In any doubt about how seriously Microsoft is taking cloud computing in Europe? The technology giant today (3 October) revealed that it intends to deliver Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365 from multiple data centres across France starting in 2017 and has invested over $3bn across Europe to date.
Microsoft has doubled its cloud capacity in Europe over the past year and CEO Satya Nadella, who is this week on a tour of Europe with president and CLO Brad Smith, said: “We continue to invest heavily in cloud infrastructure to meet the growing demand from European customers and partners.
“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.”
Microsoft announced in September that its first UK cloud computing data centres are up and running, with Azure and Office 365 now generally available from data centres in London, Durham and Cardiff. Dynamics CRM Online will join the line-up in the first half of 2017. Data centres in Germany also went live this year with Azure and 365 planned for early 2017. Microsoft already has data centres in the Netherlands, Austria and Finland.
With many European law firms already flirting with a move to Azure and 365, having local data centres can be expected to accelerate that trend.
At Ward Hadaway, director of IT David Bullock said: “This finally opens us up to use Microsoft 365, which is certainly something we watch with interest. It’s not something we are looking at this year, but it’s on the roadmap. As revealed in March by Legal IT Insider, Taylor Wessing has made the decision to move 80-90% of its data into the cloud with Azure over the next two years.
Notable European customers using the Microsoft Cloud include the UK’s Ministry of Defence, which is using 365 and Azure as part of the government’s digital transformation agenda to deliver cost-effective, modern information capability.
As a contribution to the ‘using cloud for good’ debate, Microsoft today 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 such as 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.