Google, a global provider and a strategic partner of OChK, has just launched its first public cloud region in our part of Europe. This is the outcome of cooperation and a strategic agreement established a little more than 18 months ago with OChK. The cloud region marks an important milestone for the Polish IT market, but most of all for hundreds of thousands of Polish businesses, which can leverage the knowledge and experience of our experts and use cloud technology on a much larger scale than before to build competitive advantage.
Three years ago barely 11% of businesses in Poland were using the cloud. We used to be the third to last country in the European Union in this regard. At that time, the ranking of innovative economies was almost identical, since the level of innovation is closely correlated with a country’s level of cloud technology deployment.
It was a time when some Polish companies did not yet see the need to use the cloud technology. Many businesses declared the need but claimed that numerous external barriers prevented cloud adoption. The obstacles they considered most important and most common included legal regulations, lack of data residency, huge distance from the nearest data center, lack of a local partner to help implement cloud solutions and finally lack of adequate skills.
This is exactly why OChK was established a little over two years ago. OChK had a simple goal: to remove these barriers. And, we sought to provide a technology platform that would enable effective digital transformation of Polish companies and Polish public administration.
As soon as nine months after the establishment of OChK, we signed strategic agreement with Google. We have partnered a global provider, adding Google Cloud services to our portfolio and offering them in compliance with the applicable Polish laws. At the same time, we launched various types of programs of an educational and commercial nature. They all shared the same goal: to support companies in their successful transformation, while stimulating the market of integrators and software developers to acquire new skills.
Google Cloud region in Warsaw is already here!
Now a key component of the agreement has come to life and the last barrier has disappeared. Google launched its public cloud region in Warsaw. Every Polish company and institution can now use Google Cloud services provided from infrastructure located in Poland, and can enjoy guaranteed data residency. This is ensured with virtually zero service latency, which is of critical importance, especially for large hybrid solutions.
This is a turning point not only for Poland, but for the entire Central European region. Today, there are hundreds of public cloud data centers spread across every continent, however, until now not a single one had been located in Central Europe. Google Cloud Region in Warsaw is the first investment of its kind in this part of our continent.
Why is this so important? The statistics are incontrovertible. Wherever such investment is implemented, digitization processes gain momentum, and companies are more likely to take steps towards innovation, leveraging their unlimited access to state-of-the-art services.
A lot has changed over the past two years. There are no more external barriers. However, companies seeking to accelerate their growth through technology have been facing new challenges. This time, though, Polish businesses can directly influence the challenges ahead.
Delivering value-added cloud
Cloud is just a technology, a collection of components you need in order to be able to build business solutions. The challenge lies in being able to integrate the technology into corporate products and processes to achieve maximum business results. Large organizations often find cloud transformation is a complex process, requiring the right competencies and a systematic approach.
This is why OChK is constantly evolving. Today, we are a value-added cloud provider. On the one hand, we offer a diversified portfolio of platform services, available on a multicloud basis, i.e., using multiple cloud platforms, which complies at the same time with regulations and ensures data residency. On the other hand, we are rapidly changing, listening to our clients and watching the challenges they face. We are expanding our services to help companies effectively build business values using cloud solutions and facilitate the transformation process.
Today, OChK is a mature organization, with a team of more than 150 of the most experienced cloud experts in Poland. We support our clients at every stage of their transformation, from drafting a plan to its successful implementation. We advise on how to be agile and fast in the cloud using the Cloud Native approach.
We help build better products and optimal processes based on artificial intelligence and advanced data analytics, which allows companies to not only analyze past events, but also to look ahead and, to name but one example, try to predict clients’ needs and purchasing preferences.
Supporting elimination of technological barriers
We develop state-of-the-art software designed for the cloud that leverages cloud potential. We help you face the challenge of building an efficient organization and meeting the requirements of an innovative workplace. This is especially important now that many companies work remotely or in a hybrid model.
We do all this in line with the best security practices. Our competencies in this area are confirmed by certificates of compliance with ISO standards and the CSA STAR standard renowned in cloud computing.
We have also built an ecosystem of specialized partners to implement the most demanding projects. Our partners include a broad spectrum of companies: from software vendors, through integration partners implementing complex projects, to specialized entities providing unique expertise in artificial intelligence, data analytics, and industry-specific solutions.
In the past year, we have all realized the importance of the cloud. The COVID-19 pandemic came as a shock. It has changed the operations of many businesses that were forced to put aside long-term planning and multi-year projects in order to adapt quickly to new conditions and to face entirely new challenges.
The cloud has proved to be a great place for such a change, enabling the agile and quick launch of new initiatives on any scale.
Supporting the implementation of transformation projects
There is one project that we need to mention here. In December, we were asked to help build a nationwide registration system for COVID-19 vaccinations. The system was supposed to handle 30 million people in a short period of time, allowing them to register for vaccinations at their chosen date and location, using several different channels, including a web application.
Nobody was able to foresee what computing capacity would be required once the system was up and running. It was impossible to know how many people would want to register or the number of interactions. We launched e-Registration in just six weeks. We were able to deliver thanks to our in-house expertise, our trusted partners, and Google Cloud. Since day one, the system has supported several thousand vaccination centers, tens of thousands of vaccination center employees, call center employees, and millions of people who register for vaccinations. At peak moments, the system runs several thousand operations per second. It would be simply impossible to launch an undertaking of such scale without the cloud.
The cloud offers unlimited scalability, enables implementation of the most ambitious plans, allows rapid deployment and enables a complex system to be up and running within weeks rather than months or years. It also provides incredible flexibility, which makes it possible to streamline costs and adjust them to changing demand.
These are the benefits of OChK, a value-added multicloud provider.