With the creation of a new Critical Systems and Security business line, the process of integrating Amesys into the Bull Group has passed a new milestone. Interview with Stéphane Salies, Vice-President responsible for this new business entity.
What activities is the new Critical Systems and Security business line involved in?
Critical Systems and Security covers all the former activities of Amesys. As its name indicates, we have two key areas of excellence. First ‘Critical Systems’: in other words equipments that – if they should fail – would expose people, goods or the environment to a major risk. For example, these could be embedded systems in transport networks, command and control systems in nuclear power plants, vital infrastructures in healthcare or defense… Our second key area of expertise is ‘Security’ or, more precisely, the area known as ‘Homeland Security’. That means all the resources used by the military, police or intelligence services to help safeguard a nation’s people, property and goods. This can be everything from border control systems to counter-terrorism measures, such as our recently launched Shadow range of solutions, which jams the signals on Remote-Controlled Improvised Explosive Devices (RCIEDs). In both these main areas of our business, we are not only a manufacturer, but also a systems integrator and provide consulting services. This means we can remain the single point of contact for our customers, which is naturally a guarantee of quality and confidentiality when you are dealing with such sensitive areas.
What are the cross-over points between these and Bull’s other business activities?
Physical and electronic security systems are increasingly being extended into information systems. Robust and secure back office systems are essential to transmit, store and archive the data they produce, to process, compare and analyze it; and that’s an area where Bull has a track-record expertise. So we are going to be able to develop totally integrated solutions and that prospect is already exciting a lot of interest among our customers. In addition, the security offerings from Bull and Amesys are remarkably complementary, whether it’s encryption with TrustWay, identity and access right management from Evidian or IT security consulting services.
So is this going to result in joint solutions?
We already have some! Indeed, we’re launching the first product developed as a result of collaboration between Bull and Amesys teams: a so-called DLP (Data Loss/Leakage Prevention) ‘appliance’ to protect sensitive information. Confidential files are tagged, and the system can then detect if they are taken out of the organization, by whatever means, even if they are disguised in some way. Everyone is talking about attacks and intrusions, but let’s no forget that the easiest way to get hold of information is via an employee for example giving you a USB key. Bringing together skills from both Bull and Amesys will mean we can significantly extend the range of technological and functional areas that we can cover, and give us access to a more comprehensive offering to tackle the ever-changing and varied threats organizations face.
Integrating the new business line with the rest of the Group will also help speed up its development…
Absolutely. The Bull Group operates on an international scale, from numerous locations and enjoys an excellent reputation as a serious and reliable player, especially in high-potential markets like Africa, the Middle-East and Latin America. Being leant on a business like Bull is a major advantage when it comes to international expansion. What’s more, Bull’s financial stability will mean we can respond to big invitations to tender, which up to now were beyond our reach. In tomorrow’s hyper-connected world, security challenges will be crucial because even though there will be many more risks, procedures will need to minimize disruptions to communication flows and travel. This will require innovative approaches, which closely combine physical and logical resources; a concept that is right at the heart of the Bull Critical Systems and Security business model.