Microsoft’s Cloud OS Network: more choice than ever before

Today, Microsoft announced its Cloud OS Network - a worldwide group of more than 25 cloud service providers serving over 90 markets, delivering services built on the Microsoft Cloud Platform. For enterprise and Government organisations in the UK, this means more choice and flexibility in the way they are able to deliver their applications and services. Specifically, with the Cloud OS Network we are enabling organisations to deploy their applications and services from a high quality trusted local service provider in conjunction with existing on premises and Azure assets.

Maurice Martin Director, Server and Cloud platforms, Microsoft Ltd explains: “Choice is key. UK customers now benefit from a true hybrid cloud model – being able to deploy services and applications in a consistent way across UK based leading service providers - Outsourcery, Capita, NTTX and CGI in conjunction with Azure. We recognise that for organisations with concerns regarding data sovereignty, specific industry regulations and additional specialised services - obtaining Microsoft Cloud services from a local UK provider offers them the best of both worlds. Working with our UK service provider partners via our new Cloud OS Network additionally means that together we can offer services that are fully compliant with UK Government security standards, allowing confidential data to be securely processed within our cloud ecosystem.”

Martin continues: “Ultimately what you are seeing here is the foundation for a national cloud infrastructure. We believe that the Cloud OS Network is unique since it enables one consistent platform across customer private clouds, public cloud (Windows Azure), and service provider clouds, with all three leveraging shared technologies for the virtualisation layer, systems management, development frameworks and identity solutions. This makes it easy for Government to work with multiple providers and enable workloads to move across clouds, dynamically if required, without technical friction.”

The Cloud OS Network will see partners provide infrastructure and application solutions based on a Microsoft-validated platform. The solutions can be highly customised and fully managed for customers and include varying levels of security, privacy and service levels to meet specific needs.

Piers Linney, CEO of Outsourcery explains what it means for the UK market: “The rate of cloud adoption continues to gather pace amongst our public and private sectors customers who are now seeking greater choice, flexibility and consistency between hybrid datacentre environments. Data sovereignty is also an increasing requirement, which is why customers such as London Business School have seen the value of Outsourcery’s O-Cloud Platform powered by the Microsoft Cloud Platform. In fact, as part of the Microsoft Cloud OS Network, we see a significant opportunity to increase our market strength by offering customers the most comprehensive set of cloud service capabilities available today. These capabilities are enhanced by global best practice from a select number of leading cloud providers.”

Andy Parker, Deputy Chief Executive at Capita adds: “We are pleased to be working with Microsoft as one of the few UK companies to offer its popular applications via private cloud. Capita Productivity Hub allows organisations to increase productivity by offering trusted Microsoft applications on the go and on their choice of device. In addition, the latest versions of these applications will always be available.

“Customers benefit from the knowledge that the applications are being used in a secure environment, plus the reassurance of all data being stored in Capita’s UK data centres. This is crucial for many organisations in the public sector and highly regulated industries. Capita Productivity Hub will be available via the existing Capita Private Cloud infrastructure, which offers customers access to more than 2,000 pre-tested cloud applications via a self-service portal, allowing them to easily tailor, monitor and manage services.”

Tim Gregory, UK President, CGI. Explains: “At CGI we always strive to be the best at what we do and help our clients to succeed. This partnership with Microsoft is a further demonstration of our commitment to provide clients with best of class solutions for their business, operational and bottom line challenges. We have already demonstrated the benefits of this partnership with our Secure Government Cloud which was launched last week and is already generating a huge amount of interest in the market.”

Philip Moss, Director at NTTX concludes: “NTTX is proud of its long-standing association with Microsoft and today’s announcement that NTTX is one of the small group of global partners involved in Microsoft’s Cloud OS Network is testament to the strength of this relationship. Our new generation of public and private cloud solutions, utilising the power and capability of Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Azure Pack and System Centre 2012 R2, provides highly available, feature rich solutions, which drive down operational costs and reduce the complexity and deployment lead times inherent in traditional solutions. NTTX combines its highly-advanced Cloud services delivery platform with a trusted, personal and highly responsive approach to customer engagement to deliver turnkey solutions that exceed customers’ needs, today and tomorrow, in the most cost effective manner.”