French defence player Thales created a company dubbed S3NS which will collaborate with Google to offer cloud services for public and private companies in compliance with state rules.

The formation of S3NS comes after Thales struck a partnership with Google Cloud in October 2021, prompted by a French government initiative around cloud computing.

Due to the increasing dominance of US companies in providing cloud services, France’s government specified services developed by Google and Microsoft could be used to store sensitive state information, but data centres were located in the country and solutions were licensed to domestic companies.

The creation of S3NS goes beyond the initial partnership, with Thales stating its mission was to help organisations in France benefit from the power of Google Cloud while protecting sensitive data in compliance with France’s National Information System Security Agency (ANSSI) rules.

S3NS is targeting the second half of 2024 to launch commercially, as it bids to develop a platform that meets ANSSI’s requirements to be labelled a “Trusted Cloud”.

Cloud competition
Thales has taken `a majority ownership in the venture and will have full control of the commercialisation of services developed by Google.

S3NS will operate three France-based data centres and it has already identified 40 potential customers, including large banks and healthcare organisations.

Thales’ play will compete with operator Orange’s recently-formed cloud venture Bleu, which is working with Microsoft to offer services also given the green light by the French-state.