AWS Europe (Zurich) Region allows customers to run workloads and securely store data in Switzerland while serving end users with even lower latency
The new AWS Region is estimated to support more than 2,500 full-time jobs annually through a planned investment of more than $5.9 billion (approx. 5.9 billion Swiss francs) in Switzerland through 2036
Tens of thousands of active customers in Switzerland, including Clariant, iNovitas, Richemont, Swiss Federal Office of Topography, Swisscom, Verity, and Zurich Insurance Group are innovating on AWS
SEATTLE — Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com, Inc. company (NASDAQ: AMZN), today announced the launch of the AWS Europe (Zurich) Region. Starting today, developers, startups, entrepreneurs, and enterprises, as well as government, education, and nonprofit organizations, will have even greater choice for running their applications and serving end users from data centers located in Switzerland, using advanced AWS technologies to drive innovation. AWS also released an economic impact study estimating that the company’s spending on the construction and operation of the new Region will support an average of more than 2,500 full-time jobs annually at external businesses in the Swiss data center supply chain, with a planned $5.9 billion (5.9 billion Swiss francs) investment through 2036. The AWS Europe (Zurich) Region will also add an estimated $16.3 billion (16.3 billion Swiss francs) to Switzerland’s gross domestic product (GDP) during the next 15 years. For more information about AWS Global Infrastructure, visit aws.amazon.com/about-aws/global-infrastructure.
“From startups and midsized businesses to enterprises and government organizations, thousands of commercial, nonprofit, and public sector organizations across Switzerland are engaging their end users and growing globally with the support of AWS,” said Prasad Kalyanaraman, vice president of Infrastructure Services at AWS. “With the new AWS Europe (Zurich) Region, we have seven AWS Regions and 21 Availability Zones across Europe in Frankfurt, Ireland, London, Milan, Paris, Stockholm, and now Zurich. This is a continuation of our investment to support customers of all kinds, help startups scale and grow, enable technical skills development, and help organizations create cloud-powered applications that reinvent services for end users.”
“We are delighted that AWS continues to invest in Switzerland, enabling new possibilities for businesses and citizens to leverage innovative cloud technologies,” said Dieter Egli, government councillor and head of the Department of Economic and Interior Affairs of the canton of Aargau, Switzerland. “The opening of the new AWS infrastructure Region is a key milestone for our regional enterprises and the digital transformation agenda that will further promote and accelerate the rapid introduction of new digital solutions in our technology and engineering location in the heart of Europe.”
With the launch of the AWS Europe (Zurich) Region, AWS has 90 Availability Zones across 28 geographic regions, with announced plans to launch 21 more Availability Zones and seven more AWS Regions in Australia, Canada, India, Israel, New Zealand, Spain, and Thailand. AWS Regions are composed of Availability Zones that place infrastructure in separate and distinct geographic locations. The AWS Europe (Zurich) Region consists of three Availability Zones and is the seventh AWS Region in Europe. Availability Zones are located far enough from each other to support customers’ business continuity, but near enough to provide low latency for high availability applications that use multiple Availability Zones. Each Availability Zone has independent power, cooling, and physical security and is connected through redundant, ultra-low latency networks. AWS customers focused on high availability can design their applications to run in multiple Availability Zones to achieve even greater fault tolerance. The launch of the AWS Europe (Zurich) Region will enable local customers with data residency requirements to store data securely in Switzerland, while providing customers with even lower latency across the country.
AWS is planning to invest an estimated $5.9 billion (approx. 5.9 billion Swiss francs) in Switzerland during the next 15 years through the new AWS Europe (Zurich) Region. This investment includes capital expenditures on the construction of data centers, operational expenses related to ongoing utilities and facility costs, and the purchase of goods and services from regional businesses. The investment is also estimated to support an average of more than 2,500 jobs annually during this time. These jobs, including construction, facility maintenance, engineering, telecommunications, and jobs within the country’s broader economy, will be part of the AWS supply chain in Switzerland. The construction and operation of AWS infrastructure in Switzerland is also estimated to add $16.3 billion (approx. 16.3 billion Swiss francs) to Switzerland’s GDP during the next 15 years.
