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Microsoft wins contract to build Singapore's first sovereign cloud

It hopes the deal will will help keep the city-state “the safest place on the planet”

Singapore’s Home Team Science and Technology agency (HTX) has chosen Microsoft to develop a sovereign cloud to accelerate its digital transformation.

HTX said the agreement will play a key role in helping domestic services, such as the police or civil defence force, to deliver improved safety and security to all citizens, residents, and visitors to the city-state.

The sovereign cloud will be built on Microsoft’s Azure platform and equip HTX with on-demand high-performance cloud computing and data storage resources. It hopes this will help the agency quickly adopt and create new technologies and reduce time-to-market in introducing new digital capabilities.

It added that it will provide home team officers on the ground with real time data to help them respond quicker to incidents and make decisions faster.

“This strategic partnership with Microsoft to develop a sovereign cloud here in Singapore will enable us to push the boundaries of innovation and be in the forefront of technology,” said Chan Tsan, CEO of HTX and deputy secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

“This way, we will be well-poised to exponentially enhance the capabilities of the home team and to keep Singapore as the safest place on the planet.”

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Microsoft will also provide additional training and educational opportunities as part of the agreement, including 600 training places along with exam certificates to be made annually to the organisation. It hopes that the training will advance the technical skills of cloud technology professionals in Singapore.

“We’re delivering a trusted sovereign cloud that adheres to and meets the needs of the Singapore government – one that will expedite their digital transformation efforts,” said Judson Althoff, executive vice president and chief commercial officer at Microsoft. “Our agreement will enable key technological advancements and provide access to data and insights to help drive change across various communities."

Although Microsoft does have an Azure cloud region in Singapore, it remains unclear as to where the new sovereign cloud will be housed. Building data centres in the city is still restricted but the government is planning to lift the ban on their construction once new rules placing strict energy efficiency requirements on all new sites come into force.

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