Microsoft launches ‘Office 365 Germany’; will keep data within borders

Microsoft Germany today announced ‘Office 365 Germany’; the new offering is identical to Office 365 that’s already available across the European continent, but with a key difference.

The datacentres that Microsoft has been building across Europe are paying off; Office 365 Germany will be provided as a service in parallel to Office 365. Office 365 Germany, however, will keep all the user data within the German borders.

This isn’t too surprising; Microsoft does this in the UK to meet the requirements of the National Health Service and Department of Defence.

The Business

Microsoft’s announcement refers to research by a German IT analyst company, Crisp Research; per the research, over 65 percent of the participants in the survey would consider ditching their own solutions and move to a public cloud provider, if the data was to be hosted within the German borders.

So, that’s what Microsoft did. Additionally, Microsoft is using a unique provision in German law that allows the company to have a ‘data trustee’ for the data stored within its datacentres. For Office 365 Germany, the data trustee is T-Systems International GmbH, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom.

The data trustee is the only one with access to the data – not even Microsoft can access anything without the consent of the data receiver or the customer unless Deutsche Telekom gives them explicit time-limited permission.

Data Protection

Office 365 Germany will be available to businesses in Germany, EU, and in the European Free Trade Area.

All data on Office 365 Germany is protected by the data trustee and the German law; this level of security is necessary since Office 365 Germany is for the public sector, education, and financial industry in Germany.

Microsoft’s recent victory against the U.S. Department of Justice also helps maintain its position; Office 365 is an incredible suite of products, and Microsoft is capable of protecting the data from snooping by other nations – even Microsoft’s home country.

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