“Atos Chosen to Manage Automated Farm Subsidy Program For the French Ministry of Agriculture”

PARIS, FRANCE - June 8, 2000

Atos, a leading European IT services provider, announced today that it intends to hire 250 young IT specialists this month. The new recruits will be trained in e-business activities and technologies so that they can begin working on exciting new projects in September.

The PACAGE system
The PACAGE automated subsidy management system was developed between 1995 and 1999 to manage and allocate subsidies to France's livestock and crop farmers. More than 2,500 people are involved in handling requests from the country's 96 regional agriculture departments, and the farm subsidy budget totals some FRF 60 billion a year.

PACAGE's central system is based on a 100% object-oriented architecture (including IHM Powerbuilder, Corba Orbix services and Sybase databases), which is installed on roughly 100 servers in regional departments and at the Ministry of Agriculture. The system contains information on all crop-farming and livestock operations in France.

Services tailored to a sensitive environment
The PACAGE system required a comprehensive solution adapted to the politically sensitive environment in which it operates. That's why the Ministry of Agriculture needed a service provider capable of meeting its requirements in four specific areas:

  • Responsiveness: Each subsidy managed by the PACAGE system includes its own administrative guidelines for processing and controlling requests and a schedule of key dates and events. Peak periods of use occur throughout the year, so regional departments need a system optimized to handle sizeable workloads in extremely restrictive time frames. A high degree of responsiveness is also required to resolve a problem that emerges in one region before it extends to others.
  • Scalability: PACAGE applications are constantly upgraded to comply with ever-changing European regulations. One recent example is the new slaughter premium voted last September by the European Commission in Brussels, which is now in development.
  • Reliability: The system must provide uninterrupted services, even while the architecture is being upgraded to make it more reliable, effective and responsive, new developments are being integrated, and significant changes are being made in existing subsidies.
  • Automation: The system must be automated and all processes improved to provide solutions for problems related to performance, operations and data reporting.

Project implementation
Systems management, applications maintenance, operation and customer service for the PACAGE program has been awarded to Atos, which also manages hardware in cooperation with Hewlett-Packard.

Following a four-month transition phase in collaboration with the system's former service provider, Atos has gradually taken control of the entire project. Today, the dedicated team, which totals more than 50 people during peak periods, provides:

  • Prime contracting for the project.
  • Corrective maintenance and upgrading of applications.
  • Deployment of software to all sites.
  • Remote administration and operation of 101 servers.
  • Management of hardware upgrades on the 96 sites.
  • User support.

About Atos

Atos, a leading European information technology services provider, is dedicated to helping companies grow and develop faster through a better use of technology. With fiscal 1999 sales of EUR 1 083 million, of which 33% was derived outside France, and a staff of 11 000 employees working in 11 European countries, Atos is focussed on providing companies strong expertise in electronic commerce, customer relationship management and supply chain management.


Marie-Tatiana Collombert - 33(1) 49 00 96 33 -