Microsoft on Wednesday announced that it will establish the company’s first cloud region in Israel to deliver “intelligent, trusted cloud services through a local datacenter.”
The Israeli region will be Microsoft’s 56th cloud region across 21 countries. It is set to be launched in 2021 starting with Microsoft Azure, which offers computing, networking, databases, analytics, and Internet of Things (IoT) services, and with Office 365 to follow.
“The new Israel region will … become part of one of the largest cloud infrastructures in the world, already serving more than a billion customers and 20 million businesses,” Microsoft said.
Israel-based clients of Microsoft’s cloud services include Check Point, Sheba Hospital, Hapoalim Bank, and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.
According to the announcement, the move reinforces the continuous commitment of Microsoft to the Israeli market.
“Offering Microsoft Azure and Office 365 from a datacenter region in Israel forms a key part of our investment and involvement in the startup nation, as infrastructure is an essential building block for the tech intensity that public sector entities and businesses need to embrace,” said Michel van der Bel, President, Microsoft Europe, Middle East, and Africa.
Ronit Atad, General Manager of Microsoft Israel said: “Microsoft has made a strategic decision to invest in the Israeli market. This investment marks an extremely important milestone in the company’s engagement with the startup nation, as we recently marked the 30th anniversary of our presence in the country. Public sector entities, enterprise companies and developers will have access to scalable, highly available, and resilient cloud services to accelerate their digital transformation journeys. This will help them better engage customers, empower employees, optimize operations, and transform products and services from the new cloud region in Israel.”
Microsoft first opened a branch in Israel in 1989, establishing the first R&D center outside the US in the country in 1991. Microsoft also operates a VC fund and Microsoft for Startups programs in Israel.