On his maiden visit to India after taking over as Chief executive officer (CEO) of Microsoft Corp, Satya Nadella announced that the company would set up local data centres in the country. Microsoft will offer cloud services from its Azure and Office 365 stacks to local business and government clients. The move is expected to give Microsoft a leg-up over competitors Google and Amazon.com, which offer similar cloud and office productivity suites to businesses.
Data centers in India will enable access to customers in banking and financial services, as well as the central and state governments, which are restrained by regulations that require data to be hosted within the country. New initiatives of the government such as Digital India, smart cities and the financial inclusion scheme-Jan Dhan Yojana, offer significant opportunity for hosting data and cloud services. Microsoft’s centres in three cities will be operational by the end of 2015.
“There can’t be a mobile first world without a cloud first world,” Nadella said at a press conference here.
The Hyderabad-born 47-year-old Nadella, who took over as the third CEO of Microsoft earlier this year, added that the company’s cloud business in India grew over 100 per cent.
Having local data centres is part of a global strategy, which is being “started from India.” Nadella said India already had 250 million smartphones and the number was only going to grow. And the cloud is necessary to connect all the touchpoints and rivitalise “productivity”.