Microsoft expands UK cloud offering

Dynamics 365 cloud CRM joins the portfolio of services delivered from Microsoft's local data centres.

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Some companies do not want their sensitive data to leave the country for regulatory reasons.

Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Microsoft has added Dynamics 365, its cloud CRM package, to its portfolio of UK cloud offerings.

The company opened its UK cloud regions in September last year.

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The presence of data centers in the UK is important because, while cloud services can be delivered from anywhere, some customers do not want their sensitive data to leave the country for regulatory reasons.

The cloud CRM offering joins Microsoft's Azure and Office 365 as services delivered from UK data centres. Microsoft said that the addition of Dynamics 365 allows customers to meet data and regulatory requirements, including the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation.

Microsoft has set up similar local cloud services in other European countries, including France and Germany, where controls on data are even stricter. The company is spending over $3 billion to build local infrastructure. This is due, in part, to concerns about whether US law enforcement can request access to customer data held by US companies even if it's stored outside the US. By keeping data local, Microsoft hopes to reassure customers.

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust is using Dynamics 365 to share information between medical professionals and patients, and is sharing its approach with other trusts.

"The ability to store data captured by Dynamics 365 in Microsoft's UK data centres will ensure trusts are able to roll out this system quickly, while being able to reassure patients that their data is being stored in the UK," said Lucy Cassidy, an advance practice physiotherapist at Brighton Hospital.

Dynamics 365 has been available from Microsoft's global cloud infrastructure since its release last November. Microsoft's customers include Metro Bank, which is using Dynamics 365 for customer service, Yammer for communication, and Power BI. The Renault Sports Formula One team is using the service to store and analyse data from the more than 200 sensors in its cars, said Microsoft. This means the team does not have to ship its servers around the world for the 21 races in which it competes each year.

Azure services offered from Microsoft's UK data centres include Azure Import/Export, the managed Hadoop service HDInsight, Azure Backup and Site Recovery, and Azure Automation, said Microsoft.

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