Georges Croix and Econocom Group, of which Jean-Louis Bouchard is founder and chairman, have jointly invested in Digital Dimension. Georges Croix has been appointed CEO.
We asked Georges Croix five questions about Digital Dimension, the company he has set up with Econocom
Following the announcement that Georges Croix and Econocom had set up a company specialising in communication and front office solutions on a pay-per-use basis, Georges Croix explains the positioning and ambitions of this new player in the cloud service market.
Why set up another cloud provider? How will this one be different?
Georges Croix: At the moment, most cloud providers are infrastructure operators who provide computing power and a range of software solutions. But as far as I know, there aren’t any cloud providers that specialise in digital convergence services, or who are in a position to help companies adapt to the digital revolution via mobile technology and ensure they take full advantage of it.
The digitalisation of society, with social networks, email and collaboration, is transforming companies. Employees, who are users in this digital world, no longer tolerate not having access to their company’s IT system. For the company, digital convergence is a complicated challenge: there are issues of security where the company’s strategic data is concerned.
The added value Digital Dimension will bring is by freeing companies of this complexity by delivering effective, innovative cloud-based communication solutions, with a pay per use model, which is becoming an essential economic advantage. From shared platforms, Digital Dimension will offer tailored services for access to the company’s document base, collaboration, security and document digitising.
How did Digital Dimension come about and how will it work? What role will Econocom play?
G. C.: Digital Dimension is the result of a meeting between Jean-Louis Bouchard, whose original background as an entrepreneur and company director I have a great deal of admiration for, and myself, the co-founder and former CEO of Prosodie. We are driven by the same entrepreneurial spirit and share the same values and vision of the development of digital technologies in companies. Our experience and expertise in digital solutions, mobility, pay-per-use and financing are complementary. We wanted to create a synergy and that’s how Digital Dimension came about. 50.1% of its share capital is Econocom’s and I own the other 49.9%.
Digital Dimension will be an independent organisation. Its growth will be boosted by Econocom Group’s reputation and Econocom and Econocom-Osiatis’ know-how, and my own entrepreneurial experience, particularly in the telecoms sector.
What are Digital Dimension’s ambitions in terms of the market, geography and financial objectives?
G. C.: Digital Dimension will be mainly targeting large enterprises, in particular in the banking, insurance and retail sectors, where mobility and digitalisation are crucial. In terms of geographical expansion, we will be focusing mainly on France, Spain, Italy and Benelux, countries in which Econocom is well established and which I also am very familiar with.
In terms of finances, we hope to generate significant revenue quickly and are aiming for €120 million by 2016. We hope to speed up this development by investing €100 million in targeted acquisitions in the mobility, IT hosting and security markets.
What sort of cloud modes will be used for Digital Dimension’s offerings?
G. C.: We need to keep tight control on our solutions in terms of functionalities and costs. They will be operated on our own infrastructures or the group’s existing ones. The solutions will be shared on private cloud platforms, and possibly hybrid ones, if our clients want.
When do you plan to launch the first Digital Dimension solutions?
G. C.: I will soon be looking for potential candidates with technical, marketing, sales and pre-sales skills. After that, the timing will depend on how we progress with acquisitions. We hope to announce the first offerings by the end of H1 2014 and launch them on the market by the end of the year.