Atos – I got many messages, but not the ones I wanted

In the past days I received a flurry of messages on LinkedIn telling me many people are starting in a new postion at Eviden. All of these were from former Atos employees that have been selected to be part of the company’s carve-out entity for “Digital, Cloud and Cybersecurity”.

The part left behind stands with the name Atos, offers clients “reliable and responsive digital foundations”, and bringing expertise in hybrid cloud, employee experience, AI, and decarbonisation (quote from

congratulations, but what about the ones left behind

I want to congratulate the Eviden employees as they have been chosen, were invited or have chosen to be part of the exciting and (expected) profitable part of Atos. Eviden, a play on the word “Evidence”, will start with 57,000 employees and a 2022 indicated revenue of 5bn€.

I have written about the Atos split in various publications (here, here, and here) and have discussed the proposed split in many conversations with investment firms, consultancy companies and various parties that wanted to remain anonymous.

My opinion is and was that the split is a waste of capital and that Atos as a unbroken company has enormous potential; with the right strategy.

Nevertheless it must be exciting for the employees of Eviden to be part of the company that has great potential and growth upside according to the current leadership.

Interesting enough the part that is left behind, now also becomes a new company, stripped of many services, employees and customers. But I am yet to see “I am happy to announce…”-messages from the remaining employees. If the “new positions” messages on LinkedIn are part of an orchestrated marketing, I would have suggested that Atos had chosen to communicate in a more balanced way. The remaining part of Atos employees could and should have communicated to the world of Linkedin with the same pride as their former colleagues about their role in the “New Atos”.

All in all, I am sad that the proposed split is moving forward. In my opinion, with the amount of money that is being invested to carve up the company, a lot of growth could have been created in the old Atos company. Today I see investments that result in a loss.

Disclaimer: Paul, who is the author of this blog post, holds at time of writing a small amount of stocks in Atos SE. All information in this blog post is believed to be public information, enriched with the authors personal opinion. No confidential information is being shared.

Atos SE FAQ: 3 key questions about the split 

It is 2023. I wish you all a prosperous new year. 2023 is the year that Atos will split in 2 seperate companies. Since the announcement last year it has been very quiet, and key questions about the split have yet to be answered by Atos. In this blog post I will list 3 questions that are key to understand what will the new Atos and its spin-off “Evidian” look like. For people unfamiliar with the topic I would recommend looking at the presentation by Atos done on the Capital Markets day on June14, 2022.

Some of the details have already been floating around. In particular I read some interesting information in a recent post by The Register. Next to the already known information, the article mentions that Evidian will employ 59.000 employees. based on the Atos website, this would mean that about 5.300 employees (112.000 – 59.000) will stay with the Tech Foundation part; representing the more traditional IT services. Given the size of this Tech Foundation part, it shows clearly what Atos’ current challenge is in the area of headcount.

Question 1. What about the Managed Application Services?

Managed Application Services is a big part of the Atos business. According to the Atos website, this includes application management of ERP software (SAP, Microsoft) and other key business applications (Oracle). We also cannot disconnect this from services for various database systems. In earlier presentations by the company it is not clear if this part of the current business is considered as foundational or to become part of the new Evidian perimeter.

If these services will be moved into Evidian, then Atos will have to disciple applications from underlying infrastructure, which will a very delicate task. I am also unsure if customers would favour their services coming from 2 different companies; 1 bill from Atos Tech Foundations nd 1 bill from Evidian.

If Atos decides that Application Managed Services stays within the Tech Foundation perimeter, the benefit of upselling this service into business intelligence or data analytic services will be harder. These higher value services will then be with a separate company, opening up these account to competition in this area and removing scaling and efficiency benefits.

Question 2. How will Atos fund the split?

Atos provided limited information about the way it would secure funding for the massive operation to split the company. During the last 6 to 7 months some information became available. Selling their remaining ownership in Worldline was one part. The surprising sale of the Atos activities in Italy to Lutech (as announced in November 2022) was the second part. In total Atos said they would raise about 700 millions euro. Based on the available information they are still 240 million euro short.

