Canon Central and North Africa unveils innovation to meet market demand for cloud solutions

Canon Central and North Africa has announced the next generation of uniFLOW Online – 2019.1 – enabling partners of all sizes to meet the evolving cloud requirements of their customers.

 Designed to address market demand for cloud-based capture and output solutions, uniFLOW Online 2019.1 offers partners the centralised management features to streamline integration, boost productivity and help businesses gain control of their costs.

With easier setup than ever before and enhanced flexibility, partners have a clear opportunity to improve their offering, stand out from their competitors and reduce the time needed for service calls. 

Gaining accreditation is vastly simplified, with only six hours of e-learning courses to train partners on installation, user set-up and device management.

With demands on time subsequently reduced, more resource can be focused on customer needs.  The Device Setup Utility function, which now fully supports eULM devices, provides a single tool which enables partners to quickly add or update devices simultaneously.

Additionally, an Online Setup button removes the complexity of onboarding, by connecting users directly from the device.

This enables the delivery of industry-leading device management as easily as flipping a switch. With no need for an onsite engineer, small and large enterprises alike benefit from time and resource savings.

Partners directly benefit from an industry-leading cloud solution with minimal technical or financial demands. This is made available through three different packages; basic printing, basic scanning and advanced scanning, with different payment tiers. 

Our most versatile cloud-based print and output management solution yet, uniFLOW Online 2019.1 allows customers to easily browse, print and queue documents stored in cloud services without any investment in servers or IT infrastructure.

Somesh Adukia B2B Sales and Marketing Director, Canon Central and North Africa (CCNA) said,“We’re dedicated to providing partners with robust solutions that allow them to compete in a rapidly changing landscape.With uniFLOW 2019.1, partners can deliver aversatile range of capture and output packages to support customers moving their IT infrastructure to the cloud. Our flexible user subscription-based payment model provides partners with a competitive pricing strategy and a solution which will continue to serve customers as they scale up or down.” 

Partners can drive productivity for their customers, thanks to the enhanced integration between cloud services, uniFLOW Online 2019.1 and Canon’s expanding multifunctional printer (MFP) line-up.

Compatible with a broad range of cloud services including Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive, this solution gives them access to familiar tools to facilitate simple print and scanning to the cloud.

This easy to use system is designed to reduce the risk of operational error and mitigate the need for regular onsite support, giving partners more time to focus on serving customer needs.

Partners can also demonstrate the enhanced cost benefits of uniFLOW 2019.1, thanks to the greater end-to-end management of print and document processes.

Optimised for greater visibility, this update enables the delivery of valuable insights about user, department and device costs to their customers. 

Advantages for the buyer also include the regulation of employee access and usage through unique department logins, which allows businesses to better budget MFP expenses and minimise waste.

“uniFLOW 2019.1 allows partners of all sizes to deliver a customisable solution, that meets customers’ evolving needs without extensive financial, technical or maintenance requirements” concluded Sean Hunt.

www.canon-cna.com

Standard Bank South Africa moves business to the cloud with Moody’s Analytics

South Africa’s Standard Bank Group Group has selected the Moody’s Analytics CreditLens™ solution to digitize and automate its credit processes.

Built on the latest cloud-based technology, the CreditLens platform helps financial institutions digitally transform their commercial credit processes to make faster and better-informed credit decisions.

With $148 billion in assets, Standard Bank Group is the largest bank in Africa by that measure. It offers banking and financial services across 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

This extensive footprint is part of what led the bank to pursue a cloud-based platform.

“It was becoming less and less efficient to have our systems on premise across so many segments and regions, so the idea that the CreditLens platform will always be up to date with product enhancements pushed through the cloud is extremely appealing to us,” said Gordon Turnbull, Head of Credit for Business Customers at Standard Bank Group.

“It is also critical that our chosen solution gives us the flexibility to use our own in-house models for risk ratings, which the Moody’s Analytics product does.”

The bank will use the CreditLens solution to automate key components of its credit function, including data ingestion and workflow.

Using the solution’s cloud-based functionality, the bank’s vision is ultimately to provide nearly instantaneous credit decisioning from front-line staff, anywhere in the field.

