US software giant Microsoft will invest $1bn over seven years to develop a data centre and associated cloud computing services for businesses in Poland, the company said on May 5.
“A new Microsoft data centre region in Poland, as part of a global cloud computing infrastructure, [will] provide the national ecosystem of startups, entrepreneurs, companies and public institutions with access to secure enterprise-class cloud services,” Microsoft said.
The investment will operate in cooperation with Poland’s cloud services provider Chmura Krajowa, Microsoft also said. Chmura Krajowa is essentially a project of the Polish government, set up by the state-controlled bank PKO BP and the state-owned Polish Development Fund.
The two entities signed a “strategic agreement, which aims to provide expert knowledge in the field of digital transformation and wide access to cloud solutions for all industries and companies in Poland.”
Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki lauded Microsoft’s plans.
“Microsoft's investment in Poland will be important for enterprises, public institutions and the education system and will enable them to digitally transform and implement new work standards. Our main goal is to accelerate Poland's transformation into a technological hub for the region of Central and Eastern Europe,” Morawiecki said.
An important element of the investment will also be a comprehensive and long-term qualification improvement programme for Polish specialists and young people. Microsoft thus aims at developing digital competence of approximately 150,000 employees, IT professionals, teachers, students, and citizens in general, the company said.