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Microsoft strengthens the Cloud Region in Italy, focus on sustainability

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Microsoft strengthens the Cloud Region in Italy, focus on sustainability

A new phase of expansion which also focuses on the themes of sustainability, work and social inclusion. Thus, during a visit with national and local institutional representatives, Jean-Philippe CourtoisPresident of National Transformation Partnerships Microsoft, describes the strengthening of the Cloud Region Italy North which, adding new cloud services at the service of national companies, confirms the commitment of the Redmond technology giant to supporting the country’s digital innovation. But not only.

Inaugurated last summer in Lombardy, with a series of scalable, secure and resilient cloud services, aimed at meeting the needs of public and private companies for local data residency, the Italian Cloud Region will grow rapidly to establish itself as one of the most relevant cloud infrastructures in European level in the coming years.

The Italian one is one of over 60 Microsoft Cloud Regions distributed throughout the world and will soon become one of the largest of the 17 Region Datacenters in Europe. There are currently over 250 companies leveraging the innovative scope of the new Italian Cloud Region through technologies and solutions such as Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365, which will soon be followed by Dynamics 365 and Power Platform.

Cloud computing for the sustainable growth of the country

Through cloud services capable of guaranteeing maximum levels of security, privacy and performance to local businesses and public administrations, Microsoft intends to stand alongside organizations in a crucial phase of evolution in terms of digital innovation but also of sustainable growth, in terms of reduction of the carbon footprint and careful management of resources. It is no coincidence that the new generation Microsoft Cloud Regions, like the Italian one, are designed according to the logic of sustainability and circular economy.

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By 2030 Microsoft will be carbon negative and by 2050 it will eliminate from the environment all the carbon emissions it has emitted directly or through electricity consumption since its founding in 1975, including data center operations. By 2025, it will transition to a supply of 100% renewable energymeaning it will have green power purchase agreements in place for 100% of the electricity consumed by all its data centers.

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Globally, Microsoft Cloud Regions reuse the 78% of components at the end of their life and the remainder 22% of the materials are recycled. Thanks to modern and innovative techniques, the company is reducing the use of cooling water in its data centers and estimates that it will use water to cool the Italian data center on less than 5% of the days of the year.

“In an era where digitalisation is key to progress and sustainable growth, cloud computing offers extraordinary opportunities for businesses of all sizes and markets, public and private, who can transform their operations, making them more sustainable, embracing the flexibility, scalability and security offered by our platform – underlined Vincenzo Esposito, CEO of Microsoft Italy – From strengthening data analysis capabilities to the creation of intelligent solutions based on Artificial Intelligence, the cloud is a driver of development and competitiveness . We work in close synergy with businesses, institutions and our ecosystem of partners to drive the responsible adoption of new technologies and to build the country’s digital future.”

Microsoft joins Forestami to reduce the environmental impact of the Cloud Region

Microsoft Cloud Regions are also designed to support local ecosystems. To minimize the environmental impact of its Cloud Regions, which are located in environments with native species, temperatures and different climate models, Microsoft carries out in-depth analyzes on the quantity and quality of water, air, emissions, climate, soil quality and biodiversity, with the aim of designing them in the best possible way.

In particular, for the Italian Cloud Region, it has launched an environmental improvement plan which involves joining Forestami, an urban forestation project of the metropolitan city of Milan, which will see the company engage in the creation of a plantation activity to compensate the emissions generated by the infrastructure and improve the environmental continuity of the area, the quality of the air and green spaces.

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In this framework, thanks to the collaboration with the global partner One Tree Planted, Microsoft started an afforestation project of trees and shrubs in the Milan area in November 2023: the first stage was in the Municipality of Albairate where with Forestami and Microsoft Italia volunteers 1,953 trees and shrubs were planted within the Ravello Village, an area of ​​9,765 m2.

“Making company interventions compatible with the local ecosystem context is an essential obligation today. Microsoft’s collaboration with the Forestami project goes in the direction of promoting the ecological conditions of the territory, improving the landscape, increasing natural capital to counteract the effects of climate change” declared Enrico Calvo, project manager of Forestami.

Collaboration with Generation Italy to train new Cloud professionals

According to IDC research, by 2027 Microsoft Italy – together with partners and customers – will generate 237,000 new job opportunities, both within the ecosystem and externally. Over the same period, the company, its ecosystem and customer IT departments will add 40,700 new skilled IT jobs.

It is clear that to fully exploit the opportunities of digital and support Italy’s growth, it is essential to accelerate and therefore invest in skills to bridge the skills mismatch. At this juncture, Microsoft Italia will collaborate with Generation Italy, a non-profit foundation founded in 2018 by McKinsey & Company to help reduce unemployment starting from the mismatch of skills, for the development of advanced paths aimed at training cloud systems engineers for migration and administration of cloud environments.

The new course that Generation Italy will launch at the beginning of December will train students as Junior Cloud Specialist: a professional figure who supports the Cloud migration process by analyzing business needs and selecting the most appropriate technologies. The Cloud Specialist is responsible for implementing and implementing the projects developed by the System Architect regarding services and solutions that allow the use of software and hardware resources across the network.

Each edition of the course lasts approximately 15 weeks, full time and entirely online, and includes training on technical and soft skills, with a strong focus on putting technologies into practice on real business cases. The courses are free and do not require any prior technical knowledge but only passing the motivational and aptitude tests on the Generation website.

“Our country suffers from a significant delay in the development and diffusion of advanced digital skills. According to the Digital Economy and Society Index of the European Union, Italy ranks third to last out of 28 countries considered – stated Oscar Pasquali, CEO of Generation Italy – With this free, experiential and professionalising programme, we intend to offer a concrete opportunity to motivated young people to train and start their career in the digital field on one of the most sought after technologies on the job market and which companies today struggle most to hire qualified personnel”.

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New expansion phase for Microsoft’s Italian Cloud Region

“Microsoft is committed to Italy’s ongoing digital transformation, powered by the cloud and responsible AI, to help drive economic growth and provide innovative services to its businesses and citizens” commented Jean Philippe Courtois, Executive Vice President and President, National Transformation Partnerships at Microsoft.

“Due to the acceleration resulting from the adoption of generative artificial intelligence by companies and public bodies, it is of fundamental importance to be able to count on a safe and reliable infrastructure in Italy. The expansion confirms the ability of the country system to attract investments in the territory and the virtuous public-private dialogue” added Hon. Valentino Valentini, Deputy Minister of Business and Made in Italy.

“We are proud to be able to host Microsoft’s first Italian cloud region which today further expands its services. It represents an economic driving force for the territory and certifies the attractiveness of Lombardy and the international value of our region” concluded Attilio Fontana, President of the Lombardy Region.

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