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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 Research & Consulting 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.