Customers welcome the AWS Europe (Zurich) Region
More than 10,000 customers in Switzerland join millions of active customers using AWS every month in more than 190 countries around the world. Large and small Swiss enterprises that use AWS to run their mission-critical workloads to drive cost savings, accelerate innovation, and speed time to market include Buildigo, Clariant, Crisalix, Datwyler, Dentsu Tracking, Explora Journeys, Fisch Asset Management, GSR Zug, Helvetia Group, Hexagon, Hilti, Idorsia, iNovitas, Invit Travel, iptiQ, Klarpay AG, Kudelski Group, lastminute.com, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, OC Oerlikon Corporation AG, Partners Group, Richemont, Ringier, Swiss Marketplace Group, Swiss Re, Swisscom, Syngenta, Ubique, u-blox, and Zurich Insurance Group. The country’s top startups that built their businesses on AWS to scale rapidly and expand their geographic reach in minutes include ANYbotics, Edgelab, FemTec Health (formerly AVA), flovtec, GenomSys, holo|one, RetinAI, Smallpdf, SonarSource, and Verity. Public sector organizations that use AWS to transform the services they deliver to Swiss citizens include AI Center at Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETH Zürich), BERNMOBIL, EF Education First, Radiotelevisione svizzera (RSI), Swiss Federal Office of Topography (Swisstopo), and Swiss Post.
As one of the world’s leading specialty chemical companies, Clariant addresses key challenges including energy efficiency, renewable raw materials, emission-free mobility, and conserving finite resources. From 2020 to 2022, Clariant migrated their regional data centers around the world to AWS. “When deciding to move from on-premises managed services to the cloud, we sought an agile but cost-effective solution to support our business model as well as merger and acquisition activities. AWS enabled us to build a more secure infrastructure, improve the quality and speed of provisioning, and standardize and consolidate our service model. Since migrating to AWS, we’ve cut our global data center costs by 27% and built a new internal cloud competence team within only two years,” said Ali Khosravi, head of Global Technology Operation at Clariant. “As a global company operating out of Switzerland and running on the world’s leading cloud, we welcome the launch of the new AWS Europe (Zurich) Region to even better serve the needs of our business and customers around the world.”
iNovitas, a leading Swiss provider of cloud-based image services, delivers a high-resolution, geo-referenced 3D panoramic image environment (3D street images) to simplify infrastructure maintenance and management. “We chose AWS as our preferred cloud provider at a very early stage as it provided the highest reliability, flexibility, and scalability required to develop and run our services,” said Joel Burkhard, chief technology officer at iNovitas. “Since starting the business in 2011, we have relied on AWS services such as Amazon S3 and Amazon EC2 to build and scale our cloud-built business and digitize more than 77,000 kilometers of streets, 11,000 kilometers of rail tracks, and 200 kilometers of river banks across Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and Sweden, resulting in the processing and storing of more than 2.6 petabytes of image data. For a small enterprise with limited technology resources like ours, the benefits of AWS are compelling. Using AWS allows us to innovate quickly and access machine learning technologies such as Amazon Rekognition for image and video analysis that would otherwise be unavailable to us or too costly. The new AWS Region opens up new opportunities for us to serve more customers, especially those who prefer to keep their data stored in Switzerland.”
Global luxury group Richemont—owner of the Cartier, Montblanc, IWC Schaffhausen, and Van Cleef & Arpels brands—moved its entire enterprise information technology (IT) infrastructure, including 120 SAP instances, to AWS, its preferred cloud provider. “AWS, with its depth and breadth of services, enables us to provide our customers with new digital experiences faster, including personalized storefronts and styling services, video chat consultations featuring fashion shows customized to the shoppers’ tastes, and tailored offers for early access to new items before they hit stores,” said Kim Hartlev, group chief information officer at Richemont. “We are delighted that AWS has brought a new infrastructure Region to our home market in Switzerland because it will be a major booster for scaling, curating, and further personalizing the shopping experiences for our customers.”
