Microsoft opens its first data centres in Africa with cloud services, Azure

World’s biggest desktop operating system provider, Microsoft, has made it public that it is opening its first data centres in Africa. The data centres, situated in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa, will have the general availability of Azure.

The move by Microsoft makes the company the first ever global provider to sell cloud services from data centres in Africa. One benefit of this Microsoft move is, organisations can securely and reliably transfer the businesses to the cloud.

Yousef Khalidi is Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for the Azure Network. He said the opening of the data centres and the introduction of Azure in Africa will bring greater economic benefits.

Microsoft Azure is now available from our new cloud regions in Cape Town and Johannesburg. The combination of Microsoft’s global cloud infrastructure with the new regions in Africa will create greater economic opportunity for organisations in Africa, accelerate new global investment, and improve access to cloud and internet services.”

Ibrahim Youssry encouraged African businesses to take full advantage of the cloud services Microsoft has brought on their land.
Youssry is Microsoft’s General Manager for North, West, East, Central Africa, Levant and Pakistan.

“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.”

Cloud Security

Cloud computing is very beneficial, especially for medium to large business but the security side remains an important point. Many African CEOs are very concerned about cyber-attacks that may affect their businesses.

Azure’s corporate vice president, Khalidi, assured that Microsoft is ready to shield off any cyber threat from Azure.

“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.”

He added: “We look forward to supporting more African enterprises in their cloud journeys and offering a trusted path to digital transformation.”

Investment in Africa

Ibrahim Youssry also said, “We’re working with partners to accelerate cloud readiness and adoption in Africa, ensuring enterprises can deliver services to market faster, businesses can make more data-driven decisions, and governments can better connect with citizens”.

He continued, “As we connect more businesses to Azure, we’re seeing heightened innovation in the cloud and start-ups expanding their services to new markets. The combination of Microsoft’s global cloud infrastructure with the new regions in Africa will now connect businesses with even more opportunity and customers across the globe.”

Azure is Microsoft’s first intelligent cloud services to be sold from data centres in Africa. Microsoft’s cloud-based productivity solution, Office 365, is expected to join by the third quarter of 2019. Dynamics 365 will also be available, after Office 365’s arrival, in the fourth quarter.

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