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Microsoft announces plans to establish a new datacenter region in Denmark to accelerate the country’s green, digital transformation

The investment includes a sustainable datacenter region, powered by 100 percent renewable energy, the ability to store data in Denmark, and a plan to bring digital upskilling to 200,000 Danes by 2024

COPENHAGEN, Denmark – December 7, 2020 – Microsoft Corp. today announced the most significant investment in its 30-year history in Denmark, introducing Denmark as the location for its next sustainable datacenter region and a comprehensive skilling commitment for an estimated 200,000 Danes by 2024. Powered by 100 percent renewable energy, the datacenter region will provide Danish customers of all sizes faster access to the Microsoft Cloud, world-class security and the ability to store data at rest in the country.

These announcements are part of #DigitalLeapDenmark, a commitment to the country’s green digital future. This plan represents the next step in Microsoft’s longstanding commitment to help the country accelerate public sector digitization, fuel digital innovation to support growth of Danish enterprises, and apply technology to help create a greener future. Today, Microsoft employs more than a thousand people in the country and has recently invested in a quantum computing research lab in collaboration with the University of Copenhagen and the Technical University of Denmark.

“This is a proud day for Microsoft in Denmark,” said Brad Smith, President, Microsoft. “Building a hyper-scale datacenter in Denmark means we’ll store Danish data in Denmark, make computing more accessible at even faster speeds, secure data with our world-class security, protect data with Danish privacy laws, and do more to provide to the people of Denmark our best digital skills training. This investment reflects our deep appreciation of Denmark’s green and digital leadership globally and our commitment to its future.”

“The Government’s ambition is for Denmark to emerge from COVID-19 even greener, stronger and more socially just. We have initiated a green recovery of the Danish economy and launched a new strategy for green public procurement, contributing towards our ambitious climate targets. Today, datacenters and IT solutions represent a considerable part of carbon emissions from public procurement in Denmark, so we see a big potential to reduce our climate footprint. I’m pleased to see that businesses are embracing the government’s climate ambitions and taking responsibility for creating a green, digital future. This underlines Denmark’s leading position in both the green and digital transition,” said Nicolai Wammen, Danish Minister of Finance.

Investing in Denmark to accelerate growth and innovation

The Microsoft Cloud enables innovation through the latest technology advancements including:  Microsoft Azure, an ever-expanding set of cloud services that offers computing, networking, databases, analytics, AI and Internet of Things (IoT) services; Microsoft 365, the world’s productivity cloud that delivers best-of-breed productivity apps and security solutions; and Dynamics 365 and Power Platform, which enable organizations to rapidly build and manage critical enterprise business solutions at scale with intelligent business applications. The Danish datacenter region will provide customers with access to low-latency, enterprise-grade cloud services with world-class data security and compliance. In addition, the new region will deliver Azure Availability Zones, to provide additional tolerance and high availability for applications.

Hundreds of Danish enterprises and public organizations such as Arla Foods, Carlsberg, Coop, Danfoss, Energinet, Grundfos, Pandora, Maersk, Saxo Bank, Simcorp, and The Danish Ministry of Taxation already rely on the Microsoft Cloud to power critical business applications, new customer experiences and innovative data solutions.

“Microsoft is a strategic business partner and the establishment of a Danish data center region creates the basis for us to be able to use solutions based on cloud to an even greater extent. Our business is based on stable, secure and compliant operation to the financial sector, and JN Data’s task is to connect the existing systems with cloud solutions so that JN Data’s community can take full advantage of cloud. By doing so our customers achieve a higher speed of development, which they can benefit from when developing solutions for their customers and ultimately for the banks’ customers,” said Søren Lindgaard, CEO, JN Data.

The Danish datacenter region also provides new opportunities for the partner ecosystem, that build innovative solutions on the Microsoft Cloud. Microsoft in Denmark works with more than 2000 partners, including Accenture, Atea, KMD, Netcompany, NNIT, Proactive, Systematic, and Venzo, to help danish customers accelerate their digital transformation. According to IDC, $1 of Microsoft cloud revenue in Denmark will generate $7.23 (USD) in revenue for Microsoft’s Danish partners over the next four years*.

Innovating for a sustainable future

With 100 percent renewable energy, the datacenter region will enable Danish customers to reduce their own carbon footprint associated with computing while accelerating digitization. According to The Footprint Firm**, the total emissions from on-premises servers in Denmark amount to an estimated 355,000 tons of CO2 per year. A report from WSP*** shows that Microsoft Cloud services can be up to 93 percent more energy efficient than traditional enterprise datacenters.

Microsoft is working with Energinet to explore future ways of tracking and matching renewable energy on an hourly basis. Building on Energinet’s pioneering work and open-source data approach with Azure, Microsoft intends to support the launch of a new renewable energy supply option, which provides customers more transparency about carbon mitigation from clean energy.

Digital upskilling for Denmark’s workforce

As part of the investment, Microsoft also pledges to bring digital upskilling to 200,000 Danes of all ages and skill levels, by 2024. It includes in-depth training programs and Azure certification for partners and customers, digital education opportunities for children and youth, and through LinkedIn Learning, free access to learning paths, job-seeking tools, and low-cost technical certifications for jobseekers and the unemployed.

“With this investment, we’re taking the next step in our longstanding commitment to provide Danish society and businesses with the digital tools, skills and infrastructure needed to drive sustainable growth, innovation, and job creation. We’re investing in Denmark’s digital leap into the future – all in a way that supports the country’s ambitious climate goals and economic recovery,” said Nana Bule, General Manager, Microsoft Denmark.

Speaking at today’s event, Jean-Philippe Courtois, Executive Vice President and President, Microsoft Global Sales, Marketing and Operations, said, “Today’s announcement is the next big step in our commitment to Denmark, which started over 30 years ago. The cloud plays a critical role, supported by passionate people, to help create a sustainable and inclusive economic recovery. As the world becomes more digital, it’s essential that citizens at all levels have the necessary skills to participate in the digital economy and society. This is why we’re committing to help upskill 200,000 Danes by 2024, contributing to the digital transformation of both public sector and industry in Denmark.”

* IDC Info Snapshot, sponsored by Microsoft, The Microsoft Cloud Dividend Snapshot: Denmark, Doc. #US46917920, October 2020

** Market insight and methodology by www.footprintfirm.com, published in  Tech Action_E-book.pdf

*** WSP | Microsoft Cloud Computing Environmental Benefit Study