Dynamics CRM Online, Office 365 Head Down Under

Microsoft lights up its cloud software slate in Australia, home to some of the company's newest Azure data centers.

Microsoft cloud

Microsoft's cloud-based customer relationship management software, Dynamics CRM Online, and its Office 365 productivity platform are now available in Australia, a relatively new region in the software giant's growing global cloud footprint.

In October, the Redmond, Wash.-based company announced two new Azure cloud computing regions in Australia, each comprised of multiple data centers, bringing the total number of Azure regions to 19 and boosting the company's hyperscale cloud capabilities. "That's more than twice the number of regions that AWS [Amazon Web Services] offers today, and that's more than six times the number of regions than the Google cloud offers today," Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise group, said at an Oct. 20 press event.

This week, Microsoft announced the availability of two major Azure-backed offerings in that part of the world.

"Our global expansion hits another milestone today with Dynamics CRM Online now running our service out of local Microsoft data centers in the Australia East Region (New South Wales) and the Australia Southeast Region (Victoria)," said Bob Stutz, corporate vice president of Microsoft Dynamics CRM in a March 30 announcement. "In addition to better performance, businesses running their services out of local data centers will get redundant high availability and disaster recovery within Australia," he added.

Another benefit is locally secured data, a prime consideration for highly regulated industries.

"The local service helps customers address data residency considerations, which is particularly important in sectors such as health care, education, government and financial services," Stutz said. "Customers can rest assured that their information and data is protected and backed-up in Australia."

Much like Office 365, which is also now generally available in the region, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online will soon meet Australia's strict data security standards.

"Both Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Office 365 already provide this level of assurance having been assessed for Industry Security Registered Assessors Program (IRAP), a compliance assessment of Australian Government security requirements," Stutz said. "A similar IRAP assessment for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is also under way and we'll share more on this in the future."

In a separate statement, Microsoft noted that "Office 365 is the first cloud productivity service to provide IRAP assurance in Australia," and reiterated that Dynamics CRM Online is following suit. "Our comprehensive approach to global and local certifications provides the gold standard in security to federal government agencies, state government, education, health care and commercial enterprises in Australia—all verified by third parties."

Also participating the Australian cloud market, IBM announced the September 2014 launch of its first SoftLayer cloud data center in Melbourne. "Australia is an important market for IBM and SoftLayer," Lance Crosby, CEO of SoftLayer, said in a statement at the time. "We are seeing a strong appetite for cloud in this market, particularly toward the hybrid cloud model." IBM also tapped Avnet Technology Solutions, a major IT distributor, to help establish a midmarket SoftLayer business partner network in the area.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the Internet.com network of...