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Unisys Corporation (NYSE: UIS), headquartered in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, United States, and incorporated in Delaware, is a global provider of information technology services and programs.
Unisys has a deep heritage in the technology industry. The company traces its roots back to the founding of American Arithmometer Company (later Burroughs Corporation) in 1886 and the Sperry Gyroscope Company in 1910.
Unisys predecessor companies also include the Eckert–Mauchly Computer Corporation, which invented the world's first large-scale digital computer, the ENIAC, at the University of Pennsylvania.
In September 1986 Unisys was formed through the merger of the mainframe corporations Sperry and Burroughs, with Burroughs buying Sperry for $4.8 billion. The name was chosen in an internal competition when an intern, Charles Ayoub, came up with the UNISYS acronym from United Information Systems. The merger was the largest in the computer industry at the time and made Unisys the second largest computer company with annual revenue of $10.5 billion. At the time of the merger, Unisys had approximately 120,000 employees.
In addition to hardware, both Burroughs and Sperry had a history of working on U.S. government contracts. Unisys continues to provide hardware, software, and services to various government agencies.
Soon after the merger, the market for proprietary mainframe-class systems—the mainstream product of Unisys and its competitors such as IBM—began a long-term decline that continues, at a lesser rate, today. In response, Unisys made the strategic decision to shift into high end servers (e.g., 32 processor Windows Servers), as well as information technology (IT) services such as systems integration, outsourcing, and related technical services, while holding onto the profitable revenue stream from maintaining its installed base of proprietary mainframe hardware and applications.
Important events in the company's history include the development of the 2200 series in 1986, including the UNISYS 2200/500 CMOS mainframe, and the Micro A in 1989, the first desktop mainframe, the UNISYS ES7000 servers in 2000, and the Unisys blueprinting method of visualizing business rules and workflow in 2004.
In 1988 the company acquired Convergent Technologies, makers of CTOS.
On October 7, 2008, J. Edward Coleman replaced J. McGrath as CEO and Chairman.
On November 11, 2008, the company was removed from the Standard & Poor's 500 index as the market capitalization of the company had fallen below the S&P 500 minimum of $4 billion.