Many sources have said that Atos is still to sell their Unified Communications & Collaboration (UCC) legacy activities, but no news is available on that till today. With the self-imposed deadline for the split in mid-2023, time is running out.

Question 3. Who are the investors?

Recently Airbus became known as having an interest in a minority stake in the Evidian perimeter and Atos has indicated it is actively discussing with other minority stakeholders in the new parts of the company. Interest in Evidian is obvious; this is the part of Atos with growth potential and contains the Coll parts like Data Analytics and Cyber Security.

But what about the Tech Foundation part; Atos themselves has indicated that this is the ‘problem child’ and it will take many years to be successful (if at all…). Although Tech Foundation will receive a sizeable investment injection, partly through the sale of its 30% stake in Evidian, it remains to be seen if investors appetite will still exist for this remaining part of Atos.

Next steps

According to the presented plans we will see more announcements from Atos in the next months and a completion of the split details in the second part of 2023:

  • The General Meeting of Atos shareholders
  • The listing and distribution of Evidian shares
  • The partial spin-off of 70% of Evidian to Atos shareholders (the remaining 30% to be kept by Atos Tech Foundation)
  • The remaining 30% stake in SpinCo to be monetized to refinance part of TFCo’s turnaround costs

Certainly an exciting year for Atos. And for me I remain unconvinced that this split is the best way forward.

previous articles:

Disclaimer: Paul, who is the author of this blog post, holds at time of writing a small amount of stocks in Atos SE. All information in this blog post is believed to be public information, enriched with the authors personal opinion. No confidential information is being shared.

Explain your IT work to your children and parents in simple terms

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Explain your IT work to your children and parents in simple terms. In this blog post I explain the main concepts of the IT Services industry using simple terminologie. I find this useful when explaining my work to children, parents and grandparents. It is sometimes also useful to explain the IT market when I am discussing it with my clients. Especially when they are in a totally different type of work environment. Please also read the disclaimer at the bottom of this text.

What are IT Services?

IT-services are services that help businesses with their technology needs. This can include things like managing computers and networks, installing software, and providing technical support.

IT-services are important because they help businesses use technology effectively. For example, if a business has a lot of computers, they might need help managing them and making sure they are all running smoothly. An IT-services company can provide this help, which can save the business time and money.

IT-services can also be helpful for businesses that don’t have their own IT team. Instead of hiring and managing their own IT staff, they can use an IT-services company to provide the help they need on an as-needed basis.

Overall, IT services are services that help businesses with their technology needs, which can save them time and money and help them use technology effectively.

What does an IT Services company do?

An IT-services company is a business that provides IT services, like managing computers and networks, to other companies. This is different from a regular company, which might use IT-services, but doesn’t provide them to other businesses.

An IT-services company can help other businesses with a wide range of IT needs. For example, they might manage a company’s computers and networks, help them install new software, or provide technical support if something goes wrong with their technology.

IT-services companies are often helpful because they have specialized expertise and resources that other businesses might not have. This can be particularly helpful for small or medium-sized businesses that don’t have the budget or the need for a full-time IT-team.

Overall, an IT-services company is a business that provides IT services to other companies, which can be helpful because they have specialized expertise and resources.

What is IT Outsourcing?

IT-outsourcing is when a company uses another company to provide IT-services, like managing their computers and networks, instead of doing it themselves. This is different from having an in-house IT-team, which is when a company has its own employees who handle its IT needs.

Outsourcing IT can be helpful for companies because it allows them to access specialized expertise and resources without having to hire and manage their own IT staff. This can be more cost-effective and flexible than having an in-house team.

For example, if a company doesn’t have a lot of IT needs, it might not make sense for them to hire a full-time IT-team. Instead, they can use an outsourcing company to provide IT-services on an as-needed basis. This way, they can get the help they need without having to pay for full-time staff.

Overall, IT-outsourcing is when a company uses another company to provide IT-services, which can be helpful because it allows the company to access specialized expertise and resources without having to manage its own IT team.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is a way for people and businesses to use technology services, like storing data and running programs, over the internet. This is different from using a computer or phone that has all the programs and data stored on it, because with cloud computing, the data and programs are stored on servers that are managed by other companies.

