“Agence de l’Eau Seine Normandie selects Atos Origin as its strategic partner to revamp and manage its information system”

Paris, 22 June 2006

Agence de l'Eau Seine Normandie (AESN), a public agency that plays a major role in deploying France's water management policy in the Seine River watershed, has asked Atos Origin, one of the world's leading providers of information technology services, to completely revamp its information system, including infrastructure, applications and databases. AESN has also renewed Atos Origin's managed operations contract for five years and extended it to cover the entire information system. As part of the renovation process, AESN's IT system will be migrated towards Open Source solutions in compliance with IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL1) best practices. Under the €40-million contract, Atos Origin will maintain uninterrupted service, with performance guarantees.

Agence de l'Eau Seine Normandie (AESN) is the largest of six public agencies that manage water resources in France's major watersheds. Together with local communities, manufacturers, farmers and other users2, AESN is choosing the most effective strategy for achieving a sound ecological balance in the watershed by 2015, in accordance with European directives.

In response to this challenge, it has set four main objectives:

  • Improve knowledge and forecasts of water volumes and quality.
  • Develop its ability to plan its actions and manage the network of partners.
  • Optimize the use of its funding.
  • Streamline internal and external processes.

As part of its mission, AESN has to report to the French Environment and Budget Ministries on the state and quality of water in the watershed, the related expenses, and the profitability of its operations. In addition, AESN must provide an increasing amount of summary and analysis data under very short deadlines, to meet the requirements of France's budget framework law (LOLF3), as well as the highly sophisticated qualitative requests from its partners. Overhauling AESN's IT system is a critical aspect of this transformation process.

Atos Origin recommended and took responsibility for completely revamping AESN's information system, including support in choosing and configuring a new accounting system. The process involves:

  • Migrating mainframe infrastructure to web technologies.
  • Rewriting the applications portfolio (5,000 programs) using Open Source products to the greatest extent possible. All of the applications governing subsidies and fees will be rewritten without any interruption in service.
  • The various technologies will communicate with each other during the complex, phased migration to the new information system. The schedule calls for the new subsidies system to be up and running in early 2007. The fees system will be renovated afterwards.

  • Introducing geographic data and decision-support software, and building an extranet so that non-agency participants may interact and consult data remotely.

AESN has also renewed Atos Origin's contract for managed operations and technical and strategic contracting for a period of five years. The contract covers maintenance, operation and desktop and network support.

The new agreement follows on two projects already completed by Atos Origin for AESN:

  • Dematerialization of the paper-based subsidy payment process. Under the system set up in early 2005, incoming payment requests are scanned and then validated in a dematerialized process that includes an electronic signature and payment order transfer to the Bank of France. Workflow for in-house purchases was dematerialized in 2006.
  • Construction of a data warehouse for all of AESN's data. Centralization makes for more meaningful and reliable queries and statistics, allowing the water agency to fulfill its core mission more effectively.

We chose Atos Origin to upgrade and manage our IT system because we knew it had the expertise and ability to carry out complex projects successfully and on time,” said François Colas-Belcour, General Secretary of AESN.

Sustainable development issues are increasingly sensitive. We are very proud to have been selected as AESN's partner, and we will leverage all our skills to help the agency fulfill its mission,” added Hervé de Colnet, Director of Atos Origin's Public Sector Department.

1/ ITIL – Created more than ten years ago in the United Kingdom, IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a set of best practices in the public domain that have become a de facto international standard. The library, which is independent of technology and suppliers, contains seven books of guidelines and recommendations for providing quality service to information system users and clients. It covers all internal IT systems and processes. While virtually exhaustive, the approach does not profess to have an answer to every question. Issues addressed by the seven volumes include Service Support, Service Delivery, Security Management, Infrastructure Management, Application Management, Planning to Implement Service Management, and The Business Perspective.

2/ Manufacturers, local communities and farmers pay fees to the agency for the water they use and to clean up the pollution caused by their activity. In return, they may receive subsidies to finance measures to prevent and abate pollution, reduce waste and eliminate hazardous substances. The agency also provides technical advice to businesses and organizes training sessions.

3/ LOLF – The French acronym for the law fixing the framework for the 2001-2005 budgets. Adopted on August 1, 2001, the law significantly reformed the State budget by shifting from a resources-based to a results-based culture and creating a new budget architecture. This new focus on performance should play a critical role in government reform and increase the French parliament's powers.

About Agence de l'Eau Seine Normandie
Agence de l'Eau Seine Normandie is the public agency in charge of managing water resources for the entire Seine River watershed, which includes the Seine, its tributaries and coastal streams in Normandy. The area under its jurisdiction comprises:

  • 25 French departments and 8 regions.
  • 17 million people.
  • 40% of France's manufacturing activity.
  • 50% of France's river traffic.
  • 60,000 square meters of farmland.

AESN's mission is to add value to the watershed's water resources, help secure water supply, reduce chronic and accidental pollution, protect the environment and improve infrastructure management.

About Atos Origin
Atos Origin is an international information technology 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 EUR 5.5 billion and it employs over 47,000 people in 40 countries. Atos Origin is the Worldwide Information Technology Partner for the Olympic Games and has a client base of international blue-chip companies across all sectors. Atos Origin is quoted on the Paris Eurolist Market and trades as Atos Origin, Atos Euronext Market Solutions, Atos Worldline and Atos Consulting.

For more information:
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+ 33 1 55 91 24 15