Capgemini and Orange to create Bleu, a company to provide a ‘Cloud de Confiance’ in France

Stephane Richard of Orange

Capgemini and Orange announced their plan to set up a new company named “Bleu” that will intend to provide a “Cloud de Confiance” service which will meet sovereignty requirements of the French State, public administrations and critical infrastructure companies with privacy, security and resiliency needs as determined by the French State.

Bleu will aim to provide its customers with an independent, trusted cloud platform with a broad catalogue of digital solutions and cutting-edge collaborative tools. The partnership provides a significant step forward in accelerating France’s digital transformation.

This project will combine the expertise of Capgemini and Orange two French global digital companies working with Microsoft, to create a French cloud service provider that satisfies the unique needs of a specific set of organisations. Bleu will offer its solutions to Vital Importance Operators (OIVs) and Essential Service Operators (OSEs), the French State, public agencies, hospitals and regional authorities whose sensitive data and workload require a “Cloud de Confiance” platform tailored to their needs.

Bleu will offer Microsoft’s secure cloud technology including the modern collaboration and productivity solutions of Microsoft 365 and the services available on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, delivered via an independent environment, to ensure that customers benefit from the widest range of the latest technology innovations.

An unprecedented French hyperscale cloud, fully under French and European jurisdictions

Bleu will be governed by key requirements regarding sensitive data to ensure that the unique needs of its French customers are met. Firstly, these include providing immunityfrom all extraterritorial legislation and economic independence Capgemini and Orange will be the majority investors in Bleu.

Secondly, these rely onmeeting data transferrequirementsand ensuring the full control of cloud-based applications from within an isolated infrastructure that uses data centres located in France. These data centres will therefore be strictly separated from Microsoft’s global data centre infrastructure, which guarantees operational autonomy.

In addition, Bleu will be entirely operated by its own staff in France. Thus, the services that Bleu will provide should be recognised as a “Cloud de Confiance” offer by public authorities, since they meet all the requirements necessary to receive the SecNumCloud label by the National Agency for Information Systems Security (ANSSI), as well as legal requirements needed to confirm its status as a “Cloud de Confiance” operator. In addition, Bleu could later integrate complementary partners in the future.

Bleu will also ultimately join the Gaia-X initiative, of which Orange and Capgemini are members, in order to support the emergence of sovereign solutions on a European level and contribute to the development of this ecosystem.

Aiman Ezzat

Aiman Ezzat, CEO of Capgemini, says, “As a strategic partner to our clients, Capgemini is focused on building the services they need, based on leading technologies and the highest standards. The creation of a “Cloud de Confiance” for France will provide French State and critical infrastructure organisations with the many benefits of flexible cloud services on a secure platform. Now is the right moment to launch this project which benefits from strong political will and very advanced technologies. We are excited to be partnering with Orange on this pioneering project.”

Stephane Richard, chairman and CEO of Orange, commented, “This ‘Cloud de Confiance’ meets a growing need in the digital world. The French State recently highlighted this in defining their ‘cloud au centre’ policy and setting out the standards required regarding data protection and sovereignty. Orange, as a trusted partner for the digital transformation of businesses, operates, integrates and manages a range of trusted infrastructure services for its customers, whether they are public or private entities.

We are delighted to partner with Capgemini to create a trusted-cloud solution for our existing and future BtoB customers and public organisations that will provide a wide-range of services, and in particular Microsoft 365, from within a sovereign infrastructure.”

“Establishing a new ‘Cloud de Confiance’ service, which should be recognised by French authorities, through a company founded and led by Capgemini and Orange, will help accelerate France’s digital transformation and meet the standards defined by the French government in its national policy,” says Jean-Philippe Courtois, EVP and president of Microsoft global sales, marketing and operations. “This announcement will contribute to France’s economic growth, benefit the national technology and services partner ecosystem, and support the country’s long-term success.”

In the context of the new cloud strategy announced by the French government, the French National Agency for Information Systems Security (ANSSI) has welcomed this project in light of security and sovereignty pre-requisites.

Commenting on this announcement, Guillaume Poupard, director general of ANSSI, says “In line with France’s national cloud strategy outlined by the Government on May 17, cloud offers must achieve excellency in both performance and trustworthiness. Security criteria must be satisfied on every level, whether these are technical, operational or legal, and this is what ANSSI is aiming to certify through the SecNumCloud label.

The overall ambition is to enable users to benefit from the best technologies that are run by trusted players from within an exclusively European legal framework and that these services provide unfailing security. With this in mind, ANSSI enthusiastically welcomes this ambitious project that meets these requirements.”

Further details will be disclosed in due course following the finalisation of agreements between the parties and the obtaining of the necessary authorisations from the relevant authorities of this project.

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