This means that people and businesses can access their data and programs from anywhere, as long as they have an internet connection. This is convenient because they don’t have to carry around a physical device, like a laptop or hard drive, to access their information.

Cloud computing is also often more secure than storing data on a personal device, because the servers that store the data are managed by professionals who make sure that the data is safe and backed up in case of any problems.

Overall, cloud computing is a way to use technology services over the internet, which is convenient and often more secure than storing data on a personal device.

What is Data Analytics?

Data analytics is the process of using data, or information, to understand patterns and trends. This can help people and businesses make better decisions by providing them with insights that they might not have seen otherwise.

For example, a company might use data analytics to understand how their customers are using their products. This could help them figure out which products are most popular, and where they can improve their products or services.

Data analytics can also be used to predict things, like how many people will visit a store in the future, or how much money a company will make in a year. This can help people and businesses plan for the future and make better decisions.

Overall, data analytics is the process of using data to understand patterns and trends, which can help people and businesses make better decisions and plan for the future.

What is ERP Software and what does it do?

ERP software, which stands for “enterprise resource planning” software, is a type of program that helps businesses manage their operations. This can include things like keeping track of inventory, managing finances, and planning production.

ERP software can be helpful for businesses because it allows them to keep all of their important information in one place, instead of having it spread across different programs or systems. This makes it easier for employees to access the information they need and helps the business run more smoothly.

For example, if a business uses ERP software to manage their inventory, they can see how much of a certain product they have in stock at any time. This can help them make better decisions about when to order more of that product, and avoid running out of stock.

Overall, ERP software is a program that helps businesses manage their operations, which can make it easier for employees to access important information and help the business run more smoothly.

Full Disclosure – I did not create this text

All text above explaining different aspects of IT Services were created by an AI service called ChatGPT (login here). The whole process of creating this blogpost took me 10 minutes using ChatGPT. In its own words, ChatGPT is:

I am Assistant, a large language model trained by OpenAI. I am a computer program that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to generate human-like text based on the input I receive. My purpose is to assist people with a wide range of tasks, including answering questions, providing information, and generating human-like text.

I operate by analyzing the input I receive and using my training data and AI algorithms to generate a response. My training data comes from a wide variety of sources, including books, articles, and websites, and I use this data to learn the patterns and structures of human language. This allows me to generate text that is similar to what a human might write or say.

Overall, I am a large language model trained by OpenAI, and my purpose is to assist people with a wide range of tasks using artificial intelligence. I operate by analyzing the input I receive and using my training data and AI algorithms to generate a response.

My view on IoT platforms

The text below is from a recent interview I did with Digitala Stambanan. Full reference:

Mr. Paul Albada Jelgersma works at Atos, a global leader in digital transformation with over 110,000 employees in 73 countries and annual revenue of over € 11 billion. At Atos, he is, among other things, responsible for development of services and applications for “Siemens Mindsphere”, which is Siemens’ digital IoT platform for industrial companies.

According to Mr. Albada Jelgersma, many companies now understand that access to data enables new value creation and thus opens up for new opportunities. However, this requires digital platforms to enable the combination of data from different sources. Today there are typically two types of platforms, the generic platform with suppliers like Microsoft, Amazon and Alibaba, and specific platforms with suppliers like Siemens, Bosch, GE, SAP and PTC. Both types have their pros and cons. Generic platforms are adjustable, but as a result require more configuration work, to enable applications. However, as a user you must be on top of the domain competence concerning the application. Specific platforms often have more built in domain functions and knowledge, but generally they are less easy to adjust and customize for use in domains that are outside of their scope.

Mr. Albada Jelgersma foresees that digital platform solutions will possibly be provided to companies free of charge in the future. This, on the condition that ownership of data will be transferred to the digital platform provider, enabling new opportunities and new business models for the digital platform provider. Whether this is good or bad in general, is impossible to judge. Each case is specific and needs to be negotiated separately.

