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  1. Orange Young Designers Competition
  2. 2014
  3. Interview with Gaëlle le Vu

Interview with Gaëlle le Vu Product marketing director

What role did you play in coming up with the theme for this year? What was your starting point?

I deal with product marketing in the Marketing department, France, and the Orange Technocentre. The cloud was a priority for us in 2013, as it will be in the years to come. In 2013, we worked hard to install the service in France and make it accessible, in terms of usage and security, to as many of our customers as possible. In 2014, we will continue to increase the use of the cloud, but we will also work on developing new ways to use it. We don’t just want it to be a place where users can save data; we want to look for new ideas and partnerships so that people will use it on a daily basis. This is why we made it the theme of our competition.

Are customers already aware of the cloud? Have they incorporated it into their digital usage?

Yes. We launched our service last year for the Hello Show!. Our objective was to get 1 million customers active within a year, and we did it. This proves that we pinpointed a real need. Today, our customers all have smartphones which they use to take more and more photos and videos. They want to be able to share that content, particularly on other devices. Throughout 2013, we saw our rivals begin to offer cloud solutions. We touched on a sensitive point, there’s no doubt. The number of daily uploads took off, so the growth rate was extremely high. People are definitely using the service.

How are they using the cloud?

Initially our cloud service was built and oriented towards the mass market for storing and sharing photos, videos and music. But for music, we also have other solutions, such as Deezer, and we soon realised it was more a question of data flow than data storage. So there are fewer music files in the cloud and more and more videos. Sharing is very important. Studies show that one of the reasons customers were prepared to give up their local solution (i.e. hard drives or photos saved on SD cards) in favour of a cloud solution was the desire to share content, which is easier using the cloud.

What are the advantages of the cloud?

Improved performance, for a start, particularly in terms of speed. On a smartphone, for instance, photos and videos are better quality, so the files are bigger. This requires a smoother transfer. Then there are the security and privacy aspects: in focus groups and in customer feedback, these are clearly among their concerns. What are they doing with my data? Where does it go? Who can access it? There is also the question of enjoyment. Often technology and services are first used by ‘IT geeks’ who love using fancy and complicated solutions. Gradually, those services are adopted by the general public, which means they need to be made easier to use, more intuitive and more attractive.

Which is why it was important to get the design students involved…

Exactly. We could have held a more technical ‘young engineers’ competition, to encourage people to come up with new features. Instead, we decided to take a design approach, to help us to be more receptive to new ideas.

What advice do you have for the students?

Be bold! In competitions like this, you can’t restrict yourself to an aspect which is too technological, or something we already know a little about. They have to unleash their imagination. We want them to surprise us with what we would never dare to do ourselves. Be bold, think, and design. Secondly, we want the students to keep in mind that for us, the cloud is a mass market service. We want something intuitive and easily accessible. Innovation needs to affect our everyday lives to make it even more effective.