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March 25, 2015

Calm before the STORM: HP to lead European cloud pilot

Valladolid, Águeda and Thessaloniki named as the three pilot cities for the STORM Clouds project.

By Ellie Burns

HP is on a mission to boost local economies by bringing European cities to the cloud, with Valladolid (Spain), Águeda (Portugal) and Thessaloniki (Greece) named as the pilot cities for the STORM Clouds project.

The STORM Clouds project, of which HP is a principal IT partner, is an initiative to accelerate the "cloudification" of public services across the EU.

Aligned with the EU Digital Agenda, STORM clouds to put in place seamless, sustainable cross-border public services, which will enhance EU citizens’ access to key public services

Through direct experimentation in the three pilot cities, STORM will explore how the required shift by public authorities to a cloud-based paradigm in service provisioning should be addressed.

"Europe must ensure that new IT devices, applications, data repositories and services interact seamlessly anywhere – just like the Internet," says Xavier Poisson Gouyou Beauchamps, vice president, cloud computing EMEA, HP.

"This project aims to make collaboration between public authorities easier and more cost effective through the sharing and re-use of common platforms, components and infrastructures. As a result, municipalities across the EU will take a step closer to becoming truly ‘smart cities’."

HP’s role in the initiative will involve the design and implementation of the infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platform based on HP Helion cloud technology. As technology development lead, the company will establish common strategies, methodologies, standards and certification for delivering innovative user-driven cloud-based services based on open, interoperable standards.

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It is hoped that after success if found in the pilot cities, the resulting portfolio of cloud-based services will be easily customisable for deployment in other European municipalities.

Valladolid in Spain will pilot Urbanismo en Red, an application which increases transparency in public management of urban sectors by giving citizens easy access to municipal development plans online.

Thessaloniki, meanwhile, will focus on boosting the local economy with a Virtual City Marketplace, while Agueda aims to increase public participation by allowing citizens and communities to express their opinion online and submit ideas for urban improvements.

"HP is focused on supporting the EC in its drive to digitalize the European economy, especially in terms of enabling more agile business services, developing job opportunities and fostering creativity and competitiveness across the region," adds Poisson. "In addition to STORM Clouds, HP is working closely with the EU across a number of projects tied to accountability, security and compliance in order to accelerate digital growth in Europe."


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