Microsoft opens first data centre in Africa

MS DatacentreMicrosoft has opened its first data centre in Africa, with the general availability of Azure from the new cloud regions in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa

This makes Microsoft the first global provider to deliver cloud services from data centres on the continent, which will help companies securely and reliably move their businesses to the cloud while meeting compliance needs.

Ibrahim Youssry, general manager, North, West, East, Central Africa, Levant and Pakistan at Microsoft, said, “Today 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, cloud use among medium to large organisations in Africa has more than doubled between 2013 and 2018. Due to the benefits of cloud in offering efficiency and scalability, more than 90 per cent 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 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,” added Khalidi.

Digital transformation across Africa

The new data centre is a part of Microsoft’s ongoing investment to enable digital transformation across Africa.

On the skills development front, Microsoft has established a network of more than 800 Microsoft imagine academies, offering students of various age groups direct training in the technology field. Together with the African Development Bank (AfDB), Microsoft is rolling out ‘Coding for Employment’ to create 25mn jobs and reach 50mn youth and women across Africa.

Azure is the first of Microsoft’s intelligent cloud services to be delivered from the new data centre 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.

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