Michel Paulin claims that European customers continue to be wary about the capacity of US and Chinese hyperscalers to safeguard their data
French infrastructure as-a-service giant OVH says its priority is to "be the true alternative European cloud provider".
Three months since he took over as CEO from OVH's founder Octave Klaba, Michel Paulin (pictured) told CPI that his firm wants to offer the European channel and end users a home-grown option even as AWS, Microsoft, and now Alibaba continue to make gains in European markets.
"Cloud should imply trust. Legally, with the Patriot Act, customers outside the US ask, ‘what are the consequences for my data?' We are not affected by those regulations.
"We protect data with European laws, which offer a lot of protections for personal and corporate data. And we are pure open source and open stack, which means we are completely transparent in the way we deliver our solutions. If someone wants to inspect our code, they can."
"Alibaba is very interesting. I don't know which laws they say they are complying with. What I can say is that we are a trusted provider because we have strict data protection standards. This is how we differentiate ourselves from our competitors."
Paulin's claim that European firms retain a lingering wariness of the international public giants has been backed by some channel players.
The CEO of top French VAR Cheops Nicolas Leroy-Fleuriot recently said that he will "never, never work with Alibaba".
He too cited the "risks of being spied on or of having data violations."
Although clearly not all European businesses share Leroy-Fleuriot's concerns.
The top four global public cloud giants are only increasing their European operations.
OVH has announced that it is also expanding across the continent, with new datacentres in Spain and Italy, in addition to other countries to be revealed in the next couple of months.
"Today, we are in the process of investing €300m every year until 2020, and we are going to triple that after 2020," Paulin said.
The firm's datacentre footprint comprises 27 facilities in 11 countries across four continents worldwide.