Unisys CEO Peter Altabef: ‘All Hands On Deck’ For AI
Joseph F. Kovar
‘With all the talk about artificial intelligence, it’s almost like, did we forget about quantum? Did we forget that’s gonna change everything, too? And the answer is, we haven’t forgotten. We think that if you put the two together, you really get a different league of solution,’ says Unisys Chairman and CEO Peter Altabef.
Investing For The Future
The introduction last month of the Unisys Logistics Optimization technology marks the first major push for global solution provider Unisys into quantum computing. And while that quantum computing push is relatively new for Unisys, it comes even as the Blue Bell, Pa.-based company continues a yearslong push to be a leader in providing real artificial intelligence solutions not only to its customers but to its own employees.
Unisys Chairman and CEO Peter Altabef recently told CRN that for Unisys, ranked No. 34 on CRN’s Solution Provider 500, AI is a part of everything the company does, and that the next iteration, generative AI is already being quickly embraced by its employees and clients.
“While it’s kind of trite to say it, it’s all hands on deck [with AI], Altabef said. “There’s no piece of our company from training to solutions to forward thinking that is not actively looking at how do we put generative AI into our solutions, which we’ve already done. We focus on how do we continue to do that? And how do we use it so that we can actually perform more efficiently ourselves?”
The short-term effect of generative AI has been overhyped both in terms of the investments required and the immediacy of its impact, Altabef said.
“But I think there’s no question that it is real,” he said. “It is substantive, and it’s long lasting. So even if half of the hype is accurate, it’s a game changer for our industry and, frankly, all industries.”
Even as Unisys moves to make AI and generative AI a part of every customer solution and a part of every employee’s job, the company is also embracing quantum computing, Altabef said. And for Unisys, it is not just “quantum washing” of the company’s business, but a serious push to combine quantum computing with both historic and generative AI, he said.
“[Quantum computing is] a space where not everybody has gotten to yet,” he said. “With all the talk about artificial intelligence, it’s almost like, did we forget about quantum? Did we forget that’s gonna change everything, too? And the answer is, we haven’t forgotten. We think that if you put the two together, you really get a different league of solution.”
Here’s more of what Altabef told CRN: