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IBM opens first Nordic cloud datacentre

Oslo datacentre is IBM’s 12th in Europe and 48th globally and will target large and small enterprises and startups to offer services

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IBM has added the Nordic region to its global network of cloud datacentres by opening an Oslo centre, giving organisations in the region direct access to cloud-based technology.

Large enterprises, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and startups in the region are being targeted with the offer of cloud-based services such as SAP, VMware, IBM’s developer platform Bluemix, plus cognitive computing, the internet of things (IoT), application programming interfaces (API) and analytics services.

The Oslo cloud datacentre is IBM’s 48th globally and its 12th in Europe.

Demand for cloud technologies in the Nordic region had reached a point where it required a dedicated centre to give organisations access to cloud-based technology on tap, said IBM.

 “We have been investing in cloud datacentres all over the globe,” said Jens Hassel, vice-president of IBM Cloud Nordic. “Our strategy is to build these where customer demand is and currently the transformation agenda in the Nordics is extremely high.”

Hassel gave the example of IBM’s infrastructure services deal with Nordic service provider Evry as a good reason to set up a cloud datacentre in the region. Last year, the Norwegian IT supplier signed a $1bn IT outsourcing deal with IBM as part of an ongoing business transformation project that will see 600 employees move to the supplier.

At the time, Evry said it would invest NOK500m in its infrastructure platform over the next three years, giving its Nordic customers access to cloud technology based on IBM’s SoftLayer platform for the first time.

Hassel said IBM’s cloud customers in the region included startups and SMEs as well as the likes of Evry, Kone and Finnair. “The startup scene, and SMEs, is really quite significant,” he said.

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IBM’s Global Entrepreneur Programme, which offers small firms access to cloud resources, is generating startups and SME users in the region. The company is also offering cloud courses in the Nordics in partnership with universities.

The Oslo datacentre will be used by about 50 businesses from day one.

IBM also has a point of presence in Stockholm, Sweden, which enables organisations to connect into the global cloud datacentre network via Oslo.

Cloud computing is developing rapidly in Europe, according to the European Commission, which said the European cloud market would be worth €44.8bn by 2020 compared with €9.5bn in 2013.

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