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N°33  |  January   2009

Acting differently

D Lamouche

Everyone is expecting 2009 to be a difficult year. But faced with this unprecedented crisis, in many ways the worst reaction would be to do nothing. It should certainly prompt us to reconsider practices – particularly financial ones – which have had, and are still having, pernicious repercussions on the real economy. Too much importance has been given to value created ‘virtually’, by a series of accounting entries, compared with value created by delivering tangible products and services. Financial engineering has gone too far, diverting from the real economy the financial flux vital to its development. Priority must be given now to business entrepreneurs and engineers, and we need to focus on innovation, an essential engine for growth which requires more of a long-term approach to investment.

Governments can contribute to re-educating the market to take a more long-term view. They can join forces to regulate and stimulate the economy, while at the same time protecting the planet: recent financial rescue plans need to put the real economy – especially industry and high added-value services – at the heart of strategy, improve productivity and invest in innovation. This involves nurturing networks of SMEs, encouraging risk-taking and the entrepreneurial spirit, supporting research in tomorrow’s key industries such as green technologies and computing…
The proposals put forward by Bull as part of the thinking behind the ‘Digital France 2012’ plan are headed very much in this direction. We have recommended launching a Europe-wide computer simulation program and encouraging SMEs to access computer simulation through donations of computing power, and helping them to protect their intellectual capital. We also suggested launching a very large-scale on-line healthcare services program and making this a flagship of the new digital economy, and introducing a European Small Business Act.

Faced with restrictions on their budgets, public and private sector organizations alike will want to target their investments as carefully as possible. We offer solutions that help our customers do just that. And one constant bedrock: our values. Seriousness, expertise, a real taste for technological innovation, and commitment to our customers have always shaped our culture. They are the embodiment of our own business transformation strategy: capitalizing on our heritage to respond to these new challenges along with you. From massive supercomputers, to globull™ (our ‘pocket PC’), from software forges to flexible outsourcing, and intelligent energy management (with our green IT solutions aimed at reducing your infrastructure costs), Bull never stops imagining tomorrow’s solutions. Solutions that will help create the conditions for renewed and sustainable growth, and make 2009 a year of real action. On behalf of all my colleagues here at Bull, I would like to extend my very best wishes for the coming year, and thank you again for the confidence you have shown in us.

Didier Lamouche
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

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