With Dynamics 365 and the Power Platform, Microsoft Switzerland is completing its existing local cloud offering after having previously launched Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365 with Teams. In addition, the range of Azure services is being continuously expanded, for example with Databricks, Data Factory, the first Cognitive Services and the Sentinel security service, which are now available locally. New public references underline the importance of the new offerings for Swiss organizations.
“With the first Dynamics 365 workloads and more Power Platform modules from the Swiss data centers, we now have all the ingredients we need to enable large corporations, SMEs and start-ups as well as the public sector, to use a secure and highly available cloud infrastructure within the Swiss national borders,” reports Primo Amrein, Cloud Lead at Microsoft Switzerland. From the Microsoft Cloud in Switzerland, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft 365 with Teams as well as Dynamics 365 and Power Platform with local data storage can now be used for more protection, transparency and control of sensitive data. In addition, the Swiss data centers offer geo-redundancy within Switzerland for increased operational security. “With this One Microsoft Cloud approach, we offer customers, regardless of their size, access to state-of-the-art technologies which they can use either integrated with many synergies or individually to ensure their business continuity, strengthen their resilience and increase their innovative strength”.
Dynamics 365 and Power Platform enable data-driven decisions
The applications now available include Dynamics 365 Sales, Customer Service and Field Service. The D365 Marketing and Sales Insight, Finance, Supply Chain Management and Commerce modules are expected to be available in the first half of 2021. Furthermore, Power Apps and Power Automate have now also been launched in Switzerland. Power BI, the element of the Power Platform that enables real-time data analysis and visualization, has been available from the Swiss data centers since June 2020.
Marc Holitscher, National Technology Officer at Microsoft Switzerland, says: “In the past few months, awareness of the relevance of the data economy has increased significantly. Data is no longer a by-product of individual business processes, but a success factor and central asset of the networked enterprise. The gathering, correlation, analysis and visualization of data creates transparency and enhances the ability to act, makes efficiency improvement potentials visible and enables entirely new data-based business models”.
Trust in the Microsoft Cloud Switzerland is increasing, also from organizations in regulated industries and the public sector
“The use of data must be meaningful and accountable at all times and under no circumstances at the expense of non-negotiable values such as transparency, security or the protection of privacy,” Marc Holitscher is convinced. “The Swiss data centers play a central role in this, as they provide the transparency and control needed to carry out a fact-based risk assessment. We clearly feel that customer confidence in security and privacy in the cloud is increasing.
Since the launch of the Microsoft Cloud in Switzerland at the end of August 2019, applications and data of more than 5,000 organizations have been migrated to the Swiss data centers. Primo Amrein is convinced: “Thanks to the broad Microsoft cloud offering now including Dynamics 365 and Power Platform in Switzerland, the number of customers is expected to continue to grow strongly. Customers can choose in which region they want to use the new services available locally, while the data storage and lower latency in Switzerland can be an advantage”. Companies that expressed interest in the newly launched services include the med-tech company Hamilton Bonaduz and Groupe E, a Swiss energy service provider majority-owned by the public sector, as well as the insurance company Vaudoise Assurances.
In addition, organizations increasingly use the Microsoft Cloud in Switzerland also to process sensitive data such as customer or patient data. Among them are Bank Avera, Bitcoin Suisse and Klinik Im Hasel.
State-of-the-art cloud technology for the data-driven Bank Avera of the future
Based in Wetzikon, Bank Avera is the largest regional bank in the Canton of Zurich. It offers services in retail banking, mortgage and corporate banking, as well as private banking and pension planning. The digitization is very high on the list of priorities of the almost 200-year old bank. “In all our activities, the needs, success and satisfaction of our clients are at the center of our attention,” Rolf Zaugg, Chairman of the Management at Bank Avera, explains. “We deliberately rely on state-of-the-art IT infrastructure to optimize our processes, expand our business model and develop new products that cater as well as possible to the needs of our clients. In addition, the cloud provides us with the technology, the transparency, and control we need to protect our infrastructure against cyber attacks and secure our clients’ personal data,” Ralf Luchsinger, Chief IT Officer at Bank Avera, continues.
