Microsoft today announced plans to establish the company’s first cloud region in Israel to deliver its intelligent, trusted cloud services through a local datacenter region. This investment expands the Microsoft global cloud infrastructure to 56 cloud regions in 21 countries, with the new Israel region anticipated to be available starting with Microsoft Azure in 2021, with Office 365 to follow. The new Israel region will adhere to Microsoft’s trusted cloud principles and become part of one of the largest cloud infrastructures in the world, already serving more than a billion customers and 20 million businesses.
Azure is an ever-expanding set of cloud services that offers computing, networking, databases, analytics, and Internet of Things (IoT) services. The investment in a new Israel datacenter region will enable customers to use the most advanced technologies and adhere to data residency requirements to store data within Israel. Microsoft’s cloud services are also compliant with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and are certified for an industry-leading portfolio of international security and privacy standards. Azure will enable the local Israeli ecosystem to build on the latest advancements in the cloud, helping organizations drive their digital transformation. Office 365, the world’s leading cloud-based productivity solution, will be available from the new datacenter region, helping customers enable the modern workplace and empower their employees with real-time collaboration and cloud-powered intelligence while maintaining security, compliance, and in-country customer data residency.
“When I speak to customers across EMEA, it is clear that the power of the cloud is essential for their competitiveness,” said Michel van der Bel, President, Microsoft Europe, Middle East and Africa. “We have made significant infrastructure investments in the region and with this announcement, our planned region in Israel will join a growing number of EMEA markets recently made available including Germany, Norway, South Africa and Switzerland. Offering Microsoft Azure and Office 365 from a datacenter region in Israel forms a key part of our investment and involvement in the startup nation, as infrastructure is an essential building block for the tech intensity that public sector entities and businesses need to embrace.”
Establishing new datacenter regions entails significant investment of resources and this announcement reinforces the continuous commitment of Microsoft to the Israeli market. The company started its journey in 1989 in Israel by opening a local branch. In 1991 Microsoft established its Israeli R&D center – its first R&D center outside of the US – one of the first major tech companies to do so in Israel. In addition, 2020 will include another key investment in the local market with the launch of a new Microsoft Israel campus. Microsoft has deep engagement with the Israeli tech ecosystem – it operates a business branch, an R&D Center, a Venture Capital Fund and Microsoft for Startups programs.
Ronit Atad, General Manager, Microsoft Israel said, “Microsoft has made a strategic decision to invest in the Israeli market. This investment marks an extremely important milestone in the company’s engagement with the startup nation, as we recently marked the 30th anniversary of our presence in the country. Public sector entities, enterprise companies and developers will have access to scalable, highly available, and resilient cloud services to accelerate their digital transformation journeys. This will help them better engage customers, empower employees, optimize operations, and transform products and services from the new cloud region in Israel. Microsoft Israel is partnering with those organizations to ensure their success on their digital transformation journey.”
The country’s startups are set to benefit greatly from the local datacenter, with programs and initiatives to augment those already carried out by Microsoft for Startups. These include programs that provide support on go-to-market, access to technology, cooperating with Microsoft product teams and connecting to the company’s worldwide customer network. Recently the company also established the Reactor in Tel Aviv, a technology hub for developers. The Microsoft Reactor is a community place for learning and inspiration for Israel’s innovative ecosystem.
Public sector entities, large organizations, and small and medium enterprises across all industries in Israel are already making the most of Microsoft’s cloud solutions. These include Sheba Hospital, the Tel Aviv Municipality, Checkpoint, Hapoalim Bank, eToro, Zim, Discount Bank, Jfrog, Mellanox and Rafael.