Muscat: Microsoft today revealed plans to deliver Microsoft Cloud services from its first data centres located in the Middle East, recognising the opportunity for digital transformation in the region.
The Microsoft Cloud, comprising Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365, will offer enterprise-grade reliability and performance, combined with data residency, from data centres located in Abu Dhabi and Dubai with initial availability expected in 2019. Each new data centre will adhere to Microsoft's trusted cloud principles and becomes part of one of the largest cloud infrastructures in the world, already serving more than a billion customers and 20 million businesses.
Sayed Hashish, Regional General Manager, Microsoft Gulf said, "Driven by strong customer demand for cloud computing, local data centres were the logical next step given the enormous opportunity that the cloud presents. In areas like digital transformation, and the development of new intelligent services, our ambition is for the Microsoft Cloud to form a strategic part of the backbone for regional economic development."
Microsoft works closely with technology partners throughout the Middle East and Africa, facilitating training and increasing employability across many sectors. Approximately 4,000 start-ups have been supported through programs like the Microsoft Virtual Academy, and Microsoft's Cloud Society initiative is helping people in the region build marketable skills, readying them for the digital jobs of the future.
The integration of the Abu Dhabi and Dubai data centres with Microsoft's global cloud infrastructure will connect regional businesses with global opportunities, help accelerate new investments and job opportunities and improve access to cloud services for people and organisations across the Middle East.
Microsoft's network of 17,800 partners across the region, has recently been bolstered by the new Cloud Solutions Provider program, creating a platform for partners to deliver Microsoft's cloud solutions locally.
Governments, large organisations, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), as well as start-ups across all industries in the Gulf are making the most out of Microsoft's cloud solutions, engaging customers, empowering employees, optimizing operations, and transforming their products and services.
The Emirates Group, Emaar Properties, Etihad Airways, Majid Al Futtaim, Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts, Landmark Group, Daman Insurance, RAK Ceramics, Imdaad, Gulf Air, Ooredoo, Viva, Kuwait Finance House and Dubai World Trade Center are few of the numerous leading organisations that use Microsoft Cloud services.
Over the last three years, Microsoft has more than doubled the number of Azure regions available. Today, Azure has more regions than any other cloud provider and has announced 50 regions across the globe which includes plans for 12 new regions.
Office 365 and Dynamics 365 also continue to expand the data residency options for customers with 17 geographies announced, and are the only productivity and business application platforms that can offer in-geography data residency across such a broad set of locations.