On the services side, Unisys will help businesses model their business process needs and create an IT infrastructure that can meet those needs, according to Joseph McGrath, president of Unisys Enterprise Transformation Services unit. Much of that modeling is based on such industry-standard tools as the Unified Modeling Language and the Business Process Execution Language. Models can be built regardless of the tools used to build them. At the same time, Unisys rolled out more than a dozen applications aimed at the verticals in which the company has focused for years, including financial services, government, transportation, and communications and the media. The applications cover everything from banking and mortgage processing, airline reservations, and justice and public safety to cargo security, publishing and revenue management.IBM, of Armonk, N.Y., and Microsoft, of Redmond, Wash., are signing on to support Unisys initiative. IBMs Rational Enterprise Suite will be a key tool set used by Unisys, which also is adding to the Rational Unified Process to help with business modeling and predictive cost estimation. Business Blueprinting also is using IBMs WebSphere as an implementation platform for deploying applications on the J2EE environment. John Swainson, general manager of application and integration middleware at IBM, said the blueprinting strategy fits in with Big Blues On Demand computing push. Unisys also will incorporate Microsofts .Net development tools, BizTalk Server and Windows Servers environment into the modeling strategy. Part of the collaboration will include the Team Jupiter Lab, a joint development and integration site in Redmond that will enable developers to create and deploy software using BizTalk Server 2004 and based on the next generation of Microsofts e-business software, code-named Jupiter, said Sanjay Parthasarathy, corporate vice president of Microsofts platform strategy and partner group. Parthasarathy said the blueprinting initiative will be a key way of bringing together business and IT people, who too often dont collaborate as they should, which led to the integration problems many companies are now facing. "The problem arose because they dont speak the same language, business and IT," he said. "Theyre not modeled the same way." Standards, particularly XML, are the way to bridge those differences, he said.
McGrath said that two years of testing the Business Blueprint strategy have shown that it can save businesses money while increasing their productivity. He said early implementations have resulted in 75 percent to 100 percent productivity improvements, 30 percent to 50 percent reductions in application redundancy, and 25 percent to 60 percent in cost savings.