The cloud is a revolution for all lines of business

Whether you are a company, management or union, how do you join the digitization bandwagon? For what purposes? And how do you choose your service provider, among the myriad of companies in this market? Should we prefer a foreign giant, a Swiss service provider, or work with both? What about the location of this data? In an effort to answer these dizzying questions, Le Temps organized a webinar on May 10 with the support of Oracle. Natalie Loren, Director of Financial Business Development and Operations at Oracle, Marc Baudriot, Director of Swiss cloud service provider SyselCloud, and Daniel Buehler, Head of Central Services at Unia have just signed a cloud contract with Oracle. For an hour, these three guests answered questions from users of “Time” and the Internet. The entire video is available above, and here is a written summary.

Daniel Buehler, Why did you choose Oracle Cloud Services?

Daniel Buller: We’ve already been working partly in the cloud since 2007, with a private cloud, but it’s time to change many of our applications. Microsoft told us we had reached the end of the cycle, and we no longer had the possibility to make certain updates, so we started asking ourselves questions about what we were going to do. It’s time to completely move to the cloud, with the requirement to properly protect our data, whether that of Unia members or that of our employees. With respect to Swiss legislation of course. We chose Oracle cloud services, while continuing to work with other providers like Microsoft, because our needs are very broad.

Marc Baudriot, How important is it for your customers to have their data in Switzerland?

Mark Baudriot: The new version of the data protection law, which is due to come into effect in September 2023, does not require everyone to store data in Switzerland. Their presence in Switzerland does not guarantee their protection. The important thing is to know who is managing the data, our primary target is customers who want to have their data in Switzerland, managed by a Swiss company. With the new law, some companies will either have to choose the private cloud or choose a Swiss provider.

Oracle recently had a data center in Switzerland, so what does this change for your customers?

Natalie Lauren: We now have data centers in twenty countries and when some companies are subject to specific rules, we offer them customized solutions. This can be in our data centers, but also by installing a private cloud on our customers’ premises. This, for example, has been the case for Geneva University Hospitals recently.

Would Unia prefer working with a Swiss service provider?

Daniel Buller: This is what we usually prefer, but given our needs, it was clear that we would be working with a foreign service provider. Oracle turns out to be the better option, even if the data is stored elsewhere in Europe. We have discussed these issues with our outside lawyers and experts and will comply with the law.

Migrate to the cloud, is it complicated to ask the user?

Natalie Lauren: We have integrators of all kinds to facilitate migrations. But the idea is not to reproduce what was done in previous systems. We count the cloud for all the new features it offers. The cloud is changing the way we work, it’s revolutionizing all lines of business.

Mark Baudriot: It all depends on what we do. Taking existing applications and putting them in the cloud the user does not see any differences and is easy and fast. The problem is if we change apps. It’s like working on the road. There is a construction site in which there are disturbances. From the moment we change the way people work, it can be very stressful. But in the end it brings great benefits.

In Unia, you are at the beginning of this process, do you expect that everything will not be so easy?

Daniel Buller: Internally, we have users of very different levels. It is therefore important to ensure that everyone uses the new tools available. And to migrate data to the cloud, there is a lot of work, because it has to be organized. But it is worth it.

Natalie Lauren: With so-called Software as a Service (SAAS), we offer another way to manage a project. We propose an application that provides different functionality, with new capabilities for deployment, agility and solutions for all employees.

Question from a netizen: How do you ensure that IT professionals working at Oracle or SyselCloud do not have access to the data?

Mark Baudriot: If we provide a service infrastructure, we provide the equivalent of servers and clients have access rights and can encrypt the information. So we can’t access the information. But if we have rights that allow us to access the data, we obviously do so in agreement with our customers.

Natalie Lauren: Trust is paramount, we offer several levels of security and our customers are fully satisfied.

Very concretely, what new services can the cloud offer?

Natalie Lauren: A large English distributor chose our solution and developed a mobile part for human resources. Its employees go to the mobile application for vacation by talking on their phones. This distributor has created an application to automatically manage overtime: everything is done instantly in just a few clicks. Conversational assistants (chat bots) are easy to create. For example in finance: you want to know the account balance, you can ask the chatbot, there is no longer a need to navigate through the tools to access this information. As with reporting, entity managers can refer to their results via a simple voice command. We are completely changing the way we work and the user experience. These algorithms will handle large volumes and speed up operations.

Daniel Buller: To answer some frequently asked questions about unemployment benefits, we are in the process of setting up a chat bot. It will be important to train our members and collaborators in these tools that make life easier. While still allowed to obtain information over the phone or by visiting our offices.

Mark Baudriot: For infrastructure-related issues, the cloud has significant advantages: it allows almost instant paybacks. We can restore your device image from two days, five days, two months, very quickly. This is fundamental to the security of our customers’ data. One of the major issues companies face is ransomware and file sharing attacks. So restoring this data is a key point and the cloud allows it.

So, security is a major feature of the cloud?

Natalie Lauren: It is an accelerator of the move to the cloud, while some had previously feared for their data moving to the cloud. It’s for sure: companies do not have the same level of security in their own infrastructure

Marc Baudriot, so being in the cloud doesn’t stop you from being attacked by ransomware?

Mark Baudriot: In fact, despite all the security measures you have taken. But the cloud allows you to recover your data quickly. This is critical.

Daniel Buller: This does not prevent them from having to constantly train their employees, call them to be vigilant, and secure their computers and phones. And all of these procedures have a cost, too.

Another question from an Internet user, once you have chosen a cloud service provider, is it easy to leave?

Natalie Lauren: Sure, there are reversible clauses, and there is no problem in transferring your data to another provider.

Is the cloud close to installing software on employees’ computers?

Mark Baudriot: I think it is inevitable. This enables significant economies of scale for customers, as it is the cloud providers who invest centrally, which benefits everyone. To set up our cloud infrastructure, we invested more than 10 million francs and we invest an additional 1.5 million francs every year… This gives an idea for a local cloud service provider. Not to mention the energy efficiency, because by pooling resources, the cloud requires much less power than if all customers had their own servers at home.

Webinar hosted by the time Powered by Oracle.

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