Expanding locally to help customers transform globally, Microsoft has snagged a huge digital-transformation deal with financial-services giant UBS shortly after Microsoft’s two new Azure cloud regions in Switzerland went live.
UBS, the world’s largest wealth manager, and two other big global corporations based in Switzerland—Swiss Re Group and Swisscom—are looking to leverage the in-country cloud regions to meet escalating international requirements around data residency, cybersecurity and compliance.
Among leading hyperscalers AWS, Microsoft and Google Cloud, the aggressive spread of cloud-availability regions around the world is enabling more global corporations to accelerate their digital transformations in line with those compliance requirements.
These lines from a Microsoft blog post about the new Azure regions in Switzerland could apply to any of those big hyperscalers:
These new regions and our ongoing global expansion are in response to customer demand as more industry leaders choose Microsoft’s cloud services to further their digital transformations. As we enter new markets, we work to address scenarios where data residency is of critical importance, especially for highly regulated industries seeking the compliance standards and extensive security offered by Azure…
Microsoft cloud services delivered from a given geography, such as our new regions in Switzerland, offer scalable, highly available, and resilient cloud services while helping enterprises and organizations meet their data residency, security, and compliance needs. We have deep expertise protecting data and empowering customers around the globe to meet extensive security and privacy requirements by offering the broadest set of compliance certifications and attestations in the industry.
Where Microsoft has a big advantage over Amazon and, to a lesser extent, Google is that Microsoft can optimally complement that growing IaaS presence with a full range of PaaS and SaaS offerings.
And indeed, the Microsoft blog post reveals, UBS and the other big Swiss corporations noted above are among more than 30 business customers tapping into Azure and other cloud services farther up Microsoft’s stack.
The two new cloud regions—based in Zurich and Geneva—are offering Office 365, Dynamics 365 and Power Platform “to advance even more customers on their cloud journeys,” says the blog post under the byline of Tom Keane, corporate vice president of Azure Global.
Here’s a look at the Azure-based innovations those three big companies have undertaken, per the blog post.
- UBS: upgrading and modernizing essential business apps around Azure to “leverage digital channels” and “rethink how its global workforce collaborates”
- Swiss Re: designating Azure as its preferred public cloud, the global insurance giant is moving aggressively to the cloud to “make insurance simpler and more accessible”
- Swisscom: the country’s leading supplier of telecom services is getting into the managed public-cloud business via Azure, including a high-end private connection to Azure services called ExpressRoute.
So it looks like that when it comes to the Cloud Wars, not even Switzerland can remain neutral.