Liquid Telecom has partnered with Microsoft through the Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) programme and is now delivering scalable and secure cloud services across Africa.
As an official CSP partner, Liquid Telecom will serve businesses of all sizes in Africa with cloud services and products, such as Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Office 365, Enterprise Mobility Suite and Windows 10.
The agreement brings together enterprise-grade reliability and performance from Microsoft Azure Cloud with LiquidTelecom’s award-winning fibre network, which stretches over 50,000km and connects more African countries and enterprises on a single network than any other.
Africa is one of the most dynamic and fastest growing cloud markets in the world, where cloud services are being used to transform businesses and accelerate innovation in areas such as agriculture, education and healthcare. Liquid Telecom is now able to offer Microsoft Azure as a managed service to enterprises and small businesses alike in the region, enabling them access to a growing collection of integrated cloud services that developers and IT professionals can use to build, deploy and manage applications.
Initially on offer to customers in South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya and Zimbabwe, Microsoft’s cloud services will eventually be made available across Liquid Telecom’s entire network footprint, which serves customers through one single point of contact and service level agreement.
“Demand for cloud services is increasing exponentially across Africa as organisations look for greater agility, flexibility and security to grow their business,” said Nic Rudnick, Group CEO, Liquid Telecom. “Through our extensive open access fibre network and integrated data centre capabilities in southern and eastern Africa, Microsoft and Liquid Telecom is better positioned to serve Africa’s digital future, which increasingly belongs in the cloud.”
Microsoft has committed to investing in cloud services delivered from Africa. In May 2017, Microsoft revealed plans to deliver Microsoft Cloud for the first time from data centres located in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa with initial availability anticipated in 2018. Currently many companies in Africa rely on cloud services delivered from outside of the continent, but Microsoft’s investment will provide cloud services across Africa with the option of data residency in South Africa.
Liquid Telecom already offers Microsoft ExpressRoute across its entire network footprint in Africa, providing Microsoft Azure enterprise customers with cost-effective, high-quality links into European-based Azure clouds, and will extend these private connection services to the South African Azure cloud when launched. Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute offers greater reliability, faster speeds, lower latencies and higher security than standard connections over the internet.
“The adoption of smart, cloud-based solutions continues to gain traction across Africa, thanks to cloud solution providers such as Liquid Telecom who are leveraging the Microsoft Azure platform to more quickly build innovative offerings that become critical components of customers’ IT strategies,” said Bruno Delamarre, MEA One Commercial Partner Group Lead at Microsoft. “As our trusted technology partner, we look forward to working together to bring these benefits to local and regional customers.”
Liquid Telecom operates two Tier 3 designed state-of-the-art data centres in Johannesburg and Cape Town, which offer a combined 1,700 square metres of rack space. It also operates the award-winning East Africa Data Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, which houses 2,000 square metres of secured space for data servers over three floors, making it the largest data centre in the region. These facilities serve major carriers, ISPs, enterprises and international service providers.
Across Africa, Microsoft has brought 728,000 small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) online to help them transform and modernise their businesses, and over 500,000 are now utilising Microsoft cloud services, with 17,000 using the 4Afrika hub to promote and grow their businesses.
The Microsoft Cloud is also helping Africans build job skills, with 775,000 trained on subjects ranging from digital literacy to software development. The company anticipates that Microsoft Cloud from Africa will fuel extensive new opportunities for 17,000 regional partners and customers alike.