Microsoft Canada President Janet Kennedy with COO Kevin Turner

Published: June 2nd, 2015

Microsoft Canada called it a cloud touch down in Canada. The software giant plans to have commercial cloud services from Canada featuring Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online. They will be delivered from Toronto and Quebec City in 2016.

The Toronto data centre is estimated to create more than 14,000 jobs, according to the Mayor of the City John Tory.

“Together with Microsoft, we’re bringing Toronto into the 21st Century,” Tory said.

He added that Toronto is home to a skilled and talented work force and the City is committed to investing in state-of-the-art infrastructure that’s needed to attract good jobs and fuel innovation.

Microsoft COO Kevin Turner was in Toronto for the event and said the “Microsoft Cloud will be truly Canadian.”

Turner said this substantial investment in a Canadian cloud demonstrates how committed the company is to bringing more opportunities to Canadian businesses and government organizations.

The new locally deployed services will address data residency considerations for Microsoft customers and channel partners. General availability of Azure is anticipated in early 2016, followed by Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online later in 2016.

Janet Kennedy
Janet Kennedy

Microsoft Canada President Janet Kennedy said delivering cloud services from data centres on Canadian soil opens up significant new cloud-based possibilities for organizations who must adhere to strict data storage compliance codes.

“We’re very proud to be delivering the Microsoft Cloud right here in Canada, for the benefit of Canadian innovators, entrepreneurs, governments and small businesses.  Delivering the flexibility of hyper-scale, enterprise grade, locally deployed public cloud services is the ultimate Canadian hat trick.”

Currently, Microsoft delivers cloud-based email, Office 365, and CRM Online to more than 80,000 Canadian businesses such as Air Canada, Quebecor and Hatch.

Ontario’s Deputy Premier and President of Treasury Board, Deb Matthews, said Microsoft’s data centres will enable Ontario businesses to compete globally.

Matthews continued that more than 3,200 Canadian start-ups have benefited from joining the free BizSpark program, many of which are based in Ontario. “By bringing the power of the cloud to Canada and providing free access through BizSpark, our entrepreneurs can truly compete with the best in the world,” she said.

David MacDonald, CEO of Softchoice, CDN’s No. 2 Solution Provider, welcomes Microsoft’s plans to build two new data centers in Canada.

“This is good news for Canadian enterprises that have been reluctant to leverage Microsoft’s cloud technologies due to concerns over data residency,” MacDonald said. ”

He added that the two data centres underscores Microsoft’s commitment to Canadian organizations and removes a key obstacle which will allow more clients to take advantage of the cloud, something Softchoice is particularly well positioned to support.

Softchoice is Microsoft largest partner in Canada and has developed Keystone Managed Services for Microsoft Cloud that helps customers with Office 365 by reducing the risk of outages, managing configurations and improving time to value through ongoing consultations.