Microsoft’s investment in Data Center Region and its derivative value

15-12-2020

Lately we have all been aware of the announcement of the big investment of Microsoft in our country with the creation of a Data Center Region, a complex of three Data Centers, which as everything shows will be installed in the area of ​​Lavrio, with added value that in the long run can reach 1 billion euros. This is clearly a move with multiplier benefits for the Greek economy and society, as it places it at the forefront of the developments of the 4th industrial revolution, but also a move of high symbolism and a vote of confidence in the country’s investment climate, but also in the digital talent of the people. of. And with this ”binary approach” we must first analyze it.

The infrastructure

The first aspect is the infrastructure. The creation of a Data Center Region makes Greece a strong regional hub in terms of Cloud infrastructure and is a clear call if not a trigger to see more companies of all sizes moving to the Cloud / Hybrid Cloud, as a tangible example of their Digital Transformation.

With the volume of data produced worldwide increasing exponentially, the storage and utilization of this vast volume is becoming a top priority for any kind of organization, public or private. From the very first moments of the announcement we learned that large Greek companies that already use Microsoft Cloud services, such as Alpha Bank, PPC, National Bank of Greece, Eurobank, OTE, Piraeus Bank, expressed their intention to use Microsoft Azure Cloud services when they will be available from the new Datacenter in Greece. This immediate response is not accidental. The existence of the Data Center Region in our country will offer Greek companies immediate and tangible advantages, such as full access to the list of Microsoft cloud services with higher speeds, less delay in data transfer and guaranteed cybersecurity. Large organizations of this range are also aware of the main advantages of moving their infrastructure to the Cloud: reduction in operating costs, as there is no need to maintain or upgrade infrastructure equipment, increased productivity, scalability and resilience of infrastructure and increased cybersecurity. Data are now characterized as the new world “currency” and their storage has come to the fore as the first priority.

The human factor

The second aspect of the investment is the human factor. On the one hand, this investment opens the door wide for new “high-intensity”, high-value, and skilled jobs, which undoubtedly means attracting talent to the country who may be thinking of leaving or have already left abroad – thus reducing the outflow of the “brain drain” or even halting this phenomenon. At the same time, as Microsoft and the Greek Government have clearly announced, time and resources will be invested in educating 100,000 citizens in our country on digital skills and in particular on new AI and Big Data technologies, the so-called exponential technologies that will be the future of their operation. of our societies in the 4th Industrial Revolution. Therefore, a new batch of trained staff is just around the corner.

Ecosystem and intensification of competition

Of course, in addition to these two basic aspects, there are many other interesting aspects of this investment that multiply its value. One such is the creation of an ecosystem around Microsoft’s investment, a small state of companies that will be located next to the Data Center Region facilities, to take advantage of the high speeds it will offer (either by fiber optics directly from the DataCenter, either with a presence in the DC of the Telecommunication Providers, in order to offer MPLS VPN services or leased lines), resulting in a quality upgrade of the area, multiple new jobs, but also a revitalization of the economy, as has happened in other areas abroad where corresponding investments have been made. Such an investment can attract new companies, from startups to multinationals, from the wider region, even outside Greece, with what this implies in terms of the real estate market, residential development and attracting innovative companies from around the world.

A parametric positive consequence will be the intensification of competition around the field of Data Centers and Cloud infrastructure in our country. The recent acquisition of Lamda Hellix by American Digital Realty demonstrates this resurgence of interest and is not the only one as Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been preparing for months for the opening of a subsidiary in our country, in order to provide its own Cloud services. At the same time, Lancom recently announced that it is proceeding with the creation of Balkan Gate I, a data center that will be located in the area of ​​Kalochori in Thessaloniki. Also, Sparkle, completes at the beginning of 2021 the construction of its fourth Data Center in Greece, Metamorfosi II, which will be one of the largest and most developed “green” data centers in Europe.

Green growth

An additional dimension of Microsoft’s investment is its sustainable direction, as climate change and its consequences are high on the global government agenda. A modern Data Center in a big city invests heavily in renewable energy sources, as it consumes significant amounts of energy for its operation – and especially for the cooling of computer rooms – while the same can theoretically be converted into a heat generator that can offer -i.e hot water in nearby settlements. Microsoft’s investment will have this dimension of sustainability, making it even more important for our country, as the adoption of “green growth” is a long-term government goal.

The direction of green growth in Data Centers is not new. Recently, Sparkle, the first international provider of telecommunications interconnection services in Italy and among the top ten in the world, announced that its subsidiary in Greece was certified for the use of renewable energy sources (RES) at the Data Centers in Athens in Metamorfosi, Koropi and in Chania, Crete. The Certificate of Origin certifies that as of May 2020, 100% of the electricity used by Sparkle and all its collocation customers comes from renewable energy sources with zero carbon emissions.

The role of PRIORITY

In all this scenario of technological, investment and social prosperity that is formed in our country in the coming years, PRIORITY, is a helper and enabler of enterprises and the public sector in their Digital Transformation, in their transition to the Cloud and in the adoption of a new culture of utilization of their data.

At the same time, it is able to contribute the most to the training of executives and human resources of Greek companies and public organizations in the use of both new technologies and the data produced by them. The Training Department of PRIORITY, with its experience and know-how, evaluates the progress of digital skills development and helps companies to form a corporate culture that is oriented towards efficiency and simplification of processes. In fact, it specializes in the design of special seminars that lead to the certification of individuals in subjects related to Digital Skills, managing the entire “Certification Scheme”.

At the same time, in the field of sustainability, PRIORITY is able to lead any investment in a Data Center in our country to “green certification”, as the certificate of origin is combined with the certification per ISO 14001: 2015 for the environmental management system, but also other certifications on quality and sustainability.

In conclusion

Cloud technologies, Digital Transformation, the future of AI, but also “green growth” is the only way to transform our productive model as a country, to build the foundations for an internationally competitive economy, but also to create new quality jobs in Greece for a better tomorrow for all of us. Greece is transformed with this move by Microsoft into a Cloud hub of NA Europe and we must all be ready here, to take advantage of this opportunity. PRIORITY, on its part, is able to enable this transition for all companies and public organizations in the country.