Atos to invest US$17.5mn in Latin America during 2012, focus on Brazil

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Franco-Dutch IT company Atos plans to invest 13.4mn euros (US$17.5mn) in Latin America in 2012, with a strong focus on Brazil, the company's chief marketing officer for Latin America, Angela Pereira, told BNamericas.

According to Pereira, Atos is aiming to be among the top 10 companies in Brazil's IT market in the next 10 years.

"Brazil is by far our most important market in the region, and we are seeing big business opportunities there," said the executive, who has just moved from Buenos Aires to São Paulo to take over Atos' Brazilian marketing strategy.

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Pereira sees strong opportunities in the telecoms and public sectors (health and transport), especially due to upcoming major sporting events in Brazil - namely the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016. Providing technology for such events is one of Atos' strengths, the executive said.

"For over 20 years, we've been the official technology supplier for the Olympic Games," Pereira said, though she underscored that big events are only part of the opportunity that Atos sees in the public sector.

Atos also plans to focus more on the consultancy end of business next year, to offer greater added-value services to its clients. That will give Atos' a more complete IT solution, Pereira said.

Argentina is Atos' next biggest market after Brazil, and the plan is to consolidate business in those markets next year. The company also has "very strong growth strategies" for Mexico, Colombia and Chile.

Those five countries account for 90% of the total IT services market in the region, she said.

Also key to Atos' 2012 strategy will be fostering long-term partnerships with local clients, focusing on its HTTS (high technology transactional services) for the public sector, as well as outsourcing and consultancy.

Providing SAP ERPs and cloud solutions is also a focus. In early July, the company's shareholders approved the acquisition of Siemens IT Solutions and Services, a move that doubled Atos' storage and processing capacity for cloud computing, giving it more than 30 data centers worldwide, 900,000 SAP users and 90,000 global servers.

According to Pereira, the purchase was strategic because there was little overlap in terms of the market niches each company covers, but it was also very complementary, particularly in Brazil and Argentina.