Orange and Thales welcome French State support for their joint project Andromède

Date: Mon, 06/04/2012 - 15:25

As part of the French State’s program called "Investments for the Future" in the digital economy (Investissements d’Avenir), Orange and Thales are pleased to announce the creation with State support of their cloud computing infrastructure company

Orange and Thales welcome French State support for their joint project Andromède Luc Vigneron, Chairman and CEO, Thales

At a time when the global cloud computing market is showing healthy growth, this new French-based company targeting a Europe-wide audience will provide all IT players, companies and administrations with a competitive infrastructure, and the required level of security, confidentiality and traceability of data.
Orange, Thales and the Caisse Des Dépôts acting for the French State have teamed up to create a company with a total capital of €225 million. Indutrial partners will own 66.6% of the capital (initially distributed as 44.4% for Orange and 22.2% for Thales, the company being open to investment from other industry players), and 33.3% for the Caisse des Dépots. The transaction will be submitted for approval by European competition authorities.
The company will sell a range of “Infrastructure as a Service” (IaaS) offers, in other words, it will provide processing, storage and bandwidth capacity on demand for companies and administrations, as well as for the IT sector (software and application publishers, SSII, etc.). The company’s software will be developed using open source, code, encouraging openness, interoperability and standardisation, and will be protected by high security levels. This open approach will also foster the creation of an ecosystem of innovative developers and integrators, and will benefit the entire economy in France and across Europe.
This industrial cloud computing initiative will place France and Europe in a strong position on a booming market, that is, currently dominated by major US companies. The French State’s subsidies, via the “National Fund for Digital Society” (Fonds national pour la Société numérique), set up by the “Investments for the Future” program, have made it possible to seize the market’s current potential for growth, which should be addressed with several European initiatives. The project also unites France’s fragmented IT ecosystem and provides an incentive for other players to develop the market further.
Orange and Thales’s complementary expertise will address the needs of companies and administrations – in terms of security, end-to-end quality of service, data traceability and confidentiality – via a reliable infrastructure. This major project, which is expected to create 1,000 jobs in France, is ready for launch. Initial revenue has been secured by demand from the two companies; other large European IT companies have also shown interest in joining the project.
“The project we are undertaking with Thales and the Caisse des Dépôts will encourage the French and European IT ecosystem, as well as companies and administrations, to take advantage of the major opportunities offered by cloud computing. We are pleased to provide our expertise as a global telecoms operator and IT infrastructure integrator,” explains Vivek Badrinath, CEO of Orange Business Services. “Andromède also provides Orange with additional large-scale industrial infrastructure, which will add to the cloud services we already offer.”
“We are proud to be contributing our expertise in information security to this major undertaking,” says Pascale Sourisse, SVP of Thales in charge of Defence & Security C4I Systems. “Thales plays a leading role on the market based on its technological expertise in both civil and military fields, providing the solutions with high levels of security. Cloud computing plays an increasingly central role in the critical information systems of our civil and military clients. Andromède provides us with a trusted and secure infrastructure to serve them.”

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