Microsoft has announced plans to further expand its cloud computing commitment in Europe by delivering the intelligent Microsoft Cloud from two new datacentre regions in Norway – one in the greater Stavanger region, and a second in Oslo.
The announcement, which demonstrates Microsoft’s ambitions to meet increasing customer demand for cloud services, sees the company investing in local infrastructure, so that its intelligent cloud services can help companies innovate in their industries and move their businesses to the cloud while meeting data residency, security and compliance needs.
The delivery of cloud services from Norway expands on Microsoft’s existing investments, having operated in the country since 1990 with nearly 600 people working in offices in Lysaker, Oslo, Trondheim and Tromsø across sales, marketing and development, and a network of more than 1700 partners.
This new investment marks the first time that Microsoft will deliver the intelligent Microsoft Cloud from datacentres located in Norway, and the availability of the new regions is expected to enable greater innovation for oil and gas and other industries, as well as the public sector.
The power of the cloud
The Microsoft Cloud, comprised of Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365, will offer enterprise-grade reliability and performance with data residency from these new datacentre regions.
Office 365 and Dynamics 365 continue to expand the data residency options for customers with 18 geographies announced, and are the only two productivity and business application platforms that can offer in-geo data residency across such a broad set of locations.
Over the last three years, the number of Azure regions available has also more than doubled, with Azure having more regions than any other cloud provider with 52 regions announced across the globe.
Extending the value of the Microsoft Cloud regions for Norway, customers can also take advantage of hybrid cloud options with Microsoft Azure Stack. Available through service providers in the region, Azure Stack enables customers to develop solutions that harness the power of consistency between Azure and Azure Stack to cater for unique connectivity and compliance needs.
The initial availability of Azure is planned for late 2019, with Office 365 and Dynamics 365 to follow.
Safe and secure
Each datacentre geography delivers a consistent experience, backed by robust policies, controls and systems to help secure data and help comply with local and regional regulations.
Microsoft’s cloud services, for example, empower customers around the world to meet extensive security and privacy requirements, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Microsoft has invested to make the Microsoft Cloud GDPR compliant, delivering innovation that accelerates GDPR compliance, while building a community of experts to help customers along their full GDPR journey.
Cloud services delivered from the regions will also benefit from Microsoft’s extensive data protection and security expertise, such as its Trusted Cloud principles, alongside the broadest set of compliance certifications and attestations in the industry.
“Over a billion customers around the world trust the intelligent Microsoft Cloud to provide a platform to help transform their businesses,” states Jason Zander, Executive Vice President, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft.
“By delivering the Microsoft Cloud from new datacentre regions in Norway, organisations will be empowered through cloud-scale innovation while meeting their data residency, security and compliance needs.”
An energetic partnership
Equinor, an international energy company, has chosen the Microsoft Cloud in Norway to enable its digital transformation through cloud-enabled innovation. The strategic partnership is supporting Equinor’s digital journey through a seven-year consumption and development agreement, valued in the hundreds of millions of US dollars.
Leveraging the cloud is a prerequisite for the energy industry’s transformation towards a digital future, and secure, reliable and cost-efficient operations are a requirement for Equinor’s adaptation of the cloud.
“Equinor plays a central role in stimulating innovation and advancement of the Norwegian economy, and we are deeply honored to be partnering with them to help take their business into its next stage of growth through the intelligent Microsoft Cloud,” states Kimberly Lein-Mathisen, General Manager, Microsoft Norway.
“By bringing these new datacentres online in Norway, we are also very pleased to be able to pave the way for growth and transformation of many other businesses and organizations in Norway, whether they be large enterprises, government bodies or any of the 200,000 small and medium businesses that create Norway’s thriving economies.”
Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, the Norwegian Minister of Trade and Industry adds that “The Norwegian Government is deeply committed to helping Norway thrive as a hub for digital innovation. Norway needs new industries that create jobs and boost economic growth. In February 2018 the Norwegian government released its data center strategy ‘Powered by nature’, establishing that attracting data centers and international investments is an important part of our industrial policy. Therefore, we are very pleased to see Microsoft’s commitment to our country with this new data center,”
“We believe that data centers and cloud services will help to ensure the competitiveness and productivity of Norwegian businesses and government institutions, and have a positive impact on our responsibility to our citizens to create an inclusive working life, to the environment, and to our economic development and job growth.”