I am convinced that digital has a central role to play.

Meeting with Carlo Purassanta, CEO of Microsoft France, who shares with us his digitalisation vision for France. He also revisits the partnership between Microsoft and LACROIX Group within the framework of the SYMBIOSE project.

Testimony

Carlo Purassanta
CEO of Microsoft France

  • With the health crisis, we have witnessed a “mass digitalisation”, at times compelled and forced, in companies and to some extent in municipalities. What initial lessons have you learned from this period? What opportunities may arise for the French economy?

    Carlo-Purassanta
    CP :

    The pandemic has revolutionised the way hundreds of millions of people around the world work and revealed the essential role of digital in our lives. As our global CEO Satya Nadella explains it, we have seen two years of digital transformation in the span of two months. The situation has challenged our models of social organisation while also accelerating many of the processes already at work in our economies. The next 18 months are critical, but I see them as an opportunity to reinvent corporate models. In France, whether it be to strengthen the development of digital skills, support local SMEs and VSEs in their digital transition or rethink our ways of working, we are mobilised together with our ecosystem to contribute to the economic recovery.

  • You have created a partnership with LACROIX Group to outfit its SYMBIOSE factory of the future (assist with implementation of artificial intelligence for production monitoring, predictive error analysis and even manufacturing line benchmarking applications.) Why did you choose to support this project?

    Carlo-Purassanta
    CP :

    This strategic partnership fully embodies our commitment to the digital transformation of the players who make up the backbone of the French economy. By combining French industrial know-how of LACROIX Group and Microsoft’s Cloud and IoT technologies, it is thereby possible to design and build the SYMBIOSE smart factory of the future, in which we incorporate collaboration and respect for the environment. In particular, Microsoft’s solutions will make it possible to analyse a large amount of data when producing electronic components, resulting in better anticipation, production line adjustments and machine maintenance. This project will allow LACROIX Group to increase its competitiveness and meet the challenges of promising new markets such as mobility and industrial IoT.

  • LACROIX Group is neither a large group nor a start-up. Is it important for you to support mid-size companies in their digitalisation?

    Carlo-Purassanta
    CP :

    The ambition of Microsoft and its ecosystem is to support France’s 3.8 million VSEs, SMEs and mid-size companies at every stage of their life: from the initial concept and company creation phase all the way through to their international development. It’s an incredible economic landscape, and we want to enable them to continue building and taking risks with a freer mind. For SMEs, digital is an active contributor to their growth, but a third of them say that a lack of training is a major barrier to adopting technologies. For this reason, last June with our ecosystem of partners, we launched the “My Digital SME” collective initiative, which aims to train 20,000 SMEs per year in digital technology for five years. Since training alone is not enough, we are also developing a reference guide containing 50 Cloud solutions addressed to them and have launched a platform to put SMEs and digital players in touch with one another.

  • What are the priorities and challenges for Microsoft in the coming months or years?

    Carlo-Purassanta
    CP :

    This year promises to be full of challenges for all of us. Challenges in terms of jobs, the economy and growth, as well as societal challenges, and I am convinced that digital has a central role to play. In response and to contribute to the recovery of our ecosystem, we are going to accelerate our commitment to promote jobs alongside our partners, as we already engaged in doing, in particular through our initiative announced this summer with LinkedIn and GitHub designed to support, via training, a return to work for 25 million individuals around the world.
    Our priorities will focus on digital skills training for all, support for SMEs, VSEs and start-ups in different regions, and the development of innovations for the common good.