Portraits

Gold-digger

Frank Bossel est directeur commercial de Numergy, le cloud français. Depuis qu’il est sorti de l’UTC avec son diplôme de génie informatique, il a toujours été partie prenante des entreprises pionnières d’Internet.

Gold-digger

He left South France, where he was born, to study at Compiègne in 1981 following the recommendations of a friend who had been to UTC two years earlier. Frank discovered the autonomy, job demand, independence and ‘responsibilisation’ that he hoped for. “It was a very novel at the time”, recalls our Frank, who, when at UTC, was President of the Students” Union, the same year that Philippe Laville sang at the UTC Gala. He carried out his internship at IBM and decided to move towards the sales side of engineering, which was closer to his personality and his career aspirations. In 1988, he joined Control Data, an American company pioneer in super-calculators, before leaving this niche to Sun Microsystems in 1990 (who were champions in 1995-2000. “The key-stone of my career is my curiosity for new technologies. Sun Microsystems invented a multitude of things, including Java, the programming language”, adds Frank to illustrate matters. A position in sales allows him to conjugate writing skills and his innate curiosity. Just when the Internet bubble exploded, he move to Dell, where he was first mid-market Sales Manager before taking over their After Sales Consulting Service.

The ‘cloud computing’ revolution

In 2012, Frank was head-hunted to join Numergy, on of the entities created via the Government programme Andromède, May 2012, which gave France a ‘cloud computing sovereign’. Numergy’s capital (225 Meuros) is held for 33% by the banker Caisse des Dépôts, 47% by SFR (French phone operator) and 20% Bull (computer equipment). The concept of cloud computing was in fact invented by Amazon in 2006 who took the decision to marke (ie offer for rent) unused data storage capacity, firstly to private individuals then to business companies. A parallel can be drawn with electricity: no need to build a nuclear power station when you just want enough to light a few bulbs at home! Billing depends on the use made of the cloud facility (data stored), explains Frank BOSSEL. “Three other phenomena have accelerated matters: cost control, a growing concern for reactivity and flexibility with respect to digital solutions and a need for the users to find such advanced technology for private uses”. These 3 forms of pressure have now modified trends of corporate data processing service; they now tend to turn to cloud computing; no need to worry about having equipment (servers) to safeguard and back-up data or share files. “We are infrastructure providers. The objective assigned to Numergy is to supply the digital resources needed by enterprises so that they can concentrate on their core job and benefit consequently from higher levels of competitivity”, sums up Frank BOSSEL.

Why do we need a “cloud computing sovereign”?

« One of the challenges of a digital world is to offer French enterprises the possibility of storage via a French organisation. Today the French market-place is held by Amazon Web Services and the other majors in the field are all American: IBM, Google, Microsoft, etc. The only problem” notes Frank BOSSEL, “is the existence of the American ‘Patriot act’ that authorises the US government to access the data should litigation arise and if this should occur, the it is American law that applies. The recent Prism affair has increased our sensitivity vis-à-vis data security issues”. In order to stay credible on this market place, the input barriers are high: you have to be able to offer guarantees and infrastructures in terms of data centre capacity, networking and computational power. However, the French market holds promises: it has an estimated value of 200 Meuros today and should grow by some 45% over the 5 coming years. “What we have is a sort of Eldorado and we really are at the beginning of a technological paradigm”, says Frank enthusiastically, with his tightly knit 15 man team, all complementary to each other which shows 3 management trump cards: exemplarity, proximity and team spirit. Numergy, whose commercial actrivitie sonly began in 2013, should show a turnover of 400 Meuros by 2016. The Frznch cloud has 4 data centres, 2 000 clienst abd emplys 81 persons. The forecast is for 400 staff, 300 of which would be qualified engineers, by 2016 with a dozen or so data centres located in the Regions. “What I have found at Numergy is what I had known earlier at Sun Microsystems : tremendous emulation, creation of companies that have become super-stable ’monsters’ in just a few years, like Google or Amazon.Today what we see is the development of cutting edge technologies and new start-ups every other day; some are already operating thanks to Numergy infrastructures; our ambition is to become a European leader. »

Bio Express

 

  • 1981 - 1986 : UTC-Compiegne, speciialty elective Computer Science 
  • 1988 - 1990 : joined Control Data 
  • 1990 : Sun Microsystems, where he held several sales/marketing functions, among which Head of Development of Alternate Telecom Operators’ markets, the Provider Services and Internet Technologies. 
  • 2004 - 2012 : hired by DELL as their Sales Director. In turn he was appointed Director of Infrastructure Solutions and Director of Cloud Storage – France. 
  • As of 2012 : Frank BOSSEL joins Numergy as their Sales-Marketing Director.