Abilian's technology profile for the DGE

Par: Abilian 02/01/2023 Cloud Tous les articles

We were recently interviewed by the Fond de Dotation du Libre, which is producing a report on European cloud technologies for the DGE (Direction Générale des Entreprises). Here are our answers.

**1) What is your name?

Stefane Fermigier, founder and CEO of Abilian, a publisher of open-source software for collaboration and the cloud, which has been in business for over 10 years.

**2) What is your main product?

We have several products, either in use or under development:

  • Abilian Social Business Engine](https://abilian.com/fr/solutions/reseau-social-entreprise/), an emerging collaboration platform: enterprise social network, directory, collaborative spaces, Wiki, micromessaging, information management, CRM. It's the ideal tool for sharing information, communicating, collaborating and boosting your organisation's day-to-day activity.
  • Abilian Lab&Co](https://abilian.com/fr/solutions/labandco/), a research information system (RIS) for research establishments, which facilitates relations between researchers and the administration.
  • JNOV by Abilian](https://abilian.com/fr/solutions/jnov/), which enables efficient management of calls for projects, calls for expressions of interest and cascade funding programmes. Our solution manages the information, submission, evaluation and monitoring processes for projects from start to finish.
  • Nua by Abilian](https://nua.rocks/), an open source software platform for streamlining the development, selection, installation and resilient operation of web applications in a self-hosted cloud environment. It is aimed primarily at users (SMEs, associations, public services, etc.) who want to benefit from the simplicity of the cloud at the lowest cost without compromising the principles of digital sovereignty.

3) Is it SaaS? PaaS? IaaS? Other?

All our software can be deployed as SaaS, on various IaaS and PaaS solutions on the market or on bare metal.

To this end, we have developed our own technology, Nua, which simplifies the deployment and maintenance of these applications, and which is now an open source project and a product in its own right.

**4) Do you supply your technology to cloud computing operators?

Not at the moment. We are open to partnerships with cloud publishers and operators.

**5) What are the unique selling points of your product? Is your solution different from or better than competing solutions?

Our various solutions are obviously sovereign, and have been co-designed with their users to best meet the needs of their respective markets.

**6) What free and open source software solutions do you use?

We rely on an entirely open source 'stack': Linux kernel, Python language, PostgreSQL and Redis databases, etc. We also favour interoperability between different systems. We also focus on interoperability with open APIs and the use of open source software.

In addition, several of our products - Abilian SBE, Abilian Lab&Co, Nua by Abilian... - are themselves open source and all our products incorporate hundreds of open source components. For these reasons, we take the issue of securing the software supply chain very seriously.

**7) Which components did you develop yourself?

We developed the application code and some of the business frameworks for our applications ourselves. This represents around twenty man-years of R&D.

We also contribute, on a regular or ad hoc basis, to a number of open source projects upstream of our products.

**8) What are the strengths of your technology?

Its flexibility and our obsession with the user and developer experience.

**9) What European policies would you suggest to ensure the sustainable development of your technology and its adoption?

In France, we recommend in particular that the Digital Republic Act of 2016 be applied to the letter, which stipulates that public authorities must "encourage" the use of open source solutions. This is even truer in higher education and research, where open source software has been a "priority" since the 2013 ESR law.

We also recommend that consideration be given to the proposals in the Latombe report on digital sovereignty, in particular proposal 52: "Impose the systematic use of open source software within the public sector, making the use of proprietary solutions an exception", proposal 26: "Give priority, in public procurement, to the use of solutions from French or European technology players", and proposal 30: "Develop the practices and legal framework for public procurement [in particular at European level with a European Small Business Act]".

**10)To what extent are the interoperability projects financed by France and Europe likely to guarantee the development of European cloud technologies?

We believe that all the technological building blocks needed to sustainably develop a high-performance European software and cloud industry exist in Europe, whether because they were invented in Europe or because they are open source projects with sufficient European contributors.

What is lacking is both directives or incentives to use these technologies as a priority, in the name of strategic autonomy and resilience, but also a greater capacity for European players to work together and to make their technologies and tools interoperate.

We therefore recommend the implementation of plans to encourage European companies to develop such connections, in parallel with directives requiring the use of demonstrably interoperable technologies and solutions.