IBM has announced the opening of a new cloud data center in Fetsund, 30 km outside Oslo, Norway, the industry's first cloud data center in the region. The IBM Cloud data center will support growing cloud adoption in the Nordics.

Now customers throughout the region will have local access to a complete portfolio of IBM cloud services for running mission critical enterprise workloads, including IBM Bluemix, Watson and analytics capabilities. EVRY, a leading Nordic IT services company, is already leveraging these capabilities to accelerate its transformation and deliver business value to its clients, which was part of a strategic partnership announced last year. This includes establishing a private cloud solution enabling their clients to further drive innovation.

The facility in Norway is IBM's 48th global cloud data center and the 12th in Europe. It is part of the company's growing global data center network, enabling businesses, from large enterprises to start-ups, to digitalize business and operations, and drive innovation.

"We are committed to providing global and local clients the fastest and easiest onramp to the IBM Cloud to accelerate their digital transformation," said Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president of IBM Cloud. "This investment will provide Nordic customers, especially those in regulated industries, with more flexibility to manage and gain insight into data within the region."

Many clients in the Nordics, like Cxense, EVRY, KONE, Opera and Sapa Group have already embraced IBM Cloud services. KONE, for example, one of the world's leading manufacturers of elevators, escalators, automatic doors and turnstiles, is working with IBM Cloud to connect its global maintenance operations of more than one million elevators, escalators and building doors to cloud-based services. By gathering the vast amounts of data from equipment operations and using sophisticated analysis and connectivity running on IBM's global infrastructure, downtime can be minimized and repairs carried out more quickly.

"We enable our partners and clients to keep their data securely within the country, while being able to leverage existing IT investments, which is a key differentiator for IBM," said Arne Norheim, CEO of IBM Norway. "Local access to IBM's global network of public cloud data centers provides the ideal flexibility for our customers. The new cloud data center is designed to fuel support for innovation and quick adoption of new solutions that will help improve business efficiency."

The IBM Cloud data center in Norway offers the full range of IBM Cloud infrastructure services, including bare metal and virtual servers, storage, security services, and networking. These services can be deployed on demand with full remote access and control, allowing customers to create their ideal public, private, or hybrid cloud environments.

The facility connects to all IBM's public data centers on the continent and around the world in order to help customers transfer and replicate their data in multiple locations. Customers can quickly balance or reroute workloads between multiple locations.

The new cloud data center will also accelerate the commitment of IBM to foster the growth of cognitive and artificial intelligence technologies throughout the region. Developers will have access to Bluemix — IBM's Cloud innovation platform — and more than 150 APIs and services spanning key areas such as cognitive, Blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), and big data.

IBM Cloud is already being used by well-known clients and partners in the Nordic region. Below is a summary of some marquee customers and partners:

Cxense: Headquartered in Norway, with offices around the world, Cxense provides SaaS and best practices for audience insight and personalization to drive user engagement and conversions to over 350 customers worldwide. To expand globally, Cxense turned to IBM Cloud to implement a hybrid cloud solution that allowed them to deploy services from IBM data center locations in the U.S., Europe and Japan. As a result, Cxense achieved 95% faster deployment with provisioning reduced from three months to less than a day, allowing the company to expand its global presence and improve agility.

Nordea: IBM has partnered with Nordea Bank to deliver IBM Bluemix as an innovation platform for their start-up accelerator program. With a focus on future banking innovations and technologies such as Blockchain, cognitive computing and IoT, Bluemix gives the engaged start-ups an ideal platform for rapidly evolving their ideas and taking advantage of the growing Bluemix ecosystem of services and API's.

BigMed and Intromat: IBM has partnered with leading Norwegian healthcare organizations to help them in the development of potential solutions with the goal of improving care for patients suffering from cancer and mental diseases. The BigMed project will attempt to leverage big data and gene sequencing to develop a solution that will provide information to doctors to help them treat patients with cancer. The Intromat project will work to develop digital solutions to provide doctors with information to help in the treatment and follow up of patients suffering from mental diseases. Both projects will leverage IBM Bluemix innovation platform, and the projects have been selected and funded by The Research Council of Norway.

Service Providers: Sopra Steria AS and Atea Outsourcing Services will extend and scale their production environments using IBM Cloud for a flexible infrastructure, OPEX-based consumption model as well as global reach. By using IBM Cloud's global network of data centers, Service Providers can provide local network speed almost anywhere in the world, provisioned, managed and monitored from one single console.

Sales Agents: Customers, Cloud Service Providers and Business Partners can acquire IaaS from IBM via multiple channels. Sales agents are trained and ready to support our customers with IaaS from IBM. The clients have access to scalable and flexible hybrid cloud solutions, offered on a pay-as-you-go model, which can be seamlessly integrated with existing on-premise solutions. IBM Cloud sales agents in Norway are: Tech Data Azlan, Arrow ECS, Crayon, Atea, and Cloudwalker.