Integris Shifts Its Outsourcing Focus

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Information technology outsourcing firm Integris U.S. is informing potential clients of its shift from mainframe to expanded open systems services through an integrated direct marketing campaign launched earlier this month.

Integris, Billerica, MA, is targeting its "OpenSourcing" services to 5,500 mid-market companies with annual revenues ranging from $500 million to $2 billion. The company seeks to consolidate and grow its business in an outsourcing market that is expected to grow by 30 percent for the next five years. The Gartner Group, Stamford, CT, predicts that 75 percent of all enterprises will employ IT outsourcing by the year 2000 as a way to gain expertise and increase competitiveness.

Maximizing the return on IT investment is the message Integris highlighted in its initial mailing to prospects this week. The mail piece includes a company introduction and outlines the three main benefits of outsourcing: reducing complexity, solving personnel shortages and managing cost predictability. Each piece contains a mail-back card that customers can use to arrange a sales call or request a copy of an Integris white paper that discusses the business advantages of client/server outsourcing. The company will send a new mailing every four weeks that is tied to a specific outsourcing benefit and offers a copy of a new white paper on each topic.

Visitors to the company's new Web site ( also can request a white paper by providing a company name, address and e-mail address. Those names are added to Integris' database for subsequent mailings. That database of 5,500 prospects was pared down from the 11,000 names purchased from Computer Intelligence, La Jolla, CA, a database firm that surveys business computer usage. The database also has been used for telemarketing calls to set up sales appointments.

"What we tried to figure out for this mailing was who actually had [computer] equipment,'' said Suzanne Levin, marketing director at Integris. "If they have this equipment, then they must be having issues we can help them deal with."

The demand for outsourcing has grown as companies shift from mainframe and legacy-based computer systems to ones based on various open client-server, network PC and desktop systems. Before its expansion into open systems, Integris provided outsourcing to users of mainframes manufactured by its parent company, Bull Worldwide Information Systems, Louveciennes, France.

Integris' Web site, with links to other sites, analyst reports and published articles, is designed to be an outsourcing resource. The whole marketing campaign, in fact, is aimed first at educating companies about outsourcing and then detailing Integris services.

"This is the right time to be doing it,'' Levin said. "People are conscious [of IT] and its getting up to the CFO and CEO level because the technology people are coming back needing millions for their budgets. It's not small numbers anymore.''

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