Zurich, September 18 2023. Microsoft today announces the availability of the Azure OpenAI Service in the cloud region Switzerland North, marking a significant milestone in accelerating AI innovation and adoption in Switzerland. Swiss organizations can leverage the power of Azure’s cutting-edge AI services with local data residency, enabling them to meet regulatory and performance requirements while rapidly delivering AI-powered solutions.
As AI emerges as a defining technology of our time, Swiss-based organizations have demonstrated their leadership in AI innovation and adoption. Since the announcement of Azure OpenAI Service, more than 75 large Swiss enterprise organizations have harnessed this solution to enhance their business models. Moreover, more than 100 ambitious startups in Switzerland are using AI capabilities available through the Microsoft for startups program Founders Hub to position themselves as market leaders of the future.
“At Microsoft, we are committed to democratizing access to advanced technologies like AI while upholding responsible practices,” said Marc Holitscher, National Technology Officer at Microsoft Switzerland. “The introduction of Azure OpenAI Service with local data residency in Switzerland means customers can access and use these services in an enterprise grade environment. This enables organizations to harness the power of AI in a secure and compliant manner.”
This localized availability of AI services allows organizations to meet local regulatory requirements and swiftly deliver AI-powered solutions to their customers. Microsoft prioritizes data privacy and ensures that Azure OpenAI Service does not use customer data to train its models. Instead, it provides pre-trained models like ChatGPT, which developers can leverage to build AI applications while maintaining ownership of their data. Additionally, Azure OpenAI Service does not make any API calls to the public OpenAI service, and no customer data is shared with the separate OpenAI organization. Instead, Microsoft offers many of the OpenAI models on its own infrastructure, adhering to enterprise-grade standards for security, data privacy, and responsible AI.
“As we strive to serve our customers best, we very much welcome the deployment of Azure OpenAI Service with local data residency in Switzerland. It enables us to drive further innovation such as hybrid client experiences while maintaining the highest customer data privacy and compliance standards,” said François Rüf, Head of Digital Investing at Vontobel – a leading Swiss investment firm leveraging Azure OpenAI Service.
To ensure optimal performance, Microsoft has invested in state-of-the-art hardware, developed through multi-year research and development efforts. The underlying infrastructure required to support generative AI workloads is now deployed in the cloud region Switzerland North, marking a significant step forward in empowering Swiss organizations to embrace AI innovation while adhering to data privacy regulations.
For additional information on the availability of the Azure OpenAI Service in Switzerland, please visit https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/ai-services/openai/concepts/models .