Atos signs up to Catena-X, the EMEA automotive cloud initiative for data

Atos signs up to Catena-X, the EMEA automotive cloud initiative for data

Systems integrator Atos has signed up to the European industry cloud initiative, Catena-X. With Catena-X, European manufacturers and carmakers have joined forces to create a secure network that will enable data transfer between manufacturers, their supply chain and their partner networks.

Catena-X is based on a bigger European initiative called GAIA-X, of which Atos is also a member. Both efforts aim to use a collaborative approach to solving problems with a selected set of technologies. Some of the overlap can be seen in Catena-X’s stated goals around security, standards, and “openness.” The organization is aiming for “openness and non-discriminatory access to the network as the overriding principle for all market participants.” It also added in a presentation that the implementation of data sovereignty, security and interoperability principles will be based on GAIA-X. As far as the underlying technology, openness means standards-based solutions offering interoperability leading to “a solution portfolio of certified, network-based applications and solutions.”

Catena-X members, as of May 2021

Catena-X members, as of May 2021
Source: Catena-X

GAIA-X seems more about driving common standards and ensuring compliance with GDPR rather than standing up an individual regulation and compliance cloud. That’s something Deutsche Telekom is aiming to do, recently announcing plans to build out a sovereign cloud. DT’s sovereign cloud is aimed at German public sector users and organizations in regulated areas such as healthcare, and interestingly enough is being built using Google Anthos.

Analysis

One of the big trends we see in edge computing is the rise of industry clouds, especially in manufacturing. Atos’ membership in Catena-X highlights the momentum of that trend.

There are other similar initiatives emerging in Europe such as French-based Software Republique. It’s a grouping that includes Atos Orange, Dassault Systemes, Renault, Thales and aims to meet the challenge of what it calls ‘Mobility 4.0’. The alliance has some broad ambitions besides the expected ones such as intelligent transport and improving the experience related to electric vehicles. The themes for its inaugural competition include cybersecurity and “Open Ideas.”

There is overlap in membership and stated goals between the growing number of cloud standards efforts, which could complicate progress in Europe’s efforts to wrest some power away from hyperscaler cloud vendors. It’s easy to be skeptical about multi-party initiatives that emerge from Europe or indeed anywhere else, but they do sometimes make impressive progress, and we’ll be keeping an eye out for further signs of momentum.

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