“We are delighted to help Standard Bank Group transform their credit infrastructure with modern architecture and cloud technology,” said Elaine Wong, Head of Credit Assessment and Origination at Moody’s Analytics.

“As Africa’s largest bank and a standard-setter in financial innovation, Standard Bank Group is particularly poised to benefit from the flexibility and configurability of the CreditLens platform in supporting a faster, better decision process.”

www.standardbank.co.za

www.moodysanalytics.com

[Kenya] Telkom Launches Cloud-based Voice Services for Enterprise Customers

Telkom has introduced a new cloud-based fixed voice service that will allow SMEs and corporates to outsource for robust and secure cutting-edge technology.

Dubbed “Omniconnect”, the Telkom Hosted PBX service will deliver a world-class end-to-end software and hardware system, powered by global technology company Avaya. Besides making and receiving calls, the service will also offer other features such as conference calls and the ability to integrate with email and the mobile phone.

The subscription-based service will eliminate the need for businesses to make heavy initial capital investment to acquire and maintain the fixed telephone system; nor will they have to host the same on their premises. Businesses can also flexibly upgrade or scale down the service, in line with changing needs and technology trends.

“This solution will free corporates and SMEs to focus on their core businesses, without being bogged down by the cost of acquiring, running and maintaining this system. This is the future of doing business; enabling them to become more efficient in their operations by simplifying their processes and infrastructure.” Telkom Enterprise MD., Kris Senanu, said.

Mr. Senanu added that the service is competitively priced, with respect to on-net and off-net rates, billed per second, guaranteeing substantial cost savings on voice services.

“As we continue to invest in Kenya, one of our key focus areas is enabling customers to do business the way they want. Increasingly that means offering cloud-based solutions, and Telkom is at the forefront of meeting this demand. We’re delighted to expand our partnership with Telkom, which joins the growing number of partners worldwide who are now offering Avaya cloud services. We look forward to bringing even more customer-centric innovations into this important market with Telkom.” Fadi Hani, Vice President – Middle East, Africa and Turkey, Avaya, said.

Mr. Senanu also added: “The service guarantees security and in-call stability. It runs on a secure system, deployed on Telkom’s backbone network, to protect it from direct access through the Internet, and confers an extra layer of security.”  

The Telkom Hosted PBX service, Omniconnect, also delivers an advanced level feature set, including web collaboration and video calling, thus enhancing employee productivity.

The service comes in three offerings: two options for corporates (silver and gold) and one for SMEs. The SME option will offer the customer between five and 20 extensions, and comes with third-party mobile app support, as well as basic phone features (making and receiving calls, holding, transferring, voicemail, and parking/paging). The corporate option, which services a minimum of 20 extensions, provides call recording and ad-hoc video-conferencing on the silver tier. Customers investing in the gold tier will enjoy the same benefits, plus voicemail to email, video calling, web collaboration, Office 365/Outlook integration and conference bridge.

www.telkom.co.ke

[Column] Linda Carter: Connectivity considerations to futureproof your cloud experience

The cloud is a dynamic, ever-changing environment, surging ahead on the back of developments such as a hybridisation and hyper scaling, not to mention a whole new array of cloud-based solutions to support companies as they stride further into – or take their first tentative steps towards – digital transformation. Amid all this evolution, however, what doesn’t change is the need for reliable, high-speed connectivity to access the cloud services making business migration possible.

With a new financial year around the corner, many companies (from SMEs to large corporates) are likely reassessing their IT spend – and particularly their cloud budget. When making this assessment, it’s important that appropriate cloud connectivity services are high on the agenda. The reason for this is that companies need to think long term about their Internet service so it will provide a seamlessly scalable cloud experience, even as their cloud usage shifts and digital technology advances.

Cloud services will become mission-critical

A primary consideration is that today’s most common forms of connectivity are unlikely to be sufficient to accommodate the needs of evolving cloud services. Staple cloud uses remain software-as-a-service, mail handling plus online back-up and recovery. But as South African businesses start to feel comfortable with the technology and see first-hand its advantages in efficiency, time to market, scalability and cost-effectiveness today, they will move more aspects of their operations to the cloud tomorrow.