Swisscom, a leading telecom company in Switzerland, selected AWS as its preferred cloud provider to accelerate its digital transformation strategy and support its move toward a built-for-the cloud 5G network. Swisscom is also an AWS Partner with deep technical and industry expertise, helping Swiss companies move to the cloud and adopt advanced technologies. “Our customers have always relied on Swisscom to connect them to the world using the best technology available,” said Frank Dederichs, chief technology information officer at Swisscom. “We have enjoyed a successful relationship with AWS for several years, not only as a cloud and technology provider, but also as a trusted and inspiring partner, delivering top-grade cloud services to our business customers. The opening of the new AWS Europe (Zurich) Region with the same high levels of data protection, user privacy, and regulatory compliance as their other Regions around the world is great news for us and to all tech companies in Switzerland.”
Swisstopo, Switzerland’s federal mapping agency, adopted AWS in 2010 to empower its digital geographic information system and services for over 80,000 daily users across the country. “Thanks to automatic provisioning, we were able to scale horizontally on demand and achieved a decrease in the setup time for hardware from 10 weeks to under one hour,” said Hanspeter Christ, head of GeoIT at Swisstopo. “The new AWS Region will open up new possibilities to provide users with even faster access to our services and best-in-class experiences with the additional choice to host data in Switzerland.”
Founded in 2014, deep-tech startup Verity provides an automated inventory management system powered by self-flying drones, which sets a new standard for big-box retailers, third-party logistics providers, and manufacturers. “Our system uses drones to collect and process accurate inventory data at the edge—up to 10 gigabytes per flight per drone—and uses AWS to transfer data to the cloud,” said Raffaello D’Andrea, founder of Verity. “With the ability to identify discrepancies between data stored in a customer’s warehouse management system and where inventory actually is or isn’t in the warehouse, customers gain valuable insights that enable greater operational efficiencies and help cut labor and equipment costs, eliminate errors and disruptions, and reduce waste and CO2 emissions. AWS’s powerful APIs and managed services have helped us take our business to the next level and scale fast. Using AWS’s technology services, Verity is making the zero-error warehouse a reality for our clients.”
Switzerland-based AWS Partners also welcome the AWS Europe (Zurich) Region
The AWS Partner Network (APN) includes tens of thousands of independent software vendors (ISVs) and systems integrators (SIs) around the world. AWS Partners build innovative solutions and services on AWS, and the APN helps by providing business, technical, marketing, and go-to-market support to customers. AWS SIs, consulting partners, and ISVs help enterprise and public sector customers migrate to AWS, deploy mission-critical applications, and provide a full range of monitoring, automation, and management services for customers’ cloud environments. Examples of Switzerland-based AWS Partners include 1plusX (a TripleLift Company), Amanox Solutions, amazee.io, Appway, Avaloq, Beekeeper, BSI, copebit, crealogix, dbi services, ELCA Cloud Services SA, Finnova, Ingram Micro, Nexthink, Secutix, SmartWave, SoftwareONE, Swisscom, TD SYNNEX, Trivadis, WebGate Consulting, and Zühlke Technology Group. For the full list of AWS Partners, visit aws.amazon.com/partners.
ELCA Cloud Services SA, known as ECS, focuses on cloud and workplace managed services and is part of the ELCA Group, one of the largest independent Swiss full-service IT providers. “The opening of the new AWS Region is a pivotal moment in the acceleration of transformation and innovation for Swiss companies, particularly those in highly regulated industries such as financial services, health care, and government. It is key for ELCA Group to be able to benefit from AWS’s cloud portfolio in Switzerland to help us best serve our customers’ needs,” said Maxime Claux, vice president at ECS. “The new AWS Region will unleash the full potential of the cloud for Swiss public sector organizations, midsize businesses, and enterprises. It will enable them to securely deploy applications, increase efficiencies, improve performance, and meet data residency requirements. AWS’s continued investment will also help ELCA to expand our business and train local cloud professionals to further support Switzerland’s digital transformation efforts.”
SoftwareONE is a global leader in software and cloud portfolio management with more than 9,000 technology experts in more than 90 countries providing end-to-end software and cloud technology solutions. “Like AWS, SoftwareONE has been a pioneer in shaping the way customers deploy technology and innovate around the world. We are proud to work closely with AWS to help our customers strengthen their reliability, flexibility, scalability, security, and compliance in the cloud,” said Reinhard Waldinger, president at SoftwareONE EMEA. “As a global company headquartered in Switzerland, we welcome the continued growth and investment AWS is making in the region as it demonstrates how important Switzerland is in the global technology space. We look forward to empowering our customers with the scale and agility of AWS Cloud to further thrive and grow while improving security and cloud skills.”
