by Mathieu Rosemain
PARIS (Reuters) – Thales announced on Thursday the creation of a new company, dubbed S3NS, in partnership with Google offering French public and private companies state-approved cloud computing services.
The new company is the result of a partnership sealed last year between Thales, Europe’s largest defense electronics supplier, and Google Cloud, following a government plan to protect sensitive data.
US giants Google and Microsoft, along with Amazon Web Services, dominated the market for cloud computing services, raising concerns in Europe about the risk of surveillance.
According to the French government, “cloud” services developed by Google and Microsoft can be used to store the most sensitive data of the French state and companies, provided that the data centers are located in the country and that the services are granted under license to French companies.
S3NS is majority owned by Thales, which has full control over the marketing of services developed by Google, while the latter’s participation has not been revealed.
Some of France’s largest banks and healthcare organizations are among the new company’s 40 potential customers, said Marc Darmon, Deputy Managing Director, Secure Information and Communication Systems, Thales.
S3NS’ cloud computing services will be available from the second half of 2024, after receiving approval from ANSSI, the French cybersecurity agency, via a “trusted cloud” label, Thales said. The company operates three data centers based in France on which will run Google’s verified and secure cloud services, the group said.
S3NS will compete with Bleu, a joint venture to be created here at the end of the year by IT consultancy Capgemini and telecommunications group Orange and which will use Microsoft cloud technology.
(Report Mathieu Rosemain; French version Federica Mileo, edited by Kate Entringer)