The likes of virtual servers, big data analytics, smart AI-powered security and other emerging cloud-based solutions will all place a greater burden on a business’s bandwidth. An ADSL connection, for example, will certainly not be sufficient for a task like real-time system scanning to protect against increasingly sophisticated cyberthreats. It’s also unlikely to cope well with the video-heavy, real-time collaboration and conferencing tools that are becoming essential to modern, globalised business operations.

Overall, as Industry 4.0 gears up, increasing automation and systemisation is coming to all sectors, not just manufacturing, to aid more efficient operations and business growth. High-performance connectivity enables this growth while minimising latency in information transfer – a well-known hurdle to optimised business performance.

Companies therefore need two things: the first is a flexible connectivity solution that can scale with system demands over time. The second is truly uncontended, unshaped and high-performance Internet access that minimises latency. Whether a small-to-mid-level enterprise using the public cloud, or a large-scale corporate requiring a premium private connection, companies should scrutinise their connectivity provider to see if the ISP has the infrastructure to deliver these essential foundations for future-proof cloud adoption.

South Africa’s unusual cloud environment
Another thing to bear in mind is that South Africa’s cloud environment is different to that overseas. Given South Africa’s geographic location, use of big-name cloud computing platforms like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure previously meant connecting to faraway data centres in Europe and elsewhere. That is now changing with AWS and Azure in the well-publicised process of opening local data centres in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Whether data centres are located abroad or within South Africa, SEACOM is strategically positioned to be the Cloud Connectivity Service Provider of choice by having a complete, scalable end-to-end solution for our customers.

This process began with investment in our own international undersea cable infrastructure which extends along the East Coast of Africa from South Africa to Kenya, and further on to Europe – enabling high-speed reliable access to overseas data centres. Meanwhile, SEACOM has invested in dedicated alternate and resilient paths on the West Coast of Africa to enable the highest level of redundancy.

Closer to home, SEACOM’s South African infrastructure not only includes our industry-leading metro networks but also our recent acquisition of FibreCo Telecommunications, with its own national open-access fibre network. This further ensures a seamless connectivity experience even as demand for cloud services increases from South African companies eager to explore cloud’s potential. Via strategic decision-making, SEACOM can deliver high-speed broadband connectivity and cloud products to businesses in the country’s urban hubs, as well as expand its offerings to smaller cities and towns that have traditionally been lacking fibre and high-speed data network presence.

It’s worth noting that the announcement of cloud providers “setting up shop” in South Africa does not translate into an immediate availability of all their cloud-based applications from local data centres. While common applications are expected to be deployed from South African centres, it may still take months or years for some of the enterprise-centric applications to be offered out of South Africa. This places even further importance on the use of a Tier-1 provider like SEACOM that can offer both exceptional local and international usage.

One of the greatest benefits of cloud services is that they can scale with a business’s needs. Similarly, to ensure they can access that advantage, companies need high-performance connectivity that can scale with use. Making wise choices today in terms of an innovation- and future-minded connectivity partner will lay the foundation for a productive, digitally-enhanced future.

Linda Carter is the head of marketing at SEACOM South Africa

Seacom to provide direct connectivity for Kenyan businesses to South Africa

Leading Pan-African Internet and connectivity service provider, SEACOM has announced that it will now offer direct connections from its East Africa network to public cloud networks and data centres located in South Africa. This follows the launch of Microsoft’s enterprise-grade data centres in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

SEACOM’s offering, available to business customers, will deliver direct, high-speed, dedicated and secure connectivity to the Microsoft data centres via resilient network connections from Kenya to South Africa. The SEACOM subsea cable, which connects Kenya to South Africa, offers a fibre express route that carries Terabytes of capacity with speeds from as low as 50 Mbps up to 10 Gbps. In addition to this, SEACOM’s recent acquisition of FibreCo’s network allows it to extend this capability across South Africa and into the major data centres where cloud providers, such as Microsoft, have a presence.

Ten years ago, Pan-African Internet provider SEACOM first brought its high-speed Internet connectivity directly to Africa, opening the continent to the technological advancements we enjoy today. In 2016, SEACOM upscaled its commitment to Africa, offering business customers high-speed, reliable Internet connectivity and cloud-based business solutions, without relying on middlemen.

