ACC signs up as cornerstone customer for Microsoft's NZ datacentre region
The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) will migrate its operations to Microsoft's local Azure cloud region under a new three-year agreement.
ACC is the first government agency to sign this kind of commitment since the all-of-government agreement was inked between Microsoft and the Department of Internal Affairs earlier this year.
The deal also comes as Microsoft approaches completion of a new datacentre region being built in Auckland that will largely address data sovereignty and security requirements applying to health data.
“We’ve had a long relationship with Microsoft, which stood us in very good stead during the huge disruption we and all organisations faced in 2020," said Peter Fletcher, chief technology and transformation officer at ACC.
"We’ve been investing in Microsoft 365 over the past couple of years, rolling out Teams and Sharepoint and refreshing our remote access solutions, and within the first week of lockdown we scaled this to our entire team of 3800 people."
Not only did ACC not miss a beat in terms of the services its provided, it saw a bump in employee engagement, Fletcher said.
“This new agreement reaffirms and builds on that partnership to enable more linked-up use of data, so we can provide better pathways through care and deliver more equitable health outcomes for all regions and ethnicities in Aotearoa.”
“We’re hugely excited to be renewing our relationship with ACC and taking it to the next level with this cloud agreement," said Vanessa Sorenson, managing director of Microsoft New Zealand.
"Nothing is more important than our health and wellbeing, as the past 18 months have shown us, and I want to congratulate ACC on leading the way in cloud and AI to help all New Zealanders stay safe and healthy."
Greater insights could help prevent injury and create more "joined-up" pathways through the health system, saving healthcare providers time that could be spent seeing more patients, Sorenson said.
Microsoft’s forthcoming hyperscale datacentre region will enable sensitive patient data to be stored within New Zealand’s borders. Virtually unlimited capacity will allow ACC’s data storage and processing capabilities to scale up without needing to invest in new infrastructure.
“Thanks to this agreement, we’ll have the flexibility to manage data in a way that meets the needs of our organisation as well as our regulatory requirements, and which provides even greater security for personal information at less cost," Fletcher said.