“Our partnership with Canberra Data Centres, our open approach and our mature ecosystem of partners, ensures government can accelerate transformation and apply intelligent systems to their abundant existing data.”
The announcement also aligns with government plans to digitally transform both internal and external operations, with the Microsoft cloud underpinning such innovations across the country.
For example, the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection has Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Azure at the heart of a new system that is streamlining Australian Border Force cargo inspections.
While the new Bendigo Hospital, Victoria’s newest acute care facility is delivering anytime anywhere access to patient and clinical information with the help of local Microsoft partner Mexia on Azure.
Furthermore, emergency services in Queensland, NSW and Victoria rely on Azure and Microsoft Office 365, with the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science becoming one of the first federal agencies to federate with Microsoft Azure and one of the first government departments in APAC to roll out Dynamics365 which is proving a powerful ally for both Department staff and Australian businesses.
“The Australian Government has embarked on a sweeping program of change, bringing digital innovation to the transformation of the Australian public sector,” Hon. Angus Taylor MP, assistant minister for Cities and Digital Transformation added.
“Global innovation in areas such as cloud technology is an essential foundation for this transformation and will ensure we can meet the expectations and needs of all Australians. So too the local software ecosystem can build its skills and innovate rapidly to first serve our local needs, then expand into global markets.”
With two new regions coming to Australia - alongside new data centres in South Africa and France, and the availability of cloud services from new regions in the UK, Germany and South Korea - Microsoft has now announced 42 Azure regions globally, more than any other major cloud provider.
“Azure expands globally to create greater opportunity for the digital transformation of our customers,” Microsoft head of global infrastructure of Azure Tom Keane added. “Australia is a critical cloud market for Microsoft.
“We’re delighted to be partnering with a locally owned provider with deep roots across government to further extend the reach of our cloud, and to provide the full innovation of Azure to Australian and New Zealand Government customers and partners.”
An open ecosystem for partners
From a channel perspective, the news is also designed to provide new cloud opportunities for Microsoft’s partner ecosystem, both locally and globally.
“In Australia, thousands of Microsoft partners develop technology solutions for the public sector, they support the operations of government, they employ tens of thousands of staff and they contribute to the quality and prosperity of our country,” Microsoft One Commercial partner lead Mark Leigh added.
“With their help, Australian federal, state and local governments are accelerating their pace of innovation, increasingly within the cloud.”
With security, privacy and transparency remaining of fundamental importance, Leigh said partners can leverage the Microsoft cloud platform to help drive digital transformation conversations across the country.
“We’ve built our business on applying Microsoft cloud solutions to the needs of Australian government customers,” added Keiran Mott, CEO of Veritec, a 120-strong Canberra-based organisation.
“There’s a tremendous desire all across government to get on with delivering real innovation and taking advantage of all the cloud has to offer. Perception of security has in the past been a blocker. With this news, it’s not any more.”
Meanwhile, software provider Intelledox, is finding global success from its Canberra headquarters through its Infiniti solution for workflow, smart forms and automation, leveraging Azure along the way.
“We’ve been a Microsoft partner for over two decades and we have proven the value of innovating on a trusted cloud like Microsoft Azure,” Intelledox co-founder and executive director Michelle Melbourne said.
“We can confidently deliver our Infiniti solution to enable the transformation of digitally focused government agencies as well as insurance, banking, financial services, education and healthcare companies globally.
“This investment by Microsoft in Canberra opens new possibilities, but even more importantly it highlights their commitment to supporting the ecosystem we are building with government and enterprise to evolve and grow. And that’s going to make a big difference to all Australians.”
In addition, Gravity Consulting - creator of the StrategyDotZero solution for strategy execution and enterprise visualisation - cited the announcement as “hugely important”, as the Canberra based start-up continues to help government agencies across Australia manage some of the largest, most complex programs of work.
“And we’re building that all on Azure, applying artificial intelligence and data visualisation to enable better executive decision making,” Gravity Consulting founder Kailash Krishnamurthi added.
“Our customers demand the highest levels of security and this announcement really helps us to confidently deliver to their needs.”