Microsoft Achieves Milestone for New Canadian Cloud

"Early adopter" Canadian customers first to preview Microsoft Azure services delivered from local cloud regions in Toronto and Quebec City

TORONTO, March 14, 2016 /CNW/ - Microsoft Canada today announced that its new Canadian cloud regions are delivering an operational preview of Microsoft Azure cloud services to select customers. This milestone marks the start of a significant expansion of Microsoft's trusted cloud services into Canada. The preview gives select customers and partners a chance to run enterprise-ready Azure services which enable scalable access to infrastructure and storage services from the new cloud environment, helping customers achieve more through a highly scalable global cloud platform.

"Today, our 'early adopter' customers are the first to utilize Microsoft Azure from our cloud regions here on Canadian soil," said Microsoft Canada president Janet Kennedy. "For banks, governments and others who need to know exactly where their data sits, this represents a major leap forward in their ability to fully harness the power of the cloud." According to IDC, the government market for public IaaS is expected to outpace the overall Canadian IaaS market with a 48% growth rate through 2019. The SMB market is also projected to grow at a steady rate of 27%.

Kennedy continued, "These investments reflect Microsoft's ongoing commitment to expanding cloud services and supporting the growth of innovation for Canada's technology future. Our new local services will accelerate the potential of Canadian industries, public sector organizations, and entrepreneurs by opening opportunities to innovate, compete, and grow using the power of the cloud."

Azure is generally available in 22 regions around the world. The new Canadian cloud regions are part of Microsoft's plans for six new regions, all backed by Microsoft's $15 billion (USD) investment in global datacentre infrastructure.  As previously announced, Microsoft plans to launch Azure from the Canadian cloud regions into general availability in Q2 2016, followed by its flagship productivity solutions Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online.

Azure customers in Canada will benefit from enterprise-grade reliability and performance combined with in-country data residency, including data replication in multiple locations within Canada for business continuity, and a financially-backed service level agreements (SLA) with 99.9% availability.  The new locally delivered services in Canada feature the same industry-leading levels of security, privacy, control, compliance, and transparency that define the Microsoft trusted cloud globally.

Microsoft is adding new datacentres in Canada that will both deliver Microsoft cloud services and provide commitments for core data stored at rest within Canada for Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online.  Microsoft will become the first cloud provider in Canada to offer an enterprise-grade, hyper-scale, true hybrid platform certified to meet customers legal and compliance requirements. Customers can leverage Microsoft's ecosystem of 10,000 partner nationally to take advantage of these offerings.

PCL Construction, one of the largest contracting organizations in North America, is one of the select customers chosen to preview Azure in the Canadian cloud regions. "We've been a Microsoft Azure customer for several years and see it as a strategic offering fueling our cloud initiatives. The agility and flexibility it affords the PCL team has been extremely valuable and complimentary to our strategic objectives of reducing time to market and simplifying our cost structure," said PCL chief information officer Mark Bryant.

Many other Canadian customers are also experiencing the benefits of the Cloud. TD Bank recently migrated employees to Office 365 and realized a significant cost savings along with regulatory-compliant and higher secure service. "TD is focused on a technology transformation that prioritizes speed and agility," says Jeff Henderson, Executive Vice-President and CIO, TD Bank. "Our email migration to the Cloud is just one example of how we are delivering on this strategy and embracing new technologies to improve the employee and customer experience."

Similarly, Gibsons has also embraced the cloud.  "Moving to Microsoft Azure for key applications and services like Office 365, SharePoint Online, Dynamics CRM and IoT/Advanced Analytics has empowered Gibsons to increase efficiencies, eliminate security concerns and has enabled us to deliver a seamless employee experience anywhere, anytime on any device" said Richard Hannah, Vice President of Information Services at Gibsons. "We see it as a strategic offering that cuts costs and allows our teams to focus on what is most important, the business—not on the technology."

To learn more about customers benefiting from the Microsoft Cloud, visit us at

For additional testimonials from customers participating in the private preview, please see below.



"For Panasonic, participating in the Preview of Azure offers an invaluable opportunity to ensure and enhance connectivity performance between important policing tools such as In Car Camera and Body Wearable Camera UEMS," said Susan Black, Senior Director, IT and Security Solutions, Panasonic Canada Inc.  "Microsoft also offers us the integrity and reliability required to satisfy our uniquely high-level security needs. The availability of two separate Canadian cloud regions provides the redundancy features that our Public Safety customers demand when it comes to secure cloud management and data storage services."

Dyrand Systems

"Through the Azure preview, Microsoft Canada provides Dyrand Systems with tangible benefits that strengthen not only our performance but our bottom line," said Marie Pin, Director of Business Solutions, Dyrand Systems. "The versatility, security and reliability of the platform, anchored by two regions in Canada, allows us to lower costs, increase efficiency, develop new verticals and eliminate the burden of dealing with and paying for multiple hosting providers. In turn, we are able to provide to our clients a superior suite of services that are Canadian-based, regulatory-compliant, redundancy-proofed."

Established in 1985, Microsoft Canada Inc. is the Canadian subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq "MSFT") the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Microsoft Canada provides nationwide sales, marketing, consulting and local support services in both French and English. Headquartered in Mississauga, Microsoft Canada has nine regional offices across the country dedicated to empowering people through great software - any time, any place and on any device. For more information on Microsoft Canada, please visit

SOURCE Microsoft Canada Inc.

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Natasha Beynon

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