Microsoft has announced plans to build its first hyperscale datacentres in Africa, set to go live in 2018.
The data centres, located in Johannesburg and Cape Town, will expand on existing investments and deliver cloud services, including Microsoft Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics 365. Zoaib Hoosen, MD of Microsoft South Africa, says this investment underlines the company’s continued investment in the continent.
These new cloud regions will offer enterprise-grade reliability and performance combined with data residency to help enable the tremendous opportunity for economic growth, and increase access to cloud and internet services for organisations and people across the African continent.
In reaction to the news of the investment Warren O’Reilly Director at Resolve Immix says this is a significant announcement. “We are very excited to have two Microsoft Azure Data Centres in South Africa.
The new release of Dynamics 365 for Operations is Microsoft’s new business solution for medium to large organisations. Dynamics 365 for Operations was previously known as AX7 and is a single software system that helps run businesses more effectively. It is a digitally transformed financial and operational ERP system.
“Soon we’ll be enjoying the benefits of reduced latency and reduced connectivity costs to get to the data centre (local internet vs international bandwidth). Data sovereignty will also become a within country discussion and the POPI discussion will soon be a thing of the past. In general, just having this sort of presence in Johannesburg and Cape Town is a great development and we are thrilled.”
Microsoft has already seen growth in demand for cloud services across Africa, claiming it has brought 728 000 African SMEs online, with over 500 000 using Microsoft cloud services. It also has pan-African corporate giants as clients, such as Standard Bank, which relies on Azure to deliver apps and services to African customers.
The data centre presence in South Africa will bring Microsoft to 40 cloud regions around the world – more than any other cloud provider.