Atos is a European multinational information technology (IT) service and consulting company headquartered in Bezons, France and offices worldwide. It specialises in hi-tech transactional services, unified communications, cloud, big data and cybersecurity services.[3][4] Atos operates worldwide under the brands Atos, Atos-Syntel, Atos Consulting, Atos Healthcare, Atos Worldgrid, Bull, Canopy, Unify and Worldline.

Atos SE
Societas Europaea
Traded as
IndustryIT services, IT consulting
Founded1988 (1988)
HeadquartersBezons, France
Area served
Key people
Elie Girard (Chairman & CEO)
Revenue12.25 billion (2018)[1]
€836 million (2018)[1]
€703 million (2018)[1]
Total assets€21.57 billion (2018)[1]
Total equity€8.10 billion (2018)[1]
Number of employees
122,110 (2018)[2]


The company was formed in 1997 through a merger of two French IT companies; and combined with the Dutch-based company Origin B.V. in 2000 to become Atos Origin.[5] It subsequently acquired KPMG Consulting in 2002 and SchlumbergerSema in 2004.

In 2010 Atos Origin announced the buyout of Siemens IT Solutions and Services and finalized the acquisition in July 2011. Afterwards, the company name reverted to Atos.[6][7]

In April 2018, Atos partnered with Google Cloud to help offer secure artificial intelligence solutions.[8][9] [10]

Background: a series of mergers (1997–2011)

In 1996, Origin B.V. was created after a merger of the Dutch company BSO and the Philips C&P (Communications & Processing) division, while a year later in 1997, Atos was created following a merger of the French companies Axime and Sligos.[11] In 2001, Atos Origin sold its Nordic operations to WM-data. In 2002, it made a major acquisition by buying KPMG Consulting in the United Kingdom and in the Netherlands. Then in 2004, it acquired SchlumbergerSema, the IT service division of Schlumberger and took over the infrastructure division of ITELLIUM, a subsidiary of KarstadtQuelle.[12]

At the same time (2004), the company created a new subsidiary, Atos Worldline, and the renaming of its consulting activities as Atos Consulting. Also in 2004, Atos Origin Australia, originating from Philips, was sold to Fujitsu. In 2005, Atos Origin sold its activities in the Nordic region, which had become part of the company with the acquisition of Sema Group, to WM-data while in 2006, Atos Origin sold its operations in the Middle East to local management.[13]

In October 2007, Philippe Germond replaced longtime CEO Bernard Bourigeaud. Two shareholders, the hedge funds Centaurus Capital and Pardus Capital, tried to gain control over the company via the supervisory board.[14] In November 2008, the boardroom battle came to an end when Thierry Breton replaced Philippe Germond as chairman and CEO.[14]

In August 2010 Atos Origin acquired Indian payment company Venture Infotek.

Doubling size with acquisition of Siemens IT (2011)

In December 2010 Atos Origin agreed to acquire the IT Solutions and Services subsidiary of Siemens for €850 million.[15] As part of the transaction, Siemens agreed to take a 15% stake in the enlarged Atos, to be held for a minimum of five years.[15]

The company dropped the "Origin" suffix of its name in July 2011 after completing its acquisition of the Siemens unit.[16]

In November 2011 Atos and software services provider Ufida International Holdings formed the joint venture Yunano. The two companies invested €5.7 million. Atos has 70 percent and UFIDA has 30 percent. The joint venture has its HQ in Bezons, France, a suburb of Paris.[17] In 2012 Atos announced the creation of a new company called Canopy.[18] The CEO is Philippe Llorens.[19][20] In 2011 Atos introduced a Zero Email initiative,[21] banning email as a form of internal communications, except for use with customers and prospects.[22] As part of the initiative, Atos acquired the French software company blueKiwi in early 2012, rolling out their ZEN social networking software across its organisation.[23]

Acquisition of information technology pioneer Bull (2014)

In August 2014 Atos announced that it had acquired a controlling stake in Bull SA through a tender offer launched in May.[24] Atos announced plans in October 2014 to buy out or squeeze out the remaining share and bondholders of Bull.[25]

North American footprint with Xerox ITO acquisition (2015)

On 19 December 2014 Atos announced the acquisition of Xerox's IT Outsourcing business for US$1,050,000,000, tripling the size of the North American business.[26] The unit generated US$376,000,000 in Q3 2014, contains 9,800 employees and operates in 45 countries.[26] The transaction closed on 30 June 2015.[27]

Services and Activities

Global services

Atos activities are organized in four divisions:[28]


Positioned as a vendor of holistic digital transformation,[29] Atos builds on four pillars within its Digital Transformation Factory:[30]


Digital Workplace

  • Digital Workplace: digital end-user support and unified communications services and products including elements derived from the Unify acquisition.


