Sovereignty: the head 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 facing criticism, Microsoft France counterattacks. In an interview given to echoesIndeed, Corine de Bilbao, the president of the French branch of the American group, has defended the company’s approach to sovereignty, while European cloud players, led by OVHcloud, are banging their fists on the table in the face of Gafam’s excessive influence. . “Our goal is to help France regain its economic and industrial sovereignty”thus assures the head of Microsoft France in the columns of the economic daily.

In May 2021, Microsoft had angered 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, creating fears of data transfer to the US thanks to the powers granted to the US authorities under the Cloud Act, which allows them to enter data abroad from the moment they pass through US suppliers. “We have constant support for Bleu”confirms Corine de Bilbao to echoes.

Corine de Bilbao regrets “the choices that sometimes consist of privileging sovereignty to the detriment of security”

The president of Microsoft France also condemns “the choices that sometimes consist of privileging sovereignty to the detriment of security”. The former head of General Electric France probably had little taste for the words of Michel Paulin, the boss of OVHcloud, during the Cybersecurity Conference in Monaco, where he condemned “a form of defeatism in Europe” Gafam is playing.

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As a reminder, the northern host has filed an antitrust complaint against Microsoft with the European Commission to condemn the American giant’s commercial practices, which it considers to be anti-competitive. The Roubaix-based group believes the Redmond company has a dominant position with its suite of office software, giving 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 achieves the SecNumCloud certification from the National Information Systems Security Agency (Anssi), Microsoft wants to position itself as an essential partner for the French tech ecosystem, notably 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 company Wavestone.

Gold, “there will be no economic and industrial sovereignty with the current lack of digital talent. There is no possible sovereignty without energy independence and sobriety. And the development of digital applications is one of the means to regain sovereignty”, says Corine de Bilbao. A thinly veiled allusion to the American company’s software, which was particularly used during the health crisis, and to its contribution to education in digital professions. The communication battle between Microsoft and OVHcloud is far from over.

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