Pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom announced that it 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 for the first time 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 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. 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. Microsoft has committed to investing in cloud services delivered from Africa. In May, 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.