Big Data Analytics


North America

After the Xerox ITO acquisition, North America has become Atos's largest business unit.

United Kingdom

According to a National Audit Office report on the government's four biggest suppliers, Atos earned £700 million in revenue from the public sector in the UK in 2012; of £7.2 billion sales worldwide.[31] Atos holds £3 billion worth of UK government contracts providing services to a wide range of organizations including NHS Scotland, Home Office,[32] Welsh Government,[33] the Ministry of Defence,[34] Transport for Greater Manchester,[35] the BBC[36] and a multimillion outsourcing contract to NS&I.[37] In the United Kingdom, from 1998 - 2015 the company was at the centre of a controversy over the management of contracts by their healthcare division of the Work Capability Assessment for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).[38]


In January 2017, Atos secured a five-year contract as key IT partner of the Western Australian state government. Extendable for an additional five years, the deal (up to $2.39 billion) will be allocated with two other ICT suppliers.[39]


Atos Healthcare

In the United Kingdom, from 1998 - 2015 Atos Healthcare was at the centre of a controversy over the management of contracts by their healthcare division of the Work Capability Assessment for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).[38] In August 2015, statistics from the Department of Work and Pensions revealed that 2,380 people had died between 2011 - 2014 soon after being found fit for work through disability benefit assessments.[40] In 2014, "the DWP negotiated an early exit from the existing WCA contract with the private firm, Atos, after raising concerns about the quality of its work".[41][42]

However, Atos still (as of October 2016) undertakes work for the DWP in assessing Personal Independence Payment applications. The Press Association revealed in 2017 that Atos, used by the DWP to make its decisions, are set to be paid more than £700m for their five-year contracts against an original estimate of £512m.[43]

When Atos took over administering PIP's estimates of how fast claims could be processed were over-optimistic as were estimates of how easily claimants could get to assessment centres. This led to delays in assessments, distress to claimants and unexpectedly high costs. Atos was accused of misleading the government.[44]

Atos developed a computer system that would extract data from GP's computers nationwide. Costs rose from £14 million to £40 million and it was felt Atos had taken insufficient care how it spent taxpayers' money.[45]

Atos lost the contract for fitness to work tests, Richard Hawkes of Scope said, "I doubt there's a single disabled person who'll be sorry to hear that Atos will no longer be running the fit-for-work tests." Hawkes claimed the "fundamentally flawed" test should be "more than an exercise in getting people off benefits. It should make sure disabled people get the specialist, tailored and flexible support they need to find and keep a job."

Mark Serwotka of Public and Commercial Services Union described the assessments as "designed to harass vulnerable people and take their benefits away rather than provide support and guidance. Doctors, MPs and disabled people all believe the tests should be scrapped so, instead of replacing the failed Atos with another profit-hungry provider, the government should bring the work in-house and invest in it properly."[46]

Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron questioned how Atos and Capita could have been paid over £500m from tax payers money for assessing fitness to work as 61% who appealed won their appeals. Farron stated, “This adds to the suspicion that these companies are just driven by a profit motive, and the incentive is to get the assessments done, but not necessarily to get the assessments right. They are the ugly face of business.”[47]

In 2014, Atos Healthcare rebranded its occupational health business to become OH Assist. The Atos Healthcare brand was reserved for use for the PIP contract. Atos sold its OH Assist business to CBPE Capital in 2015. [48]

For years Atos denied claimants benefits or reduced their benefits if they did not take addictive opiate based pain killers. The Department of Work and Pensions revised its guidance stating, “healthcare practitioners [disability benefits assessors] should be mindful that the level of analgesia used does not necessarily correlate with the level of pain”.[49]

Corporation tax

It was disclosed in November 2013 through the National Audit Office that Atos had paid no corporation tax at all in the UK in 2012.[50] The total value of contracts that had been awarded to Atos by June 2013 was approximately £1.6 billion.[51]


Olympic/Paralympic Games

Atos has been the official IT Partner for the Olympic Games since 2001 and is expected to continue until at least 2020.[52] Atos, through the SchlumbergerSema's acquisition, was involved in previous Games during the 1990s, starting with the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992. Atos has been one of 11 major sponsors for the Olympic Games since 2001.[53]