Through years of experience with global cloud providers such as Microsoft, SEACOM has provided solutions to businesses that are considering cloud migration. One such example is the launch of the Azure ExpressRoute offering together with Microsoft, that allows SEACOM customers to extend their on-premises networks into the cloud without going over the public Internet. Until now, this solution had been limited to data centres outside of the African continent.

The opportunity for Kenyan businesses to leverage SEACOM’s ExpressRoute to connect directly and reliably to these Microsoft data centres will enable more Kenyan businesses to embrace the cloud and enhance digitisation.

www.seacom.mu

African Cloud Market Will Double in Size Over the Next Five Years, Report

The report notes that while the cloud services sector is in its early stages of development in the continent, the impact of cloud services is already far-reaching.

The African could market will double in size over the next five years. This is according to the “The Rise of the African Cloud: Azure, AWS, Vmware and the Battle to Transform African Enterprise Markets” report.

The report notes that while the cloud services sector is in its early stages of development in the continent, the impact of cloud services is already far-reaching.

African banks are making investments in machine learning and artificial intelligence tools to improve the customer experience and credit risk; new “digital banks” are emerging, that are, at least in part, cloud-based.

Governments are using cloud and virtualized infrastructure to enhance public service delivery. Large retail firms are using compute capabilities and AWS databases to transform how they reach a predominantly mobile and digital customer base – and scores of African cloud-native startups are leveraging the cloud to disrupt entire industry sectors.

The African cloud may be small, but it is already here indeed, and it is growing fast. For African markets, cloud, virtualization and the broader evolution towards serverless computing are the most disruptive technology developments since the advent of the mobile payment revolution. Few other segments in the African ICT space are as likely to generate an incremental $2bn in top line revenue over the next five years, and at least as much in adjacent enabling ecosystem revenue.

This report highlights the near term economic, commercial and investor value opportunity offered by the rise of the African cloud. 

Building on the author’s established analysis of African enterprise and digital infrastructure markets, 18 months of research and 100+ interviews and conversations, The Rise of the African Cloud explores the readiness of African markets for thriving private and public cloud services; it analyzes cloud demand and use case patterns, at segment level, from financial services to the public sector and startups; it estimates and projects cloud services market size; it details the competitive strengths of global hyperscale cloud providers and how their battle is translating in the African context; it outlines the impact of cloud services on Africa’s managed service provider ecosystem and telcos’ evolving enterprise businesses; and it breaks down the investment case within the African cloud value chain, from enterprise connectivity to data centers and SaaS.

www.researchandmarkets.com

[Kenya] Multi-Cloud, AI, IoT to Pave Way for Digital Transformation

Dell Technologies is now banking on Multi Cloud Technology, Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things to provide enterprises with enhanced solutions as Kenya gets into the digital transformation era.

Dell Technologies is now banking on Multi Cloud Technology, Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things to provide enterprises with enhanced solutions as Kenya gets into the digital transformation era.

As businesses get into the fourth industrial revolution, data is becoming an increasingly valuable currency for businesses; and Dell Technologies is investing in data management systems through its multi-cloud services to ensure businesses transact in a secure, reliable and convenient ecosystem.

“These technologies share a common thread: each of them is fueled by data. And as we continue to embrace the growing digital economy, the true value of data as currency will become increasingly clear. We at Dell Technologies keep our commitment to deliver world-class solutions and services for the betterment of the community. We are here to help organizations embrace this world of change and align with Kenya’s Vision 2030 which aims to provide a high quality of life to all its citizens by 2030.” said Habib Mahakian, Vice President of Dell Technologies – Emerging Africa.

Dell Technologies has combined its innovation of Dell, Dell EMC, Pivotal, RSA, SecureWorks, Virtustream and VMware, all in one family of businesses, each acting independently, but working closely—and better together.

“This is a unique structure that allows us to innovate like a startup, but with the scale of a global powerhouse. We at Dell Technologies help organizations, whether big or small, to unlock the value of their data.” he added.

Speaking during the Dell Technologies Forum in Nairobi, Habib noted that the era of human-machine partnership is here to stay and that business using robots are now experiencing increased efficiency and effective delivery.

