Microsoft Corp. CEO Satya Nadella on Tuesday announced plans to offer commercial cloud services from the UK. Microsoft Azure and Office 365 will be generally available from local UK-based data centers in late 2016 with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online following shortly thereafter. Built on foundational trusted cloud principles of security, privacy and control, compliance and transparency, these services will offer customers data residency in the UK, bringing world-class reliability and performance to government organisations, regulated industries and other businesses.
Microsoft also announced completion of the latest phase of expansion for its data center facilities in Ireland and the Netherlands, both of which serve as cloud computing hubs for European customers. These new cloud offerings and expanded facilities will provide customers with more choice and increased opportunities to innovate more quickly, enabling growth for local economies.
"At Microsoft, our mission is to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more," said Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft. "By expanding our data center regions in the UK, Netherlands and Ireland we aim to give local businesses and organizations of all sizes the transformative technology they need to seize new global growth."
Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online cloud services to be delivered via local UK data centers
The new local Microsoft cloud regions will enable data residency for customers in the UK, allowing data to be replicated within the UK for backup and recovery, reduced network distance and lower latency. Services delivered from these UK data centers will create new opportunities for innovation and local economic growth for Microsoft UK's 25,000-plus partners. General availability of Microsoft Azure and Office 365 is anticipated in late 2016, with Dynamics CRM Online following shortly thereafter. Microsoft will also offer Azure ExpressRoute to provide customers with the option of a private connection to the cloud.
"With a cloud adoption rate of 84 per cent,* the UK is a global leader in embracing the benefits of cloud-based solutions. Our commitment to offer Microsoft Azure, Dynamics CRM Online and Office 365 from local data centers will help meet such demand, especially for those organizations looking for solutions delivered from data centers based in the UK," said Michel Van der Bel, area vice president and general manager of Microsoft UK. "This will open opportunity for customers and partners alike to innovate, compete and grow their business using the power of the cloud while adhering to strict standards and regulations like those found in banking, financial services and the public sector."
UK customers already using Microsoft cloud today
UK customers of all sizes already use the power of the Microsoft cloud. Whether it's Azure, Office 365 or Dynamics CRM Online, thousands of UK businesses and organizations — such as Confused.com, Glasgow City Council, Marks & Spencer, Natural Resources Wales, Pizza Hut Restaurants and Virgin Atlantic — are saving money while empowering their employees and staff to collaborate and be more productive and secure anywhere, any time and on any device.
And, with today's announcement, some customers have already expressed desire to embrace Microsoft's future trusted cloud services to be delivered from the UK. "At the MOD, we have a clear mission to deliver the modern, open and flexible IT resources required to ensure our forces have information capabilities tailored to their mission, location and role, accessible through a cost-effective and adaptable infrastructure," said Mike Stone, chief digital and information officer, Ministry of Defence. "Microsoft's plans to offer highly secure, UK-based cloud services is an exciting development and one that will clearly support the MOD in our transformation journey."
Expanded facilities in Ireland and the Netherlands
In addition, Microsoft announced the completion of the most recent expansion of its Ireland site and that its data center facility in Middenmeer, the Netherlands, is now operational.
Both locations serve as hubs for Microsoft cloud services, including Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online, and will provide additional capacity for customers across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Each location is built using the latest technology improvements to significantly reduce water, power and energy use.
Microsoft Cloud offers customers flexibility and choice
Customers choosing Microsoft cloud services will benefit from the company's experience in enterprise computing and hybrid cloud. With its trusted cloud services, Microsoft is offering businesses and organizations opportunities for innovation — from optimization of compute resources to higher level services for advanced analytics, media services, the Internet of Things and big data. As one of the largest cloud operators in the world, Microsoft has invested more than $15 billion in building a resilient cloud infrastructure and cloud services that deliver high availability and security while lowering overall costs. With 24 Azure regions around the world — more than any other major cloud provider — this latest expansion is further proof of Microsoft's commitment to expanding its trusted cloud infrastructure around the world.