Developing a ‘French cloud’ (or at least a European one) to conquer the mighty American tech giants like Amazon, IBM, Microsoft and others has been a top priority for France and the EU in general. France even allocated 150 million euros to help finance the creation of two companies, Numergy (led by SFR and Bull) and Cloudwatt (i.e. Orange and Thales) to support this goal. Not surprisingly, the latest government-funded, big tech project seems uncertain with Numergy only expecting to post 6 million in revenues in 2014 and Cloudwatt only expecting to generate a third of that amount. And there are even reports that Bercy, France’s Finance ministry, is now pushing to merge the two!
Once again, it seems that the French government’s attempt to rival the US-based tech stalwarts by creating their own ‘tech jewels’ looks worryingly misguided. Perhaps a better solution would have been to support French or Europe startups and SMEs already active in the sector. While the government has had their attentions diverted by their Cloudwatt/Numergy project, France’s cloud startups have been ‘getting on with it’, with some starting to show some real promise. One of the latest success stories has been Clever Cloud, which just announced that it will soon launch its PaaS in North America.
The European cloud computing space has become increasingly competitive, resulting in more and more casualties, including the two flagship PaaS companies dotCloud being sold-off by Docker to Berlin-based cloudControl this past August and CloudBees announcing a couple weeks ago that they’d be exiting the PaaS market. In light of this tough environment, Clever Cloud has managed to buck the trend by offering a flexible platform that works for startups and large companies alike (their clients include BNP Paribas, Manitou Group, LeMonde.fr and the Axa Group) and by expanding internationally.
Opening a data center in Montreal will enable them to expand more aggressively in the US market with a service which will better allow its clients to deploy their web applications and offers improved latency (response time between Paris and Chicago is 670 milliseconds and Montreal and Chicago, 150 milliseconds). Following their big expansion push, several features, such as a github integration and a wide marketplace integrating developer oriented SaaS (i.e like heroku add-ons), will soon follow.
According to Founder and CEO Quentin Adam, this is a big step in their evolution. He adds…“Our goal is to raise the global level of functionality of our PaaS; making it a true plateform of productivity for developers. We want to industrialize the Cloud, via the Platform as a Service.”