Top cloud company in Europe 2021, The coronavirus epidemic cast a heavy shadow over the worldwide economic landscape, trapping millions of individuals in quarantine and forcing them out of work. It resulted in significant interruptions and losses. It caused havoc on employment and earnings. It made many people’s lives difficult and left the globe reeling with dread, anguish, and uncertainty.
There is no doubting that the outbreak’s bad impacts will linger long after it has passed, but it is also undeniable that the crisis drove corporations over the technological tipping point, reshaping enterprises across all sectors for the better.
Long before COVID-19, many organisations had either established the basis for or gradually begun digital transformations, but even some of the most cutting-edge technology enterprises were unwilling to transition to entirely or largely remote operations.
The pandemic was the flaming platform that ultimately compelled laggards to take the long-awaited leap, though we wish it hadn’t taken a worldwide disaster to get us there.
Companies have advanced the digitalization of their customer and supply chain contacts, as well as their internal processes, according to a recent McKinsey Global Survey. And, on average, the pace at which enterprises are generating digital or digitally enhanced services has increased by seven years.
“We’ve seen years-long digital transformation roadmaps squeezed into days and weeks in order to adapt to the new normal,” says Glenn Weinstein, Twilio’s chief customer officer.
According to a recent worldwide poll conducted by the largest cloud communications and customer interaction platform, the coronavirus accelerated organisations’ digital strategy by an average of six years.
The mad hurry to have everything set up to accommodate remote working focused attention on cloud service providers who are advocating that we should not limit ourselves to having data accessible just at fixed locations or locally on a hard drive or server.
Cloud computing, which enables users to store and access data, applications, and software through the internet, has enabled businesses to modernise faster with less expensive, easier-to-integrate solutions and to skip some of the phases of development that early adopters had to go through.
Because of the increased usage of online infrastructure provided by digital giants such as Google, Microsoft, and Amazon, worldwide investment in cloud services has risen in recent years and will continue to rise.
Gartner forecasted in 2018 that global public cloud sales will exceed $278 billion in 2021, up from $145 billion in 2017. The predicted amount is likely to climb dramatically as a result of COVID-19, which Twilio refers to as “the digital accelerant of the decade.”
As the cloud competition heats up, several of the major companies are increasing their attempts to extend their presence in Europe, which has historically lacked homegrown mega-cloud providers for a variety of reasons, including a more conservative, pragmatic approach to new technology.
According to International Data Corporation, a worldwide market intelligence agency, Europe’s public cloud market will expand at least 22% each year through 2022.
While well-established Chinese and American enterprises compete for the European market, its untapped potential is being recognised and leveraged by certain growing and large-scale local companies keen to compete with industry leaders.
These firms’ innovation drive is being spearheaded by foresighted, visionary executives who are redrawing the limits of this vibrant sector and envisioning its future.
Here is a list of 25 prominent trailblazers and several emerging stars in the European cloud computing sky:
1. Werner Vogels, VP & CTO, Amazon
Top cloud company in Europe 2021, Werner Vogels, dubbed the “godfather of the cloud,” is one of the architects of Amazon’s vast, developing cloud empire, Amazon Web Services (AWS)—the “world’s most complete and widely accepted cloud platform.”
Vogels has made it his goal to simplify operations and foster innovation with a low-cost, scalable, and dependable infrastructure that can be bought on demand by anybody using a pay-as-you-go pricing model.
He is a self-described “troublemaker” with a Ph.D. in computer science from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands. He joined Amazon in 2004 after leaving Cornell University as a research scientist in the Computer Science Department.
Being a part of Amazon does not preclude Vogels from warning that the internet behemoth would “go out of business within 10 to 15 years” if it does not continue to innovate.
2. Stanislas De Rémur, CEO, Oodrive
Stanislas de Rémur is the co-founder and CEO of Oodrive, a company that specialises in sensitive data management. In the year 2000, he founded the firm with the goal of establishing “the first hard disc on the Internet.”
The platform promotes the use of electronic signatures in businesses and provides professional sharing and backup services that exceed stringent French and international security requirements.
Before starting his own company, Oodrive’s CEO worked at JPMorgan and General Electric. He has an MBA from the University of Melbourne and a master’s degree in economics from Paris II.
3. Beatrice Kosowski, President, IBM France
Top cloud company in Europe 2021, Beatrice Kosowski took over as president of IBM France in October, at a time when the technology giant, which employs over 350,000 people worldwide, was considering regional layoffs in Europe.
The worldwide IT and cloud giant operates data centres in both Paris and Montpellier and provides a variety of cloud-based business solutions.
According to her LinkedIn profile, Kosowski is a supporter of technology for the development of mankind, women in leadership positions, and upcoming technologies such as the cloud, artificial intelligence, and blockchain.
She also serves on the board of Syntec Numérique, a French technological union.
