Atos Origin signs outsourcing deal with BNP Paribas
13/01/2008
Atos Origin has announced a 'cross-channel' deal with France-based banking giant BNP Paribas. The vendor will manage desktop services for BNPP's investment banking business in the UK and for its retail banking operations in France. The five year, ?50m dea

OVU. Phil Codling

Comment:

This deal is relatively small in the scheme of things but it helps Atos Origin to answer a couple of our long-standing criticisms of the company. On the one hand, we've often said that its UK business has been too heavily weighted towards the public sector and has missed out on opportunities in commercial markets in which it is present in mainland Europe (notably financial services). That's a charge that is becoming less valid, thanks to a handful of new business signings in UK financial services over the past eighteen months (NFUM, Brewin Dolphin, Resolution Life and Capita's L&P business). None of these deals are 'mega' in revenue terms but all represent long-term business and a foundation for more work with the customer. Given where Atos Origin was in financial services in the UK (i.e. nowhere), it's clear that its investment in people and propositions for the sector has started to pay off.

Secondly, it's also noteworthy that this is an international (well, two countries anyway) deal. Despite its presence in several European countries (and a diminishing number further a field), the company has rarely shown the ability to tie up its country operations in order to win cross-border business. The BNPP deal suggests it can happen and that the focus on improved cross-company co-ordination led by new(ish) CEO Philippe Germond is beginning to have a positive effect.

In a separate announcement, Atos Origin has said it's been awarded a 'double-digit million euro contract' with German travel firm Thomas Cook AG. Again, this isn't the biggest new deal Atos Origin will sign this year. But it does help to allay any fears raised by EDS's ITellium deal (as announced last May, and commented on in EuroView) that the French company would lose out on work for its outsourcing client Arcandor, a major German conglomerate which owns Thomas Cook among other interests. Rather than losing work at Arcandor (as some commentators have speculated), Atos Origin actually appears to be growing this important account.