​Microsoft to host Office 365, Dynamics CRM in Australia

Microsoft has announced that it will locally host Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online in Australia, and extend its Cloud Solutions Provider program.

Microsoft has announced that it plans to locally host Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online from its datacentres by the end of March 2015.

The locally hosted services will be delivered from the company's two recently locally launched datacentres located in Sydney, New South Wales, and Melbourne, Victoria.

New customers with a billing record and address in Australia will be automatically provisioned from the local datacentres. Meanwhile, Microsoft said it will work with existing customers that have a billing address in Australia to find a mutually acceptable time to move them over to the local datacentres. It said that prior to the cloud services going live in March, customers will receive several weeks of warning. For Dynamics CRM Online, customers will need to opt in for the service.

Microsoft Australia managing director Pip Marlow said the thinking behind this move is part of the company's commitment to deliver a "complete cloud" to the Australian market in order to "spur innovation".

"There is a new reality we're operating under, and that reality is we're living in is this cloud-first, mobile-first world," she said.

"We want to help people make the most of every moment wherever they are. To enable those types of mobile-enabled scenarios, it has to be driven by the backbone of the cloud."

Microsoft corporate vice president John Case boasted that Microsoft cloud -- which currently serves 20 million businesses globally -- offers flexibility and enterprise-grade security, and has been designed to be user centric.

"It's the only [cloud] that lets people do something with private cloud, multi-tenanted cloud, as well as all kinds of hybrid environments," he said.

"I think this idea of public, private, and hybrid is different in our point of view ... they know how to implement things on their premises, and are able to choose and pick when they want to go into the cloud and what workloads."

Additionally, the company has announced the expansion of its Cloud Solutions Provider program. According to Case, it will enable partners -- whether they're ISVs or system integrators -- to bundle their cloud services with Microsoft's cloud services, so they can "own the bill, own provisioning, and own the customer".

After piloting with Ensyst, iiNet, and Melbourne IT, four additional partners will be included: OBS, CloudFirst, OzHosting, and Nimbal, which is a joint venture between Kloud and XCentral.

Case said that Microsoft will never collocate business customers and consumer customers in the same facility.

"We don't co-locate consumer and commercial data on the same hardware, and in many instances even in the same physical location," he said.

Local customers that are already registered to Microsoft cloud include Coles, the Queensland government, the government of Western Australia mental health commission, Qantas, and Telstra.

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