Orange, Thales team up in cloud

Orange is teaming with defense systems firm Thales and the French government to establish a cloud joint venture that will sell infrastructure-as-a-service to European businesses.
The trio is investing €225 million into the Andromède scheme, with Orange and Thales holding a combined share of 66.6% - 44.4% for Orange and 22.2% Thales -, a structure the duo hopes will encourage other companies to get on board. Assuming it gains competition clearance, the company will offer processing, storage and bandwidth capacity on demand for companies, administrations and the IT sector.
Vivek Badrinath, chief executive of Orange’s Business Services unit, says the joint venture will boost cloud adoption in France and Europe, while also providing his firm with “additional large-scale industrial infrastructure, which will add to the cloud services we already offer.”
The firm will aim to offer some competition to the US firms that currently dominate the cloud computing market, and create 1,000 jobs in France. Orange states the firm already has two contracts lined up, and has attracted interest from other large European IT companies.
Thales’ senior vice president for defense and security C4I systems, Pascale Sourisse, says cloud computing is becoming increasingly important to the “critical information systems of our civil and military clients. Andromède provides us with a trusted and secure infrastructure to serve them.”