By: Linda Rosencrance
Microsoft Canada has announced that Microsoft Azure is now generally available in Canada from local datacenter regions in Toronto and Quebec City. In addition, Office 365 is now offering data residency for Canadian business customers and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is set to go live by September of this year.
This announcement brings the total number of generally available Azure regions to 24 globally, all backed by Microsoft’s $15 billion investment in a global datacenter infrastructure, company officials said. The announcement comes fast on the heels of a similar announcement for India in early May, and for Japan in November, 2015.
Now Canadian customers can use Azure and Office 365 and keep their enterprise data will in Canada. Among the benefits is data redundancy in a number of Canadian locations, which ensures business continuity as well as the option to have fast and private connection to the cloud via Azure ExpressRoute, according to company officials. The ExpressRoute offerings in Canada allow firms to establish private connections to Azure services with reduced data latency compared to typical Internet connections. Finally, in-country enterprise data storage is compliant with Canadian federal regulations.
“Our goal is to deliver Canada’s most trusted and complete cloud to power Canadian businesses and governments and ultimately enable them to achieve greater impact. By offering fully integrated cloud services, we create simple, cost-effective solutions that empower our customers.” wrote Janet Kennedy, president of Microsoft Canada, in a statement.
Microsoft Canada’s national security officer, John Hewie, stated that a standards-based approach to cloud compliance is helping customers and partners more cost-effectively meet evolving compliance requirements.
Because of this focus on compliance as well as local residency many public sector customers in Canada are moving to the Microsoft Cloud, including the Province of Nova Scotia, Province of New Brunswick, City of Regina and the City of Brampton.
“Working with Microsoft is a tremendous opportunity for Nova Scotia. We encourage innovation and we are excited to be taking advantage of the newly opened Microsoft Canadian datacenter where we will begin moving more than 35,000 users to the Microsoft Canadian cloud over the coming years,” wrote Labi Kousoulis, minister internal services, Province of Nova Scotia, in the statement.
Many Canadian customers and partners are already leveraging Microsoft’s cloud services. For example, the Microsoft Cloud has enabled PCL Construction, reportedly Canada’s largest contracting company, to have unified infrastructure in all the countries they operate, officials said. And since moving to Microsoft’s cloud services, the company claims to have saved 80 percent of its operational overhead costs.
And Microsoft cloud services have “transformed” the way Montreal-based communications company Quebecor builds its IT environments, claims Quebecor.
“Microsoft Azure gives us the high-performance infrastructure we need to handle major fluctuations in traffic and demand for a majority of our media websites and we get all of the compute capacity we need, when we need it, and only pay for what we use,” wrote Richard Roy, vice president of IT and chief technology officer, Quebecor, wrote in the statement.
Additionally, the Microsoft Cloud has enabled Stratiform, a Canadian cloud-based solution provider to better respond to its customers evolving business needs, according to officials.