Despite being one of the heavyweight trio behind the virtual e-commerce company esolutions, Telecom has partnered with Unisys to provide online business applications to the Motor Trade Association.
Telecom approached Unisys to make a bid for the project and won the contract last December.
MTA chief executive Stephen Matthews says the association is evaluating a range of products and services which would be suitable to the motoring industry, and hopes to launch a service at its annual conference in October.
Applications being considered are human resource, contact management and communications. MTA has 5000 members representing all facets of the industry from automotive repairers, service stations, automotive electricians and automotive dismantlers to specialists in alternative fuels, brakes and outboard power equipment.
Telecom spokeswoman Linda Sanders says Telecom put in two bids for the contract – one with Unisys and another through its services and consultancy arm Advanced Solutions. She says esolutions – a year-old alliance forged between Telecom, Microsoft and EDS to deliver e-commerce solutions – is a supplier to Advanced Solutions but doesn’t go out to the market in its own right.
“Unisys is pretty much a full-service IT company and can provide the customised solution that was called for in this case. Esolutions is aimed at providing prepackaged solutions. Too much customisation adds to the cost. For esolutions it’s more important to deliver solutions that are simple and easy to implement.” Unisys will provide online business applications as part of the MTA deal.
As an application service provider esolutions provides Microsoft Office and Datacom’s payroll application NettPay. Other products and services include webhosting, efax, web launchpad, BusinessXchange and managed network services. It has sold BusinessXchange, which provides the infrastructure to trade with customers and suppliers online, to Telecom and hosts electronic marketplaces for Biolab Direct and OneZone, as well as providing a secure order entry system for Baxter Healthcare’s online purchasing system.
Unisys ASP, which launched last July, includes prepackaged solutions such as Splashnet and Web Works customer relationship management systems, Great Plains e-business suite, Genie Systems OrderWare and QSP financials in its online offering. It also provides and hosts customised solutions.