[South Africa] Routed achieves Gold Status in Veeam Cloud & Service Provider Program

Africa’s cloud platform Routed has earned Gold status in the Veeam® Cloud & Service Provider (VCSP) program. The company is now one of the select cloud providers to offer its customers Veeam-powered solutions to build reliable, enterprise-grade Backup as a Service (BaaS) and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) offerings.

Veeam Software, the leader in backup, recovery and data management solutions that deliver Modern Data Protection, provides its solutions through strong alliance partnerships and seamless technology integrations with leading cloud providers, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Cloud and IBM Cloud. Veeam offers a complete solution that is simple, flexible, reliable and powerful to help businesses transform the way they manage data and applications, to helping to ensure availability across cloud, virtual, physical, SaaS and Kubernetes environments.

Working with Veeam, Routed can now offer its customers a cost-effective way to scale their backup requirements and data management systems. Routed’s Managing Director, Andrew Cruise, is thrilled to be inpartnership with one of the world’s leading technology vendors and to be elevated to Gold VSCP partner status. “Digitally conscious customers are demanding faster, more reliable and effective IT infrastructures, regardless of where they keep their data, and our relationship with Veeam underpins our ability to provide this,” he says.

The partnership also offers partner perks tailored to the business, including internal-use licenses, marketing programs, deal registration and access to the ProPartner portal, which offers sales tools and other partner-related information to help qualify and drive business.

“Routed has demonstrated proficient knowledge of Veeam products, and we are confident in its ability to deliver Veeam-powered solutions to enable their customers to achieve optimum Modern Data Protection. We’re looking forward to collaborating with Routed to become even more profitable and drive growth.” Matthew Lee, Africa’s Regional Director for Veeam, says.

www.veeam.com

www.routed.co.za

The Future of ERP is in the cloud, says SoftwareONE

For faster, more scalable ERP solutions, CIOs are turning to the cloud in greater numbers to help streamline performance across key areas of operations. Marilyn Moodley, Country Leader for South Africa and WECA (West, East, Central Africa) at SoftwareONE, says the industry can expect another big shift to the cloud on the back of SAP customers moving their existing ECC to the cloud and then converting to S/4HANA. Aside from the SAP ECC support deadline in 2027, Moodley says it’s an exciting moment for the industry as businesses are taking full advantage of the time and money saving benefits of S/4HANA.

“Moving from an on-premise system, often with significant custom coding, to a cloud environment can be daunting which is why choosing the right cloud partner for the journey is vitally important. There are so many advantages to running an organisation’s ERP system in the cloud. Businesses can no longer adopt a wait-and-see approach as the time to start your ERP migration to cloud is now,” she says.

Moodley notes the most compelling benefits of moving ERP to the cloud:

Costs:  Your business can shift from a CAPEX to an OPEX model, scaling your infrastructure up or down based on peaks and troughs in demand, so you only pay for what you use, when you use it.

Agility and efficiency: SAP in the cloud will provide you with scalability and access to the latest technologies to help you capitalise on emerging opportunities as they happen. On-premises infrastructure does not benefit from the level of automation and economies of scale available in the public cloud, adding more manual tasks to your workday and building up complexity you must deal with to keep your business running.

Resilience: Hyperscalers provide flexible and cost-effective options to ensure high availability with stringent SLAs and fail-safe disaster recovery so that your business can keep running, no matter what happens.

Innovation: The cloud also makes it easier to adopt emerging cloud trends, like ‘composable architecture’, which involves the breakdown of monolithic architecture into a modular approach. For example, you could have SAP at the centre of your architecture supported by best-of-breed technologies as building blocks. This drives ability to respond to changing environments faster.

Sustainability: Cloud computing is a more sustainable approach than reinvesting in new physical hardware unless you’re able to invest the same levels of environmentally friendly power and cooling systems that are supplied by the big hyperscale cloud providers.

www.softwareone.com

Reimagining the IT infrastructure of the cloud operating model, IDC

Research by International Data Corporation (IDC) has revealed that 49% of CIOs across the Middle East, Turkey and Africa (MEA) believe that the cloud has the potential to play a significant role in driving innovation, creating new digital products, transforming business models and refining revenue streams and this will influence their spend over the next 12-18 months. Speaking at the recent IDC Cloud and Datacentre Roadshow, Jon Tullett, research manager for IT services for IDC Sub-Saharan Africa said there  are two primary reasons why companies should be paying attention to cloud and making it a strategic priority in the current environment.

