Numeum is the result of the merger of two unions representing companies in the digital sector. These are Syntec Numérique and Tech In. The union was launched  on 18 June, 2021.

after the two associations  received the agreement of their respective general meetings . The realisation of this project took several months of negotiations.

How does Numeum work?

Numeum will be co-chaired by Godefroy de Bentzmann (Syntec Numérique) and Pierre-Marie Lehucher (Tech In). They will be in place for the first year of activity, after which an election will determine the identity of the new president. On the administration side, there is Véronique di Benedetto and Maylis Staub. A single general delegate will steer the union. This is Philippe Tavernier. He will be assisted by François Leymarie. The board of directors is made up of 36 members from the various companies represented.

Bringing the two enemy brothers together required long-term work on the part of the stakeholders. The negotiations lasted nearly 6 months before the two associations could wipe out the past.

As for the operating budget, Numeum will be able to carry out its mission with start-ups  in the sector and mature companies with 7 million euros. As a result of the merger, it represents 2300 members and 85 billion of the sector’s turnover. Note that the members are not only French companies. In particular, there are international players such as the Germans and the British.

To give a precise idea of the current situation, it will put online various studies and notes. These analysis reports will be available every 6 months. The measure aims to shed light on the development of the market.

What is the point of the creation of Numeum?

Bringing together  the two associations is purely strategic. Numeum will be able to influence more digital debates on the national and international scene than two different organisations. In any case, this is what reassured Godefroy de Bentzmann when he  announced the objective of “speaking with one voice on important subjects which are major issues for the country”. In particular, it plans to negotiate  certain European regulatory projects.

Currently, there is a lot of talk about DMA and DSA. As a reminder, the commission presented its two draft regulations in December 2020. They are still being discussed in the European Parliament.

The acronym DMA stands for Digital Market Act. This regulation affects large companies operating on the web. Here, the main stakeholders are, for example, the GAFA who have even attempted lobbying. Because of their size and the number of markets generated, they have enormous power that could lead to the crowding out of competitors. The DMA will therefore try to protect  small players.

The DSA or Digital Service Act sets obligations in proportion to the size of the structure. Better transparency is, for example, required from very small businesses, while large companies will be forced to share part of their data with regulators.

Discussions will also focus on the implementation of a cybersecurity standard. The standard should be operational for all EU countries. It will also  be keen to raise questions about Cloud infrastructures.

Numeum will also shepherd as much as it can  the digital transformation of the legions of companies in the sector. They have been forced to make the digital transition because of covid-19. Employees have, for example, launched into teleworking.

Of course, these are the short-term goals, but beyond these intentions, Numeum will have a key role in the France 2030 plan announced by Emmanuel Macron on October 12. The plan provides for the distribution of 30 billion euros to companies working in the technologies of the future and industrial competitiveness. The aid will be spread over a period of 5 years.

The other major digital challenge is the lack of competent profiles in sectors linked to new technologies. The digital sector will then collect a significant part of this package  in order to develop the sector while training young talents. This will make it possible to become independent from other external resources.

Long-term programmes for Numeum?

Numeum’s global policy is oriented towards various axes. For this, they are classified into 9 subject areas . But in the end, the goal is to put the digital sector at the service of people and society. It also tends to give more responsibilities to women in the digital field.

Decarbonising industries will  provide more opportunities for members. Digital technology is, for example, capable of translating the energy consumption of a factory using statistical data. It will then be able to take the necessary measures to limit its carbon footprint while watching over  the circular economy. Unnecessary travel will also be reduced, because the coordination of operations will be done remotely.

To this extent, Numeum displays  European ambitions. It is currently present in France and Brussels in order to get as close as possible to the major European bodies which have control over the digital sector. In addition, it  interacts  with  English and German counterparts . It  also discusses with other organisations, but  does not plan to integrate them into the structure. These are in summary the statements of Pierre-Marie Lehucher.

In addition, it will plan to optimise the synergies that exist between digital players in France and will try to convince other countries to standardise certain rules. For example, similar regulations can be applied in the context of cyber security.

Some background …

Syntec Numérique has already existed since 1969. But at the time, its name was still Syntec Informatique. It was the only representative body for digital companies in France until October 2005. A  split took place from that year. As a result, some members  joined forces to form AFDEL or the French Association of Internet Software and Solutions Publishers. Among the members who created AFDEL, we can cite Sage and Cegid Group. These companies decided to put an end to their collaborations with Syntec Numérique because they considered it ineffective.

Before unification, Syntec Numérique had 2000 members. It was possible to identify among them  nearly 750 software publishers and 30 large groups. It also  represented 1,000 SMEs and 800 start-ups. Given this  information, these last two categories are  the most represented with 1,800 companies specialising in the digital sector. 120 companies are medium-sized. The member companies represented  80% of the turnover of the sector with 47 billion euros.

During the 2005 separation, AFDEL enlisted hundreds of members. Before the merger, it had acquired nearly 350 members, the majority of which are SMEs and start-ups. At the beginning of 2016, on the occasion of the celebration of its 10th anniversary, it changed its name to Tech In. Its attractiveness is not surprising, as it mainly focused its services on supporting small organisations. Among other things, there is the sharing of good practices. Thanks to this strategy, it had  close to 300 members in 2010. The turnover achieved by members is estimated at 8 billion euros.

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