“French Defense Procurement Agency chooses Atos Origin to design, build, host and maintain its “Partners Area” portal”

Paris, March 12, 2002

The French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) has awarded Atos Origin a contract to design, build, host and maintain its "Partners Area" portal. This generic, cross-border portal is the first of its kind in Europe to serve the defense and armament industries. It will be implemented in partnership with Compaq, Intel and Microsoft.

The mission of the French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) is to support future national and European defense capabilities by:

  • Carrying out armament programs, including the management of all phases in the production of defense equipment required in France, from preparation to commissioning.
  • Participating in European cooperative projects, helping to build European defense by cooperating with partners and supporting French industry as it moves toward international consolidation.

For defense industries, the DGA's "Partners Area" portal is designed to smooth communication, guarantee reliable data interchange, facilitate feedback and procedure tracking, and secure and streamline administrative transactions. It will allow partners not only to exchange technical information, but also to share applications.

Partners will form exchange communities, focused on an armament program, an operational weapons system or a technology, during both the development and implementation phases of a program, as well as during maintenance to ensure uninterrupted service.

The portal will also provide resources for supply chain management, in particular with solutions for paper-less electronic ordering, billing and payment processes, as part of a comprehensive or segmented contract.

The main participants in the "Partners Area" are the DGA, the French armed forces (Army, Air Force, Navy) and more particularly the integrated support units, the French Ministry for the Economy, Finance and Industry, and weapons manufacturers.

Pascal Exertier, head of Atos Origin's Systems Integration Division in France, said: "Atos Origin is very proud to have won the contract for this project. The French Defense Procurement Agency is helping to modernize a business sector by facilitating industry-wide exchanges. Unlike many marketplaces, the Partners Area is anything but an intrusive solution. It serves as a facilitator and features a remarkably flexible design allowing each partner to use it according to their degree of interest and technological maturity. Atos Origin is pleased that Microsoft, Compaq and Intel share this vision, providing the DGA with the benefits of an assertive and dynamic partnership."

A secure exchange area based on Internet technologies

A standard browser may be used for all functions provided by the area, which is based on TCP/IP, HTTP, HTML and XML protocols and standards. These technologies are compatible with projects the partners are implementing to bring their information systems into line with these ipso facto standards.

The Partners Area contains no data or software specific to weapons systems, a particular technology or contracts handled by the partners. Certified scenarios formalize the exchanges among partners (data, EDI flows, collaborative work process sequences involving several partners, procedures for connection to online applications, etc.).

The portal employs such recent solutions as electronic signatures, authentication, dynamic management of exchange confidentiality and "certified" registration of exchanges (which may be legally binding).

The central server or "hub" is supported on a Compaq/Intel platform and uses standard Microsoft softwares. The Windows 2000 base system is supplemented with proven e-mail (Exchange), database (SQLServer) and directory (Active Directory) components. The system core comprises business components built by Atos Origin to expand the functions offered by Microsoft BizTalk, a solution that uses XML as its native language, "schemas" and the XSLT transformation language. BizTalk also features a workflow engine combining ease of use (by separating business aspects from technical aspects) and robust construction, thanks to the Windows 2000 architecture.

About Atos Origin
Atos Origin is a leading international business and technology integrator. Its business is turning client visions into results through the application of management consulting, enterprise, e-business and outsourcing solutions. The company has annual revenues of more than EUR 3 billion, operates in more than 30 countries worldwide and has 27,000 employees. Atos Origin's clients include ABN-Amro, Alstom, BNP Paribas, Euronext, Fiat, ICI, Lucent, Philips, Renault, Saudi Aramco, Shell, Unilever, Vivendi Universal and Wolters Kluwer.

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