A global leader in cybersecurity finds a place to innovate

Looking for a space to develop new, confidential products, Thales Digital Factory chose WeWork

Around the world, companies of all sizes find space to succeed at WeWork. Our Member Spotlight series shares their unique stories.

The challenge: an innovative team needed an inspiring space

From the depths of the oceans to the outer reaches of space, digital infrastructure and security company Thales helps keep people safe and secure around the world. 

In today’s rapidly changing and complex environment, there’s an increasing need to constantly evolve – and Thales wants to ensure that their digital solutions keep pace with customers’ changing needs. From fast-paced product development to a digital learning platform, Thales Digital Factory helps drive innovation so Thales can step up to today’s challenges and push the boundaries when it comes to global security. 

In 2017, Thales Digital Factory needed a secure space to accelerate ideas into products and offer employees the right environment for digital testing and learning. 

The solution: a secure space to scale innovation 

WeWork 33 Rue La Fayette became the Digital Factory’s central hub in Paris – just two months after Eric Supplisson, Thales’s group head of real estate, selected the location. 

‘We decided to open the Digital Factory very quickly, and we informed WeWork of the launch just two months before,’ says Supplisson.

With cybersecurity a core part of Thales’s business, the space needed to promote confidentiality and minimise security risks. ‘We couldn’t share a network, for instance, so we knew we had to implement our own network in the building for data protection,’ Supplisson says. The WeWork team worked with Supplisson to ensure that the location and design of the Digital Factory’s office helped to protect data security; this included everything from optimally positioning screens and desks, to securing private network access for employees.

The result: empowered employees who can do their best work

Thales has found that WeWork’s combination of design, location and a thriving community has provided the right environment for this innovative part of the company. 

‘One of the main purposes of the real estate function is not to just find a place for our people to work, but a place that provides the right tools for them to do their best work,’ says Supplisson. ‘There’s a new tool and that’s WeWork.” 

Supplisson was also mindful that the Digital Factory’s new home needed to be a place that was going to attract the right talent, which included UX designers and developers. The Digital Factory has “grown very quickly, and the environment has helped attract more people,” says Supplisson. Since moving to WeWork, they have hired additional team members and improved their talent-retention rate.

Oliver Flous VP of Digital Transformation and Engineering. Photograph courtesy of Celia Topping

“Attracting those talents is always a very big challenge for companies like us.Talent acquisition and talent retention have improved a lot within Thales Digital Factory,” says Romaine Laboureau, mobility and security digital partner of Thales Digital Factory. 

Supplisson also notes that WeWork community events have helped the company improve collaboration and strengthen relationships with other companies in the space, which has been a key part of the Digital Factory’s success. 

Since 2017, the Digital Factory hub has grown to over 450 desks—and WeWork has accommodated that growth the whole time, adding space as needed both in Paris and on the other side of the world. Oliver Flous, Thales’s VP of digital transformation and engineering, explains, “This is the main location. We have expanded to Montreal and Singapore, and in Singapore we are also located at WeWork. So it looks exactly the same as here, which is great for the visual identity of the Digital Factory.” 

The Digital Factory continues to be a safe space for Thales employees to practice the startup approach—test, learn, and sometimes fail—but always move toward innovation for the better. 

Key highlights:

  • Since 2017, Thales Digital Factory has moved into two new WeWork locations in Paris and Singapore 
  • Spaces are built to Thales’s specs and security needs, which includes secure access and private networks
  • Teams in WeWork spaces have access to the broader community of startups and corporates in the building, which helps cross-functional learning and collaboration with other businesses 

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