OpenText is creating a "fully-segregated and independent" European Data Zone.

It will be formed by existing data centers in Amstelveen, Netherlands; Woking, England and Frankfurt, Germany and and provide  IT operations, disaster recovery and managed cloud services from within the EEA (European Economic Area). 

Each OpenText data center will operate in its respective region, independent of the other centers. Data stored in one center will not be available through any of the others, presumably unless customers specifically asks for their data to be moved.

Safe Harbor Rebound

The announcement is the latest reaction by a North American-based company to a European court's ruling against the Safe Harbor agreement.

The agreement between the US and the European Commission required companies to protect the privacy of EU citizens regardless of where their information is processed. But in October 2015, the European Court of Justice found the law invalid, leaving thousands of companies without a structure to transfer data between the EU and US.

Although there are moves to develop a new framework, it prevents US vendors — at least for the moment — from storing data from European companies outside the EU.

Making Data Safe

Before OpenText, Tableau announced plans to open a data center in Dublin. And in November, Microsoft announced a new data center strategy for Europe. Under the plan, even Microsoft is barred from accessing data in its own European data centers.

There are also reports that Verizon is negotiating the sale of its 48 data centers, including 11 in Europe. That could really shake things up and give whatever company that buys them a major edge in Europe. 

For OpenText, the new European Data Zone expands its capabilities to store data for its enterprise managed cloud services offerings

By its own reckoning, the OpenText Cloud processes over 18 billion transactions per year for more than 64,000 customers around the world. It includes a Content Suite, Process Suite, Experience Suite, Discovery Suite, Information Exchange and Analytics, all of which push data through the cloud.