OChK has entered into a strategic partnership with global technology company, Microsoft. This opens another chapter in the development of the platform that is being built in Poland to provide enterprises and public institutions with access to the latest cloud computing solutions and accelerate the digital transformation of the Polish economy. Under the partnership agreement with OChK, Microsoft will launch its first data processing region for Central and Eastern Europe in Poland.
The conference, at which the strategic partnership between Microsoft and OChK was announced, was remotely attended by many distinguished guests from Poland and abroad, including Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, US Ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher, Jean-Phillippe Courtois, Executive Vice-President and President, Microsoft Global Sales, Marketing and Operations, Zbigniew Jagiełło, President of PKO Bank Polski, and Paweł Borys, President of the Polish Development Fund [Polski Fundusz Rozwoju, PFR]. For more information, visit the Microsoft website.
“Our partnership with Microsoft is an important step in the development of OChK. We have persuaded the largest technology company in the world to make an important investment in Poland. By joining forces, we increase the chances of accelerating the digital transformation of Polish businesses and public administration. OChK provides its services in a multi-cloud model, giving clients the freedom to choose between cloud solution adoption options and technologies best tailored to their business models. The Azure cloud platform and Microsoft 365 solutions are a fantastic extension of our product range," said Michal Potoczek, CEO of OChK. "We are a trusted partner that ensures security, full compliance with local regulations, and data localization in Poland. In this context, Microsoft’s decision to set up the first data processing region for Central and Eastern Europe perfectly aligns with our mission," he added.
The new data center region will complement Microsoft’s global infrastructure, which now includes 59 cloud regions providing availability of the Microsoft Azure service in more than 140 countries. It will enable local access to the full range of Microsoft’s secure cloud services.
"Poland has the chance to become the digital heart of Europe. Which is why today we are announcing our partnership with OChK and the country’s largest-ever $1 billion investment in digital technology. As part of the investment project, we aim to work on the development of digital competencies, support transformation and build CEE’s first global-scale secure and trusted Microsoft cloud data center region. This means access to world-class technology, including especially cloud solutions, from a data center located in Poland," said Mark Loughran, General Manager of the Polish Branch of Microsoft.
The partnership with Microsoft allows OChK to further diversify its product range. The product range is complemented by Azure cloud platform solutions, including network infrastructure services, databases, analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). OChK will also offer Microsoft 365 solutions, providing access to productivity-enhancing applications available as a cloud service and delivered as part of an open platform to support business processes. From the moment the agreement is signed, Microsoft and OChK will jointly support companies and institutions that provide consulting and implementation services by developing transformation projects upon favorable market terms.
An important element of Microsoft’s investment in Poland is also a comprehensive, multi-year program to improve digital competencies in the Polish labor market. It will include trainings, workshops, hackathons and e-learning programs on cloud computing, the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies, advanced data analytics and the Internet of Things. Improvement of digital competencies is an essential component of successful digital transformation based on cloud solutions.
The partnership with Microsoft is another strategic agreement entered into by OChK within a year and a half from the announcement of its establishment by PKO Bank Polski and the Polish Development Fund [Polski Fundusz Rozwoju, PFR]. In September 2019, OChK signed a strategic partnership agreement with Google, which brought about the creation in Poland of a so-called Google Cloud Region, a hub of technical infrastructure and software for clients in Poland and the CEE region.
Today, OChK is the most specialized provider of cloud computing solutions on the Polish market. It operates under a multi-cloud model offering both its own products within the OChK Platform and solutions from global public cloud providers. Such a combination gives clients the freedom to choose between the available cloud solution adoption options. OChK helps them streamline their IT processes and costs by reducing project implementation times and increasing operational performance. OChK provides IT architecture migration and transformation services. The company also advises on the selection of advanced data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions that are optimal for a specific sector and the given stage of an organization’s development.
OChK operations are based on advanced digital security. OChK operates under the Polish law and ensures full regulatory compliance, which is particularly important for entities whose activities are subject to specific legal conditions, including data localization.
Cloud computing has now become an essential part of the digital transformation process both at the level of individual companies and the economy as a whole, since more and more innovative technologies are being developed exclusively in the cloud environment. Cloud technology closely links spending with the actual usage of resources. It ensures scalability, increases reliability and security of the IT environment. It supports the use of agile methodologies and enables the automation of repetitive processes. A cloud native approach, in which agile applications and systems are developed in the cloud from scratch, speeds up the implementation of new projects and the continued improvement of existing solutions.