Tech giant Microsoft announced Monday, October 5, 2020, its plans to establish three data centers in Athens, Greece. The investment deal is valued at 1 billion euros, reports Reuters.
The partnership was announced in Athens alongside Greece Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Greece Microsoft general manager, Theodosis Michalapoulos.
Following the partnership, Greece will become the southeastern European country to have its set of Microsoft-based datacenters, notes Bloomberg.
The project with Microsoft is slated to revive Greece’s economy after a decade of experiencing financial turmoil brought about the country’s debt crisis and the recent virus pandemic. The data centers are part of the “GR for Growth” digital transformation initiative designed by Microsoft to help support Greece and its digital and technological growth.
According to Bloomberg, the initiative is projected to bring in around 100,000 jobs as part of its training program by 2025. This training program will reportedly be extended to different sectors such as employees from the public sectors, IT professionals, entrepreneurs, students, and educators alike.
In a statement, Brad Smith, president of the tech company, said, “By a substantial margin, this is the largest investment Microsoft has made in Greece in the 28 years we have been operating here. In part, this reflects the confidence that our world-leading datacenter technology can help enable innovation and growth across Greece’s economy.”
“In addition, this large investment reflects our optimism about Greece’s future, its forward-leaning government, and the country’s ongoing economic recovery,” continued Smith.
Meanwhile, Mitsotakis said the data centers will “automatically upgrade the country as an investment destination” and it becoming a “world hub for cloud.”
With its longtime operations in Greece, the tech giant has established itself as one of the leading tech firms in the country, with more than 3,000 partners and customers in the country alone, including the likes of business enterprises, startups, and NGOs.
As the country gears itself to expand its services and provide cloud offerings in the region, many businesses and banks have expressed their plans to leverage Microsoft’s cloud services.
Among those that are interested in availing the services of the tech giant are Alpha Bank, Eurobank, National Bank of Greece, OTE Group, Piraeus Bank, and Public Power Corporation (DEI), which reveals Microsoft in its post.
Besides increasing partnerships in the region and opening data centers, the technology giant has also ensured its partnership with the nation’s Ministry of Culture and Sports for its AI for Cultural Heritage initiative.
Under this, the ancient city of Olympia is expected to be brought to life with the use of artificial intelligence and other state-of-the-art technologies. This will be available come 2021.