Shell has signed a three-year framework agreement with IT services provider Atos to provide both IT and non IT services to support its business activities in the Netherlands.

The move follows Shell's decision to reduce its number of IT and non-IT service providers from 18 to 6 to help cut costs.

As preferred supplier Atos is providing experts in IT, accounting and finance, contracting and procurement, human resources, customer services, and communications and marketing.

With now only a limited number of partner providers to choose from, Shell says it needs "strategic and pro-active performance" to deliver experts in relevant areas. The change enables Shell to realise substantial savings on management costs.

The status of preferred supplier for IT and non IT services allows Atos to enhance its existing visibility within the Shell organisation and to improve its market position for IT and non IT services in the oil and gas industry.

"Both Shell and Atos are satisfied with the cooperation. We will do whatever we can to further develop our partnership with Shell," said Rob Pols, CEO of Atos.

Last year Shell said it was deploying new "demand sensing" technology across its worldwide lubricants business.

The company has bought a global license for Terra Technology's Demand Sensing and Multi-Enterprise Inventory Optimisation software, to use in its lubricants business for short-term forecasting and inventory tracking.