Azure cloud services: The power of confidence and choice

By Jean-Philippe Courtois,

Across the world, we are seeing enterprises of all sizes recognize the potential of cloud services to boost efficiency and productivity, and ultimately transform their business. IDC predicts that in 2014, expenditure on cloud services will increase by 25 percent, to over $100 billion. In Europe, it is critical that cloud adoption increases to allow businesses to fuel economic recovery and growth – indeed cloud computing could contribute as much as €763 billion to major EU economies by 2016 according to the Center for Economics and Business Research.

However while we’re seeing significant momentum with cloud, there continue to be some perceived barriers to adoption related to privacy and security of data. Customer demands are and will always be Microsoft’s principle motivator, and we have invested time and resources in our mobile-first, cloud-first approach and the security of those solutions. We appreciate that each business has unique requirements and therefore have built our business to ensure we can accommodate each customer’s needs through a hybrid approach, while respecting the most demanding privacy and security requirements of national governments and the EU. Ultimately we want to enable customers to adopt cloud on their terms.

As part of our enterprise cloud strategy, we have today announced the latest development in our partnership with BT, which will now offer the Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute service. The service, which will be generally available here in Europe this summer, will allow BT’s enterprise customers to choose to bypass the public Internet when connecting through a secure private connection based on BT’s IP Connect VPN service. The flexibility this affords enterprises is to deploy some applications, infrastructure or data in the cloud as appropriate to their needs, with the ability to scale out quickly and cost effectively. This means a business can benefit from a move to the cloud with additional infrastructure-based reassurances for more predictable performance, coupled with our already enterprise-grade security.

The ExpressRoute service is one more way we are delivering on our commitment to earning and keeping the trust of our customers, and offering them world-class commercial cloud services and a real choice in how they embrace the cloud. The progress we’ve seen to date is a reinforcement of our approach – with more than 57% of the Fortune 500 using Azure and more than 1,000 customers signing up daily. Microsoft will continue to innovate in this space and offer the very best in flexible, secure and reliable cloud services, because ultimately it is our customers and their needs that are helping to define the way in which we operate within Europe.

Neil Sutton, Vice President, Global Portfolio at BT Global Services also shares his views about the new annoucement, in this blog.

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