Microsoft plans to establish its first datacentre region in New Zealand, in what it described as "a major milestone toward delivering enterprise-grade cloud services in the country".
The New Zealand region will be the latest addition to Microsoft’s global datacentre footprint, which totals more than 60, with Microsoft Azure now available in over 140 countries.
“This significant investment in New Zealand’s digital infrastructure is a testament to the remarkable spirit of New Zealand’s innovation and reflects how we’re pushing the boundaries of what is possible as a nation,” said Vanessa Sorenson, general manager, Microsoft New Zealand.
The new region is subject to approval from the Overseas Investment Office.
Microsoft said it would enable public- and private-sector entities, large enterprises, and small and medium-size businesses to use Microsoft's public cloud services while also helping companies meet data residency, security and compliance needs.
The move could help clear the way for one government agency, Parliamentary Services, which paused its migration to Office 365 out of an Australian cloud region due to concerns over that country's "backdoor" law, which allows security agencies to access encrypted communications.
Microsoft’s cloud services include Microsoft Azure public cloud, Microsoft 365 office productivity, and corporate software such as Dynamics 365 and Power Platform.
Piers Shore, CIO of dairy cooperative Fonterra, said, Microsoft was one of Fonterra's key partners in helping to deliver digital transformation.
"This is an exciting announcement -- it will bring even more cutting-edge technology to our co-operative and the New Zealand technology ecosystem," he said.
"This in turn will help us leverage technology to create value for our farmer owners and unit holders, and Fonterra customers around the world.”
Spark NZ CEO Jolie Hodson said she was delighted to partner with Microsoft to empower innovation, with the two organisations focused on building cloud and digital capability to help New Zealand businesses succeed.
Microsoft New Zealand’s partner ecosystem includes 2300 companies, employing over 21,000 people.
"It’s a game changer, unlocking the potential of Kiwi businesses to go global, at scale and securely," said Andrew Allan, CEO of Spark-owned partner Computer Concepts Ltd (CCL).
"This is an opportunity to fundamentally change the way we consume technology and level the playing field for disruptive Kiwi innovators like never before."