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THE COMMUNITY FOR MEDIA PROS

Sacha Morard steps down as CTO of Le Monde and launches Edgee, an edge computing platform for developers

Hello Sacha! You've been CTO of the group for 6 years now, and you're about to leave to launch your own company… Tell us, what are you going to do?

I'm setting up a start-up with Gilles Raymond – a serial entrepreneur, founder of News Republic. He is also the founder of Signal Network Foundation, which protects and supports leading whistleblowers. It was in this context that we met 4 years ago, hit it off and came up with an idea together…

As you said in your introduction, I've been the CTO of the Le Monde group for 6 years, and during this experience I've made two major observations: 

  • What we call the client-side, i.e. what happens on a user's device, is increasingly constrained by regulations and browsers that are more and more restrictive. As digital , we're subject to the fog created by declining cookie rates, the use of adblocks… and thus lose access to a large proportion of our users
  • The emergence of a technology called edge computing, which enables computing power to be distributed as close as possible to devices, and therefore to users. Very close, but not in the devices. In fact, these are infrastructures that are widely distributed throughout the world, which – by definition – are closer to users, and therefore enable faster access to this new computing power.

Given these two observations, what we want to achieve is to enable developers to easily use edge computing technologies to address the first problem.

Please note that we are not talking about not complying with legislation; on the contrary, we want to make it easier and more effective to do so.

In practical terms, what does this mean?

Concretely, it means that third-party libraries installed in apps or websites will be run in edge computing and no longer on the device. Because these libraries are currently heavily blocked – which prevents us, as site publishers, from having on users, on all our users!

For example, when you do A/B , it's very resource-hungry and can impact your web performance. Doing it with edge computing means freeing yourself from this constraint.

The same goes for analytics and . If you run them on edge computing, you give yourself a complete view of your users, even those with ad blockers.

Of course, devs could do this without edge computing, but it's very complicated. So with Edgee, we're providing a ready-made framework, with a ready-to-use console.

But doesn't it add latency to edge computing, relative to the device?

Yes, but it's very small, we're talking a few milliseconds… On the other hand, it considerably improves perf on the browser and side, since third-party libraries no longer run on it, and it's these that have the biggest impact on your CPU…

So the answer is yes, but much less than the current way of doing things.

Does this technology already exist, or are you inventing something?

Edge computing technologies are just emerging, with AWS, Fastly, Cloudflare… It's quite recent.

On the other hand, to master these platforms, you need to code in complex languages, and be pretty good at dev ops… And what we're proposing is an abstraction of this development layer for edge computing, to simplify the work of front-end devs. And that doesn't exist yet.

Who will be Edgee's customers?

Anyone with online, web and mobile users! That's quite a lot of people…

Our main contacts will be CTOs, as our product is really aimed at teams.

And are you ready to deploy?

We'll be ready to work with our first early adopters in Q2 2024, yes!

To find out more: https://www.edgee.cloud/