When Salesforce.com announced in 2012 that they would be opening a datacenter sited in the EU in the next year, many customers found themselves breathing a sigh of relief. Despite being part of the EU-US Safe harbor program, which allowed US companies to operate under the stricter data protection laws of the EU, many customers were still a bit uncomfortable with their data being stored outside the US. And that doesn't account for potential EU customers who might have been holding off on using Salesforce.com services because of potential security/privacy issues.
So last year's announcement was a step that many customers felt that Salesforce.com needed to make, but six months later, there didn't seem to be much movement on the new EU location. The word was that the choice of providers had been narrowed down to two candidates, and that a decision was imminent, but no date or provider was confirmed.
Much to the surprise of many, Marc Benioff announced at Dereamforce last year that they had chosen a location and vendor. He also said that the service had been specced out and would be operational next year (2013). Of course, he also announced the caveat that they hadn't actually signed an agreement yet.
Getting that agreement in place clearly took longer than expected, as it was confirmed just today that NTT Europe would be building a new datacenter to collocate Salesforce.com in the UK, and that the datacenter would not be opening until 2014. The planned datacenter, Salesforce's sixth, will be focused on providing its cloud services to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.