Trailblazing pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom, has today (30 August 2017) entered into a business agreement with Microsoft through a Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) programme allowing the two players to deliver scalable and secure cloud services across Africa.
Liquid Telecom is a subsidiary of the Econet Wireless Group founded and chaired by Zimbabwe’s influential telecommunications mogul, Dr. Strive Masiyiwa. Liquid Telecom has also a strong commercial presence in Zimbabwe where the operator has successfully managed to build a very robust fiber optic ring with over 48Gps (Gigabytes per second) capacity with Zimbabwe only using 19Gig per second.
The Cloud Service Provider partnership will see Liquid Telecom offering for the first time, cloud services and products, such as Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Office 365, Enterprise Mobility Suite and Windows 10 to all kinds of businesses in Africa.
The agreement brings together enterprise-grade reliability and performance from Microsoft Azure Cloud with Liquid Telecom’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.
Source: All Africa