Atos Origin offers new desktop management service in Asia

Partnering several tech heavyweights, the IT services provider targets enterprises with at least 1,000 desktops.

SINGAPORE--Atos Origin, a technology partner for the Olympic Games until 2012, has launched a new desktop management service targeted at multinational corporations and large local enterprises in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan.

The Next Generation Desktop offering touts features such as a self-help portal, voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), role-based access and remote management for software and patch updates. Solution partners include Citrix, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft and Microsoft-acquired Media-Streams.com.

Peter de Jong, Atos Origin's global director for business development for the Next Generation Desktop, told ZDNet Asia in an interview that Singapore is the first country in Asia to roll out new managed desktop service. The Next Generation Desktop offering will also be rolled out in Hong Kong and Taiwan by the first half of 2006. Customers can choose to pay a fixed monthly rate or adopt a utility-based pricing model.

Japan and Korea are the other markets that Atos Origin is considering introducing the offering, added de Jong.

According to Rudi Depaepe, Atos Origin's vice president for managed desktop services in the Asia-Pacific region, businesses likely to benefit from the new service are large companies in vertical markets like insurance, financial services and manufacturing with "roughly 1,000 desktops as a starting point".

The Next Generation Desktop offering is expected to boost Atos Origin's customer base worldwide for desktop management services from the current 750,000 to 1 million by 2007, according to Depaepe.

First launched in Italy last month, the service is being rolled out in 11 countries in Europe, said de Jong. There are currently 250,000 users in Europe, and Atos Origin plans to introduce the new service in the United States in 2006.

Depaepe said the launch of the managed desktop services is also timely for the company, which is closely monitoring the Singapore government's upcoming plans to call for a tender for its Standard ICT Operating Environment (SOE) project.

The Singapore authorities announced earlier this year that S$1.5 billion (US$885.8 million) in deals have been allocated for standardizing desktop and network components across all agencies in the public sector. Areas like PC operating systems, desktop security packages, e-mail and messaging software, as well as productivity tools, will be streamlined and a utility-pricing approach will be adopted, according to regulatory body the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, which oversees technology purchases and deployments for major government bodies.

De Jong noted that Atos Origin's experience in managing the Olympic Games will be useful in rolling out any large-scale IT implementation. "If we can handle the Olympics, we can handle anything," he said.

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