The Technology Giants That Invest in Greece

The Technology Giants That Invest in Greece post thumbnail image
technology giants Greece
Athens and other Greek cities are becoming hubs of technology. Credit: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Technology giants, such as Amazon, Google, Digital Realty, and Microsoft have strengthened their presence in Greece in 2023 by investing in data centers, making the country a hub of innovation.

Investments in Greece are driven by the strategic geographical position of Greece, which is a hub connecting Europe with Africa, the Middle East, and, by extension, Asia, as well as economic and political stability after the ten-year economic crisis.

Furthermore, the improvement of infrastructure and especially the high-quality human resources of Greece are a key element that has put Greece on the radar of large companies.

Greek businesses are also making an effort to adapt their operations to new technological developments. According to a recent survey by Ernst and Young Greece, in the last five years, 86 percent of companies that participated in the survey have implemented at least one transformation project. At the same time, more than half of the companies in the survey (54 percent) said that they had completed more than two.

The technology giants that invest in Greece

Digital Realty

Digital Realty is a real estate investment trust that owns, operates and invests in carrier-neutral data centers across the world. The company acquired Lamda Hellix SA, Greece’s largest carrier and cloud-neutral colocation provider, in 2021. This acquisition gave Digital Realty a significant presence in the Greek data center market, with multiple data center campuses across the country.

Digital Realty’s presence in Greece includes data centers Athens 1, Athens 2 and the state-of-the-art Athens 3, which is the largest data center in the country, capable of supporting up to 6.8 MW.

Athens 4 whose construction has begun will have a similar capacity to Athens 3. At the same time, Athens 5 is in the planning process. In addition, investment has begun in Heraklion, Crete for the Heraklion 1 data center, the first phase of which is expected to be completed by the end of 2024.

Amazon Web Services

Greece is among the 26 countries outside the US where Local Zones will be installed. Local Zones are a type of AWS infrastructure that places computing power, data storage, databases, and other services closer to major urban, industrial, and technology centers. They enable AWS customers to develop applications that require very fast sub-ten millisecond responses.

The company has already announced the creation of a Local Zone in Athens. At the same time, AWS has announced the Smart Island pilot program in Naxos with the primary objective of developing solutions that will respond to challenges related to infrastructure management and, service provision.

Recently, AWS also announced the opening of the first European Outpost Testing Lab (OTL) in Greece. AWS Outposts are a set of fully managed compute and storage solutions that allow users to operate AWS infrastructure within their premises.

Through this program, customers, partners and internal teams of the company will have remote access to AWS Outposts databases and servers, and will be able to perform short-term tests at no charge. The new AWS Outpost Testing Lab of Greece is the fifth in the world and the first to be created in Europe.

Google

The company has announced it will create the first Cloud Region in Greece, specifically in Athens, with the ultimate goal of accelerating the digital transformation of the country.

According to data from AlphaBeta Economics, by 2030, this project is estimated to contribute a total of $2.2 billion to the national GDP, while supporting the creation of more than 19,400 new jobs.

As the company points out, 2023 was an important year for Google in Greece and Artificial Intelligence. Google Bard “learned” Greek by providing new ways to creatively interact with Bard. Also, the Immersive View service on Google Maps has been updated with additions of Greek monuments, such as the Parthenon, the Erechtheum, the Theater of Dionysus, Hadrian’s Gate and the Temple of Olympian Zeus.

The Grow Greece with Google program launched in 2020 has resulted in the training of over 275,000 professionals and small and medium enterprises in Greece so far. In 2021, a year after its launch in the US and New Zealand, Android Earthquake Alerts began its pilot operation in Greece as well. In 2023, Google expanded its flood forecasting system to Greece.

NTT DATA

The Japanese technology giant has strengthened its presence in Greece stating that its goal for the Greek branch is to achieve a growth rate of 15 percent in 2023 through the service of international organizations.

The company is considering regional expansion beyond Athens, in cities such as Thessaloniki, Patras, Crete and Ioannina. NTT’s investments in the country are estimated to reach 25 million euros by 2026.

The NTT Group is a global leader in providing technology and business solutions with revenues of $108 billion and more than 330,000 employees in more than 80 countries. It invests more than $3.6 billion in research and development.

Microsoft

Microsoft will create a complex of three Data Centers in Attica, putting the country on Microsoft’s global cloud infrastructure map – the largest in the world – thus ensuring access to business-level “low latency” Cloud services.

At the same time, to support Greek citizens in their professional and personal goals, Microsoft will train a workforce of 100,000 citizens in digital skills by 2025.

The tech giant started its operations in Greece in 1992. In 2020, it launched the GRforGrowth initiative, a major technological commitment to private citizens, the public sector, and businesses of all sizes in Greece for technology and new resources that create additional growth opportunities.

Huawei

The Chinese technological giant Huawei has made a strategic decision to strengthen its presence in Europe by entering cloud services, while in Greece it focuses on infrastructure modernization, education, innovation and sustainability initiatives.

The company says is ready to introduce next-generation solutions with AI (artificial intelligence) algorithms in Data Center infrastructures, integrating photovoltaic systems with energy storage that promise resource savings, uninterrupted operation, scalability, security and efficiency.

This move, as the company estimates, not only strengthens Greece’s digital capabilities but also strengthens competition, pushing developments and cost efficiencies in the field of solutions and services offered.

Cisco

The American multinational digital communications technology conglomerate has established an international innovation and digital skills development center in Thessaloniki. This center focuses on developing and deploying new technologies, as well as training the Greek workforce in digital skills.

In 2023 it implemented an initiative which highlighted Rhodes as a hybrid work destination. It hosted 17 fully remote Cisco employees, from all over Europe, promoting Rhodes as a “smart” digital island and integrated destination for attracting remote workers.

Also in 2023, the ONEX group and Cisco announced their joint planning for the strategic development plan of the first “smart” shipyard in our country, but also in the wider region of the Eastern Mediterranean, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on which foresees the collaboration of ONEX and CISCO in order to accelerate the digital transformation of the Elefsina Shipyards.

Cisco continued the digital skills development program in Greece named Cisco Networking Academy. The training of students that exceed 4,500 includes a wide range of courses, preparing participants for the challenges of their professional careers.

2023 marked, among other things, for Cisco, another year of operation of the International Center for Digital Transformation and Digital Skills in Thessaloniki, a multi-disciplinary innovation hub, attracting more than 13,500 visitors and delivering more than 20 digital transformation pilot projects to its customers and partners.

Tcreated housands of jobs in Greece

These investments are expected to create thousands of jobs in Greece and make the country a major hub for data center operations in Europe.

The Greek government has also recognized the importance of the data center industry and is taking steps to further support its growth. In 2022, the government announced a €1 billion investment plan for the development of the data center industry. This plan includes tax breaks, subsidies, and funding for research and development.

The growth of the data center industry in Greece is a significant development for the country’s economy and its role in the global digital economy. These investments are expected to create jobs, attract foreign investment, and improve Greece’s connectivity with the rest of the world.


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