KMPG has signed up as Microsoft’s third major datacentre customer in New Zealand after Fonterra and BNZ.

KMPG and Microsoft signed a US$5.5 billion deal in 2019 but this new agreement will see the professional services firm move its cloud services to Microsoft’s NZ datacentre, which are currently hosted by Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform in Australia.

Microsoft is yet to confirm when its Auckland datacentre, announced in May last year, will open. 

“Microsoft datacentre regions are large-scale and complex infrastructure projects,” a Microsoft spokesperson told BusinessDesk.

“We will provide more accurate availability dates once we’re further along in this project.”

NZ cloud customers currently cannot store their data or host their cloud services on shore with major US providers Amazon, Google, or Microsoft, as they do not yet have physical datacentre infrastructure in the country. 

Amazon opened an edge location last year and Google did similar last month, though this is short of a full datacentre. Instead, local physical infrastructure is used to transfer data between on-premises networks of customers to the host’s private cloud network, and data remains stored overseas.

Storing data physically on shore avoids sovereignty issues over data being hosted overseas and can add protections under NZ law. 

Issues arose in 2019 when the NZ government delayed its move to Microsoft 365 cloud services as it worked out how to deal with government data being stored offshore in an Australian datacentre. 

Microsoft said the new local partnership will allow KPMG to improve decision-making, increase productivity, and achieve cost efficiencies.

Locally stored data usually reduces latency, in this case the delay between a request and a cloud provider’s response.

“KPMG must continuously digitally transform ourselves and help our clients and communities to do the same,” KPMG NZ chief executive Godfrey Boyce said.

“By partnering with Microsoft, we can not only advise on cloud strategy, but also facilitate end-to-end cloud migration enhanced with analytics, AI and digital technology.”

“One of the things Microsoft has in common with KPMG is our passion for helping local organisations realise the massive gains digital technologies and cloud are set to bring, so all our communities in Aotearoa can share a better future,” said Microsoft NZ managing director Vanessa Sorenson.

“That’s why this partnership is so important – a business of the global scale and reach of KPMG has the power to really drive change across all levels of our organisations and accelerate our recovery”.