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Salesforce cheers cloud customers by opening UK datacentre

New datacentre will open in Slough in early 2014, Salesforce.com has confirmed.

Salesforce.com has crowned Europe as its fastest-growing region and to celebrate it plans to build its first UK datacentre in Slough.

The new UK hub tipped to open its doors in 2014  will join Salesforce.com's existing datacentre family, located in Asia and the US.

During its 2013 fiscal year, Europe was a shining star earnings-wise, with revenue up by 38 per cent, the company's chief operating officer George Hu told delegates at Salesforce.com's Cloudforce event today in London.

Europe is on fire for us at the moment. We're really excited by European growth.

"There's never been a better time to be in the cloud and working with Salesforce Europe is one of our fastest-growing regions in the world. This is our level of commitment back to you in Europe. We're so excited to talk about the Salesforce European datacentre," he told the thousands of assembled event attendees.

"It's a huge, concrete step for us, reflecting our commitment to this market. We think this is a huge breakthrough for us and all of our European customers."

It's not just the cloud vendor spouting success figures about European appetite for the technology delivery model. Indeed, analyst firm IDC research has predicted that the region's public cloud software market will enjoy a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30 per cent to reach 23.9 billion by 2017.

The company first talked about putting the UK on its datacentre map back in 2010, when chief executive Mark Benioff said that it would happen by 2012.

While the cloud firm may have missed that window, it's a case of better late than now for those customers who worry about the location of their data and need to ensure it's stored in Europe for regulatory reasons.

"I specifically required to have a European datacentre," said Jeroen Tas, CIO at electronics giant Philips.

Salesforce.com has partnered with NTT Europe, part of NTT Communications, to build the datacentre.

When asked during a Q&A session why Salesforce.com opted to work with NTT rather than other UK comms and infrastructure providers, Steve Garnett, chairman of Salesforce.com in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), said: "We looked at it purely from the point of view of who was the best in Europe. We looked at several vendors."

Damian Skendrovic, NTT Europe's vice president of cloud services added: "We're delighted to extend our relationship with Salesforce.com. We got the most ticks in the boxes and I think one of the things that stood out was our commitment to delivering [services with] 100 per cent renewable energy."

Salesforce.com hopes to get a bigger slice of the Government cloud spending pie as a result of its imminent UK arrival, according to Garnett.

"Europe is on fire for us at the moment. We're really excited by European growth," he said. "The UK Government is coming alive now around G-Cloud and multi-tenant architecture This really puts an extra seal for us on the 50 per cent of the UK market that we don't currently address."

The news has also been seen by high-level public sector executives as a boon for the UK.

"We welcome the decision by salesforce.com to locate its European data centre in the UK. This significant development further endorses the UK as one of the world's greatest technology centres," said Stephen Kelly, chief operating officer for the Government.

"The UK is in a strong position to support fast-growing international companies such as salesforce.com in delivering innovative social, mobile and cloud services to customers here and globally."

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