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"Data virtualisation offers companies agility while allowing them to regain control of data sovereignty"

Following his speech at IT Days, Olivier Tijou (Regional VP - France, Belgium, Luxembourg & Switzerland, Denodo) tells us more about data virtualization and discusses data sovereignty.

Olivier Tijou, you are Regional Vice President for France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland at Denodo. Can you tell us about the company?

Denodo is a company that was founded in Spain in 1999. We are the market leader in data virtualisation. Our mission is to enable simplified, faster and unified access to any type of enterprise data source for agile BI, big data analytics, web and cloud integration, single view applications and enterprise data services, without replicating data, at half the cost of traditional approaches.


What needs does data virtualisation meet?

Despite Big Data initiatives, many companies today have problems accessing and consuming data, and this is a problem that is common to most companies. Data virtualisation is designed to solve this problem by simplifying the navigation of all enterprise data through a virtualisation layer, without replicating any data.


With the pandemic and the massive shift to remote working, have you found that companies are facing additional difficulties?

The pandemic has shown that the traditional approach to data access, which involves extraction and replication, is no longer sufficient. Companies need to access data in real time. They need agility more than ever and the crisis has only increased the initiatives in which access to data becomes even more critical.


What are the challenges of data in a crisis context?

There is a need for agility in what is called time to data. In a crisis context, companies must be reactive and make the right decisions, especially when they have to manage remote employees. When everything is going well and there is no crisis, companies have the time and the budget to get the data. Things are a bit different in times of crisis, you have to be able to adapt very quickly and have the right data at the right time. Data virtualisation allows you to be much faster and more efficient in delivering the data that decision-makers need.


What about the cloud? Have you seen a greater need for migration?

Of course! The crisis has accelerated a trend that was already underway to rationalise IT infrastructures by migrating more and more data and applications to the cloud. Data virtualisation is helping companies to make this transition by making it safer and faster, and on top of that, it helps to deliver on the promise of saving money by putting data in the cloud. When migrating to the cloud, companies should not simply copy and paste their on-premise data to the cloud. This would have a huge environmental impact! Data virtualisation allows them to streamline their move to the cloud to be more efficient with data storage; it allows them to do it the right way.


The cloud raises a number of questions about data sovereignty. What are the benefits of data virtualisation in this case?

To put it simply, data virtualisation offers companies agility while allowing them to regain control of data sovereignty. We could say that companies that use this technology keep the "keys" to their database. As an example, one of our Luxembourg customers in the banking sector uses data virtualisation to gain agility in a constantly changing European financial ecosystem. Data virtualisation makes all choices transparent to data consumers within the company.


Can you give us other examples of Luxembourg customers who have taken advantage of data virtualisation?

Sure. We have had a customer from the heavy industry sector for years. Data virtualisation, which they use massively, is now an essential part of their data ecosystem and enables them to optimise their infrastructure. With the trade war between the United States and China, the industry has been severely impacted and the players in the sector need the freshest possible data to be responsive.