Sovereignty: the boss of Microsoft France steps up to defend the American giant

Corine de Bilbao (in green jacket), president of Microsoft France, in the middle of the executive committee of the French subsidiary of the American group.

© Microsoft

After having suffered criticism, Microsoft France counter-attacks. In an interview given to echoesCorine de Bilbao, the president of the French branch of the American group, has indeed defended the company’s approach to sovereignty while European cloud players, OVHcloud in the lead, are banging their fists on the table in the face of the excessive influence of Gafam. “Our goal is to help France regain its economic and industrial sovereignty”thus assures the boss of Microsoft France in the columns of the economic daily.

In May 2021, Microsoft had drawn the wrath of several French Tech players after being chosen by Orange and Capgemini to create their “trusted cloud”. On this occasion, a joint venture, Bleu, will see the light of day, thus raising fears of data transfer to the United States thanks to the powers conferred on the American authorities under the Cloud Act, which allows them to enter data at the abroad from the moment they pass through US suppliers. “We have constant support for Bleu”confirms Corine de Bilbao to the echoes.

Corine de Bilbao regrets “the choices sometimes consisting in privileging sovereignty to the detriment of security”

The president of Microsoft France also denounces “the choices sometimes consisting in privileging sovereignty to the detriment of security”. The former leader of General Electric France probably had very little taste for the words of Michel Paulin, the boss of OVHcloud, during the Cybersecurity Conference in Monaco, during which he denounced “a form of defeatism in Europe” who plays the game of Gafam.

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As a reminder, the northern host has filed an antitrust complaint against Microsoft with the European Commission to denounce the commercial practices of the American giant, which it considers anti-competitive. The Roubaix-based group believes that the Redmond firm enjoys a dominant position with its suite of office software, which gives it an unrivaled advantage to crush the competition.

Microsoft is positioning itself as a player in the fight against the talent shortage

Despite OVHcloud’s anger, which could be exacerbated if Bleu obtains the SecNumCloud certification from the National Information Systems Security Agency (Anssi), Microsoft wants to position itself as an essential partner of the French technological ecosystem, in particular by training 10,000 cybersecurity professionals in France by 2025. In this sector, there are 15,000 open but unfilled positions in France, according to the firm Wavestone.

Gold, “there will be no economic and industrial sovereignty with the current shortage of digital talent. There is no possible sovereignty without energy independence and sobriety. And the development of digital uses is one of the means to regain of sovereignty”, believes Corine de Bilbao. A barely veiled allusion to the software of the American company, which was particularly used during the health crisis, and to its contribution to training in digital professions. Between Microsoft and OVHcloud, the communication battle is far from over.

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