AWS investment in Switzerland
Swiss companies have been among the earliest adopters of cloud services in Europe, and as the number of Swiss customers has grown, so has the size of AWS’s presence in the country. The new AWS Europe (Zurich) Region is the latest in AWS’s ongoing investment in Switzerland. In order to support its rapidly growing customer base across the country, AWS opened two offices in Switzerland, Zurich (2016) and Geneva (2017), and created new jobs, including technical experts, solutions architects, technical account managers, partner managers, systems engineers, and professional services experts.
AWS established Points of Presence in Zurich (2017 and 2019), connecting Switzerland to the AWS network backbone and offering customers access to AWS services like Amazon CloudFront and AWS Direct Connect, among others. Amazon CloudFront is a highly secure and programmable content delivery network that accelerates the delivery of data, videos, applications, and application programming interfaces (APIs) to users worldwide with low latency and high transfer speeds. AWS Direct Connect enables customers to establish private connectivity between AWS and their data center, office, or colocation environment. This can reduce network costs, increase bandwidth throughput, and provide a more consistent network experience.
In December 2019, AWS launched AWS Outposts in Switzerland. AWS Outposts offers customers and partners in Switzerland access to the same AWS infrastructure services, APIs, and tools in virtually any data center, colocation space, or on-premises facility for a truly consistent hybrid experience. AWS Outposts enables customers and partners to run key AWS services in their own data centers while connecting to a broad range of AWS global infrastructure services.
AWS continues to invest in the upskilling of local developers, students, and the next generation of IT leaders in Switzerland through programs like AWS re/Start, AWS Academy, and AWS Educate. These programs help learners of all backgrounds and experiences prepare for careers in the cloud. From higher education courses to full-time training programs and self-paced learning content, AWS education programs offer access to the skills needed to begin or grow a cloud career. Several universities in Switzerland, including Fachhochschule Luzern, Fachhochschule Nordwestschweiz (FHNW), and Technische Berufsschule Zürich, have delivered AWS Academy courses as part of their curriculum. To date, 32 Swiss institutions participated in the AWS Academy program, and 16 offered classes in 2022.
As part of its AWS re/Start program, AWS collaborates with Swiss educational and training providers like Powerhouse Lausanne and Powercoders on programs targeted to unemployed and underemployed individuals. The programs prepare individuals with no technical experience for careers in the cloud and connect them to potential employers.
AWS has partnered with the ICT Berufsbildung Schweiz association for several years to deliver vocational education and training to Swiss workers. In 2020, AWS supported the association in its efforts to rework the national IT curriculum by helping develop new cloud modules that have been taught to every Swiss IT apprentice (3,000 per year) since 2021.
To continue fostering entrepreneurship in Switzerland, AWS offers startups and small businesses support through the AWS Activate program. This program provides access to guidance, one-on-one time with AWS experts, web-based training, self-paced labs, customer support, third-party offers, and an opportunity to access up to $100,000 in AWS service credits—all at no charge. AWS also works with venture capital investors, startup accelerators, and incubators to help startups grow in the cloud. In Switzerland, this includes fostering entrepreneurs such as the Swiss Startup Association and Swisspreneur, as well as venture capital firms like btov, F10, Redalpine, Verve Ventures, and Wingman Ventures to support the rapid growth of their portfolio companies.
Commitment to sustainability
Amazon is committed to becoming a more sustainable business and reaching net-zero carbon across its operations by 2040, 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement, as part of The Climate Pledge. Amazon co-founded The Climate Pledge and became its first signatory in 2019. As part of its Climate Pledge commitment, Amazon is on a path to power its operations with 100% renewable energy by 2025, five years ahead of the original 2030 target. Amazon is the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy, and as of the end of 2021, the company reached 85% renewable energy across its business. See Amazon’s public methodology for more on its approach. Organizations that move compute workloads to AWS can benefit from the net effect of Amazon’s sustainability efforts to reduce their carbon footprint. Compared to the computing resources of the average European company, AWS infrastructure is up to five times more energy efficient.