure public cloud.
Stealth also has a customer base in the commercial sector in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands. In the UK, for example, Stealth has been deployed in the financial services segment, as well as at central and local government level, and with the cyber threat landscape increasing in both scale and sophistication, there is potential for Unisys to attack a number of different areas.
The win in the Netherlands shows that shared services vehicles in both the commercial sector (regional banking in the DACH region, and local and regional government across Northern Europe) could be an attractive hunting ground. The UK government recently restated its commitment to building out shared services functions as a way to boost both efficiency and security. Furthermore, the Met police and the NHS in particular, after suffering the infamous WannaCry ransomware attack back in May 2017, are investing more in security transformation to keep data secure.
One of the keys to success in selling security products into Europe is having close proximity - either direct or through a mature partner ecosystem - to the customer. Unisys has room to improve in this regard in some parts of the region. Stealth operates in a competitive market against the likes of Cisco, FireEye and Symantec, but it could prove to be valuable weapon in Unisys battle to maintain its current momentum.