VARBusiness 500 Profiles: The Cream of the Crop


Profile trio of the No. 1 company, fastest grower and list newcomer


Through one of its major initiatives, EDS aims to gain a stronger foothold in the market for managing higher-value applications and business process-related services. The company's bread-and-butter business traditionally has been managing its primarily multinational enterprise customers' desktop and file/print environments, a highly competitive space, but one that's been beset by commoditization. By revitalizing its business around running back-office applications such as SAP and Oracle, as well as providing business process outsourcing capabilities, EDS can provide services with a much higher degree of complexity and value--at a better return rate.

EDS grew its applications business by 50 percent last year and, as part of that effort, expanded its industry expertise to better understand the particular applications needs of any one vertical, Jordan said. Modernization of legacy applications and the implementation of service-oriented architectures (SOAs) have driven demand for EDS' services.

"Having to deal with complex legacy environments, with their embedded databases, has led to real growth in SOA for us," Jordan said. "If there's a major emerging technology, it's the work we're doing to use SOA to streamline a customer's environment."

Finding a way to differentiate your services business--high-end apps being one such service--is key to success in what's fast becoming a cutthroat market, says Ken Presti, analyst and president at Presti ResearchConsulting in Sunnyvale, Calif. The other key ingredient, one that EDS put a premium on in 2006, is understanding customers' unique business needs, then executing a technology and services plan that serve them well.

"It's not enough to go golfing with the head guy [at the client site]. You have to get at the level of people using the technology, see how they interact with it, what they need," Presti says. "Then you devise a plan for solving their problems."

Keep On Keepin' On

Now Jordan wants to drive demand for EDS' infrastructure business and pursue operational efficiencies, better customer service and higher-quality solutions. The apps business remains front and center, as does entry into business process outsourcing markets around health care, financial processing and other verticals.

Then there's the M&A strategy. Jordan says EDS wants to augment organic growth by building on its acquisitions of MphasiS and Global Enterprise Management Solutions, or GEMS.

Ultimately, Jordan's main concern is the customer. "We've tried very hard to be more responsive to client needs from a day-to-day standpoint and from a service quality standpoint," he said. "For that, we're getting some recognition in the market."

So much recognition, in fact, that the company landed in the top spot on the VARBusiness 500 list.

NEXT: The VARBusiness 500's fastest grower.