EDS: HP hook-up helps us think smaller

On the back of its takeover by HP, EDS is rolling out a new mid-market suite aimed at companies in the sub-$10 million-a-year bracket for IT services contracts, and beefs up its vendor finance options.

Briefing press and analysts in Auckland this morning, EDS Australia and New Zealand managing director David Caspari said his company had previously focussed on signing multi-year deals with customers in the $100 million bracket, such as the major banks, and Fonterra.

But the HP merger has given EDS “much stronger access” to mid-market companies, defined as those who spend $10 million or less a year on IT, says Mr Caspari.

EDS is seeking to take advantage of this new access with the launch of a mid-market suite of managed services, which will less bespoke than those offered to big corporate clients.

Pre-packed products, pre-defined services and standard contracts will mean the mid-market product can be rolled out faster, and cheaper, says Mr Caspari.

EDS New Zealand country manager Alfonso Gomez says the mid-market suite is inherently suited to the local market (in the US, big techs usually defined a “small business” as one with 500 seats or fewer).

It should also suit companies looking to cut IT infrastructure and IT staff costs in the face of the recession, says Mr Gomez. Using the example of a company with 200 desktops, Mr Gomez says they could be fully managed by EDS.

Some clients are choosing managed services run by EDS’s local operation, says Mr Caspari, while others are taking advantage of the option to outsource offshore to EDS’ fully-owned Indian subsidiary, MphasiS.

More cash to dish out, more cheaply
As well as better lines into the mid-market, Mr Gomez said the second major benefit of his company's hook-up with HP was access to HP Financial Services - the US company's vendor-financing wing.

While EDS has always offered vendor financing, Mr Gomez says HP's operation is more substantial, and its rates considerably more competitive. With more customers potenitially looking to borrow money from EDS to pay for deals during the slow-down, the access to better vendor financing is timely.

Mr Caspari said EDS has a strong pipeline of deals in New Zealand, but would not comment on revenue or profit expectations.

EDS is being merged with HP's Technology Solutions Group (TSG). In Australia and New Zealand, “legal closure” for the merger is expected by the end of this year.

Mr Gomez says EDS will “rationalise” some of its real-estate in New Zealand, but maintain its corporate headquarters at Smale’s Farm on Auckland’s North Shore.

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