There is a lot of hype around IoT and in Dell Technologies view, despite its name, it’s not a thing, IoT is as a concept, and that concept can be very simply expressed as: gathering and processing data from connected things to create value. IoT is going to be big, and according to a new update to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Semiannual Internet of Things Spending Guide, worldwide spending on the IoT is forecast to reach $745 billion in 2019, an increase of 15.4% over the $646 billion spent in 2018. IDC expects worldwide IoT spending will maintain a double-digit annual growth rate throughout the 2017-2022 forecast period and surpass the $1 trillion mark in 2022.

“When it comes to Internet of Things, we believe that organizations have to do more than simply connect things. They have to be able to transform the data into business values as it flows from the edge to the distributed core and into the cloud. Our distributed core solutions can ingest and store massive amounts of data, analyze the data in near real-time and deliver actionable insights while it matters.” Said Nazih Moufarrej, General Manager & Regional Director – South East Africa, Dell Technologies.

“We are also focusing on offering Artificial Intelligence solutions coupled with ML Algorithms, it is estimated that by 2025, 60% of AI will run on optimized silicon. Dell Technologies has invested in numerous semiconductor startups developing new processor models to accelerate machine learning use cases. These innovations will all reside within enterprise-class servers.” Nazih added

Dell Technologies is the leading provider of infrastructure software used to power the modern enterprise with VMware, but has also taken a lead in delivering different models of handling new types of code that will power cloud-native and IoT environments.

With systems such as Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF), Pivotal Container Service (PKS) and new tools such as Pivotal Function Service, Dell Technologies recognizes that new business and technology models will require new infrastructure software capabilities to deliver the best outcomes.

At this one-day event, taking place on April 9th at Villa Rosa Kempinski, Dell Technologies’ executives highlighted the importance of achieving Digital Transformation via four major pillars: Application, IT, Workforce and Security Transformation. In addition, the Forum showcased a wide range of Dell Technologies’ solutions, services and products.

www.delltechnologies.com

[Column] Bernard Ford: Choosing the right business management system could be tricky

Selecting a business management (ERP) system is a decision that will affect any business for many years. Most products offer the same or similar features and it could be extremely confusing to decide what features are important or not. This is according to One Channel CEO Bernard Ford.

He says one should use a checklist to compare the features and benefits of each product across various categories. These should include productivity, functionality, technology, flexibility, value and risk.

Productivity

Firstly, the product must make staff more productive, it must be intuitive and easy to learn and use. More importantly, it must offer access from any device, anytime, anywhere – to facilitate field staff and staff working from home.

The product also needs to be multi-language so that staff can work in the language that best suits them. It is also essential to print documents like invoices in the language of the customer. Furthermore, multi-currency is a definite requirement, staff needs to work in any currency and convert as needed.

One also needs to look at workflow, does the product automate business processes, approvals and notifications. Document management is a basic requirement, documents should be accessible to all key personnel and users should be able to share information and company documents with various teams and departments.

There should be no need to maintain integrations between applications, the product should offer a single database with one version of the truth. This will ensure better, quicker decisions and fewer mistakes. It also allows for comprehensive reporting to make informed decisions without the guesswork.

Functionality

The product should have features and functions that actually perform daily accounting and business management functions. It should support multi-company, multi-warehouse, and international companies, including financial consolidations, intercompany eliminations, and reconciliations.

Its basic financial management and accounting functions should include General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Cash Management, Tax management, and more. Users should easily be able to create quotes, convert to a sales order, check inventory availability, perform a credit check, pick, ship, invoice, and collect payment.

Additionally, they should be able to create requisitions, obtain approvals, convert to purchase order, receive inventory, receive an invoice, match and pay.

Modern products should support specific industries including e.g. professional services, business, repair and field services, wholesale distribution, manufacturing and retail. There should also be strong third-party software support to extend product functions. A library of enhancements should be available to extend the functionality of the product to meet one’s unique business needs.

CRM should be a standard feature and combined with the ERP system to ensure they share a single database – no need to synchronise two databases with the same information. Integrated business intelligence means users go beyond spreadsheets and use integrated BI to understand what the financial and customer data is really telling them so they can make informed actionable decisions.

It should include integrated eCommerce to link online orders to the ERP and CRM. One should easily be able to track all sales and manage inventory in real time.

Technology

This is probably the most important point. Don’t invest in ‘analogue’ technology when we are in the midst of the Digital Migration. The product must use technology for usability, customisability and maintainability.

