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Interview with Herbert Leung of Atos: The CIO is shifting more towards business

Zafar Anjum | April 9, 2014
In this exclusive interview with CIO Asia, Herbert MT Leung, the CEO of Atos in Asia Pacific, talks about the changing role of the CIO, the new leadership challenges for businesses and governments and the rise of enterprises without boundaries

Herbert Leung

Herbert MT Leung, CEO, Atos in Asia Pacific

Atos SE (Societas Europaea) is an international information technology services company with 2013 annual revenue of € 8.6 billion (US$11.9 billion) and 76,300 employees in 52 countries. Late last year, this writer sat down with Herbert MT Leung, the CEO of Atos in Asia Pacific, who manages the IT Services business covering Hi-Tech Transactional Services, Consulting, Systems Integration and Managed Services, in his Singapore office to talk about Atos' achievements and the company's outlook in the APAC region.

The interview was inspired by Atos' Ascent Journey 2016, which has been launched early this year. No mere crystal-ball gazing, the Ascent Look Out programme is headed by a team of top scientists and business technologists who are recognised specialists in their field. It presents predictions and vision for technology that will shape business through to 2016 based on the pace of change observed over the last three years.

When we meet, we first talk about Atos' position and performance in Asia Pacific before jumping into a discussion on the future of the world.

"For Atos in Asia Pacific, 2013 has been relatively good," Herbert Leung, Atos, told CIO Asia. "We're achieving our targets. Our chairman has declared that he wants to grow the company in Asia Pacific. 2013 showed our intent clearly."

According to him, the growth areas have been mainly the oil and gas sector in the region. But the company has ambitious plans. For the Asia Pacific region, the company wants to have double digit growth and it is already achieving that target.

"I think our big projects are very successful this year," said Leung. "China is a big focus for us."

To back his claim, Leung said that in China, Atos has clients like BMW and Siemens. "We do work for BMW so it's good to be able to anchor such a big customer in the fastest growing market," he said.

Trends in Asia 

One of the interesting trends that Leung sees is that new projects are getting started in Asia first instead of Europe or the US, which was the traditional thing to do. "A lot of companies now are using Asia Pacific as a starting point to do a lot of big projects," he said. "When I talk about this, the kind of companies I'm referring to are MNCs, where previously everything was done in their home country. Now, Asia Pacific has become a significant starting place for a lot of their big projects. Once we roll out the ERP, of course, the benefit is that you start in Asia and your cost is lower compared to Europe. In fact, a lot of the customers, once they start doing the blueprint of the ERP system here, they request us to do the same thing for the rest of the world to roll out for them. In 2013, we did that for two customers."

 

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