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Microsoft Cloud to touch down in Canada

Microsoft Cloud to touch down in Canada

Posted by PanamericanWorld on June 03, 2015

Microsoft today announced plans to deliver commercial cloud services fromCanada. Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online will be delivered from Toronto and Quebec City in 2016, further strengthening Microsoft's footprint in Canada's competitive cloud landscape.

"Soon, the Microsoft Cloud will be truly Canadian," said Kevin Turner, Worldwide Chief Operating Officer, Microsoft, who travelled to Toronto to make the announcement. "This substantial investment in a Canadian cloud demonstrates how committed we are to bringing even more opportunity to Canadian businesses and government organizations, helping them fully realize the cost savings and flexibility of the cloud," said Turner. According to IDC, total public cloud spend in Canada is projected to grow to $2.5B by next year. The fastest growth will be from Public cloud infrastructure with a strong 45 per cent increase by 2016.

These new locally deployed services will address data residency considerations for Microsoft customers and partners of all shapes and sizes who are embracing cloud computing to transform their businesses, better manage variable workloads and deliver new digital services and experiences to customers and employees. General availability of Azure is anticipated in early 2016, followed by Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online later in 2016. 

Janet Kennedy, President of Microsoft Canada, says delivering cloud services from data centres on Canadian soil opens up significant new cloud-based possibilities for organizations who must adhere to strict data storage compliance codes. "We're very proud to be delivering the Microsoft Cloud right here in Canada, for the benefit of Canadian innovators, entrepreneurs, governments and small businesses.  Delivering the flexibility of hyper-scale, enterprise grade, locally deployed public cloud services is the ultimate Canadian hat trick."

Canadian Customers Already Using Cloud Today

Canadian customers of all sizes are already in the Microsoft Cloud.  Even today, Microsoft delivers cloud-based email, Office 365, and CRM Online to more than 80,000 Canadian businesses. Companies like Air Canada, Quebecor and Hatch are saving money while empowering their employees to collaborate, be more productive and mobile with Office 365, Yammer, and Skype for Business. "Information systems and technology continue to be a differentiator for Hatch as it helps us to gain advantages in the marketplace – our use of Microsoft cloud is an integral part of this success. We are now able to focus on our business while benefiting from all the innovation Microsoft offers with a Service Level Agreement we can count on." Christopher Taylor, Global Director, Hatch.

Diply.com is a great example of an Ontario-based start-up leveraging Microsoft Azure, the company's cloud-based infrastructure. The company delivers 850M page views per month on Microsoft Azure and owns no servers.Diply.com is able to rent servers from Microsoft by the hour based simply on the demand they receive. "We only pay for what we use," said Gary Manning, CTO and co-founder at Diply.com. "We estimate our cost per 1,000 users is only $0.07! We'd never be able to build that back-end infrastructure ourselves."

Governments in Canada Welcome the Microsoft Cloud

Ontario's Deputy Premier and President of Treasury Board, Deb Matthews, applauded Microsoft's commitment to enabling Ontario businesses to compete globally.

"We are thrilled that Microsoft chose to make this investment and establish one of the first Microsoft Cloud datacentres right here in Ontario," Matthews said. "Like Microsoft, we want to expand Ontario's innovative capacity, help Ontario businesses thrive and compete, and use technology to create the best opportunities for the people who live and work here. By investing in cloud services that are delivered in Canada for Canadians, Microsoft is providing the technology that will enable Ontario businesses and organizations to work better, smarter, and more efficiently – and to compete globally."

John Tory, Mayor of Toronto, praised the announcement as a significant boost to Toronto's digital infrastructure.

"Together with Microsoft, we're bringing Toronto into the 21st Century," said Mayor John Tory. "Toronto is home to a skilled and talented work force that is ready to bring ideas to life. The City is committed to investing in state-of-the-art infrastructure that's needed to attract good jobs and fuel innovation."

Tory noted that it's estimated that more than 14,000 jobs in Toronto are connected to cloud computing.

To learn more about Microsoft's cloud touching down in Canada visit Reimagine.Microsoft.ca

Additional Quotes

"Microsoft gives us the high-performance infrastructure we need to handle major fluctuations in traffic and demand for a majority of our media websites," said Richard Roy, Vice President of IT and Chief Technology Officer, Quebecor. "We only pay for what we use, eliminating the need for costly up-front investment in hardware. Microsoft has completely transformed the way we build new IT environments – what used to take days or weeks can now be done in a matter of minutes. Our move to Microsoft's cloud with has enabled us to innovate rapidly in response to changing forces in our industry."

"We decided to move to the cloud with the Office 365 suite because of the globalization of CDPQ's investment activities and our need for simplified collaboration among our teams around the world", said Pierre Miron, CDPQ's Executive Vice-President, Operations and Information Technologies. "CDPQ also welcomes Microsoft's decision to establish two data centers in Canada, one in Quebec City and the other in Toronto," added Miron.

"The City of Regina partnered with Microsoft Canada in 2013 to become one of Canada's first public sector organizations to embrace Office365," said Chris Fisher, Director of IT, City of Regina. "That strategic decision, which raised eyebrows amongst our peers, continues to pay dividends as the product matures. It is helping the City find cost-effective ways for employees to efficiently communicate with each other and the public."

"As proud Canadians and creators of the world's first 100% cloud-based digital asset management system, we're eagerly awaiting the new Canadian data centres coming online next year," said David MacLaren, President & CEO of MediaValet. "Since launching the first version of MediaValet in late 2010, we've had opportunities to work with healthcare, government and higher education organizations in Canada, but been hampered by their rigorous data compliance needs. Microsoft's investment in a Canadian cloud will open up doors to significant sectors of the Canadian market and help us grow our market share on home soil."

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