OVH, the alternative cloud provider that believes in Innovation For Freedom

The digital sector is booming – and OVH with it. These days, it is hard to imagine our world without cloud computing. It is an essential, almost structural part of our lives, like air, water and electricity. That is why it is also vital to think clearly and realistically about digital technologies and the exploitation of data. These are powerful tools that can be used or abused in very different ways. We must consider the issues and approach them carefully. It is a bit like nuclear technology. You can produce energy to benefit billions of people, but you can also produce a formidable weapon. OVH is at the heart of the data revolution. Like revolutions in the past, this one is opening up a whole new world of possibilities, and simultaneously provoking many deep questions. What kind of world do we want to live in? How do we preserve our freedom? What should be the end goal of innovation? And on a practical level, what role does OVH want to play in this?

My vision is a simple one. It is my strong conviction that the data revolution should mean progress for us all. A revolution by and for the people, not against them. A revolution that sets us free, rather than holding us down. Progress that brings real benefits. Because freedom is precious. Perhaps this belief is buried deep inside me as a result of my past and my family’s story. Aged just 16, I left the Polish kolkhoz where my father worked – these were like collective farms in the former Soviet Union – and arrived in Roubaix speaking not a single word of French. So I know how precious freedom is, how it is worth fighting for and protecting forever. But the world turns, and now freedom relies on data.

OVH’s raison d’être is to create and shape a cloud that channels this data revolution into progress – progress towards freedom. Today, the data revolution is taking place in the cloud. Although we talk about the “cloud”, there is no single, neutral cloud. Instead, behind each product lies a particular set of values, a distinct world view. We need to be aware of this. The US internet, the Chinese internet, the European internet – they are not all based on the same shared values.

At OVH, we don’t want any closed ecosystems that keep their users captive and suck up profit and value, with the help of artificial intelligence, to the sole benefit of that cloud provider. At OVH, we don’t and will never gobble up our customers’ businesses by diversifying and attacking them in their own fields. At OVH, the freedom and confidentiality of our customers are fundamental.

What we want to do at OVH is allow everyone to take control of their data, innovate and develop new ideas and businesses – in total freedom. That is why we keep on innovating, day after day, to make sure our cloud develops with the interests of our customers and partners in mind. A different type of cloud, one that allows us to grow and succeed together. And we know that a really “smart” cloud is totally achievable. A simple cloud, swift and easy to implement. A “multilocal” cloud, that is close to everyone, everywhere in the world. An affordable cloud where the price is predictable. A reversible cloud that is open and interoperable. A transparent, responsible cloud. That is why we are here, to develop this Smart Cloud.

This vision is really what makes us stand out. It is no doubt what attracts the best talent from the biggest giants in tech to join us. Some of our employees have moved from Silicon Valley to Roubaix – yes, really. This vision is what shapes our products, the way we approach the cloud and our relationship with our customers. American companies offer a global model, a one-size-fits-all solution for all countries everywhere. As a European, and as someone who has lived in various countries, I have noticed that people are actually really quite different. You can’t just offer the same thing everywhere, it doesn’t work. So I don’t like to call OVH global – I like to say it is multilocal, close to where our customers are. We do everything we can to help our customers and partners succeed, by putting them at the center of everything we do. We get to know our customers, listen to them, talk to them. That is how we can surpass their expectations and together, build the solutions that will take us forward into the future. That is how we are able to make the OVH experience unique. That is also why we have to be multilocal and adapt to different contexts, cultures and constraints.

So OVH is global in the sense that it has a presence all over the globe, but more than that it is multilocal. And there is a world of difference between the two. This proximity, this confidence that we need to build among our customers – that’s the foundation or our business. Customers entrust us with their most valuable assets: their data. We owe it to them to be totally transparent and deal with their concerns up close. This is how we will win this battle of the cloud, this clash of values. In the cloud, OVH is the alternative that fights for freedom. That is the role we wish to play, and that we wish to play independently, innovating hand in hand with our colleagues, customers and partners. Together, we give each other the power to fully achieve our dream of freedom.

This vision – of the reason for our existence and how we position ourselves – is reflected in our values at OVH. We have five core values: 1. Disruption: we do need to break things and disrupt markets. And to do that, we need to think differently, innovate, simplify and offer new solutions and new ideas. 2. Team spirit: You can go fast when you’re alone, but to go far you need other people. Everything we do, we do together. Harnessing the power of collective intelligence drives our best ideas and our greatest successes. Working together with customers, partners and everyone else in our ecosystem is what will help us advance and develop the most ingenious solutions and the products that truly meet people’s needs, as well as to provide the most added value.

3. Passion: OVH is a company that runs on passion. Our profound belief that the data revolution can drive progress towards freedom is the reason we get up every morning and come to work. Our work is cool, but it’s more than just a cool job. We work hard because we believe in what we do. That is what gives us our passion and motivation and the strength to move mountains.

4. Trust: trust is fundamental to our business. No trust, no hosting of data. We know that our customers’ data is one of their most precious and valuable assets. We share our ideas, desires and challenges with our customers because it is precisely these everyday exchanges that allow us to advance together in a relationship of trust and transparency.

5. Responsibility: hosting data is a huge responsibility and we are fully aware that we must deliver a flawless service. We are responsible people. We do what we say and we say what we do. As a European leader and advocate for a Smart Cloud – one that is multilocal, accessible, predictable, reversible, open, transparent and interoperable – we know that we have to succeed.


Innovation For Freedom

Our vision and our innovation are what give us the power to, like David, shake up the Goliaths of the market. This is what OVH is really all about and the adventure is only just starting. Because what counts is not just what we’ve done so far, but what we’re about to do now. This is why I decided to change the OVH slogan from Innovation Is Freedom to Innovation For Freedom. Our new slogan symbolizes our commitment, as a company, to a vision of technology that drives freedom.