STORM CLOUDS and HPE at the media

Business Cloud News reported March 25th, 2015 that HP announced that, as the European Commission’s principal IT partner for the STORM CLOUDS project, it will help the municipalities of Valladolid (Spain), Águeda (Portugal), Thessaloniki (Greece) and Miskolc (Hungary) boost their local economies by moving to the cloud.

STORM Clouds, which aims to put in place seamless, sustainable cross-border public services, will enhance EU citizens’ access to key public services by providing municipalities with useful guidelines for the provision of cloud-based services such as e-democracy, energy saving, environmental pollution monitoring and crime prevention.

Aligned with the EU Digital Agenda, the purpose of STORM – Surfing Towards the Opportunity of Real Migration – is to accelerate the “cloudification” of public services across the EU. Through direct experimentation in the three pilot cities, it 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’.”

As technology development lead, HP will define, design and implement the infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platform based on HP Helion cloud technology, and establish common strategies, methodologies, standards and certification for delivering innovative user-driven cloud-based services based on open, interoperable standards. Validated by citizens and public authorities in the pilot cities and interoperable EU-wide, the resulting portfolio of cloud-based services will be easily customizable for deployment in other European municipalities.

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