Bank Avera already uses Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365 with the collaboration platform Teams from the Swiss Microsoft Cloud. “With the Microsoft Cloud, also banks of our size have access to state-of-the-art infrastructure and services. By using them, we significantly increase our speed, flexibility, security and privacy”, Benjamin Peter, Lead Data Scientist at Bank Avera reports. In the future, Zurich’s largest regional bank also plans to use Dynamics 365 and Power Platform from the Swiss data center. “Data is as important to us as electricity,” Benjamin Peter confirms. “This is why Dynamics 365, Power BI and the Power Platform form the foundation of the data-driven Bank Avera of the future”. Data collection, analysis and visualization are intended to improve and expand the dialogue with clients. This creates more opportunities for employees and therefore facilitates the optimization of processes. Furthermore, security will be increased and innovations in the product area will be boosted. “The combination of the various Swiss Microsoft cloud platforms in an integrated overall package offers us a holistic, cross-system and cross-application view of our banking business. At the same time, it reduces complexity both in operations and in the processing and visualization of data. This results in understandable and comprehensible action recommendations for our employees,” Ralf Luchsinger concludes.
Crypto-finance pioneer Bitcoin Suisse uses Azure Services from Switzerland
Another FINMA-regulated company adopting the Microsoft cloud in Switzerland is Bitcoin Suisse, a Swiss crypto-finance and technology pioneer and market leader who has helped to shape the crypto and blockchain ecosystem in Switzerland. Søren Laurits Nielsen, CEO of Bitcoin Suisse Denmark ApS, the IT development part of Bitcoin Suisse, is pursuing a long-term strategy of consolidating the entire company infrastructure in the Microsoft Cloud: “Apart from the reliability, security and data protection of the Microsoft cloud infrastructure, we are particularly interested in using the Swiss Cloud Region because it also allows us to migrate sensitive data to the Cloud which must be kept within national borders.” Bitcoin Suisse now also uses the new Azure services Azure Databricks and Azure Data Factory available from the Swiss data centers, mainly to generate reports for regulatory purposes. For the risk assessment, Nielsen and his team worked closely with all internal stakeholders. “It is crucial for us that our move to the cloud is supported by all our experts and that the whole company is committed to this decision. The protection of client data and the privacy of our clients is always our highest priority. In that regards, our assessment has made clear that, in our view, the potential risks are significantly lower than the benefits we gain from using the cloud.”
Klinik Im Hasel increases security and protection of patient data
The Klinik Im Hasel AG provides people with trauma sequelae and addiction disorders a differentiated and varied range of treatment in inpatient, day clinic and outpatient settings. As part of its digitization strategy, the hospital is migrating its existing IT infrastructure to the Microsoft Cloud in Switzerland. In addition to the use of Microsoft 365 from the Swiss data centers, all special applications are to be outsourced to the local Azure Cloud in the future. Luis Schüller, Head of Digital and ICT at Klinik Im Hasel, is convinced that this will not only optimize operations and increase flexibility: “By making the move to the Microsoft Cloud Switzerland, we are also increasing the security and protection of our data, because we can benefit from the resources and expertise that Microsoft has in these areas”. The protection of sensitive personal data is a top priority. For this reason, the Klinik Im Hasel conducted a risk assessment and coordinated its approach with the cantonal data protection officer. “As we process sensitive data, we wanted to be sure that the highest security and compliance standards were met to protect our patients’ data.”
Kudelski Security extends its security solution with services from the Microsoft Cloud
Kudelski Security, a leading global cybersecurity company headquartered in Switzerland and in the United States, has always championed the secure, modern working environment. “Our Managed Security Service (MSS) focuses on cutting-edge processes and industry-leading technologies,” says Olivier Spielmann, VP managed security services, EMEA.
Kudelski will be integrating Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (ATP) and Azure Sentinel from the Microsoft Cloud in Switzerland into its Managed Security Service, extending its ability to reduce the time to detect threats, provide efficient remediation and improve cyber-resilience. “Our MSS offering includes dedicated Microsoft security services that now extend beyond advisory services and cloud security monitoring to Microsoft endpoint detection and security analytics,” adds Spielmann. “Given the number of organizations already using Microsoft technology, this addition to our offering is the logical next step in building a service that supports end-to-end security for today’s enterprise.”