Posted on: 24 October 2016 By: Ray

John Chambers, CISCO CEO

The CEO of American computer giant CISCO was on the French media front lately announcing major investments in the country, following a deal with the government earlier this year and another with French electronic security giant Thales.

New investments announced

In February, John Chambers, CISCO’s CEO met French Prime Minister Manuel Valls to outline a major partnership between CISCO and the French state, to cover training, urban digitization, cyber-security and investing in French Tech. Planned investments of €100 million by CISCO were announced in French start-up companies.  The plan includes training 200 000 people in digital networking skills.

The week of July 4 Chambers met French President Hollande, signed a major deal with Thales and met French business at the MEDEF (Mouvement des Entreprises de France), the French employers’ federation.

On October 6, the management of CISCO and Thales announced a common “sovereign” co-innovation proposal to protect “Vital Importance Operators” (Opérateurs d’importance vitale – OIV – such as those running Critical Infrastructure) against cyber-threats. The announcement coincided with the security industry get-together “Assises de la Sécurité” in Monaco, 10-14 October

CISCO (CISCO Systems, Inc.)  is the world’s largest multinational computer networking equipment company, based in San Jose, California. Thales (Thales Group) is a French multinational corporation providing electronic systems for the aerospace, defence, transportation and security markets.

Digital France

France’s digital advance owes much to its focus on mathematical and scientific education, its scientific research history, and development in scientific and technological fields. All these are assets for the computer industry. A French government source says a UN survey ranked France as Europe’s leader in e-government, base on its on-line public services, telecom infrastructures and popular education level. The country surpasses the US in WiFi connectivity, with more than 13 million public access stations (9.58 million in the US). France is at par with Germany in the use of “big data” – with three out of five French businesses using advanced analytical data processing to improve their productivity and efficiency. The French people use the internet more than the EU average (83%). 28 million French people are Facebook users.  France has its own “Secrétaire d’Etat chargeé du Numérique”, Axelle Lemaire.

CISCO is betting on the acceleration of the digital economy (“l’économie numérique”) in France with these developments – Europages, the French-based European business directory, in tandem with German-based “Wer Liefert Was” (WLW), is offering exceptional free subscription to new business clients from the US, Canada and Australia.

Find out more

LeFigaro February 2016 on the CISCO/French government deal

Chambers interview with JDD (Journal du Dimanche, France’s Sunday paper, 4 July)

CISCO press release (French) « Cisco renforce son engagement dans l’accélération de la transformation numérique de la France » (8 October)

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