Microsoft, Liquid Telecom seek to spur Africa’s SMEs’ cloud uptake with new offering

Microsoft East Africa and Liquid Telecom have joined forces to improve and accelerate the use of cloud services across Africa. The joint project will help boost the continent’s access to world-class software.

Microsoft has a long-term strategic vision to enable affordable broadband access to its customers to empower business and increase productivity. To move this objective forward, Microsoft will collaborate with Liquid Telecom, a pan-African telecommunications provider that operates the region’s largest independent fibre network, which spans over 40,000km across 12 countries.

The joint effort will focus on the delivery of cloud services, small-and-medium business development and the enablement of a television white space technology and partner ecosystem to provide further connectivity across the continent.

Cloud-based operations provide many tangible benefits for businesses, including reduced costs with greater levels of scalability and the ability to deliver new products and services to market faster than traditional IT solutions.

However, businesses across Africa have traditionally been slower adopters of cloud services, particularly in areas with limited ICT infrastructure. The partnership will address this by combining Liquid Telecom’s extensive network reach with Microsoft’s innovative business solutions that bring the cloud closer to the end user.

“We believe in the power and potential of businesses in Africa and we look forward to providing the best that cloud computing has to offer. In the age of digital transformation, we want to provide not only secure data storage, but the efficiency and scalability that businesses need to achieve more,” says Frank McCosker, General Manager of Affordable Access and Smart Financing at Microsoft 4Afrika.

Through fast and more affordable connectivity, Microsoft’s extensive cloud-based software offerings, such as Azure and Office 365, will become more accessible through Liquid Telecom. This will enhance business potential and enable startups and home-grown operations to be more productive and efficient.

As part of the project, Microsoft and Liquid Telecom will also be creating ‘Business in a Box’, which will offer small-and-medium businesses a cloud-based toolkit of relevant applications, cloud services and connectivity.

“Cloud computing is still gaining momentum on the continent, but we believe it has the potential to transform the way businesses of all sizes operate. Through better connectivity, faster internet and secure cloud offerings, businesses will have the platforms and tools they need to grow and succeed. We have the infrastructure to enable locally and regionally hosted cloud solutions keeping African data in Africa,” says Ben Roberts, Group CTO, Liquid Telecom.

The project, with the scope to influence and improve the capabilities of cloud computing in Africa, will accelerate the economic growth and competitiveness of Africa.

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