4. Lynsey Cubbon, VP Product EMEA, TheVentureCity
Lynsey Cubbon is part of an international dream team at TheVentureCity, a revolutionary venture and growth acceleration model that assists diverse innovators in achieving global impact.
Cubbon, as vice president of product for EMEA, is committed to instilling enthusiasm in every single product that comes out of TheVentureCity, which has created an astonishing array of successful companies in a range of disciplines, including cloud computing.
She combines “the vision and practical abilities necessary to take a project from inspiration to market ready,” in her own words.
She is establishing herself as a product manager to watch, with years of experience directing worldwide teams in varied areas such as power, online gambling, travel, and banking.
Cubbon, who studied computer science at the University of Chester, worked with startups in Asia before returning to Europe to give her experience to Ctrip firms such as Travix and Skyscanner.
5. Daniel Aldea, CEO, Altostratus
Top cloud company in Europe 2021, Spain-based Daniel Aldea is the founder and CEO of Altostratus, a Google partner that strives to advise and give outstanding value to businesses in the process of cloud outsourcing.
He is the driving force behind Altostratus’ mission: to build and adapt digital solutions that the cloud provides, assisting businesses in being more efficient, competitive, and inventive in their business sectors.
Aldea has extensive product and sales management expertise and feels that “the necessity to innovate in order to be prepared for a new global crisis has become a worry that will compel many firms to be reformed.”
6. Jane Armstrong, Senior Director, Salesforce.org
Jane Armstrong, a senior director based in London, manages higher education sector solutions and strategy for EMEA for Salesforce.org, Salesforce’s social impact centre focused on collaborating with the global community to solve the world’s most pressing challenges.
Salesforce.org includes three unique clouds—Nonprofit Cloud, Educational Cloud, and Philanthropy Cloud—that are designed to assist customers in becoming nimble and achieving their goals by using world-class technology.
Armstrong previously served as Thomson Reuters’ worldwide head of marketing and held numerous international marketing positions at firms such as General Electric and Bloomberg.
7. Nils Hueneke, CEO, Plesk
Top cloud company in Europe 2021, Nils Hueneke is the CEO of Plesk, a popular WebOps hosting platform for running, automating, and scaling applications, websites, and hosting companies.
He started his career as the first sales employee at Europe’s first server control panel, Confixx, as a senior business leader with extensive technical understanding in the cloud and hosting services. He graduated with honours from the University of Oldenburg with a master’s degree in economics.
Hueneke aims to build on Plesk’s success, which is already operating on over 430,000 servers and automating 12 million websites and 16.5 million mail boxes.
8. Antti Vilpponen, CEO, UpCloud
Antti Vilpponen, who was born with entrepreneurial blood in his veins, is using his position as CEO of UpCloud to ensure that small and medium-sized businesses are not left behind in the race to gain favour in the eyes of their clients by providing top-notch experiences through cloud-powered solutions.
The Finland-based tech enthusiast is pursuing a vision that has so far resulted in the development of the “world’s fastest cloud servers with 100 percent uptime SLA” from eleven data centres around the world. He graduated from the Helsinki School of Economics, which is now known as the Aalto University School of Business.
UpCloud has acquired the admiration of thousands of SME company clients who “enjoy” the platform for its outstanding performance, dependable service, and affordable pricing under Vilpponen’s leadership.
9. Nimesh Davé, President, Ingram Micro Cloud
Top cloud company in Europe 2021, Nimesh Davé is Ingram Micro’s executive vice president of Global Cloud and president of Ingram Micro Cloud. He is also a member of the global leadership team of Ingram Micro, the world’s biggest technology distributor, and is based in California.
Davé, a firm believer in “integrity” and “ethics,” is leveraging his proven track record of successfully transforming the digital landscapes of businesses in over 60 countries and cultures to assist Ingram Micro Cloud clients in monetizing and managing the entire lifecycle of cloud services, infrastructure, and IoT subscriptions.
Nimesh formerly worked for Tech Data Europe, another worldwide technology distribution firm, as vice president of Volume and Process.
Ingram Micro Cloud, which employs over 1,500 cloud experts globally, is currently lifting the bar as one of the top cloud marketplace and end-to-end commerce platforms, thanks to his tech knowledge and that of his team members.
10. Janet Todorova, Head of Expansion, Founder Institute
Janet Todorova, a champion of “useful technology and the people behind it,” is the director of growth at the Founder Institute, the world’s biggest pre-seed startup accelerator that has helped launch over 4,500 firms across 200+ locations and six continents.
Todorova, who is also the managing director of the FI Bulgaria Office, has degrees in advertising, finance, and entrepreneurship. Her team has compiled a resource list for Bulgarian businesses, which includes a variety of cloud-focused events and meetings.
Todorova is also the co-founder of React.
