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Atos Origin back on track with Olympics extension

John O'Brien | May 29, 2009
This deal extends Atos relationship with the IOC beyond London 2012, and is a big coup for chief executive Thierry Breton

Olympics contract is crucial to future successes

It is difficult to underestimate the importance of the Olympics IT contract to Atos, which benefits from worldwide exposure and publicity from the deal. It has built up a high-profile position in the increasingly technology-driven delivery of the Olympics. Significant numbers of Atos employees and business prospects now rely on its continued success either directly or indirectly.

It wasnt a certainty that Atos would secure the extension. This time last year we would have given the company far longer odds following the management and shareholder debacle that had caused much disruption at board level. However, Breton has done much to steady the ship since then and, along with Adibas team, has to take a lot of credit for winning the extension.

Each event demands more from Atos than the one before. For instance, in Beijing 2008, Atos processed 60 per cent more competition data than in Athens, totaling 1.5 million messages. This is expected to rise significantly again in London 2012. In addition, Atos is working to implement more sustainable IT services in London 2012 through virtualisation technology and Remote INFO, a service that provides remote access to the London 2012 intranet for the media.

Where next?

The next extension to the IOC deal is now likely take place around 2011, or three years before the 2016 Olympic Games. So suppliers interested in snatching the crown jewels from Atos should begin preparing their vision now. 

John is an analyst in Ovum's Government practice, and is service manager of the PublicSector@Ovum advisory service.


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