All functionality must be accessible through the internet using a standard browser without the need for any software installation on the user’s device and without any additional software licensing required. It should be 100% available via a Smartphone App – Android or iOs are the most important ones to check for.

It should be a responsive design where users can view and interact with every page of the application on any device with a minimum of resizing, panning, or scrolling. The user interface should have a modern look and feel with customisable screens and dashboards. They must have easy access to tasks with minimal clicks and intuitive workflow.

Flexibility

The product must be customisable and flexible with the ability to modify and customise business logic to meet a company’s unique requirements. Users must be able to perform customisations using industry standard tools and programming languages without requiring the use of proprietary languages or compilers.

The product must also allow for all system data to be stored in a full relational SQL database, users should be able to query data for reporting, BI, financial statements, audits, and more. Furthermore, users must be able to access and export relational versions of all data for reporting, backup, and transfer.

It is crucial that the solution allows the company to move to the cloud whenever required. More importantly, not everyone wants to operate in the cloud so the product should support both on-premise and cloud deployments, and let users switch deployment models if and when they are ready.

Value

It is critical that the product maximises features and functions versus cost for the usable lifetime of the product. The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) should reduce over the foreseeable lifetime of the product (at a minimum 3-5 years), including licensing, support, hardware, upgrade and hosting costs.

Be sure to add the cost of additional products required to run the system (web server, eCommerce platform, database server, collaboration tools, CRM, etc.), which includes all required hardware, licensing, and support costs.

The product must scale as the company grows and it should have the ability to accommodate heavier volumes, more resources and more users. The most important aspect is the cost, companies should only pay for what they use and they should be able to add more resources when they need them.

Choose a product that charges by resources used, not by user count. This makes the benefits of ERP available to all employees companywide. Charging by user penalises growing businesses.

It should also have flexible licensing options, offering subscription or perpetual licensing (depreciable capital expense versus an ongoing operating expense). There should also be multiple deployment options like on premise, private cloud or public cloud e.g. Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Companies should preserve capital for other business initiatives. Cloud deployments reduce the need for initial cash outlay for hardware and software purchases. Cloud deployments reduce the amount of internal IT staff required for hardware and software support and maintenance.

Risk

The product must minimise risk and facilitate security, both network and financial security. Monthly costs must be predictable and not vulnerable to spikes in IT costs. Standardising on a platform allows one to predict monthly cost for the system.

The product must be fast and easy to deploy in the Cloud and run natively on the big popular Cloud platforms. Cloud solutions eliminate time delays and risk of unplanned costs by deploying quickly. Companies should leverage global technology leaders by utilising the resources and security of large cloud hosting providers like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure as well as big local data centres such as Seacom.

Reduce risk by choosing a software vendor that has specific industry knowledge and customer references in that industry. They must also offer best-in-class security at no additional cost.

Consider saving data in the cloud with backup and disaster recovery. Cloud deployment is safer, cheaper, lowers costs for backup, failover and disaster recovery.

Bernard Ford is the CEO of One Channel

Microsoft drives digital transformation through cloud adoption in Kenya

The event also aimed to shape the perception and position Microsoft as a thought leader for global best practices in data migration.

In an effort to create awareness around its Azure offering as well as drive cloud migration, Microsoft last week hosted an event in Nairobi, Kenya. The event also aimed to shape the perception and position Microsoft as a thought leader for global best practices in data migration.

It’s said that in the past five years, cloud adoption in Kenya has soared. Research conducted by World Wide Worx suggests that in the past five years, the use of cloud services in regions such as South Africa and Kenya has gone from fewer than 50% of medium sized and large companies, to more than 95%.

With digital transformation becoming the driving force behind organisational strategies across the continent – Kenya is no different and there is still work to be done. With this wave has come the need for organisations to consider cloud computing as a way of storing and managing servers, databases, networking analytics and software through the internet (cloud). With this, experiencing faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale.

“We created our Azure cloud offering recognising that organisations that migrate to the cloud would require an ever-expanding set of cloud services to help them meet business challenges. The solution also allows organisations the freedom to build, manage, and deploy applications on a massive, global network using preferred tools and frameworks”, said Sebuh Haileleul Country Manager at Microsoft.