NotAConf, which brings together a community of React aficionados, and SofiaStartup, which aims to “help companies grow and adults start.”
11. Daniel Fried, GM & SVP EMEA, Veeam
Top cloud company in Europe 2021, Daniel Fried is the general manager and senior vice president EMEA of Veeam, located in Switzerland. The firm is a worldwide leader in intelligent data management, offering data protection designed to meet the demands of contemporary companies, such as hybrid cloud acceleration, backup modernization, and data security and compliance.
Fried is in charge of the EMEA organization’s strategic direction as well as its growth across all sectors and regions. He joined Veeam from VMware and has previously worked for Alcatel and Philips over his 25-year career.
Fried has a master’s degree in electrical engineering and mathematics from École Centrale Paris and has extensive worldwide experience in Asia, the United States, and Europe.
12. Alessandro Cozzi, CEO, Wiit
Alessandro Cozzi has guided the rise of Wiit, an Italian pioneer in offering hosted private and hybrid cloud services for organisations that need crucial application management and business continuity services, in his capacity as CEO.
In September, the firm made its first foray outside of Italy by acquiring myLoc, a German supplier of cloud and colocation services for businesses and individuals.
Cozzi has worked in the outsourcing and offshore sector for many years and is very knowledgeable in business processes, business planning, business development, customer relationship management, and IT service management.
13. Oskari Saarenmaa, CEO, Aiven
Top cloud company in Europe 2021, As the CEO and co-founder of Aiven, an automated cloud operations platform, Oskari Saarenmaa has established himself as a cloud computing powerhouse to be reckoned with.
Customers may use Aiven to “accelerate application innovation using a modern, fully-managed open source data infrastructure that is readily deployable in public clouds such as AWS, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure.”
Prior to founding Aiven, Saarenmaa worked directly and via consultancy engagements with a wide number of Nordic enterprises on software infrastructure, spanning from database scalability to network security and private cloud solutions.
14. Alexander Theuma, CEO, SaaStock
Alexander Theuma, the creator and CEO of SaaStock, is treading uncharted territory in the cloud business.
He launched a blog on SaaS firms after 11 years of sales experience in IT, telecoms, and cloud, which led to the establishment of “the first-ever podcast on B2B SaaS” and “the first solely SaaS-themed meetings” in London, Dublin, and Berlin.
This exciting path ended in the development of SaaStock, a top-tier worldwide SaaS events organisation that bills itself as “Europe’s largest B2B SaaS conference.”
At its yearly conferences in Europe, North America, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific region, it brings together SaaS leaders to exchange practical learnings from the brightest brains in the industry.
15. Stefan Kanis, CEO, Orange Cloud
Top cloud company in Europe 2021, Orange Cloud for Business CEO Stefan Kanis. Orange assists organisations in managing the complexity of their multi-cloud setups and supports their transformation programmes while ensuring data security.
Kanis graduated from the Mines Nantes engineering school in 1997 and has worked for the Orange Group in both the general public and business sectors for over two decades. He was formerly the operational director of network and services at Orange in France.
16. Alexa Olteanu, COO, Talos Digital
Alexa Olteanu is the chief operating officer of Talos Digital, a multi-award-winning software development, digital experience, and e-commerce solutions organisation with customers in the United States, Latin America, and Europe.
Olteanu was born and raised in Bucharest, Romania, where she finished part of her university education, and she sees herself as self-motivated, inventive, and goal-oriented when it comes to software design and development.
Talos Digital assists businesses in using cloud-based technology to allow global e-commerce for both B2B and B2C sales. They’re also a pioneer in assisting businesses of all sizes to use blockchain technology.
17. Tobias Höllwarth, President, EuroCloud Europe
Top cloud company in Europe 2021, Tobias Höllwarth has been a business consultant for over 20 years and is the president of EuroCloud Europe, which contributes to the cloud market.
EuroCloud Europe describes itself as a “pan-European cloud innovation hub—a totally vendor-neutral information exchange network connecting cloud computing clients and providers, as well as startups and research institutes.”
Höllwarth’s has progressively concentrated on cloud consulting, cloud IT policies, cloud strategy formulation, quality assurance of cloud service offerings, cloud migration planning, and cloud provider audits since 2010.
He is also the chairman of EuroCloud Austria and the director of StarAudit and the European legal network INPLP.
18. Frank Strecker, SVP Global Cloud Computing, Deutsche Telekom
Frank Strecker, senior vice president of worldwide cloud computing and big data of Germany’s Deutsche Telekom, has frequently emphasised his strong support for a “sovereign European cloud.”
Under his leadership, Deutsche Telekom and France’s OVHcloud announced a cooperation in September 2020 to provide a European cloud computing alternative to Amazon, Microsoft, and Google.
