Microsoft has announced plans to open its first datacentre region in Italy as part of a $1.5bn investment pledge to the country.
The new datacentre region, set to open in Milan, will bring localised cloud services including Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365 to businesses across Italy.
The announcement is part of a five-year plan, dubbed "Ambizione Italia", announced by Microsoft.
Microsoft has extended its relationship with Italy's largest postal company, Poste Italiane, to launch a joint plan to develop new skilling projects for Poste Italiane's workforce as well as for the wider country.
Microsoft will also aim to train around 1.5 million students, professionals and unemployed across Italy over the next three years alongside Fondazione Mondo Digitale and through Microsoft's Partner Academy Programme.
"This plan will support those working across the country to sustain and rebuild businesses, to explore new entrepreneurial opportunities and help solve some of the country's most difficult challenges, all while meeting critical security and compliance needs.
"We see enormous potential to accelerate innovation within the national ecosystem through cloud services, AI and digital skilling. Our mission is to empower the people and organizations of Italy to achieve more," said Jean-Philippe Courtois, EVP of global sales, marketing and operations at Microsoft.
"The ‘Ambizione Italia #DigitalRestart' plan will help accelerate the digital transformation of our country. Microsoft's initiative, with cloud services and digital smart-working programs dedicated to small and medium-sized enterprises, will certainly help Italy move even faster in this direction. The new Sustainability Alliance that Microsoft aims to bring is also of utmost importance to the national Green New Deal," said Italy's prime minister Giuseppe Conte.
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