US software giant Microsoft has announced that it will launch within a year the regional data center that it is constructing in the Modi'in area. In January last year, the company said that the launch would take place this year. If it is launched, the center will be the first to be set up in Israel by one of the global cloud computing giants - Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Oracle and IBM.
Construction of the data center in Israel is planned to take place, officially at least, independently of Nimbus, the tender for providing cloud services to the government. According to reports circulating recently, Microsoft and Oracle lost in the tender, the winners being Amazon and Google, which will supply the government with 70% and 30% respectively of the computing infrastructure.
Microsoft and Oracle, which are apparently the two losing bidders, have each filed a court petition asking for an extension in order to conduct a legal battle against the indicated result of the tender. Oracle said in response that "the company hopes to continue a dialogue with the government's representatives in order to help them understand the unique value that Oracle's advanced cloud services can rapidly bring to the Nimbus project."
The official description of the public cloud to be launched by Microsoft in Israel in early 2022 is a Hyperscale Cloud Data Center Region. According to Microsoft, its cloud infrastructure serves more than one billion customers and some 20 million businesses around the world.
Under the plan, Microsoft will initially launch Microsoft Azure in Israel, facilitating cloud developments and providing infrastructure for computing, network, databases, analysis, artificial intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT). In the following months, all the company's international cloud solutions will become available in Israel. These include Microsoft 365, which facilitates remote, online joint working, and Dynamics 365 and Power Platform, which facilitate the construction of critical business solutions on a large scale and development of smart business applications without prior knowledge.
Microsoft country general manager Israel Ronit Atad said, "Israel is known for its great innovation and entrepreneurial capabilities, and I am sure that our cloud technology will fulfil an important role in creating new, fascinating opportunities for enterprises in Israel's economy. Enterprises need strong, stable, secure computing infrastructure that will allow them to focus on growing their business. In the present era, cloud computing represents the core of any enterprise, and by leveraging data and turning them into the strongest of enterprise resources, enterprises can carry out digital revolutions and this will affect the entire Israeli economy."
In its announcement, Microsoft disclosed the names of some of its cloud customers, among them Bank Hapoalim, Zim, Rafael, eToro, Sapiens, and AudioCodes, and also business partners, among them Accenture, EY, KPMG, Ness, Matrix, Malam Team, and Ubtech of the One group.
Microsoft recently moved to its new 46,000 square meter campus in Herzliya. The company has been active in Israel since 1989. In 1991, it set up in Israel its first research and development center outside the US. It is now one of three main strategic global centers.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on April 20, 2021
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