Microsoft is partnering with Italian defense group Leonardo to sell cloud services to the country's public sector and critical infrastructure providers.

Leonardo will act as System Integrator and sell cyber security services, for digital transformation and public sector data center consolidation programs. Microsoft will offer its broader cloud platform, as well as high-performance computing offerings.

Microsoft Azure
– Sebastian Moss

The Agency for Digital Italy (AGID) found that the country's public sector had as many as 62 data centers that could be consolidated.

The country plans to set up a national cloud framework for the entire public sector, that would be built on a mixture of foreign cloud providers and domestic businesses, with data stored locally.

"Our commitment, enriched by the most advanced technological capabilities offered by Microsoft, consolidates Leonardo's role as a leading reference for the protection and inviolability of Italians and public administration’s data, in the name of the national sovereignty, a fundamental requirement to support digital citizenship and open government," Alessandro Profumo, Leonardo CEO, said.

Silvia Candiani, general manager of Microsoft Italy, added: “With this collaboration, we’re adding another milestone in the long-term partnership with Leonardo. We’re committed to sustain the country’s recovery defining new resources and technological platforms to support the innovation of the public sector and critical services, by heading towards the utmost security of services and data.”

Last year, Microsoft said it would spend $1.5bn on a cloud region in Italy, starting in Milan.

Seeking similar government contracts, the other major cloud players have also signed local partnerships. Amazon has partnered with shipbuilder Fincantieri, while Google has turned to Telecom Italia.