Salesforce’s UK datacentre opens for business

Salesforce has opened its first European datacentre in the UK to support EU enterprises' data regulation demands

Salesforce has opened its first European datacentre in the UK as part of the cloud customer relationship management (CRM) software provider’s strategy to build three facilities in Europe.

The datacentre is fully powered by renewable energy sources and supports the Salesforce’s sustainability objectives, it said.

Salesforce will open datacentres in France and Germany in 2015 to support its SaaS offerings in the region.

Salesforce said the global shift to cloud has opened the door to new and exciting social and mobile technologies, and has created unprecedented growth in cloud computing spending by companies across Europe.

Salesforce has delivered 42% growth in Europe year-on-year, and seeks to bring more European users to Salesforce.com with strategic datacentre locations.

The UK facility is its sixth datacentre site globally, but its first in Europe.

Salesforce set up headquarter offices in France and the UK, and expanded its German presence with a new office in Berlin. It intends to create more than 500 jobs across Europe during its fiscal year 2015.

European investment

The launch of the datacentres comes just six months after Salesforce announced plans to increase strategic investments in Europe, its fastest growing region in fiscal year 2014.

The launch of the UK facility “demonstrates Salesforce’s great commitment to the UK and Europe”, said Ian Cohen, chief information officer, JLT – one of Salesforce’s European customers.

The CRM specialist is the latest cloud company to build a European infrastructure facility. Other large cloud providers such as IBM, Amazon, Microsoft, Google and VMware are rushing to build datacentres in Europe as enterprises based in the European Union (EU) insist their cloud data stays in the region.

Amazon has opened a datacentre in the Frankfurt region featuring multiple availability zones, while IBM has opened a facility in France. Meanwhile, Google is reportedly building a large datacentre in the Netherlands.

French analyst firm Markess reported that the cloud computing market in France has increased from €2.2bn in 2012 to €4.1bn in 2014, as more companies adopt cloud to deploy web-centric workloads or transform their existing operations.

Data protection and compliance

One of the organisations assessing the UK datacentre is the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Speaking at a Salesforce conference in May 2014, Gareth Lewis, CIO of the FCA, said financial stability is important and the consumer needs a degree of protection. The FCA is among a number of UK organisations looking at the new site to deploy its Salesforce.com application.

For CIOs in certain regulated industries and government agencies, data sovereignty has been one of the barriers to using public cloud applications such as Salesforce.com.

Academics in Germany said many businesses and universities refrain from moving data to the cloud because data outside Germany affects their compliance with internal processes.

But as European customers’ cloud appetite grows, service providers are building local infrastructure facilities to support the EU’s data sovereignty regulations.

"The opening of Salesforce's first European datacentre underscores our commitment to customers and partners in the UK," said Andrew Lawson, senior vice-president for UK and Ireland at Salesforce. 

"The new datacentre will support the unprecedented growth we've seen in the region and further accelerates the adoption of cloud, social and mobile technologies, allowing UK companies to connect with their customers in a whole new way."

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