Oracle announced the availability of its first cloud region in Africa to meet the rapidly growing demand for enterprise cloud services on the continent. The Oracle Cloud Johannesburg Region will boost cloud adoption across Africa while also helping businesses achieve better performance and drive continuous innovation. The opening marks Oracle’s 37th cloud region worldwide with plans to have at least 44 cloud regions by the end of 2022, continuing one of the fastest expansions of any major cloud provider.
“The fourth industrial revolution, which is powered by cloud-led technologies, has significantly accelerated in South Africa and the wider African continent. In recent months, cloud technologies have played a vital role in helping African public and private sector organisations ensure business continuity, deliver essential services, and meet evolving customer expectations. The Oracle Johannesburg region offers a next-generation cloud to run any application faster and more securely for less, helping businesses build resilience, agility and achieve improved ROI,” said Richard Smith, executive vice president, EMEA, Oracle.
The Johannesburg region is built on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), which enables customers to easily migrate IT workloads and data platforms to the cloud or build new cloud native applications. In addition, Oracle offers a wide range of application modernisation and cloud strategies to help African organisations operate with global competitiveness.
Customer, Analyst, and Partner Commentary
African organisations are using Oracle to manage their mission-critical workloads and take advantage of cloud economics. Customers will benefit from significant performance improvements and reduced operational costs.
Airports Company South Africa owns and manages a network of nine airports in South Africa, including the three main international gateways: O.R. Tambo International, Cape Town International and King Shaka International, which together process more than 40 million passengers annually.
“Airports Company South Africa is mandated to advance South Africa’s national agenda of economic growth and development while delivering a sustainable and profitable business. Cloud-led digital transformation is vital for us to maintain an agile and profitable business model. The Oracle Cloud Johannesburg Region will offer us the flexibility to explore the latest technologies that can support our digital roadmap,” said Mthoko Mncwabe, CIO, Airports Company South Africa.
The Government Pensions Administrative Agency (GPAA) ensures the effective, transparent and accountable administration of pension funds on behalf of the Government Employees Pension Fund (GPEF) and the National Treasury of South Africa.
“GPAA is in the process of replacing legacy applications and refreshing its IT infrastructure. The timing of the Johannesburg region opening is perfect to enable us to lift and shift our existing and future Oracle deployments to the cloud. This will enable us to cut down on on-premises infrastructure and assist with the management of Oracle services, cybersecurity and disaster recovery,” said Meiring Coetzee, CIO, Government Pensions Administrative Agency.
Telkom is Africa’s largest telecommunications company.
“Telkom plays a leading role in South Africa’s digital revolution, providing the latest converged ICT solutions for a range of business and residential customers. The Johannesburg region will boost the local infrastructure capability of South Africa and the wider continent, and help organisations kick-start their digital transformation journeys,” said Reubin Layman, CIO, Openserve, Telkom SA.
“Our deep partnership with Oracle has always been one of Accenture’s most strategic and important initiatives to help our clients leverage the cloud and thrive in a cloud-first world. In this era of rapid transformation, cloud has proven to be a powerful tool for organisations to master change – in fact, we have found that cloud-focused organisations in Africa and Asia Pacific were able to achieve 1.5 times more cost reduction and were reported to be 3.7 times more likely to innovate as compared to their competitors. We have seen the benefits Oracle Cloud Infrastructure brings to our clients and know that the Oracle Cloud Johannesburg Region will further accelerate organisations’ cloud adoption and their ability to become agile, intelligent and digital businesses,” said Kgomotso Lebele, Technology Lead, Accenture Africa.
