While businesses around the world increasingly leverage cloud services in place of traditional 'on premise' solutions, local regulations may impose constraints upon how data is stored, accessed, and controlled. In some situations, cloud services become a non-starter if they are unable to fulfill the regulatory requirements imposed upon their prospective customers.
In response, Microsoft has now released a new variant of its Office 365 service, called 'Office 365 Germany' to meet the obligations of organizations operating under substantial regulations in Germany, the EU, and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). Leveraging the investment in its recently built Microsoft Cloud Germany, the company's new subscription offering has been specifically designed to store customer data at rest within the country while also meeting the stringent access and control requirements demanded by German law and EU regulations.
With respect to the new offering, Sabine Bendiek, Area Vice President, Microsoft Germany said:
"Office 365 Germany provides innovative, cloud-based productivity tools that enable our customers to grow their businesses and meet their strict compliance restrictions like data residency in Germany. We are providing our customers a unique, differentiated option in how their data is handled and where it is stored, helping them fuel their digital transformation"
Office 365 Germany comes as a result of Microsoft's partnership with Deutsche Telekom originally announced in early 2015 with T-Systems International GmbH, a subsidiary of the latter, responsible for controlling access to data by parties other than clients and designated users.