EuroCloud Congress highlights

Cloud as platform for European business

Challenges and opportunities addressed by stakeholders at the second annual EuroCloud Congress in Luxembourg ~ The growing maturity of cloud computing and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is empowering European businesses to seize the opportunities that this technology can deliver, while addressing the challenges facing companies moving to the cloud through best-practice and regulatory guidance.

This was one of the key messages from the recent EuroCloud Congress 2011, a unique two-day event held in Luxembourg that is fully dedicated to the European cloud computing sector. Run by EuroCloud, the show acts as a meeting place for business leaders, policy makers and researchers engaged in cloud computing and applications from across Europe.

Sponsored by Microsoft, Orange Business Services, LuxCloud, TrustedCloudEurope by ebrc, SafeNet, Joyent, Equinix, Luxembourg for Business, Evenium, Fedil and LEWIS PR, this year’s event saw attendance numbers jump by 32 per cent, with attendees from 16 European countries.

At the Congress, Europe's brightest cloud experts and practitioners gather around a programme designed to foster exchange of knowledge among industry participants.

Keynote speakers included Jeannot Krecké, Minister of the Economy and Foreign Trade for the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; Rainer Zinow, SVP OnDemand Strategy at SAP and Rainer Zimmermann, Head of Unit, Software and Service Architectures and Infrastructure for the European Commission.

These prominent figures took the opportunity to discuss topics around innovation in the cloud, the impact of cloud on business practices and models, how to balance policy and regulation in order to protect end-users without hampering growth and deal with some of the cross-border issues that cloud computing raises. In particular Minister Krecké highlighted the importance of standardisation and how the cloud industry has to explain itself in terms that the ordinary person can understand while satisfying concerns about data security, integration and portability.

Last year’s Congress culminated in the development of a 16-point action plan for cloud computing in Europe, which has been instrumental in EuroCloud’s ongoing participation in preparing the European Union’s consultation process for the development of its cloud computing strategy. That strategy will underpin the further development of the Digital Agenda, one of seven flagship initiatives to boost growth and jobs as part of Europe 2020, the EU's growth strategy.

This year’s Congress saw further development of EuroCloud’s work to help governments and other stakeholders to overcome concerns around cloud computing and to be better educated to the benefits this technology can deliver - particularly to smaller businesses, by making them more agile, scalable and able to compete on a global scale.

“The cloud model stands for global reach, ecosystem partnerships and integration. EuroCloud plays a crucial role in focusing attention on the European cloud industry and its successes, especially in highlighting examples where its customers have achieved business advantage and innovation through the use of the cloud,” said Pierre-José Billotte, President, EuroCloud.

“The organisation is using its growing influence to encourage industry and government to adopt cloud services and set the correct parameters around regulation and interoperability. At the same time, the industry needs better infrastructure, more skills and lower barriers to enhance market success. The success of this year’s EuroCloud Congress shows a growing awareness of the benefits of cloud computing that will help motivate investment in these areas.”

As well as the keynotes and workshops discussing how best to maximise the opportunities delivered by the cloud and overcome the challenges and concerns, the EuroCloud Congress showcased some of the finest examples of cloud computing with the announcement of EuroCloud Awards 2011 winners from across Europe in four categories: Best Cloud Offering, Best Start Up, Best Commercial Case Study and Best Public Sector Case Study.

About EuroCloud

Founded in 2010, EuroCloud is a European network gathering SaaS and cloud computing communities from 27 European countries, including vendors and industry experts. It is aiming at developing the next generation of added value applications. Through its diverse membership, EuroCloud promotes cloud computing in Europe, including current state of the markets and future innovations, and has become a critical exchange platform across the different continents.

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