“Public cloud services adoption is accelerating at CAGR of 25 percent year on year between 2020 and 2025 in Sub-Saharan Africa and IDC projects that the growth momentum will continue. The role of cloud in enabling innovation is underscored by the priority organisations have given to it as part of their digital transformation initiatives. Cloud-based technologies have helped organisations weather the COVID-19 crisis and cloud is now helping them build resilient organisations that can withstand uncertainties. Our survey of CIOs in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria highlights that an in-country data center is an important factor for 60 percent of organisations that are planning to adopt cloud over the next 12-18 months. The Johannesburg region will boost regional cloud infrastructure availability. IDC believes that cloud has become an inseparable element of an organisation’s digital transformation and innovation roadmap,” said Mark Walker, associate vice president, Sub-Saharan Africa, IDC.
“Supply chain is mission critical. Kӧrber’s unrivaled portfolio of supply chain software, spanning WMS, voice, robotics and beyond, empowers businesses to turn what were once warehousing and logistics challenges into strategic differentiators. Our work with Oracle takes this to another level, enhancing our capabilities with the power of the cloud. We look forward to the possibilities our solutions and the Oracle Cloud together will bring the industry in South and Sub Saharan Africa and globally”, said Joe Couto, executive vice president, robotics and 3PL at Kӧrber Supply Chain Software.
Preparing Africa’s Next Generation for the Digital Economy
In South Africa, Oracle has initiated an annual “Graduate Leadership Program” to address the skills gap in the local ICT industry and creating employment opportunities for South Africa’s youth. The program focuses on equipping disadvantaged South African students with specialised technology and leadership skills that prepare them for a career in the IT industry. Since its inception in 2014, more than 200 graduates have completed this program with several securing permanent employment with Oracle partner companies and other organisations.
High Availability and Disaster Protection
Oracle’s strategy is to meet customers where they are, enabling customers to keep data and services where they need it. Customers can deploy Oracle Cloud completely within their own data centers with Dedicated Region and Exadata Cloud@Customer, deploy cloud services locally with public cloud-based management, or deploy cloud services remotely on the edge with Roving Edge Infrastructure.
OCI’s next-generation architecture provides a high-performing, resilient foundation for cloud services, while its physical and virtual network design maximizes performance and security. For example, each Oracle Cloud region contains at least three fault domains, which are groupings of hardware that form logical data centers for high availability and resilience to hardware and network failures.
Oracle is committed to sustainability and has pledged to power all Oracle Cloud regions worldwide with 100 percent renewable energy by 2025. Several Oracle Cloud regions in North America, South America, and Europe are already powered by 100 percent renewable energy, and all Oracle Cloud regions use state-of-the-art energy management and cooling technologies to minimize their impact on the environment. As part of its clean Cloud initiative, Oracle reused or recycled 99.6 percent of its retired hardware in FY21 while strictly adhering to Oracle’s data privacy and security practices.
Cloud Regions Deliver All Cloud Services and Multicloud
Oracle Cloud regions support every Oracle service and feature and are available to customers anywhere in the world. This includes Oracle Autonomous Database, Oracle Container Engine for Kubernetes, Oracle Cloud VMware solution, and Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications Suite.
OCI’s extensive network of more than 70 FastConnect global and regional partners offer customers dedicated connectivity to Oracle Cloud regions and OCI services – providing customers with the best options anywhere in the world. FastConnect provides an easy, elastic, and economical way to create a dedicated and private network connection with higher bandwidth, lower latency, and more consistent performance versus public Internet-based connections. Partners available at launch for the Oracle Cloud Johannesburg Region include Colt, Telia, Equinix, and Megaport.
In addition, OCI and Microsoft Azure have a strategic partnership that enables joint customers to run workloads across the two clouds. This partnership provides a low latency, cross-cloud interconnect between OCI and Azure in ten regions (San Jose, Phoenix, Ashburn, Toronto, Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam, Tokyo, South Korea and Vinhedo), federated identity for joint customers to deploy applications across both clouds, and a collaborative support model. Customers can run full stack applications in a multi-cloud configuration, while maintaining high-performance connectivity without requiring re-architecture. They can also potentially migrate existing applications or develop cloud native applications that use a mix of OCI and Azure services.