The FINANCIAL -- Reflecting the significant investment Microsoft Corp. is making in cloud computing in Europe, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and president Brad Smith on October 3 shared new details about how this momentum is taking shape.
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 datacenters 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.” The announcements were made in Dublin this morning as the two leaders began a four-day visit to Europe to meet with business and government leaders, according to Microsoft.
“We continue to invest heavily in cloud infrastructure to meet the growing demand from European customers and partners,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “Building a global, trusted, intelligent cloud platform is core to our mission to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more. There’s never been a better time for organizations across Europe to seize new growth and opportunity with the Microsoft Cloud.”
Cloud-powered digital transformation in Europe
As part of this cloud momentum, Microsoft announced plans to offer Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365 from multiple datacenter 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 datacenters 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 datacenter 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 organizations 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, datacenter 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, one of the global leaders 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.
Building a cloud for global good
Nadella and 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 announced today it 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.
“Cloud computing has the potential to solve some of our world’s most challenging issues, but, as with all technological advancements, it raises important questions for society,” said Brad Smith, Microsoft president. “We must work together to build a cloud for global good. Our hope is that the ideas shared in this book will help move technology forward while ensuring no one is left behind.”
Engaging with customers, developers, startups and policymakers across Europe
The tour will include stops in Dublin, Paris, Berlin and London, during which time Microsoft’s leaders will meet with European customers, partners, developers and government leaders. Events include keynote presentations in each market and meetings with youth, including young female coders in Paris and refugee children from a Berlin primary school who are using Microsoft software to learn German, and a discussion with teachers in Dublin.