French cloud giant lands in Melbourne

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French family-owned cloud ‘unicorn’ OVH has landed in Melbourne with the company’s global CEO Lauren Allard saying that the company was especially attracted by the level of technical talent available local.

Mr Allard said that Melbourne’s high calibre talent pool was important to OVH’s long-term plan to expand its global clout.

“Skills and a multicultural world environment that opens Melbourne to the world are very important to us,” he said.

Mr Allard, who joined the OVH in 2015, is no stranger to Melbourne having spent some time in the city during his tenure as the CTO of French-insurance giant AXA.

The Melbourne headquarters will be the nerve centre of the $1.5 billion company’s Asia Pacific operations and Mr Allard said it was well placed in the market to provide an alternative to the public cloud narrative led by Amazon Web Services and Microsoft’s Azure.’

The Australian landing is part of a broader expansion push by OVH, with the cloud infrastructure as a service player recently expanding its data centre footprint in the US and Canada.

Mr Allard said the cloud story is just getting started especially as it become core to every organisations activities,

“The volume of data is growing 40 per cent year on year this is leading a growth in the cloud industry of 30 per cent year on year, the new generation of cars will create 4 terabytes of data per day, that’s per car, per day,” he said.

“So the challenge is to absorb this volume of data and use it at a unit price that’s competitive, it has to be in cents not dollars, you need more capacity and it has to be cost effective.”

Talks between the Victoria government and OVH started a year ago and the state’s innovation minister Philip Dalidakis said that the entry of the French giant was another feather in the cap for the state.

Mr Dalidakis, on his way to China on a 10-day trade mission, said that it was important for Victoria to stand out as an attractive global destination for global technology companies.

“We have great attributes, we don’t compete with NSW, we are competing with Singapore, Hong Kong,” he said.

“We have a wealth of companies, in range of industries that have gone beyond the unicorn status.”

As part of its commitment to the state, OVH plans to employ 80 fulltime staff within three years and intends on making a significant investment to provide in-house technical training.

Mr Dalidakis also applauded OVH’s intention to bring its digital launch-pad to Australia in July hailing it as an important addition to the local start-up ecosystem.

“This is a very exciting opportunity where they provide up to a $100,000 to start-ups and assistance to them in much the same way as an accelerator program works, the more opportunities we have to provide to our start-up sector this level of expertise and funding the quicker we are able to grow.”

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