how France wants to challenge the “American giants”

7:15 am, June 8, 2022

The cloud above our heads is growing, but it remains anchored above the United States. While the revenue generated by cloud activities (an extensive network of remote servers scattered across the planet) continues to rise, the results of market research remain the same. The latest, published in mid -May by specialist company Markess of Exaegis, speaks well: in 2021, Amazon (AWS), Microsoft and Google will capture 80% of sector spending growth in France.

The French were however struggling to make themselves heard. “France is very lucky to have three key players with the ability to suggest far -reaching solutions”, said Sylvain Rouri, the development director of OVH Cloud. OVH is the first name that comes to mind when thinking of the French and European cloud, especially since its listing on the Paris Stock Exchange by the end of 2021. Two other French groups are emerging as leaders in Europe in “cloud infrastructure” (network management, data storage and computing power): 3DS Outscale, a subsidiary of Dassault Systèmes, and Scaleway, belonging to the Iliad group.

Also read – At Hive, Silicon Valley veteran David Gurlé wants to change the cloud

One argument: security

If they are not able to win as many customers as the “hyperscalers” (the American suppliers), everyone is chasing the same level of technology. “There is no gap today between what Americans have to offer and our services in the field of infrastructure”argument by Sylvain Rouri. “We have the same computers as AWS”, added Yann Lechelle, CEO of Scaleway. For David Chassan, the strategy director of 3DS Outscale, his company “no need to be embarrassed” of his performance.

But these assets are not enough to encourage French companies to use their services. Bagkos. SNCF has signed an agreement with Amazon to manage its cloud. LVMH did the same with Google. To push itself into the largest group, Gafa relies on many services: from storage, as French does, to word processing applications using Google Doc or Microsoft 365. “These are one-stop shops”said David Chassan. “And the disclosure of its partnership with a Gafa will no doubt trigger a stronger rise in the stock market than an announcement on OVH”, believes Sylvain Rouri. The result, too, of an aggressive communication strategy, financed by investments of several billion dollars: “The dominant players maintain a view that Europe is ten years behind. But not at all! It’s marketing”protest by Yann Lechelle.

The dominant players maintain a view that Europe is ten years behind. But not at all! This is marketing

To win, the French put up an argument: security. According to them, companies that signed with Americans have exposed themselves to a leak of their data on U.S. soil, due to the Cloud Act. This American law allows the transfer of data to U.S. authorities, including when servers are installed in Europe. French players insist on confidentiality: the three groups have SecNumCloud -certified offers, a label issued by Anssi (National Agency for the Security of Information Systems) for the protection of sensitive data.

This certificate is part of the government’s plans for creating French digital sovereignty. But SecNumCloud is accompanied by the Cloud of Trust label, thanks to which French companies have joined forces with… the Americans, as evidenced by agreements between Capgemini and Orange with Microsoft or Thales-a strategic sector- on Google. Announced a few months ago, these alliances have yet to be fulfilled. But this approach is strongly criticized. For Alain Garnier, boss of Jamespot, a company that specializes in software available in the cloud, “It doesn’t address issues of sovereignty. We’re mistaken for the debate. The core value remains American.”.

Learn legal actions

While awaiting new support from public authorities, French and European actors have stepped up legal actions. Most recently, OVH and German NextCloud complained against Microsoft for abuse of a dominant position. In response, the group founded by Bill Gates made concessions so that its software would work better on servers operated by European companies.

Read also – What is a clouds »?

This is a reminder that coexistence is possible: “Companies must be on a multicloud approach believes David Chassan. They can choose Amazon for some specific needs that don’t involve critical data. And opt for Outscale for more confidential use. » And Yann Lechelle concludes: “We have to leave“saan” in “ at “. »Translate: Google, Microsoft and Amazon are no longer just choosing to eventually open the door to servers from OVH, Scaleway, 3DS Outscale and many more.

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