Technology company Microsoft is opening three data centers in Belgium to give businesses and governments access to local cloud infrastructure. Microsoft announced that this investment is part of a multi-year investment plan called “Digital Atmospheres”.
The company did not comment on the size of the investment, and the exact location of the data centers was not disclosed for “security reasons”. Didier Ongina, Managing Director of Microsoft Belgium and Luxembourg, spoke of a “triangle of centers in the region around Brussels”.
With the new centers, Ongena said during an online press conference, “We want to give our customers and partners access to on-premises cloud infrastructure and the most advanced cloud services.” “This will allow companies and governments to store and process their data in Belgium, use new applications and enjoy the highest security standards.”
It will also generate growth, according to the general manager. There is talk of more than €30 billion in additional revenue over the next four years – “of which €5 billion is directly related to investment in on-premises cloud infrastructure” – plus 60,000 additional jobs. These are jobs within the “Microsoft ecosystem”: companies and organizations that use the technology company’s services. There are currently 4,000 of them, and according to Ongena, they are good for 80,000 jobs.
Prime Minister Alexandre de Croo responded via a video link, as he is in quarantine at home. “But this once again shows how technology continues to help us move forward even in the most difficult moments,” he said. “I am particularly pleased with the announced investment of several million in digital infrastructure in our country,” continued De Croo. According to him, this infrastructure is “very crucial” to be able to enhance our competitiveness.
Microsoft’s digital AmBEtion plan is built on three pillars: providing high-quality digital infrastructure, helping citizens develop digital skills, and creating sustainable societal impact. The company will announce more details in the coming months.
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