Interview with Michel Paulin, CEO of OVHcloud

A few weeks ago, Michel Paulin, CEO of OVHcloud, one of the world leaders in cloud services, traveled to Spain to meet Spanish politicians and businessmen to discuss issues such as digital sovereignty, security or digital business transformation.

Taking advantage of his presence in Spain, we talked about it with Paulin and many others data protection aspectsthe monopolistic practices of some of its competitors and its future plans in Spain, where it is growing both in the number of employees and where it is considering the creation of its own data centers.

Without going any further, a few days ago he presented the results of the six months of last year where he obtained revenues of 382 million euros, which represents a year-on-year increase of 14.3%, mainly due to the increase in the private sector.

Current situation: adoption of new technologies and war in Ukraine

First, we asked Paulin how he sees Spanish companies in adopting new technologies, especially after the pandemic, Paulin is clear. “The United Kingdom is unquestionably the leading country, but Spain also shows a good growth rate, on a par with other countries such as Germany or France..”

In fact, the pandemic has put many companies in check, which have been forced to use new technologies so that their employees can continue at their normal pace from home. “I have a feeling that many companies were unaware of the problem of not speeding up the scanning processsays Michel exclusively for Hipertextual.

“The dangers of war-related malware attacks in Russia and Ukraine are real, but we are prepared to respond to this threat and ensure that our users’ data is not harmed.”

For Paulin, the public sector is one of the sectors that needs to accelerate the most in this regard and it is perhaps for this reason that he held a meeting with Carme Artigas, Secretary of State for Digitization and the artificial intelligence of the Spanish government.

On the situation related to the war in Russia and Ukraine, recently The UK Cyber ​​​​Security Center has issued a series of recommendations warning that malware attacks will be constant due to the war between Ukraine and Russia. For Paulin, the risk is real and for this reason, OVHcloud is in constant conversation with European organizations to prevent them, but not only, but there are also dozens of people working within the company to prevent attacks. , which would be terrible both for companies as well as for the users themselves.

data problem

For Paulin, users should not make any concessions regarding the processing of our data. According to the CEO of OVHcloud, on many occasions there is a lack of total transparency and the user does not know where their data is stored and, what is worse, the treatment reserved for them. “80% of the data market in Europe is currently controlled by only three players and this puts the freedom of European citizens at stake”.

“80% of the data market in Europe is currently controlled by only three players and this means that the freedom of European citizens is at stake.

Following the Facebook scandal and its massive data leak, Paulin assures us that he does have an account on the social network but that it has been inactive for years, which probably happens to many people around the world. Moreover, he categorically replies that he would not put a CCTV camera in his house whose data is stored on Chinese servers.

Complaint against Microsoft for monopolistic practices

Although the complaint was filed in the summer of 2021, it was not until mid-March that it came to light. OVH denounced Microsoft for monopolistic practices. Specific, the French company denounced the way Microsoft markets its productsprimarily the Office suite of applications, and that means the rest of the companies that compete with Azzure, its cloud service, are forced to raise their prices.

Recall that in the 1990s, Microsoft faced a similar request when it included its Internet Explorer browser by default in the Windows package.

When you’re in a market with powerful players, you often find that they don’t play by the rules, which is really unfair.

For Paulin, being in a sector where cloud services from giants such as Microsoft, Amazon or Google predominate is not easy, mainly because they offer cloud services within a broader product portfolio, and many consumers prefer not to leave the ecosystem. “Our product is open, transparent and promotes interoperability. That’s why we have managed to grow in recent years, gaining more and more users.” emphasizes Paulin.

However, the problem for OVHcloud, in the words of its CEO, is that Monopolies can be formed that endanger competition. “When you’re in a market with powerful players, you often find that they don’t play by the rules, which is really unfair. This is why we filed a complaint against Microsoft, along with other companies in the sector. At OVHcloud we are very proud to be able to be a real alternative for all users..”

For Paulin, the European control authorities have also sinned in a certain permissiveness which favors monopolistic practices. “We need a series of laws and regulations that ensure that all companies can offer our services under the same conditions.

OVHcloud compared to other cloud services and future plans in Spain

In such a competitive market, what could push a user or a company to choose OVHcloud services over another giant? Paulin establishes three reasons:We think it is very important to be able to offer an alternative to consumers, and to move away from monopolistic practices. That’s why there are three main reasons that differentiate us from the competition. The first reason is that it is an open system that is very easy to use and that it promotes interoperability. The second reason is that we have democratized the service in the cloud, allowing companies to control their expenses while using the service. And thirdly, we are a company close to our customers in the countries where we operate, with a local team, including technical service and where we do not outsource services..”

In fact, among its future projects is the creation of data centers in Spain and in the rest of the countries where it is present. “As part of the approach to our audiences, the creation of local data centers is a fundamental element, and that is why we are working on it to make it happen as soon as possible..”