Global IT service provider Atos is enhancing its core business to not only keep pace with the current market trends but, in fact, to disrupt them. Given that enterprises are creating, storing, securing and accessing less and less data in on-premise data centers and private hosted clouds, Atos is positioning itself as a provider of services focused on the Internet of Things (IoT) edge, public cloud and hybrid cloud-focused artificial intelligence (AI). It also will be one of the major digital service providers in the mid-2020s strategically positioned to support customers as they generate information from data and monetize it.
Atos showcased its IoT/edge, cloud and security roadmap at the Atos Technology Days 2019 event in Paris. The company also disclosed its strategy to create a human-centric AI, hardware and infrastructure vision for 2022 and extend its focus on industry expertise, AI, smart data and services and platforms, and hybrid infrastructure ecosystem to support enterprises on their transformation journeys.
IoT/Edge - Capabilities and Ecosystem
Atos showcased how it delivers end-to-end IoT capabilities in combination with its expertise in consulting and implementation, connectivity services, installation services, cybersecurity, application development and application cloudification. Its IoT offering covers industrial IoT, connected healthcare, connected vehicles, connected retail, connected home, smart grids, smart lighting and payments. The company also offers use cases for various industries such as energy and utilities, retail, financial services and manufacturing. Atos highlighted its strategic alliance with German automation company Siemens for a joint business and regional collaboration through pre-integrated IoT suites that unlock value and accelerate the application of IoT in complex engagements. This move is particularly relevant to transportation and infrastructure management for the marine and pharmaceutical industries. At a similar event held around the same time VIVA TECH event, Atos gave a glimpse of its renewed focus on IoT by displaying products such as a sensor-based body smart suit and services available via its partners ecosystems.
Atos also is focusing on security, especially within IoT and edge server implementations. The firm is emphasizing the benefits of embedded security and the need for IoT, edge and security to work in coordination for its clients. The company is using edge and quantum computing to drive the success of IoT implementations and is developing pre-packaged IoT solutions that can be deployed via microservices, on top of which clients can build relevant IoT applications. This move is expected to enable Atos to simplify IoT implementations for large enterprises that are seeking shorter return cycles on capital-intensive transformation projects.
Another major announcement related to edge technology came from Atos CEO and Chairman Thierry Breton about BullSequana. This suitcase-sized edge server can meet edge computing requirements such as fast response times, low latency and secure real-time data analysis to generate insights close to the source of generation. It can be deployed in environments supporting autonomous vehicles, healthcare, retail/airport security and the Industry 4.0 market. Atos showcased various use cases of BullSequana in the smart infrastructure/smart city domain, one of which revolves around the safety and security of citizens by performing real-time analytics on images captured by security cameras installed across a city. Governments can leverage the solution to prevent terrorist attacks that may threaten national security and collaborate on a centralized database for identifying potential threats.
Atos also introduced a series of offerings for AI, high-performance computing (HPC) and quantum computing to address challenges in data center platforms, data security, AI and edge computing. Some of these offerings include a hybrid supercomputer for AI-augmented solutions, BullSequana S for data center platforms, Atos Quantum Learning Machine (myQLM) to cater to academic, research and other robust industry requirements, and Codex AI Suite, which embeds AI components in its cognitive data center. With the growing need for AI and HPC in enterprises, the offerings in these areas will strongly enhance Atos’ ability to meet market requirements for parallel processing techniques/algorithms to solve complex computational problems and increase the computational speed for industries like life sciences, geographical data and oil and gas.
This strategy enables Atos to win other big deals for IoT services in a field that is normally filled with comparatively small projects. The company also will be perceived as a full-service provider that covers nearly every aspect of the IoT-project supply chain. It has already built a strong partner ecosystem to deliver cost-effective and large-scale projects in multiple regions around the world.
Next Gen ADM – DevOps Enabled
As an application developer, Atos has exhibited a working prototype of an IoT manufacturing use case that enables full integration of IoT sensor-based data and back-end ERP functionality to derive insights from the factory floor by using SAP/S4HANA. Senior executives also shed light on the company’s strategic partnership with software company Red Hat through the AMOS platform to deliver reduced time to market, business agility and continuous delivery. The platform, built on Red Hat OpenShift, is aimed at providing a single managed container platform to view and manage all applications to help enterprises accelerate their modernization from legacy to open source. The Red Hat partnership and the AMOS platform will help Atos secure a strong foothold in the application development market and enable enterprises to meet their dynamic application requirements for various platforms such as mobile and web.
Security – The Essential Component
Security is a common thread running across all of Atos’ new initiatives. It is working to make sure its solutions meet enterprise requirements and address the fears and challenges related to IoT and edge implementations. Security initiatives like its new Horus hardware security module (HSM) for centralized encryption, strategic partnerships with Veolia to secure work environments on Google Suite, and the global expansion of security operation centers (SOCs) will help Atos fill the gaps in its overall cyber security and IoT security portfolio.
Hybrid Cloud Orchestration, Specialized for Google
Atos has formed a strategic partnership with Google Cloud Platform (GCP) to roll out updates to customers and provide hybrid cloud flexibility based on their requirements. Customers benefit from a modular and structured orchestration platform that can move services between a private and a public cloud in real time. In addition to being a highly renowned private cloud provider, the firm is emerging as a bridge builder via hybrid cloud orchestration into GCP thanks to Google's intensive partnership. In this framework, Atos delivers an end-to-end set of services ranging from consulting, migration and transformation to application transformation and service orchestration, backed by its credible cyber security services. The firm also provides automation capabilities with Atos Codex AI Suite and Syntel SyntBots® for its enterprise clients’ infrastructure operations.
A Technologist and Transformation Partner
Atos’ new initiatives on IoT, cloud and cybersecurity are a step in the right direction as enterprises are increasingly investing in IoT-based transformation projects and leveraging cloud. The need for faster and real-time analytics, connected infrastructure processes, reduced infrastructure costs and increased security is pushing enterprises and government agencies to seek innovative solutions and develop strategic partnerships with service providers like Atos.