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20/12/2013
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“Bring your passion!”


OVH.com is currently recruiting in North America. What are the characteristics of the positions available? What are the benefits of joining the company? And more with Jérôme Arnaud, VP of operations at OVH Canada.



Jérôme Arnaud, VP Operations America at OVH.com

Can you describe the different structures at OVH Canada?

Jérôme : We operate in two locations: one in Montreal, the other in Beauharnois (BHS). In Beauharnois, located 45 minutes away from Montreal, there is a gigantic datacenter in which we manufacture and host all of our servers. A team, the DERT (Datacenter Emergency Response Team), oversees security and the efficiency of the site. In fact, they are digital firefighters: as soon as there is something wrong with the hardware, they come into action and can run fast to change a component. The DERT is therefore present 24/7 in our hosting towers, staying close to the servers.


What about Montreal?

Jérôme : Our offices are located downtown, near a metro station. The employees are divided in four teams: Dev, SysAdmin, FASS and SWAT. Our developers, the “dev”, create the tools used by our clients to manage their services. The “SysAdmin” team is in charge of running and monitoring OVH.com’s infrastructures. And to assist our users, we have the FASS and SWAT teams. The FASS (First Aid Specialist Squad) has a double mission: pre-sale advising and helping the client in case of an incident. In most cases, the situation is resolved within minutes. But sometimes, deeper inquiries need to be made. The FASS will then suggest a first diagnostic and transfer it to a SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics) expert. The FASS will keep in touch with the client while the SWAT is working on the case.


What type of profile are you looking for?

Jérôme : I often tell the candidates: “You can leave your three-piece suit at home, but bring your passion!” We all share a similar experience in discovering Linux for the first time at a young age, sometime very young age, and we all have the same passion for Internet careers. We recognize ourselves in a candidate that will talk about sleepless nights working on a black console to fix the system, assemble an architecture, encode a functionality…


Are the positions available at OVH.com uncommon on the North American market?

Jérôme : We offer job opportunities that are at the opposite of what is traditionally found in Montreal. A job where there is room for initiative on all levels! If the candidate loves challenges and moving forward, he’s in for a very enriching adventure.


Is it hard to find that kind of candidates?

Jérôme : There are a lot of highly structured work environments in North America, in which management needs to validate every mission given to the employees and places them in a neatly defined box. We know that if someone has mainly worked in that kind of environment, they probably won’t get their bearings with us.


Do you receive a lot of applications from outside the country?

Jérôme : More than one out of three applications come from outside. We however cannot accept those of people that are not already deep into the immigration process. To become a permanent citizen, one has to go through long and complicated procedures: they take over a year for French citizens and sometimes five years for other nationalities. We cannot see that far into the future.


How do the first days at OVH.com usually go?

Jérôme : The new employees often feel like they have just boarded a UFO: they simply have never seen something like this before! They have to quickly understand the mechanics of the company and be open to a new way of working. I often tell them that the hardest part is to leave all your certainties at the door and try a new method, which has lead OVH.com to become a worldwide leader. After the shock period, the new colleague soon sees the benefits of the OVH method.
One of our crucial assets is that we all work in an open space. Our employees are therefore never isolated or stuck in a team. They have access to all information and can exchange with anyone at anytime, including our COO. A member of the FASS team can therefore quickly get in touch with a developer when on the phone with a customer.


What benefits do you offer to your employees?

Jérôme : We of course offer a competitive package of fringe benefits that compares to very large corporations. But the most valuable advantage remains without a doubt the opportunity to be a part of an explosive start-up, driven by technology. OVH.com lands in North America with all the tools to succeed. After only one year of business, we are already hosting 12,000 servers in Beauharnois! After reaching the top spot in Europe, the logical series of events is to become the world leader in Internet infrastructures.