Strecker is relying on his years as a student at the University of Stuttgart and his vast experience working in several high-level leadership positions, notably at IBM, to help change the cloud sector.
19. Robert Jenkin, CEO, CloudSigma
Top cloud company in Europe 2021, Robert Jenkin and his long-time friend Patrick Baillie co-founded Zurich-based CloudSigma because they had a vision for a “new form of cloud centred on client needs, not computing frameworks provided by the service provider.”
They hoped to build “an open environment in which end-users could design their infrastructure in a very flexible manner with little or no limitations, much as they were accustomed to doing in their own private settings.”
Jenkin, a University of Cambridge economics graduate with experience in early-stage venture capital investing and corporate finance, is currently working as CloudSigma’s CEO.
20. Tarik Faouzi, VP, CloudBlue
Tarik Faouzi is the globe-trotting vice president of CloudBlue, a digital technology and services firm with a broad goal of assisting providers of all sizes in building, scaling, and monetizing cloud and digital solutions in the as-a-service economy.
Faouzi is in charge of designing a roadmap that will take CloudBlue to new heights internationally, drawing on almost two decades of IT knowledge gathered via working and studying in several countries ranging from Morocco to France, Spain, and the United States.
He is the driving force behind the company’s hyperscale platform transformation, which allows customers to streamline and integrate all of their channel operations to cut overhead costs or build a secure digital marketplace with end-to-end capacity to offer their goods and services.
Faouzi’s leadership position at Tech Data’s $350 million Components Specialized Business Unit, a top wholesale distributor of technological goods, stands out on his resume.
He has helped CloudBlue, which operates in 68 countries, partners with 200 of the world’s major cloud marketplaces, and maintains more than 30 million cloud subscriptions, to push the boundaries of innovation.
21. Benny Willen, CEO, Cloudalize
Top cloud company in Europe 2021, Benny Willen is the driving force behind Cloudalize’s innovative products, which describe themselves as a “GPU-powered cloud giving superior speed and performance for machine learning, design, and 3D visualisation everywhere and on any device.” The company’s headquarters are in Ghent, Belgium’s Flemish area.
His mission is to create solutions that may be adjusted to fit the needs of the user in order to fulfil the objectives and expectations of decision makers, IT partners or teams, and end users.
22. Rumyana Trencheva, SVP General Business & Global Partner Organization, SAP
Rumyana Trencheva excels in translating difficult technological answers into relevant business situations for top stakeholders.
She now serves as SAP’s Senior Vice President of General Business and Global Partner Organization.
SAP is a cloud integration and extension platform that enables businesses to expedite integration throughout their value chain, simplify application extension development, and extend business value via an open ecosystem.
Trencheva is presently in charge of the company’s worldwide relationships, and she was formerly the Managing Director for South-East Europe, where she oversaw SAP’s commercial activity in ten countries.
23. Alejandro Martínez Agenjo, CEO, Erudit AI
Top cloud company in Europe 2021, Cloud computing and artificial intelligence are frequently referred to as two sides of the same coin since they have fused to revolutionise corporate operations and productivity while silently working together to better the lives of millions.
Erudit AI is one of the SaaS companies that has leveraged the potential of these new technologies to assist customers in “understanding who is suffering from burnout, measuring engagement levels, and acting on workplace frictions before they worsen.”
Alejandro Martnez Agenjo, a Madrid-born engineer and psychologist who is “obsessed” with mental health and is always investigating new paths to assist enhance people’s psychological well-being using AI-based solutions, founded the firm.
24. István Lám, CEO, Tresorit
István Lám is the CEO of Tresorit, a leading end-to-end encrypted, zero-knowledge content collaboration platform whose cloud services are meant to protect people’ and businesses’ digital assets.
Lám, a co-inventor of Tresorit’s patented shared encryption technology, launched the firm at the age of 22.
The firm was recently honoured as a Gartner Peer Insights Customers’ Choice in the Content Collaboration Tools industry.
Lám was named by Forbes in 2016 as one of Europe’s 30 most famous IT people under the age of 30.
25. Chris Morris, CTO, Atlas Cloud
Top cloud company in Europe 2021, Chris Morris is the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Atlas Cloud, a national managed service provider located in Newcastle that specialises in allowing secure working from anywhere.
Earlier this year, the firm acquired €2.1 million in investment under Morris’ leadership to build a broader variety of cloud computing products. As a major corporation in the North of the United Kingdom, the company has also garnered various regional startup honours.
He was a network team leader at Acxiom and a network engineer at Capgemini before creating Atlas Cloud.
The March for Democracy
“The cloud is for everyone,” argues Marc Benioff, the creator of Salesforce and a pioneer of cloud computing. “The cloud is a democratic system.” In today’s clouded horizons, it seems right to celebrate the onward march of democracy and the silver lining supplied by cloud service companies headed by great leaders.