In 2011, some UK-based disability campaign groups called for a boycott of the 2012 Summer Paralympics due to Atos' sponsorship of the games and Atos Healthcare's UK contract to perform Work Capability Assessments on behalf of the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP)[54] During the first week of the Paralympics in the summer of 2012, activists and disabled people targeted Atos in a series of nationwide protests.[55] This culminated on Friday 31 August with a demonstration outside Atos headquarters in London,[56] which ended in a confrontation with the police.[57]

Through the International Olympic Committee's TOP (The Olympic Partner) programme, Atos has sponsored athletes from all over the globe in order to support their Olympic ambitions, including Danny Crates, the 2004 Paralympic Champion in the 800m.[58][59][60][61]

2014 Commonwealth Games

Atos was named as an official supporter of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.[62] On 26 June 2013, "Glasgow Against Atos" occupied one of the Commonwealth Games venues in protest against Atos sponsorship.[63]

2015 Southeast Asian Games

Atos was the official sponsor of 2015 Southeast Asian Games in Singapore.[64]

2018 European Championships

In February 2017 Atos has been appointed as the first official sponsor of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships. The company has been awarded a £2.5 million contract for timing, scoring and results.[65]

See also


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  2. "Company Profile". Atos SE. Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  3. "Euronext Paris". Archived from the original on 19 June 2013.
  4. "CAC Mid 60". Archived from the original on 19 June 2013.
  5. "Annual report 2011" (PDF). Atos SE. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
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  7. "Atos Origin acquires Siemens division for €850m". Computer Weekly. 15 December 2010. Retrieved 27 May 2013.
  8. Jacob, Manon. "Atos partners with Google Cloud as new EU data law looms". U.S. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  9. "Atos, Google Partner To Boost Enterprise Collaboration -". Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  10. In 2019 Atos were solely responsible for massive loss of income for WSP.
  11. "Axime, Sligos merger named Atos Origin". Telecompaper. 29 May 1997. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
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  18. "". Retrieved 15 February 2012.
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  20. "Industry Support for the Cloud Operations Forum". Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  21. Colchester, Max; Amiel, Geraldine (28 November 2011). "The IT Boss Who Shuns Email". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 28 November 2011.
  22. Magid, Larry. "Zero Email Has Zero Chance, But How About An Email Diet?". Forbes. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
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  29. Bakalova, Elitsa. "Positioning as a vendor of holistic digital transformation drove growth for Atos in 2016". TBR - Technology Business Research. Archived from the original on 8 December 2017. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  30. "Atos builds on digital transformation demand". IT Europa. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
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  32. "The Great Border Agency IT crash. Just who was responsible?" by Anna Leach. 1 June 2012
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  37. NS&I awards outsourcing contract to Atos Archived 6 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  38. "Disability benefit assessments 'unfair', says ex-worker".
  39. "Atos secures a five-year contract as key it partner of the Western Australian state government". Reuters. Retrieved 17 April 2017.
  40. editor, Patrick Butler Social policy (27 August 2015). "Thousands have died after being found fit for work, DWP figures show". Retrieved 17 December 2016 via The Guardian.
  41. "Atos seeks early exit from fit-to-work tests contract". 21 February 2014. Retrieved 17 December 2016 via
  42. Butler, Patrick (22 July 2014). "Disabled people's 'fit for work' assessments should be scrapped – MPs". Retrieved 17 December 2016 via The Guardian.
  43. [The Independent]
  44. Atos accused of misleading government over how quickly it could process claims The Guardian
  45. will scrutinise all its Atos contracts following IT cock-up
  46. Fit-to-work tests: Atos contract to end BBC
  47. Private firms earn £500m from government's fit-to-work scheme The Guardian
  48. "The Atos name is toxic - Atos spins off OH Assist". 25 February 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  49. Government forced into U-turn over disability benefits for chronically ill The Guardian
  50. Christopher Hope (12 November 2013). "Atos, G4S paid no corporation tax last year despite carrying out £2billion of taxpayer-funded work". London: Daily Telegraph.
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  54. Razzall, Katie (30 September 2011). "Campaigners threaten Paralympics boycott". Channel 4 News. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
  55. McCarthy, James (30 August 2012). "Disabled People Against Cuts stage demo against Paralympics sponsor". Wales Online. Retrieved 4 September 2012.
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  63. Chris Hoy Velodrome Occupied Archived 25 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine Games Monitor 2014
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