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Toward private Clouds: Cegid and ASF testimony

Posted on 16 November 2011 by Pierre Picard

From SaaS service delivery to a shared services center, two Bull customers testimony: Cegid and ASF

Cegid: leveraging its SaaS experience to serve its customers

Cegid is the leading French business software publisher, with over 80,000 customers both in France and abroad. Today, over 13,000 businesses, SMEs and local authorities are using Cegid’s SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) offerings. Early provider of SaaS launched in 2002 with shared infrastructures and changing service delivery models –Cegid got a vital advantage with its packaged offerings responding to the specific constraints faced by its SME customer base.

In order to make this paradigm shift, in 2009 Cegid set up a dedicated business, Cegid Interactive, which led a fundamental transformation of the business towards new ways of providing services, with a massive impact on its infrastructures, expertise and organization. The flexibility provided by this structure allowed Cegid to ask itself the right kinds of questions, very early on, not just about the sharing and optimization of resources but also about how applications needed to change if they were to take into account of new issues around consumption of resources, security and performance. With one key requirement: to always respond better to customers looking to constantly cut their costs. Today, Cegid is involved in a hybrid cloud approach, which allows it to overcome infrastructure constraints so it can concentrate on its core business as a software publisher.

Bull has supported Cegid in this process, providing all the consulting expertise and technical know-how needed to evolve towards new service delivery models. According to Sylvain Moussé, Director of Cegid Interactive and CIO of the Cegid Group: “The support that we get from a partner like Bull – which has a huge amount of expertise in computing power and security technologies – strengthens our strategy, as a publisher of business software that responds very closely to end users’ needs.”

Autoroutes du Sud de la France: a private cloud supporting the whole business

ASF (Autoroutes du Sud de la France) is a company within VINCI Autoroutes, Europe’s leading motorway operator, with 4,800 km of trunk roads. The three networks operated by VINCI Autoroutes – ASF, Cofiroute and Escota – cover half of South-West France.

In its search for synergies, the IT Operations Directorate at ASF is gradually transforming itself into a services center, and is set to become the privileged hosting service provider amongst the VINCI Autoroutes companies. With one mission: to move from having several different regional operational departments to a single, centralized national infrastructure, which takes into account the needs of each business function, meets all the Group’s security requirements, and incorporates various technological elements including mobile computing and geo-location.

So for over two years, the IT Operations Directorate has been involved in a fundamental business transformation: refocusing skills, putting in place new structural processes such as the services catalogue and change request management, and optimizing each component of its infrastructure so as to be ready for the introduction of private, internal cloud services.

ASF has three main objectives in doing this: on the one hand, to optimize the production cost of services, while guaranteeing availability, quality and high levels of security; on the other hand, to establish truly agile infrastructures to free the business functions from the planning constraints relating to infrastructures; and finally, to give them real autonomy when it comes to managing resources, from initial requests right through to billing, via a collaborative portal.

Bull has been supporting ASF in this transformation to a private internal cloud, in the first place by providing a high-specification storage infrastructure enabling the company to implement virtualized solutions. As Emmanuel Desanois, IT Operations Director at ASF explains: “On the path to the cloud you need support to move towards a new culture of service. Our offerings are changing – to comply with the need to secure and locate data, and in line with the maturity of the business – and we’re checking at each stage that the model actually works.” Agility is already in sight, along with power on demand and structuring service delivery processes.

For more information about ‘Le cloud by Bull’

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