Microsoft unveils $1 billion Poland cloud and digital investment plan

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Where one hyperscaler goes, another shall follow. Microsoft has announced a $1 billion cloud and digital transformation plan for Poland – almost nine months after Google Cloud opened up its facilities in the country.

Microsoft’s initiative includes the launch of a new data centre region in Poland, as well as an agreement with Chmura Krajowa – literally ‘national cloud’ – to ‘provide digital transformation expertise and broad access to cloud solutions across all industries and enterprises in Poland’, in the company’s words.

The project is being touted as the ‘Polish Digital Valley’, with the partnership agreement aimed at supporting public institutions and businesses in the country, from government, to health, to education and more. Mark Loughran, general manager of Microsoft Poland, said the country “has the opportunity to be the digital heart of Europe.”

Alongside this, Microsoft is looking to train up to 150,000 business employees and IT professionals, as well as educators and students, on various technologies, from cloud computing, to big data, as well as IoT, AI, and machine learning.

“This is another important step on the road to digitisation and accelerating the development of the entire Polish economy,” said Zbigniew Jagiello, founder of Chmura Krajowa. “A special step in the face of irreversible changes that are taking place before our eyes in the socio-economic ecosystem.

“Digital transformation is a great opportunity to deal with the current crisis faster and more effectively. Cloud technology is the future that we want to pursue today,” Jagiello added.

In September, Google Cloud announced the launch of a partnership with Poland’s domestic cloud provider, wherein the latter would become a reseller of Google Cloud services in Poland as well as build managed services capabilities. There are marked similarities with Microsoft’s initiative, from building a data centre region to training workers in the region to help them become more cloud-ready.

Microsoft said Azure growth was up 59% year on year in earnings figures released last week, with industry analyst Synergy Research saying it held 18% of the overall cloud infrastructure market.

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