Capgemini and Orange have announced Blue Roadmap, their joint venture for a trusted cloud based on Microsoft technologies, with customer support starting at the end of 2022 but services that won’t be operational until 2024.
While Google Cloud is set to officially launch its region in France and communicate its trusted cloud strategy with Thales on June 30, the competition is urging to take the lead, at least in terms of advertising. On Monday, Oracle Cloud announced the official opening of its second region in France. Now it’s cloud’s turn bluethe joint venture between Capgemini and Orange to deliver a trusted cloud on Microsoft technologies, to get people talking about it again and to reveal its somewhat of a roadmap.
The French “Cloud at the Center” plan obliges administrations to update “cloud first” but requires them to use only trusted clouds, in other words, a cloud-certified, SecNumCloud, operated and operated by companies governed by European law and not entirely subject to US cloud law. Likewise, OIVs (Operators of Vital Importance) and OSEs (Operators of Essential Services) are now forced, as of 2023, to run critical cloud workloads on the trusted cloud.
This political decision excludes from the game all super American and Chinese but also clouds that host their infrastructure in data centers of companies governed by non-European law. To put it simply, today only OVHcloud and 3DS Outscale, or even T-Systems, meet or can meet the French definition of “trusted cloud”.
However, many organizations have already invested heavily in US technologies (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud) but also in US SaaS solutions (Microsoft 365 / Office 365, Google Workspace, etc.) which are also not considered cloud computing.
Following the government announcement, two projects were announced. Those of Google Cloud and Thalès, which we should know more about in the coming days (which are mainly intended to offer GCP technologies on a trusted cloud, Google Workpace is not by design easily portable on a sovereign cloud). And the ones in blue that Capgemini and Orange hold about Microsoft technologies.
Today, Bleu is revealing more of its intentions and roadmap.
The company should “blue” Officially see the light by the end of 2022. Jean Coomaros, current turnaround director and member of the Capgemini Group Executive Committee, has been selected by shareholders (Capgemini and Orange) as potential CEO.
Since the announcement in May 2021, the futuristic company has spent the past few months validating its technology solution with Microsoft, envisioning collaborations with the US publisher and launching the development phase by working with ANSSI to ensure its future services comply with SecNumCloud 3.2 requirements (the latest version of the certification which includes Legal Aspects of the Trusted Cloud Label).
” Since Blue’s initial announcement in May last year, Capgemini and Orange have worked hand in hand on the technical and organizational aspects needed to realize this “Cloud of Trust” project.Ayman Ezzat, CEO of Capgemini Group, confirms. Bleu brings a unique combination of advantages in terms of providing security and services, particularly by providing the widest range of technological innovations. “.
Once officially established, Bleu intends to immediately work with its potential customers to migrate them to the trusted cloud. For this, you will give them” blue setup »This will allow them to train, start preparatory phases, carry out pilots and tests and ensure they are ready to go into operation once the platform is up and running.
The commissioning that was not expected before 2024! The Bleu platform will be launched on a group of geographically dispersed data centers in France and meets very high requirements in terms of flexibility and availability. It should, logically, be certified by SecNumCloud when it comes into operation. Unlike the future Thalès / Google cloud, the blue cloud will not only host IaaS / PaaS services from Microsoft Azure, but also SaaS services in Microsoft 365! A major asset to Bleu and several organizations, OIV and OSE have no intention of giving up their existing cloud suite, which nonetheless must be owned on a trusted cloud.
As an independent French company, 100% owned by French shareholders, Bleu will offer an unparalleled value proposition for the French state and critical infrastructure operators. Going forward, our main ambition, together with our partner Capgemini, is to ensure that customers are ready to take advantage of Bleu’s services once the platform is up and running, and that they can begin their transition with the best possible support. This is the double objective that has been fixed in the preparation program for immigration to Azraq. Trust is at the heart of Orange’s values. It is also a key element in the development of the French and European cloud ecosystem”, Crystal Heidemann, CEO of Orange, explains.
Bleu has not yet determined which Azure cloud services will be physically hosted on the trusted cloud. Not all services are suitable for hosting SecNumCloud, either because they are not important to use or because their inherently superdistributive processes make any notion of data residency in a sovereign space obsolete.
Bleu also doesn’t specify the economics that exist and how much more cloud hosting will cost businesses than Azure direct hosting. We remember that this “extra cost” associated with “local” management led to the rapid death of the agreement signed between Azure and T-Systems for a “purely German” version of Azure, a few years ago.
Bleu has not yet detailed the data centers that will host its services, knowing that its customers will necessarily be very attentive to the partners selected and will not be able to accept the hosting of these infrastructures by major suppliers of US origin.
On the other hand, Bleu specifies that it has built in regular and structured updates with Microsoft that will allow Bleu customers to also benefit from the innovations Microsoft has introduced to Azure and Microsoft 365 over time.
However, the countdown has already begun for all departments, OIV and OSE. Not many can wait until 2024. It is up to cloud operators and publishers of collaborative solutions, European and French, to make themselves heard and seize the opportunity that presents itself. In 2024, with Azure and GCP back in the race thanks to their partners, it will be even more difficult…
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