It’s been a very busy week for Microsoft here in Europe. We welcomed Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and president Brad Smith as they travelled to Ireland, France, Germany and Satya to the UK. During the tour they met with government and business leaders, non-profits and refugees, educators and school children. Across all the events and engagements one message was clear – Microsoft’s commitment to, and investment in, our region.
Nowhere are these investments more evident than in the area of cloud computing. In many of his discussions with our customers and partners this week, Satya spent time outlining how Microsoft is investing to meet the growing demand for an intelligent, trusted cloud that is enterprise-ready.
It’s important to note the significant growth we’ve seen in the past year. In this time, Microsoft has doubled cloud capacity here in Europe. We have invested more than USD $3 billion in Europe’s cloud to date. We have reached general availability on data centres in UK and Germany (a first of its kind cloud with a unique data trustee model to address specific privacy and security concerns) within the last month and created new capacity that is coming online from a recently completed expansion at our data centre hub in the Netherlands and an in-process expansion in Ireland. Additionally, this week we announced plans to offer Azure and cloud services from data centres in France from 2017.
These increased investments in the region offer greater choice to our diverse set of customers who need help navigating Europe’s complex data sovereignty laws. I hear this from customers in many of my discussions with them – and they are eager to explore what is possible in transforming their businesses via technology. The cloud can be a critical driver for change. Here are just some European organizations using the cloud to evolve their operations, services – and whole industries.
Transforming Ireland’s healthcare with digital services
Facing a growing and aging population, healthcare delivery can quickly become difficult to manage and very costly, ultimately resulting in poor patient care. Digital solutions offer the chance to vastly improve service delivery through better information sharing, self-care and greater efficiencies.
Recognising technology as a critical enabler of more integrated and connected health services, Ireland’s Health Service Executive has launched eHealth Ireland, transforming the Irish healthcare system with a secure cloud infrastructure using Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365.
Over the next 12 months, using a secure cloud infrastructure, eHealth Ireland will enable clinicians to access quality patient data from any location. It is creating a single, secure, unique identifier for every Irish citizen, which enables healthcare professionals to access crucial patient information regardless of where care is delivered. Similarly, every mother and baby in Ireland will have their own electronic health record, facilitating integrated care and new communications tools will better enable relationships between clinicians and patients, in real time.
A responsible, trusted cloud for the UK
With sensitivities around security and privacy, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) understandably needs services it can trust. Recognizing Microsoft as a responsible partner, the MoD was one of the first customers to take advantage of the Microsoft Cloud in the UK, which became generally available just last month.
The MoD, which employs around 250,000 people, will use Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Azure cloud services as part of the Government’s digital transformation agenda. The department will benefit from cost-effective, modern and flexible services, fundamentally changing the way that information is shared and used by staff.
Fuelling the connected car
The auto industry is undergoing a transformation. No longer is the car simply a vehicle to travel between two places. It’s another mobile device that serves as an extension of a person’s digital lifestyle. Automobile companies are moving at a rapid speed to ensure their offerings keep up with that digital lifestyle, and Microsoft is committed to building the technology to enable that mobile experience.
The partnership between Renault-Nissan Alliance and Microsoft is all about creating a mutual vision for connected cars focused on improving the customer experience by making driving more intuitive, intelligent and fun.
The two companies will work together to develop next generation mobility services for cars, powered by Microsoft Azure, to provide better services to drivers such as advanced navigation, predictive maintenance and vehicle-centric services, remote monitoring of car features, external mobile experiences and over-the-air updates.
A pioneering cloud model in Germany
With Microsoft Cloud Germany made available at the end of September, customers can now access cloud services knowing that their data will never leave the country. The data trustee model, a first-of-its-kind, was developed in response to customer needs and built upon Microsoft’s Trusted Cloud principles of security, privacy, compliance and transparency.
ZF, a global leader in driveline and chassis technology as well as active and passive safety technology, is using Microsoft Cloud Germany for its data platform „deTAGtive logistics“ under the brand Openmatics in order to connect, control and manage transports using the benefits public cloud provides.
Advancing industrial transformation with digital solutions
There are opportunities across all industries to create new value with digital solutions. This week we announced a strategic partnership with industry leader ABB to develop one of the world’s largest industrial cloud platforms. Together, we will provide new benefits to customers in utilities, industry, transport and infrastructure, including increased productivity by increasing uptime, speed and yield for.
We have worked with ABB on many successful collaborations and have delivered a number of transformational end to end solutions across other industries including Smart Grids, Marine and Ports, and Electric Vehicles Charging Infrastructure.
For businesses and organizations in Europe, there has never been a better time to digitally transform with the cloud. It’s an exciting time – for Europe, for our customers and partners and for those of us at Microsoft.
A Cloud for Global Good
Finally, we know that the rapid pace of change happening today creates complexity and even some challenges. It’s so important to make sure the current wave of innovation works for everyone and that no one is left behind. We shared our roadmap for how we can work together with policymakers to build a cloud that is trusted, responsible and inclusive this week, a book called A Cloud for Global Good. I encourage you to read Brad’s thoughtful blog post on the topic.