Microsoft increases European Cloud investment to $3 billion and unveils Cloud policy recommendations

12 Oct 2016 Dublin - Reflecting the significant investment Microsoft Corporation is making in Cloud computing in Europe, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and president Brad Smith have shared new details about how this momentum is taking shape. Satya Nadella stated that Microsoft has more than doubled its Cloud capacity in Europe in the past year, noted that the company has invested over $3 billion (USD) across Europe to date, and shared that Microsoft intends to deliver the Microsoft Cloud from data centres in France, starting in 2017. These new investments in Cloud are helping customers - including the UK Ministry of Defence, the Renault-Nissan Alliance, Ireland's Health Service Executive and ZF from Germany - to innovate in their industries and move their businesses to the Cloud while meeting European data sovereignty, security and compliance needs. Furthering its commitment to make the Cloud more trusted, responsible and inclusive, Microsoft also released a new book titled "A Cloud for Global Good".

As part of this Cloud momentum, Microsoft announced plans to offer Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365 from multiple data centre locations in France. Initial availability is anticipated in 2017. Today, Microsoft offers customers across Europe a range of innovative regional Microsoft Cloud services to transform their businesses, including recently announced generally available Microsoft Cloud services from data centres in the United Kingdom (Microsoft Azure and Office 365) and Germany (Microsoft Azure with Office 365 planned for early 2017), with the latter offering a first-of-its-kind model in Europe where access to customer data is controlled by a data trustee, T-Systems International, an independent German company and subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom.

The collective investments, including data centre hubs in the Netherlands and Ireland, which continue to expand, together with locations in Austria and Finland, enable Microsoft to meet anticipated customer demand in Europe and offer European customers greater ability to digitally transform their organisations through the Cloud, by meeting their security and compliance needs while understanding where their data resides.

The Microsoft Cloud, including Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365, offers customers a trusted global infrastructure with 30 available, and 36 announced, data centre regions - more than any other major Cloud provider in Europe and globally. These investments mean that more European customers are using the Microsoft Cloud to transform their businesses and their lives.

They include the following:

  • The Ministry of Defence for the United Kingdom, which employs circa 250,000 people, will use Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Azure Cloud services as part of the government’s digital transformation agenda to deliver cost-effective, modern and flexible information capabilities.
  • The Renault-Nissan Alliance will work with Microsoft to develop next-generation connected services for cars powered by Microsoft Azure to improve customer experience via advanced navigation, predictive maintenance and vehicle-centric services, remote monitoring of car features, external mobile experiences, and over-the-air updates.
  • Ireland's Health Service Executive is investing in the creation of a digital fabric to build a better health service and increased patient safety. The eHealth Ireland initiative will create a secure Cloud infrastructure using Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365 and will allow a single unique identifier for all patients, single electronic health records for all mothers and babies in Ireland, a single national lab system, digital identity for health workers across the system, and communications tools to enable relationships between clinicians and patients to develop in real time.
  • ZF, a global expert in driveline and chassis technology as well as active and passive safety technology, is using Azure Germany for its data platform, deTAGtive logistics under the brand Openmatics, to connect, control and manage transports using the benefits the public Cloud provides.

Satya Nadella and Brad Smith also highlighted the importance of making sure that the wave of innovation being unleashed by Cloud computing benefits everyone and that nobody gets left behind. Recognizing that the rapid pace of change creates concerns and even challenges for some individuals and communities, they highlighted the importance of ensuring that the Cloud is a Cloud for global good. They acknowledged the need for tech companies, the community and governments to work together to achieve this.

As a contribution to this important debate Microsoft also has released a book called "A Cloud for Global Good" that details 78 public policy recommendations in 15 categories to help make Cloud technologies more trusted, responsible and inclusive. Topics include next-generation skills, enhancing security and privacy in the digital age, environmental sustainability, keeping communities safe, and securing a bright future for all our children. The book’s specific proposals tackle challenges like data flow disruptions that can interrupt critical services, protecting people from online exploitation and fraud, and ensuring those with disabilities can access e-government services.

Source: Microsoft