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First EuroCloud Congress agrees action to ensure European business seizes cloud computing opportunity

Fast-growing European organisation for cloud computing and SaaS prepares initiative to build trust in cloud; reaffirms Europe-wide cloud industry networking mission

Luxembourg, June 28, 2010 — EuroCloud, the European organisation for cloud computing and software-as-a-service (SaaS), has concluded its first pan-European member Congress in Luxembourg with agreement on a 16-point action plan to help European businesses benefit from cloud computing.
Attendees at the inaugural EuroCloud Congress welcomed Luxembourg’s Minister of Communications and Media, Mr François Biltgen, who in a keynote speech emphasized the importance of cloud computing for business and the economy. “The success of cloud computing, besides resolving the last security and privacy issues, also depends on how fast it will be adopted by users,” he told attendees. “Trust is an essential factor in this regard.”
Attendees also heard from Dr Carl-Christian Buhr from the Cabinet of Vice-President Neelie Kroes at the European Commission. Dr Buhr spoke about the Digital Agenda and called on EuroCloud members to contribute their views and insight as the Commission formulates a European strategy for cloud computing.
Announcing the formation this month of new local EuroCloud organisations in Greece, Switzerland and Ukraine, making a total of 22 countries where EuroCloud is present today, founder and President, Pierre-José Billotte, told attendees, “Customers are sending us a signal, ‘please make technology as easy as possible’ – rethink the IT model in offering immediate availability, anywhere, anytime, and at a predictable cost. That’s what the cloud represents … The opportunity is incredibly huge: to imagine, create and build a new worldwide industry.”

Action plan
A series of participative workshops throughout the day drew up the elements of the EuroCloud action plan, which specifies the next steps to create trust and success in cloud computing in Europe by activities such as:

  • promoting best practice by highlighting cloud success stories and working with others in the industry to establish pragmatic standards;
  • facilitating cloud as a vehicle for IT-enabling SMBs and SMEs in the European marketplace, and fostering the development of new skills needed to take full advantage the opportunities afforded by cloud computing;
  • working with authorities to ensure the best possible legal and institutional framework to protect and provide maximum value to business users of cloud computing; for example, by clarifying the legal framework for cross-border data flows in a cloud computing
  • environment;
  • Continuing to develop EuroCloud’s role as a community for collaboration and networking among industry players to bring the best possible cloud solutions to market in Europe and beyond.
“Today’s event has really shown the need for an organisation like EuroCloud to step in and promote the vision of a European cloud computing market,” added Billotte. “EuroCloud has shown its ability to bring people together and make things happen.”
Workshops were moderated by EuroCloud board members and included contributions from EuroCloud – 114 bis, rue Michel Ange – 75016 Paris – www.eurocloud.org  selected subject matter experts. Contributors included speakers from the University of Luxembourg, Carnegie Mellon Portugal and a cross-section of industry participants including Microsoft, Salesforce.com, RightNow Technologies, Mimecast, RunMyProcess and Sensible Cloud.
EuroCloud chose to launch its first Congress in Luxembourg to demonstrate its mission at the heart of Europe. The local EuroCloud Luxembourg group hosted the event with the support of Luxembourg for Business, Luxembourg for ICT and the government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
A document summarising the Congress proceedings and detailing the components of the 16-point action plan is now being drafted and will be released next month. EuroCloud will present its findings to the European Commission and Vice-President Kroes later in the year.

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