For business transformation in the digital age – this allows organisations in Kenya to pay only for cloud services used, helping to lower operating costs, run infrastructure more efficiently, and streamlining scaling as business needs change.

The event also raised awareness the hybrid cloud – speaking at the event, Wale Olokodana Intelligent Cloud (Azure) Business Group Lead at Microsoft said the following, “For organisations in the country not wanting to move to the public cloud completely, leveraging a hybrid model may be better suited. This combines private and public cloud capabilities, allowing data and applications to be shared between them.”

Furthermore, when computing and processing demand fluctuates, hybrid cloud computing provides businesses with the ability to seamlessly scale their on-premises infrastructure up to the public cloud to handle any overflow—without giving third-party data centres access to the entirety of their data. Organisations are afforded the flexibility and computing power of the public cloud for basic and non-sensitive computing tasks, while keeping business-critical applications and data on-premises, safely behind a company firewall.

“And this is where a monumental factor comes into play – with Microsoft recently launching its first cloud data centres in South Africa. Going forward the latter will allow for faster, more agile business operations and provide access to next-generation technologies for the rest of the continent, including Kenya”, continues Haileleul.

“Our aim with this event, is that CTO’s, CIO’s and the like will recognise not only the value that the public cloud has to potentially revolutionise their businesses – but also that it doesn’t stop there. Products like Azure stack, as well as the just released Azure Stack HCI (Hyper Converged Infrastructure) solutions, allow customers adopt models like the hybrid cloud to accelerate their digital transformation journeys – For businesses in Nigeria this will only help to keep them abreast in a dynamic and fasted paced environment”, concluded Olokodana.

www.microsoft.com

[South Africa] Standard Bank Group selects AWS as its preferred cloud provider

Amazon Web Services, Inc, an Amazon.com company (NASDAQ: AMZN), announced that Standard Bank Group has selected AWS as its preferred cloud provider with the intention of migrating its production workloads, including its customer facing platforms and strategic core banking applications to the cloud.

Standard Bank Group will leverage AWS services, including data analytics and machine learning, to automate financial operations and enhance customer facing web and mobile applications. The migration to AWS will take place across all business units, subject to approvals from local regulators, including Personal Banking, Wealth, Corporate Investment Banking, and Insurance, driving a more personalized banking and investment experience for customers.

Standard Bank Group says it chose AWS because of its broad and deep portfolio of cloud services, overall commitment to security excellence, and strong financial services experience. The South African Reserve Bank also confirmed Standard Bank Group can make the move to AWS while still meeting all current compliance requirements. Standard Bank Group will take advantage of advanced analytics and machine learning services, including Amazon SageMaker, to advance fraud detection and launch new business initiatives, such as machine learning-based advisor capabilities that will help customers make more informed financial decisions. As part of the move, an AWS Cloud Center of Excellence will be established within the bank, featuring a dedicated team focused on facilitating the migration to the cloud and building AWS training and certification programs to up-skill all employees. AWS and Standard Bank Group will also collaborate on building an education and digital skills program, to be launched across Southern Africa, to train the next generation of African cloud experts.

“Our vision is to be Africa’s leading financial services organization and to achieve this we have chosen to work with the world’s leading cloud,” said Sim Tshabalala, Group CEO of Standard Bank. “For Standard Bank Group to remain a leader in African financial services, we recognize we need to adopt a cloud-first approach to our business. AWS Cloud technology will create a springboard for Standard Bank Group, helping us to rapidly roll out our digitization and data strategy to better cater to customers whose needs are constantly evolving. The combination of AWS’s rapid agility and high levels of security, combined with Standard Bank’s customer obsession and desire to constantly raise the bar, will allow us to build Africa’s financial services organization of the future and to be positioned as more than a bank.”

“The cloud is transforming the financial services industry as organizations look for new ways to enhance customer experiences, and power their entire enterprise operations more efficiently and effectively on the world’s leading cloud,” said Andy Jassy, CEO of AWS. “Standard Bank Group has been a trusted financial institution for more than 150 years. We look forward to working closely with them as they become Africa’s first bank in the cloud, leveraging AWS to innovate new services at a faster clip, maintain operational excellence, and provide secure banking services to customers around the world.”

www.standardbank.com