Atos Origin Asia

  • Overview
THE SCOOP

Time and again

An international IT consultancy offering end-to-end technology solutions, Atos Origin is based in Paris, but maintains offices in 40 countries and has over 50,000 employees. In the Asia Pacific region, Atos is headquartered in Singapore (where the firm employs more than 300) and also maintains offices in China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia and Taiwan. The Greater China region plays host to a large number of staff, with more than 300 in the mainland, an additional 300 in Hong Kong, and 180 in Taiwan.

Clients come from a number of different industries including financial services, manufacturing, retail, telecom and media, energy and utilities, and the public sector.  In addition, the firm serves the organizers of major sporting events such as the Olympics.  Typically, more than 60 percent of the firm’s revenue base is recurring, the result of multiyear contracts for outsourcing or application maintenance.

Atos Origin conducts business through three service lines: Consulting, Systems Integration, and Managed Operations.  The Consulting line addresses the strategy and IT needs of an organization across the board, from personnel to processes to technology.  The Systems Integration line works to develop and implement new systems for clients, while also maintaining or improving on legacy systems. Through alliances with major vendors such as Oracle, SAP and Siebel, the firm is able to match best-of-breed technologies to each client’s needs.  The Managed Operations segment revolves primarily around outsourcing, offering the management of core infrastructure like data centers, desktop support, server farms and network communication systems.  Atos Origin also provides BPO and specialist processing services, payment and card processing services, CRM and multichannel contract services. 

Reboot

The firm has struggled in recent years with overall revenues, but is undergoing a number of transformative steps in an attempt to reverse its fortunes. Following poor financial results for 2006, Atos Origin announced its “303†plan in February 2007â€"a three-year course of accelerated organic growth, improved efficiency and a more global outlook on business.  An executive committee was formed and tasked with achieving these goals through improved execution of operations, service lines and functions.  In addition, new managers were appointed to selected European offices, as well as to sales and finance divisions.  The offshoring business received particular attention, with the firm initially planning to hire 8,000 additional employees for the division by the end of 2009. 

The company has also initiated what it refers to as the "TOP Program"â€"an acronym for total operational performance. The TOP program has four main objectives: better leveraging of the firm's global concept; closing the gap between itself and competitors using industry benchmarks; developing better efficiency through lean management processes; and implementing sustainability initiatives.

For some regions, the plan seems to be paying off already. In 2008, total revenue for the Asia Pacific region grew by nearly 30 percent, making it the fastest growing area for the firm in terms of overall revenue growth. Still, CEO Thierry Breton issued a financial forecast in February 2009 predicting that overall firm revenue would fall by 2 percent in fiscal 2009â€"a reflection of both the pressures of restructuring and the global financial downturn.

Atos Origin’s origins

The firm began its existence in 1997 as simply “Atosâ€â€"when French IT services companies Axime and Sligos joined forces. Origin was formerly a Dutch subsidiary of Royal Philips Electronics, created from a 1996 merger of two U.S. companies. In 2000, Atos joined forces with Origin, and began building its European empire. The firm acquired the U.K. and Netherlands offices of KPMG Consulting in August 2002. In January 2004, Atos Origin doubled its staff and boosted its resources with the purchase of IT services company SchlumbergerSema (from Schlumberger) for EUR 1.28 billion.

Expanding the waistline

In 2005, the firm unveiled plans to expand its presence in Asia Pacific, and by 2007, revenue had increased 7.2 percent. In October 2006, the firm kicked off a worldwide recruiting campaign to hire 9,000 people. Its advertising in France featured employees provoking curiosity about the firm with statements like, "If you say I told you about Atos Origin, I'll deny everything," and "You'd have to pay me a fortune to tell you about Atos Origin." The catchy marketing campaign seemed to work in its native land: 2,500 people were hired that year.

Atos Origin has also been ambitious about expanding in countries through major outsourcing operations, specifically in India, Poland, Malaysia, Brazil, Morocco and Armenia. In 2007, the company stated that it was planning on hiring as many as 200 new employees per month in these locations, and the firm has also hinted that in might be in the market to acquire a small or medium-sized company in India.

We’ll do the acquiring, thanks

Though Atos Origin doesn’t mind acquiring and divesting certain assets, it hasn’t shown much interest in the idea of being bought out.  After selling its Bahrain-based Middle East division to local management in February 2006 and making a similar deal that same month to sell Nolan, Norton & Co., its strategy consulting division, to its management, the firm was quickly surrounded by rumors that it would be acquired outright. 

Media sources identified U.S.-based private equity firm The Blackstone Group as the likely buyer, but after denials by both firms, speculation died out.  Lackluster financial performance in 2006 fueled merger rumors yet again in March 2007, as it was suspected that global private equity firm Permira and hedge fund Centaurus Capital were jointly considering acquiring the firm.  Atos Origin admitted that there had been “expressions of interest†from third parties, but that no concrete offers had been made.  Finally, in May 2007, the firm put an end to the buyout speculation yet again, releasing a statement that any discussions with interested buyers had been terminated.

Asian persuasion

Atos Origin has gained more work in Asia since it named the region a priority in 2005. In September 2007, the firm entered into one of its biggest deals to dateâ€"a strategic partnership with China National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina) to help the Chinese chemicals giant compete in the global market. Under terms of the agreement, Atos Origin serves as ChemChina's preferred IT service provider for business advisory, consulting services, information technology solutions and management services.

In Bangalore, connector manufacturer FCI hired Atos Origin to outsource its IT development center and support operations in August 2007. FCI is a leading manufacturer of connectors and interconnect solutions for a wide array of applications, from automotive to telecommunications products.  Atos Origin provides IT services, including applications development, applications management and infrastructure support to FCI's facilities worldwide.

Prior to the tie-up in India, in April 2007, Philippines-based Allied Bank chose Atos Origin's ASCCEND as its credit card solution platform to expand its credit card business strategy in the Philippines. In fact, one of the firm’s main offerings throughout the Asia Pacific region is credit card payment solutions. For example, Atos Origin set up shop in Indonesia in 2004 and now provides credit card solutions to nine out of the top 11 banks in the country. The firm also operates some of the largest data centers in Hong Kong, and provides credit card services to many of the leading banks in Taiwan.

 

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Atos Origin Asia


8 Temasek Boulevard
#07-01 Suntec Tower Three
Singapore 038988
Phone: +65-6333-8000
Fax: +65-6832-2600
www.ap.atosorigin.com

STATS


  • Employer Type: Public
  • Stock Symbol: SAX
  • Stock Exchange: Euronext Paris
  • Chairman and CEO: Thierry Breton
  • 2009 Employees: 50,000

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