Computer services and equipment company Unisys Corp. said Wednesday it has set up a software development and back-office center in India, with plans to hire 2,000 people and invest $180 million in five years.
Most of the jobs in India will be new ones, but Unisys will also cut some positions in the United States as part of its offshoring plans, the Pennsylvania-based company said.
Governments and public sector institutions are among Unisys' largest customers. The company handles sensitive information such as police records and homeland security databases.
Asked if handling of such data would also move to India, Cal Killen, Unisys' vice president for solution development, told reporters Wednesday that some will and some won't. "The customer decides it," he said.
He said Unisys already outsources work relating to sensitive data to some Indian firms and has had no problems with their performance.
The company, which transformed itself from a vendor of large computers to an outsourced service provider in the last decade, is among scores of big corporations that have farmed out technology-related work to low-wage countries such as India.
Some U.S. politicians have attacked the practice, saying it is draining jobs in the United States and could lead to a compromise on data security.
"The job of outsourcing has become a bit of political football in the United States," Killen said. "But then, it is an election year. It will run its course."
The company's center in Bangalore, a technology hub in southern India, will provide document checking for loans, insurance claims and electronic check processing, besides outsourced services for government-related work and clients in telecommunications, transport, media and consumer-products industries, Killen said.
"We will open more centers in other Indian cities and outside India, too," he said. Eastern Europe and China are possibilities.