By: Linda Rosencrance
Beginning in 2018, Microsoft is set to deliver the Microsoft cloud, including Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365, from datacenters located in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa. The datacenters will serve the entire continent, “and will help organizations and people from Cairo to Cape Town accelerate their journey to cloud computing.” So wrote Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise Group, in a blog post.
Organizations across Africa, including local startups and NGOs, can use the cloud services delivered from these new regions “to power innovation and opportunity for Africa and the world,” according to Guthrie.
For example, Guthrie described how the company M-KOPA Solar has used cloud and mobile tech to create a pay-as-you-go solar energy system to provide affordable electricity to over half a million homes.
In addition, AGIN has used the cloud to connect 140,000 smallholder farmers to key services via an app, so they can share data and facilitate $1.3 million per month in finance, insurance and other services.
“This new investment is also major milestone in our mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, part of our ongoing effort to create a cloud for global good and an extension of the efforts we have put in place to invest in Africa,” Guthrie stated.
That includes helping to transform and modernize 728,000 small and mid-size enterprises by bringing their companies online, as well as using the Microsoft cloud to enable people in Africa to access training and education on subjects such as digital literacy and software development, according to the announcement.
The two South African datacenters bring Microsoft to 40 cloud regions worldwide, “more than any other cloud provider,” wrote Guthrie. Among other recent country-specific launches:
- In September 2016, Microsoft announced that Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online will be available in the United Kingdom in the first half of 2017. At that time it will join Microsoft Azure and Office 365, which are generally available from new datacenter regions in the UK.
- At the same time, Microsoft stated that Azure was available from German datacenters in Magdeburg and Frankfurt and Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics 365 in the first half of this year.
- In October, Microsoft announced that it will host Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics 365 in new datacenters in France sometime in 2017.