Liquid Telecom to launch Microsoft cloud services for African businesses
James Pearce - GTB
Liquid Telecom has struck a partnership with Microsoft that will see it offer scalable and secure cloud services across Africa. The partnership, under Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) programme, will see Liquid for the first time serve businesses across Africa with cloud services and products, including Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Office 365, and Windows 10. Liquid will run the service across its 50,000km fibre network which spans the African continent, although it will initially only be made available to customers in South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya and Zimbabwe. Liquid Telecom said it will then expand the service, eventually veering its entire network, serving 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.” Demand for cloud services is growing at a rapid rate, with the continent seen as one of the fast growing markets, as businesses use the cloud to transform and accelerate innovation across sectors including agriculture, education and healthcare. Earlier this year, Microsoft committed to investing in cloud services delivered from Africa. In May, it 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. “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."