Monitoring the green performance of its digital ecosystem: an interview with Guillaume Thibaux

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  • 12 May 2022

Guillaume Thibaux

On the occasion of the Green Month launched at Smile on the theme of Green Efficiency, I had the opportunity to interview Guillaume Thibaux, co-founder of Quanta. I already appreciated the Quanta teams in the past, and this interview confirmed my idea of a company that perfectly meets the issues of our customers. 

 

 

Guillaume Thibaux, co-founder of Quanta


PERFORMANCE AND DIGITAL SOBRIETY, AN OBVIOUS SYNERGY 

 

Created in 2012, Quanta now has a hundred customers.

 

Quanta’s main and initial mission is to make the web faster and more efficient. That is why the main challenge is to have a fast site to improve the user experience, increase traffic and conversion rate and save infrastructure costs. 

 

From 2018, Guillaume Thibaux, Co-founder of Quanta, explains that the growing environmental awareness of the leaders leads them to think about the opportunity to combine personal convictions and professional world. 

 

They work on the assumption that the main challenge of the next decade is digital sobriety and that there are very strong synergies between technical/business performance and environmental performance. This is the double positive impact of a “lighter” site. 

 

Even if today the subject is under reflection among the majority of brands, in 2018 it was a precursor. Few wonder about the concrete application of digital sobriety in our ecosystem. It will then take 1 year of discussions with Quanta customers and its partners to design the next stage of the company’s development in line with its values. 
 

 

 

The benefits of the quanta module, “one-stop-shop” of performance
 

According to Guillaume, managing digital sobriety offers multiple direct and indirect benefits. Among them, the most obvious is undoubtedly the reduction in the consumption of server resources and networks (4G). However, it is also important to understand that digital sobriety has a significant influence on extending the lifespan of computers, smartphones and other devices.

 

““For Quanta this is a logical next step: managing the performance and consumption of server resources as is already the case, is naturally complemented by managing and improving the sites' carbon footprint”

 

We could call this the one-stop-shop of performance. 

 

Quanta’s “Digital Sobriety” module allows: 

  • To identify the consumption related to the use of the site on the network,
  • To map the use made of the site to identify its complete environmental footprint.

 

More concretely, the module reveals the weight and the CO2 consumed per page and for the global site with a historization over time. This highlights the resulting cycle of continuous improvement. 

 

But beyond monitoring, the module offers detailed recommendations on the actions to be taken, which could be compared to the Google Page Speed. 

 

Something done well, the UX is working to make these indicators and recommendations simple and quick to understand in order to make decisions. 

 

 

Digital sobriety: an approach already initiated by companies
 

From a regulatory point of view, the state increases the pressure and pushes companies to ask themselves about the issue. The Quanta module has only been released for 3 weeks and several customers are already using it. 

 

User companies come from all sizes and all sectors. However, the larger the company, the stronger the interest. 

 

This is often a top-down initiative in the organization. Nevertheless, it seems that it meets several concrete motivations. I also see it as an opportunity to respond to a societal emergency, an interest for the employer brand, a consistency with brand positioning and an alignment with customer expectations.

 

I join Guillaume, for him “it is an opportunity to initiate a simple environmental approach with quick gains to make”. 

 

The question that is on everybody’s lips is the question of compromise. Obviously, each organization wants to take a responsible approach. But how to combine customer experience, brand and digital sobriety? 

 

Guillaume is optimistic: “our role is to support brands to be more sober while maintaining a strong user experience. There can be compromises but there are also a multitude of very simple optimizations to implement without impacts on UX. Here he takes the example of “lazy loading”: “content at the bottom of pages doesn’t need to be loaded immediately but only after scrolling”. Indeed, this avoids loading a footer that will not be consulted and there is no impact on the experience but rather a gain on the consumption of resources.

 

 

Already a second version of the module:
 

The first version of the “digital sobriety” module carries the analysis and recommendations related to the carbon footprint of a website.

 

In the year, Quanta will enrich its approach with the measurement of the impact of manufacturers around infrastructure.  Building on the work of Boavizta.org, the objective is to measure the impact of the use, but also of the production of servers (including the motherboard, processors, etc.) with their overall ecological cost because, indeed, the environmental cost of digital is largely linked to the manufacture of these components.

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