“Atos Origin and Accounting Plaza form partnership”

Utrecht, 11 January 2005

Goal: Expand largest financial shared service centre in the Netherlands

Atos Origin and Accounting Plaza today announced their partnership. Accounting Plaza is the largest independent financial shared service centre (FSSC) in the Netherlands. Its customers include Albert Heijn, Etos and Gall & Gall. The goal of this collaboration is to expand Accounting Plaza's customer base, by jointly offering new services named Accounting Focus. The range of services offered by Accounting Focus cover all activities regarding business administration, finance, human resources, payroll, subventions, imaging and IT management.

Research conducted by Atos Consulting showed that Outsourcing and Shared Services Centres are the priority on CFO's agendas. Experience over recent years showed that organisations saved on average 25% on their accounting costs after they were outsourced to an FSSC. The research by Atos Consulting indicated that even greater savings are possible by outsourcing administrative operations.

Wilbert Kieboom, CEO of Atos Origin for Northern Europe, describes the partnership with Accounting Plaza as a logical step. “Reducing the costs of bulk processes remains a top priority on our customers' agenda. Over the past four years, Accounting Plaza has demonstrated its professionalism regarding taking over accounting activities, and recently the processes used at Accounting Plaza were classed as ‘best practice' in an international survey by The Hackett Group. We've been working with Accounting Plaza for a year now and see major new business opportunities that will result in a faster growth at Accounting Plaza. This will consequently lead to a considerable spin-off for our Consulting, Systems Integration and Managed Operations divisions.”

For Accounting Plaza, the collaboration with Atos Origin is vital to its aim of future growth. Gerrit Stoffelsen, Director at Accounting Plaza explains: “We have achieved a consistent good quality level for the Ahold organisations and broaden our activities for new customers regarding accountancy services and payroll administration. Atos Origin has an impressive customer base, a strong sales organisation, and the experience required to provide complete IT-back-up. We chose to work with Atos Origin based on our positive working relationship and cultural fit, and with its help we will be able to achieve our goals.”

Atos Origin and Accounting Plaza will use the Accounting Focus name for future activities. Accounting Plaza will primarily target the physical business outsourcing process – taking over and streamlining existing accounting processes within organisations (BPOs) - and Atos Origin will be responsible for consulting of Interim Finance Professionals, IT operations and IT management.

About Atos Origin
Atos Origin is an international information technology (IT) services company. Its business is turning client vision into results through the application of consulting, systems integration and managed operations. The company's annual revenues are more than EUR 5 billion and it employs 45,000 people in 50 countries. Atos Origin is the Worldwide Information Technology Partner for the Olympic Games and its clients include ABN AMRO, Akzo Nobel, Alstom, BNP Paribas, Ericsson, EDF, Euronext, Fiat, France Telecom, ING, KPN, Philips, Renault, Royal Bank of Scotland, Saudi Aramco, Schlumberger, Shell, Standard Chartered Bank,Telecom Italia, UK Department for Work and Pensions, Unilever, Vivendi Universal and Vodafone.

Atos Origin is quoted on the Paris Euronext Premier Marché and trades as Atos Origin, AtosEuronext, Atos Worldline, Atos Consulting.

About Accounting Plaza
Accounting Plaza was created at the beginning of 2000 as a Financial Shared Service Centre. For organisations with large-scale admin operations, Accounting Plaza handles the entire administrative process, or parts thereof. Its speciality is the optimisation of administrative processes, allowing customers to focus on their core activities. With some 330 staff, 3,000,000 paid invoices and 900,000 initial salary calculations annually, Accounting Plaza is the largest independent financial shared service centre in the Netherlands. The organisation provides the following four service components:

  • Accounting Services, financial and admin services
  • HR services, staff administration and payroll
  • ERP Support, functional applications-management for firms that work with PeopleSoft
  • Advice regarding process-optimisation and administrative organisation

Accounting Plaza has recently been classed by The Hackett Group, a worldwide authority in the fields of benchmarking, as `Best in Class` for invoice-processing. Customers include the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Albert Heijn, Holland & Barrett, Etos, Gall & Gall, VEZET BV and Walibi World. For further information about Accounting Plaza, go to: www.accounting-plaza.nl.

For further information, contact:

Jacqueline Terpstra, Atos Origin, tel.: + 31 30 299 5006
Oscar van Leeuwen, Atos Consulting, tel.: + 31 30 290 8464
Gerrit Stoffelsen, Accounting Plaza, tel.: + 31 75 651 87 00