Technology behemoth Oracle has become one of the first multinational software giants to buck the trend and start offering software as a service from an Australian data centre.
The company overnight confirmed it would bring its on-demand customer relationship management platform to Australia through a deal with hosting company, Harbour MSP.
Harbour MSP's Australian data centre is based in the massive Global Switch facility in Ultimo, Sydney.
Cloud computing’s point of differentiation is that it shouldn't matter where data is hosted. In reality, however customers — especially in government — require data to be hosted locally. The service is slated to go live by November this year.
Several multinational cloud computing software companies have consistently demurred from establishing data centres in Australia, generally preferring Singapore as the closest option.
Customer organisations — particularly in the heavily regulated financial services sector, but also in government, have consistently requested locally hosted data centres from vendors.
Google, for example, has acknowledged that there is "intense" interest in its cloud computing Apps suite including Gmail, but earlier this year stopped short of committing to local infrastructure.
Oracle rival Salesforce.com also hosts its data centres overseas, as does Microsoft with its hosted Business Productivity Online Suite. Local IT services partners such as CSC, however, have brought the Microsoft platform in-country and already started winning local cloud email hosting deals with players as large as AMP and Coca-Cola Amatil.
And it's not just the software companies and systems integrators who are moving into local hosting for cloud computing services. Telstra and Optus, for example, have both recently announced initiatives to develop the cloud in Australia.