Moreover, one can notice a political influence on the digital platforms of today, says Mr. Albada Jelgersma. This is seen through state laws and regulations which indicate increased local barriers in countries like China. Smaller countries in Europe take on a dual approach. On the one hand an increased focus on the local industry and on cooperation in-between countries can be seen. On the other hand, there is a tendency of some countries to isolate themselves more, e.g. Brexit. One of Mr. Albada Jelgersma´s concerns is that international cooperation in the development of digital platforms does not get as much attention and focus as the national orientation.

Another important trend that Mr. Albada Jelgersma highlights is ethics, which is becoming increasingly important among digital platform providers. When data is feeding autonomous self-learning systems that makes decisions, man is not any longer in direct control of the decisions. How can human values then be maintained?

The Journey to Managed Enterprise IoT – Part 3 – Beyond the use case

<This blog was previously published at the Atos Thought Leadership website – it was written by Philip Griffiths>

In the 1st blog in the series, an overview was shared of the journey to managed enterprise IoT, which we divide into three levels of maturity. In my second post you will learn more about the first level: Enabling the use case.

Once you have determined the IoT use case you need to ensure that the solution is secure, accurate and predictable – i.e. it delivers sustainable value – in the face of increasing quality of devices, edges, continuous data flows, and technologies. This is enabled through ‘non-functional requirements’ (NFRs) and spans both execution qualities and evolution qualities. This is going ‘beyond the use case’.

By focusing on ‘how’ the use case is delivered, instead of ‘what’, you can realize the following benefits:

  • Quality: If your products and services cannot extract value, the data, and opportunities, it is lost.
  • Risk: Complex IoT use cases can put business continuity at risk; reduce it through strong NFRs.
  • Productivity: A use case has little value if it stops working after 6 months or in peak load periods.
  • Future-proofing: Your system should be built for low cost and simple improvements / evolution.

Realizing this require you to define, discuss, document, and design your NFRs as you enable the use case and beyond it. Extending the timeline from the previous post, the following activities take around 12-24 months:

  1. Project: Design solution, install and implement IoT solution from core to edge, integrate into your existing business systems as well as ensure system security – including building ecosystem of partners.
  2. Business Platform: Scale-up and industrialize the use case to a full platform, do further roll-outs, integrate into your existing business and enhance parts of the system to delivery sustainable value.

Below is a non-exhaustive list of topics and example questions to be considered for NFRs:

NFR Topic Example Questions
Execution Availability Does your E2E use case need an operational uptime of 99.99% or 95%?
Continuity What are you E2E RTO/RPO? What are the business impact / cost of your use cases being down for 1 or 60 minutes? How does this impact backup or disaster recovery? How do you enable HA, backup or disaster recovery in a distributed architecture?
Manageability How will you update millions of devices? When and how to push new functionality? How to handle a million+ devices all calling home sick? Will you have 24×7 operations?
Interoperability  How will data be handled across different silos? Do your platforms work together?
Performance How quickly do you need to access the data? Does it need to be processed at edge?
Resilience How will the system do backups and ensure service continuity? How will you ensure high uptime of distributed architecture? How will errors be handled ‘gracefully’?
Security How will data from connected objects be trusted? How will you ensure security in new and high risk environments? How will you reduce attack surface? How will you ensure internal and external compliance, auditability as well as alignment to standards?
Usability How will you reduce the head count of managing such E2E complexity? How will you optimize latency issues to improve real-time outcomes and / or use experience?
Evolution Maintainability How will defects be corrected? Will the system and components have self-healing? How will uptime be ensured without sending people / parts onsite?
Modularity Will your system be built on principles of separate independent functionality?
Scalability Will it scale up/down to meet peak demands?

 By focusing on ‘how’ you enable value from and not just ‘what’ the use case is you will derive much greater long term value for your business. To do this, you need to define, discuss, document and design them into the use case from the start. If you are not already doing this I suggest you look at facilitating it as soon as possible.

I have spoken to many clients who have rolled out IoT solutions which are ‘the future of the businesses’. It is therefore unfortunate when they stop working effectively or if the operations team only know of problems when they are informed by the customer. It is normally at this point that they ask for expertise on going ‘beyond the use case’.  A few common outcomes are re-building the app, creating a new platform, facilitating rapid scalability or enabling an operations team with E2E monitoring; either way, it costs time and money that were not predicted in the business case.