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Microsoft deepens Africa investment,  launches in-continent data centres with Azure

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Microsoft’s massive investments in the opening of its first data centres in South Africa, with general availability of Azure – the comprehensive suite of cloud products, will see Microsoft become the only global provider to deliver cloud services from data centres on the continent.

The company recently made the announcement of the opening of its first data centres with general availability of Azure from the new cloud regions in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa. The in-continent data centres will help companies securely and reliably move their business to the cloud while meeting compliance needs.

“Microsoft Azure is now available from our new cloud regions in Cape Town and Johannesburg. The combination of Microsoft’s global cloud infrastructure with the new regions in Africa will create greater economic opportunity for organisations in Africa, accelerate new global investment, and improve access to cloud and internet services,” said Yousef Khalidi, corporate vice president, Azure Networking, Microsoft.

Ibrahim Youssry, general manager, North, West, East, Central Africa, Levant & Pakistan, Microsoft said, “This is a milestone moment in bringing the global cloud closer to home for African citizens and businesses. Enterprises across Africa can now take full advantage of the many benefits of Microsoft Azure, using cloud services to maintain security and meet compliance standards.”

According to the Cloud Africa 2018 report, the use of cloud among medium to large organizations in Africa has more than doubled between 2013 and 2018. Due to the benefits of cloud in offering efficiency and scalability, more than 90 percent of surveyed companies in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria have plans to increase their spending on cloud computing in the next year.

However, a secure offering remains important in maintaining this momentum, with many African CEOs being concerned about cyber threats.

“Microsoft has deep expertise in protecting data and empowering customers around the globe to meet extensive security and privacy requirements, including offering the broadest set of compliance certifications and attestations in the industry.”

“We look forward to supporting more African enterprises in their cloud journeys and offering a trusted path to digital transformation,” Khalidi added.

According to Youssry, “Microsoft is working with partners to accelerate cloud readiness and adoption in Africa, ensuring enterprises can deliver services to market faster, businesses can make more data-driven decisions, and governments can better connect with citizens.”

“As we connect more businesses to Azure, we’re seeing heightened innovation in the cloud and start-ups expanding their services to new markets. The combination of Microsoft’s global cloud infrastructure with the new regions in Africa will now connect businesses with even more opportunity and customers across the globe,” he said.

Azure is the first of Microsoft’s intelligent cloud services to be delivered from the new datacentres in South Africa. Office 365, Microsoft’s cloud-based productivity solution, is anticipated to be available by the third quarter of calendar year 2019, while Dynamics 365, the next generation of intelligent business applications, is anticipated in the fourth quarter.

 

Jumoke Akiyode-Lawanson

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