Today IBM announced the opening of a cloud data center in Festund, Norway, a suburb of Oslo. While this is the 48th IBM cloud data center worldwide and the 12th in Europe, the Festund data center marks the company’s first cloud data center in the Nordic region. It is intended to support the growing adoption of cloud technology throughout the area.

The IBM Cloud data center in Norway will offer clients the full range of IBM infrastructure services, including actual and virtual servers, storage, security and networking services. Customers will be able to create a customized cloud environment, whether public, private or hybrid.

Arne Norheim, CEO of IBM Norway, said, “We enable our partners and clients to keep their data securely within the country while being able to leverage existing IT investments, which is a key differentiator for IBM. Local access to IBM’s global network of public cloud data centers provides the ideal flexibility for our customers. The new cloud data center is designed to fuel support for innovation and quick adoption of new solutions that will help improve business efficiency.”

In October 2015, IBM and Nordic IT services provider EVRY announced a $1 billion partnership dedicated to accelerating cloud adoption in Norway. At that time, IBM was named EVRY’s provider for cloud services. In return, IBM pledged to transform EVRY’s existing infrastructure offerings, to help them provide clients a faster time to market, and to cement their status as a ‘Nordic champion’ in the field.

While IBM Cloud already has many clients in the Nordic region, the opening of the new data center will allow existing and new clients faster access to data, and connection to other IBM public cloud data centers, to transfer and replicate data in multiple locations worldwide.

The new cloud data center is also intended to accelerate the growth of cognitive and AI technologies, by providing developers access to cloud innovation platform Bluemix, along with other APIs and services in the areas of blockchain development, IoT, and big data solutions.

“We are committed to providing global and local clients the fastest and easiest on-ramp to the IBM Cloud to accelerate their digital transformation,” said Robert LeBlanc, senior vice president of IBM Cloud. “This investment will provide Nordic customers, especially those in regulated industries, with more flexibility to manage and gain insight into data within the region.”