“First, making the best use of infrastructure is always going to be a strategic priority for the CIO and, in many cases, the cloud is the best infrastructure choice,” says Tullett. “Secondly, cloud services and business requirements evolve very quickly so there needs to be a constant process of re-evaluating the services that are in use and assessing whether or not they should be refreshed or migrated elsewhere.”

That said, if cloud is to be a strategic priority, it equally needs to be given the right resources to ensure that it operates optimally. IT teams need to take a holistic look at their cloud operating models so that they are assured that the spending and implementation meet business value expectations and enable the business across the essential pillars of speed, flexibility, cost and reliability. To ensure these efficiencies and optimisation strategies, several common elements need to be addressed.

“A consistent security policy along with common management and central reporting are three areas where the cost of getting it wrong is immediate and appears as additional overheads and reduced agility,” says Tullett. “If you dig deeper, this leads to discussions around API management and integration strategies that, for many CIOs, are easy investments in the future. They don’t add much cost today, but payout handsomely as company use cases expand.”

Cloud deployments can fundamentally help the organisation improve its operational efficiencies over the long term, particularly those that have not yet fully optimised their technology environments.  This has already been seen in the measurable returns on investment and productivity found by companies already moving down the digital transformation road – they have realised benefits such as faster time to market, simplified innovation, easier scalability, and reduced risk. If a company can get its strategy and operating models in alignment then it will see improvements in these baseline metrics and overall operational capability.

“If an organisation is experiencing worse operational inefficiency after deploying into the cloud, then the cloud has been implemented incorrectly,” says Tullett. “As blunt as that may be, it’s the reality and asks that the organisation relook its strategy and approaches to turn this around. It’s not always obvious where the business is experiencing operational inefficiencies, however, so it is worth using the built-in telemetry in cloud platforms to assess performance.”

Use the tools and the third-party services that allow for the business to measure its efficiency. This will allow for it to measure and improve efficiencies as part of cloud key performance indicators rather than as guesswork and estimations. Also, do not stop assessing at the implementation phase when moving the software into the cloud because the real benefits only show themselves once the organisation actively leverages the advantages of cloud. These are, of course, agility, speed of deployment, inter-service integration, faster iteration, and consumption pricing.

“If you cannot express your cloud spend in these terms – across these benefits – then you may get stuck on first base,” says Tullett. “Then, once you have established these as your foundation, take these cloud advantages and overlay them over your entire IT infrastructure. You can get most, if not all, of these benefits with other technologies as well. Cloud is not the only option, it is a change in how you articulate business value and how the business aligns with IT.”

In the end, whether cloud, operations, implementation or transformation drive the business journey, every part of an organisation’s infrastructure needs to be held to high standards that prioritise strategic imperatives and align with mission-critical business objectives.

www.idc.com

[Column] Andrew Cruise: Why the cloud numbers don’t add up

In a recent survey by large-scale tech learning platform O’Reilly, 90% of respondents said their organisations are using cloud, and 30% said they’re fully cloud native. This makes it clear why ‘cloud’ is the buzzword on every IT leader’s lips. Seemingly, if you’re not getting on the cloud, you’re getting left behind.

But other insights reveal that the numbers just don’t add up. Cloud spend still accounts for just 6% of total IT spend, according to tech analyst IDC. And, while global cloud spend surged in the first quarter of 2021, the numbers dipped by 1.9% in Q2 – the first decline after seven quarters of spending growth since 2019.

The reasons

IDC proposes the dip in spending is due to the need for new infrastructure as a result of the pandemic. That may be the case, but it doesn’t explain why total cloud spend remains a small sliver of total IT spend – despite indicators of rapid growth and large-scale adoption, says Andrew Cruise, CEO of Routed.

“It could also be that cloud is, quite simply, cool. For years, decision makers have been told to go big on cloud or risk losing out to competitors. And while this is certainly true, the money doesn’t lie. What organisations are saying and what organisations are doing are quite different. And, until they do make the move, some might be bluffing for fear of sounding like they’re behind.” It might also be that IT leaders, for now, are facing challenges in their move to cloud, he adds.

“They want to make the move, they plan on making the move, but they’re not quite getting there yet. Eliminating traditional infrastructure is a major undertaking and it’s unlikely that every cloud provider is fit-for-purpose for every app. Migrating everything to cloud is a daunting task and, while companies are clearly migrating certain services or apps onto cloud, they’re still running their own datacentres.”

Getting there

“Cloud hype has progressed from the urgent ‘move to cloud!’ call of a decade ago, to ‘hybrid cloud rules’ five years ago, to the ‘multicloud or bust!’ message of today. Of course, each of these blanket statements has merit, but there is no magic silver bullet for a businesses’ infrastructure requirements,” says Cruise.

