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  • Olympics Sponsors: Atos Origin


    Vancouver 2010 CEO John Furlong at one of the Atos Origin information terminals in the Main Press Centre of the Turin Olympics. 
    This is the latest in a series of profiles on the worldwide Olympic sponsors at the Turin Games.

    (ATR) Although it spent next to nothing on advertising around the Turin Olympics, worldwide Olympic sponsor Atos Origin is happy with its marketing results from the Games.

    "If we do a good job, nobody knows about it," says Patrick Adiba, executive vice-president Olympics and Major Events at Atos Origin. He admits that the company may be "the least-advertised" of any of the TOP sponsors

    As the provider of the information technology spine needed to run the Olympics, an incident-free Games is the best message that Atos Origin can send to its clients and prospects, says Adiba.

    "We have a different way of activating our sponsorship because we have such a business-to-business market.

    "How do we spend the money? Passing messages individually, to CEO's and other decision-makers for big IT projects," says Adiba.

    He says the company invited about 150 executives to take part in its hospitality program, which began a year before the Games. Clients were taken to Turin for presentations on the IT system being deployed for 2006.

    "It's much more powerful to show it in operations," says Adiba.

    The French-based firm, which took over the IT sponsorship category when it acquired Sema a few years ago, has now completed a summer and winter Games under the Atos Origin brand, both events deemed a success.

    The Atos Origin task for the Olympics is to serve as Main Integrator for the IT systems for the Games. The company also develops the two systems needed to run the Olympics.

    On system handles Games management across the range of services, from accreditation to transportation. The second system provides the distribution of results to the media covering the Olympics.

    "It's all going well," said Adiba in February as the Games in Turin came to a close.

    "We have had improvements over Athens, especially in security. We have an identity management system, access rights defined, it's all a much more secure environment," says Adiba.

    In a post-Games report, Atos Origin says the system suffered no attacks from hackers or viruses, while processing 3.1 million "events" a day across the IT system during the 16 days of the Games.

    Atos Origin moves on to Beijing immediately from Turin, with most of the management from the 2006 Games heading to the Beijing project, says Adiba.

    The staff for Atos Origin in Turin numbered about 2,500 over the life of the project. Besides Atos Origin employees, Adiba says the staff included volunteers, students, and interns. He also notes the involvement of other technology partners, such as Lenovo, Omega, and Kodak.

    Signed on as worldwide Olympic sponsor through 2012, Adiba says Atos Origin will be able to provide "stability over the next three Games to the IT infrastructure of the Olympics."

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