Born from the alliance between Docaposte, Dassault Systmes, Bouygues Telecom and Caisse des Dpts, Numspot plans to launch its first K8s, Red Hat OpenShift and database managed services in May 2024. We will have to be patient before we see those qualified close to SecNumCloud from Anssi.
Reliable cloud solutions – i.e. those with SecNumCloud qualification – are far from common. The providers in France with the precious Anssi key for the IaaS stack can be counted on one hand: Cloud Temple, Outscale, OVH and Worldline. Although Bleu (Capgemini-Orange Business-Microsoft) and S3NS (Thales-Google) are slow to emerge, a player with 100% French capital left the forest in October 2022 : Numspot. As a result of the capital alliance between Docaposte, Dassault Systèmes, Bouygues Telecom and Caisse des Dépôts, the company took advantage of its first year of existence to take stock of its activity. “We feel justified in talking about the sovereign cloud at Numspot, much more than anywhere else,” said Alain Issarni, executive chairman of Numspot.
As part of the group’s development strategy, Olivier Vallet CEO of Docaposte – described as the “spearhead” and “big boss” of Numspot by Alain Issarni had the opportunity to recall the start-up’s main objective: “Our strength is associate both private and public players with the ambition of creating a sovereign cloud that is a leader in the European market. We decided to focus on the public sphere, local authorities, health, banking and insurance”, launched Olivier Vallet (IT personality elected 2023 by Monde Informatique readers). Determined to offer an alternative solution for hyperscalers (AWS, Google, Microsoft, etc.), Numspot believes it is well positioned to meet the requirements of hybrid cloud needs for sensitive data, primarily targeting OIVs and OSEs. Numspot is not alone in the battle to convince companies and support them in the cloud: partnerships have been signed with several ESNs (Sopra Steria, Devoteam, IBM, Octo, Alter Way, etc.), but also with vertical players such as Energisme (optimization energy consumption) without forgetting an alliance in generative AI to launch a dedicated offer.
Stay in control thanks to open source
What do different IT shareholders bring to Numspot? As for Docaposte, its technological blocks in terms of remote identity verification, electronic signature and archiving in particular. For Dassault Systèmes, which readily supports the idea that establishing a sovereign, secure and reliable cloud is first and foremost a political and regulatory rather than a technical issue, the contribution will be made through its internal cloud infrastructure supported by its subsidiary Out of scale. Regarding Bouygues Telecom, the operator highlights “the co-construction of a secure connectivity offer between corporate infrastructures and those of Numspot”, explained Benoît Torloting, general director of Bouygues Telecom.
After 9 months of existence, Numspot has expanded its teams, which should reach around a hundred people by the end of this year, although recruitment is far from easy to achieve. “One of the pillars we adopt to build an efficient, secure, sovereign and reliable cloud is open source,” said Alain Issarni. Several reasons were presented to explain this choice: “in many areas open source is by nature transparent and we know what is going on there”, explains the manager. For example, Numspot is based on Outscale’s Tina OS hypervisor and cloud management and orchestration software. developed 10 years ago. Another advanced pillar is – unsurprisingly – security with the promise of being “state of the art” with SecNumCloud qualified managed services that will be grafted onto the Outscale infrastructure. But that won’t happen for many months.
The first managed services Kubernetes, Red Hat OpenShift, and databases
In terms of the roadmap, a first managed offering is planned for May 2024, which will be tested during the first quarter with early adopters. ISO 27001 and HDS certified, therefore it will not be qualified by SecNumCloud. What will it contain? Managed Kubernetes, Red Hat OpenShift, and database services. Other offers will be launched in the following months without further details. “We have a very pragmatic approach, we look with customers to see what their needs are and from that we build our roadmap based on the opportunities and needs to be met”, says Alain Issarni.
On the commercial side, to make itself known to one of its targets (health), Numspot highlights the fact that it has been listed in the hospital IT purchasing center (CAIH) since October. Also highlighted were the first customers such as Maison France Services whose SI has been ported to Numspot by the Manufacture (joint venture between Docaposte and Caisse des Dépôts) since September 2023 “to gain agility and flexibility without denying the issue of security,” said Guillaume Poupard, former head of Anssi who became deputy general manager of Docaposte. Another case in point: the insurance company CNP Assurances, which decided to base its data platform on Numspot. “We make data protection and trust in digital technology a key issue for our customers and partners,” explained Hervé Thoumyre, director of customer experience, digital services and data at CNP Assurances. “The arrival of Numspot is a real promise and we have started a co-construction project to manufacture the data platform that suits us with the technological components that suit us, namely in open source that will be operational from next year.” For CNP, the challenge is great to respond to future scalability challenges with a data platform hosted in a data center operated by the group that runs the risk of ending up showing its limits.