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Microsoft to open Malaysia cloud region

Microsoft’s new cloud region located in the Greater Kuala Lumpur area is part of a broader move to expand its footprint in the Asia-Pacific region

Microsoft is opening a datacentre region in Malaysia, as part of a broader plan to expand its footprint in the Asia-Pacific region.

Located in the Greater Kuala Lumpur area, the new region will deliver access to the full Microsoft Cloud, which includes Azure cloud services, Microsoft 365 productivity and collaboration tools, and the Dynamics 365 suite of enterprise applications.

The region will also deliver Azure availability zones, providing additional resilience options for highly available applications, and support Microsoft’s sustainability goal to use 100% renewable energy by 2025.

This means Microsoft will have power purchase agreements for green energy contracted for 100% of carbon-emitting electricity consumed by all its datacentres, buildings and campuses, including the planned Malaysia cloud region.

Malaysian companies including oil and gas giant Petronas and telco Celcom are expected to use Microsoft Cloud from the new datacentre region when it is ready.

“We highly applaud Microsoft’s plans to establish its first datacentre region in Malaysia, providing access to secure, scalable, highly available, resilient and sustainable cloud services for the government, and across multiple industry verticals,” said Celcom CEO Idham Nawawi. “As the anchor telco tenant, we look forward to bringing the benefit of this datacentre to our customers and partners.”

Meanwhile, Microsoft said it will work with the government, startups and enterprises to support the country’s digital transformation goals. This includes collaborating on cloud-first and digital-native policy recommendations and equipping one million Malaysians with digital skills by end of 2023.

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Malaysia prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin said he hoped the investment was “just the first green shoots of a broader meadow of investments in Malaysia, for Microsoft and other data players”.

“This significant investment from Microsoft further fortifies Malaysia’s position as a potential regional data hub and we stand ever ready to welcome more such partners as we work with our stakeholders to continually improve Malaysia’s value proposition in this big data space,” he added.

Microsoft, which been operating in Malaysia for 28 years, has over 200 employees and 2,000 partners in the country.

K Raman, managing director of Microsoft Malaysia, said the company will continue to support a digitally enabled government, empower businesses to build resilience digitally, and bridge the digital opportunities for Malaysians.

The Malaysian cloud region comes on the heels of recent moves by Microsoft to drive the region’s next wave of economic growth, with new datacentres slated to open in Indonesia, Taiwan and New Zealand.

Added revenues

The Indonesian investment, for example, is expected to add $6.3bn to the revenues of local cloud-using customers and partners, contributing to the creation of nearly 60,000 jobs.

“There is no doubt that during the past year we have seen the acceleration of digital transformation efforts across all industries,” said Ahmed Mazhari, president of Microsoft Asia. “Asia now accounts for 60% of the world’s growth and is leading the global recovery with the digitisation of business models and economies.

“Cloud will continue to be a core foundation empowering the realisation of Asia’s ambitions, enabling co-innovation across industries, government and community to drive inclusive societal progress,” he added.

Microsoft recently made a bigger push to strengthen its position in the cloud computing market with a slew of industry-specific cloud offerings for the financial services, manufacturing and non-profit sectors.

According to IDC, the industry cloud market represents one of the largest vertical growth opportunities for technology suppliers. More than 500 industry clouds have already been created globally, and revenue in this space is expected to exceed $20bn by 2022.

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