Launched earlier this year, Unisys’ People Computing initiative focuses on bringing a “people perspective” to its end user support and outsourcing service offerings. I recently attended Unisys’ Asia Pacific (AP) analyst event in Sydney and this initiative was presented as a key success factor in several infrastructure outsourcing wins in AP in 2011-2012. Case in point: we were given the opportunity to meet Henry Shiner, VP and CIO of McDonald’s Australia/New Zealand. McDonald’s signed an end user computing services contract in 2011 for the management of 43,000 end user devices in Australia and New Zealand. These devices include point-of-sale systems, back-office PC equipment, peripherals, wireless networks, customer order display units, and cameras. Unisys was selected to support the 125,000 people working at 1,060 McDonald’s restaurants. According to Shiner, Unisys’ end user-centric approach was one of the reasons McDonald’s selected Unisys:

  • Unisys approached service-level definitions from the end user point of view. While the right set of tools and processes are key to efficiently managing more than 60,000 support calls per annum, Unisys approached McDonald’s requirements by working directly with end users — store operators in franchised restaurants — by organizing focus groups to better define end user requirements.
  • Unisys recruited and trained service desk professionals on retail-specific criteria. Fast food restaurants are highly time-sensitive businesses. If point-of-sale or payment systems are down, the competition directly benefits from unsatisfied customers. Resolving level 1 or level 2 issues over the phone usually occurs in a noisy environment; hence, appropriate training is essential, particularly as, in this case, customer service professionals also need be trained on McDonald’s proprietary systems.

Of the four factors reshaping the IT services industry (see this recent blog post), consumerization is typically the one that the IT services industry underrates most frequently, particularly in Asia. Forrsights Workforce Surveys, which we conducted among more than 3,000 information workers throughout Asia in Q4 2011 and Q2 2012, show accelerating consumerization trends in Asia. For instance, the majority of information workers in Asia now believe that they have better technology at home than at work, while fewer of them believe that they have the right tools to help them do their work in the office. 

What does this mean? First, that Unisys, with its People Computing initiative, is proactively responding to demographic changes in AP, as evidenced by its recent win with McDonald’s. It also means that, as companies in the region become more aware of consumerization trends and demands, IT service providers must increasingly consider end users (in addition to IT and business stakeholders) as part of the client satisfaction equation. After all, in a “per user per month” model, the IT service provider delivers business value only if it can deliver value to the end user.