Before the last Finance minister Arnaud Montebourg abruptly resigned (or, arguably, was asked to resign), he advocated for several measures aimed at helping bridge the gap between traditional software publishers and cloud providers. One of the measures, which was proposed by Atos and OVH, was to create a SaaS Academy which would offer coaching for software publishers to help them address problems around sales, technical and financial aspects involved with the transition to the cloud.
The SaaS Academy has now been launched with Intel, Crayon (specialist in ROI estimates on technology spend), IBM, Microsoft and VMware teaming-up with Atos and OVH to deliver the effort. Starting from mid-January, there will be several half-day cloud introduction sessions in Paris and throughout France. Starting in March, the coaching sessions will kick-off at a price of €2.6k. There will be several days of coaching dedicated to the problem areas mentioned earlier, with two days dedicated to sales and three to technical challenges. The objective at the end of the program: to come out with a clear business plan and technical plan for their cloud transition.
Off course, the type of technology they decide to use will be a big driver of their plans, which is a big driver of why the creators of the program wanted to make sure some of the key global tech and cloud leaders were involved. This also gives the flexibility to the participating trainee companies to have some choice in who their coaching comes from. Of course though the tech giants don’t get to participate for free. They will be required to give at least 30 man-days in coaching and will contribute €15k each to participate. Obviously it’s in their interest to participate, so a win-win type program for all involved.
The government is supporting the initiative financially (albeit minimally) with the BPI (Banque Publique d’Investissement) contributing €500k. The goal of the program is to reach 600 software publishers with the first, basic training and 120 with the more in-depth coaching program. The BPI will play a much bigger role though as software publishers launch their cloud transition programs by helping to cover some of the actual cloud transition costs borne by software publishers, through bank loans, cash advances or capital investments.