Multicloud environments have grown increasingly complex, with no comprehensive visibility. Organisations are running different services on the cloud provider that best meets their needs for the given application – with no overarching system to link all these siloes. “That is until you consider the virtual machine, like VMware, which is able to optimise applications independent of the cloud environment. And all the benefits of cloud are not just hype – it truly does increase agility, efficiency, longer-term hardware efficacy and even greater security,” adds Cruise. And decisionmakers are clearly aware of this – albeit that the predicted shift is happening slower than expected. All signs point to ever more adoption. IDC predicts that compute and storage spending for cloud infrastructure will expand at a compound annual growth rate of 12.4% for 2020-2025 before reaching $118.8bn in 2025. 

“Although the move to cloud has been slower than experts predicted, I believe that the multicloud story will be slightly more common than niche. There’s still a long road ahead, but the truth is that it’s not too late to start considering the cloud journey and benefit from the great savings and efficiency that virtual hosted environments offer. Using the right tech, and partnering with the right provider, can create the most efficient systems your organisation has seen to date.”

Andrew Cruise is the managing director at Routed.

Amazon to launch a new AWS Local Zone cloud infrastructure in Kenya

Amazon Web Services has announced plans to launch an AWS Local Zone in Kenya.  AWS, an Amazon.com, Inc. company made this announcement at the ongoing Connected Summit 2022 in Diani, Kwale County.

The new AWS Local Zone(s) in Kenya will join 16 existing AWS Local Zones across the United States and an additional 32 AWS Local Zones planned to launch in 26 countries around the world starting in 2022. AWS Local Zones deliver single-digit millisecond latency performance at the edge of the cloud to hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

“The new AWS Local Zone in Kenya is a continuation of our investment to support customers of all kinds and our commitment to accelerate innovation by bringing cloud infrastructure to more locations in the country. We know that delivering ultra-low latency applications for a seamless user experience matters in every business and industry, so we are excited to bring the edge of the cloud closer to more customers in Kenya to help meet their requirements. ” Robin Njiru, Regional Lead, East, West and Central Africa at AWS said.

Njiru says AWS Local Zones will empower more public and private organizations, innovative startups, and AWS partners to deliver a new generation of leading edge, low-latency applications to end users. 

Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs, Mr Joseph Mucheru said the announcement reaffirms our Kenya’s position as an attractive place to invest, powered by a high volume of local talented developers. ”It will boost the adoption of advanced cloud-based technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Internet of Things while helping to ensure secure use across the Kenyan technology sector.” he said.

AWS manages and supports Local Zones, meaning customers in Kenya do not need to incur the expense and effort of procuring, operating, and maintaining infrastructure in Nairobi to support low-latency applications. AWS Local Zones also allow customers with local data residency requirements in Kenya to run parts of their applications in on-premises data centers and seamlessly connect to AWS while ensuring ultra-low latency for these types of hybrid deployments—all while using familiar AWS APIs and tools.

The new AWS Local Zones will give customers in Kenya the ability to offer end users single-digit millisecond performance designed to suit applications such as remote real-time gaming, media and entertainment content creation, live video streaming, engineering simulations, augmented and virtual reality, machine learning inference at the edge, and more.

Customers can connect to AWS Local Zones through an internet connection or use AWS Direct Connect—a cloud service that links an organization’s network directly to AWS to deliver consistent, secure, low-latency performance—to route traffic over a private AWS network connection.

AWS Local Zones are a type of infrastructure deployment that places AWS compute, storage, database, and other services at the edge of the cloud near large population, industry, and information technology (IT) centers—enabling customers to deploy applications that require single-digit millisecond latency closer to end users or on-premises data centers. AWS Local Zones allow customers to use core AWS services locally while seamlessly connecting to the rest of their workloads running in AWS Regions with the same elasticity, pay-as-you-go model, application programming interfaces (APIs), and toolsets.

The announcement comes more than two years after Kenya’s leading telco Safaricom announced a partnership with Amazon to resell AWS services in Kenya and throughout East Africa.

On top of reselling AWS services, the telco also was also included as an Advanced Consulting Partner in the AWS Partner Network (APN), a partner program for technology and consulting businesses that leverage AWS “to build solutions and services for customers.

Peter Ndegwa, CEO of Safaricom PLC said the new AWS Local Zone will enable Safaricom to further enhance its cloud offerings, especially to its Enterprise and SME customers, and migrate more of its own services to the Cloud.  ”Customer obsession remains a key focus for Safaricom and with this local presence driven by our partnership with Amazon, we will now achieve increased speed, stability, reliability, and storage to support innovation and development of future-fit solutions,” Peter added.

aws.amazon.com