Microsoft has announced plans to deliver commercial cloud services from Canada. 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.
“This commitment by Microsoft will further enhance the ability of Ontario’s innovative business sector to thrive and compete with the best in the world,” said Matthews. “To date more than 3,200 Canadian startups have benefited from joining the free BizSpark program, many of which are based in Ontario. By bringing the power of the cloud to Canada and providing free access through BizSpark, our entrepreneurs can truly compete with the best in the world.”
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.