Huawei Cloud launches Elastic Cloud Server services across Africa

Huawei Cloud has released Kunpeng ECS (Elastic Cloud Server) cloud services and Partner Program 2.0. The Kunpeng-powered cloud services will be made available to African customers by the end of December 2019 and aim to offer 15% faster multi-core computing power and a 30% higher performance/price ratio than the industry average.

Speaking at the Huawei Cloud, AI Forum, Rui Houwei, President of Huawei Cloud Africa, noted the significance of recent technological breakthroughs. “The computing industry has gone through the mainframe computer, minicomputer, and x86 server stages and will move to the multi-architecture computing stage,” he said.

“The computing power previously available only in the x86 architecture, is now available in different architectures, allowing for the use of appropriate computing power for each specific application. “

“This January, Huawei launched Kunpeng 920, the industry’s highest-performing 7nm server processor in the Kunpeng architecture. The Huawei Cloud ECS is powered by the Kunpeng servers and supports multi-architecture computing. ”

Rui also expressed optimism at Kunpeng’s capabilities for the local market, “Huawei can innovate across the entire stack ranging from chips and servers to cloud platforms. In-depth collaboration between chips, hardware, and software enable Kunpeng cloud services to deliver unparalleled performance. We are deeply committed to providing diversified cloud services and solutions, to help public institutions and private companies take intelligence and mobility to even greater heights. ”

At the forum, Huawei also outlined its Partner Program 2.0 initiative, which offers crucial support for partners, about online and onsite training, market expansion, marketing activities, and technical understanding.

In Africa alone, Huawei Cloud has already established partnerships with over 65 partners spanning diverse industries, including telecom, finance, manufacturing, education, retail, and logistics, as well as the public sector. “Such wide-ranging collaboration is likely to result in unique, and broadly-shared benefits across the ecosystem,” said Rui.

According to an IDC report, South Africa’s spending in public cloud services will reach R11.5 billion in 2022, a three-fold increase from 2017. This expansion is projected to create 112,000 jobs. By 2020, cloud services will account for 67% of enterprises’ total spending in IT infrastructure and software.

More than 85% of enterprises are expected to use the hybrid-cloud or multi-cloud architecture.

Huawei has been operating in Africa for over 20 years and has developed an in-depth understanding of the requirements, opportunities, and challenges faced by African customers. Its local teams are fully equipped to provide premium services for customers spanning 54 different African countries.

Huawei Cloud services were officially launched in South Africa this February, making it the first cloud service provider to utilize local data centres in that country. Over the past eight months, Huawei Cloud has experienced rapid growth in Nigeria, Kenya, and Zambia.

intl.huaweicloud.com

DR Congo government partners with New Cloud Technologies to boost cloud infrastructure

The government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Russian company New Cloud Technologies has entered into a partnership.

The agreement was signed with the backing of the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation represented by Minister Konstantin Noskov and deputy minister Mikhail Mamonov.

Under the agreement licenses are to be made available for the productivity suite MyOffice support is to be provided to develop state and corporate cloud infrastructure in the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and support is to be provided for education initiatives.

MyOffice is a Russian productivity software suite for communication and shared editing of documents on any technology platform which also offers full control over data by the business and government organizations using it.

The MyOffice ecosystem comprises:

  • cross-platform text editing, spreadsheet and presentation, email, calendar and contacts applications
  • a cloud-based data storage solution that allows the sharing of documents by multiple users
  • mobile applications allowing users to use the solution on their smartphones
  • a special free version for use in schools and pre-schools.

MyOffice offers secure data processing within state and corporate clouds. MyOffice technologies easily integrate with third party software on any devices and can be used to automate business processes within companies of any size. Users can access the solution from desktops and laptops as well as smartphones and tablet PCs. All the popular operating systems are supported.

Special MyOffice Education versions are available for educational institutions. These versions include an additional module that teachers can set up in accordance with the topic of a specific class. This version is offered free of charge to schools and pre-schools. Higher education institutions can buy all the products of the company with large discounts of up to 93% the business price of MyOffice.

“The government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is one of the first governments in Africa to begin a digital transformation of the government agencies and to start buying new hardware and software for them. We’re also making every effort to develop our education system. We’re interested in using the secure Russian MyOffice software package for shared access to documents. It offers very good protection against unauthorized access to data as well as flexible integration capabilities,” said Vidiye Tshipanda Tshimanga, Strategy Advisor to the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a country with great potential. The bulk of its population is made up of active young people aged 13 to 25 who need to get a good education and are willing to put in serious effort to further develop their country. Experts estimate that by 2025 there are going to be over 200 million computers and over 300 million smartphones in Africa. This means that the foundations of a safe digital infrastructure need to be laid down today and digital sovereignty of the country and its business needs to be developed now, efforts also need to be directed at educating the population in computer literacy. My Office allows these processes to begin now,” said Dmitry Komissarov, New Cloud Technologies CEO.

“Africa is one of the most promising destinations for the export of Russian technologies. Our ministry is making every effort to create conditions conducive to the development of Russian business in Africa and we support private business initiatives. Our cooperation with the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a clear confirmation of that. We hope that users like the quality of Russian IT solutions,” said Konstantin Noskov, Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is one of the fastest growing countries in Africa. The country’s GDP has seen sustained growth over the past 10 years, reaching USD 47.23 billion in 2018 when it was up 5.82% on 2017. In the past 30 years the population of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has doubled, reaching 92 million people. Meanwhile 65.5% of the population are younger than 24 and the median age in the country is just 18.

www.ncloudtech.com

[South Africa] Euphoria Telecom launches cloud based telephone management system to boost business efficiency

Euphoria Telecom has launched the latest version of its market leading cloud-based business Telephone Management System (TMS).

The new TMS version 3 is packed with easy-to-use features and is capable of significantly improving business efficiency whilst delivering powerful reporting and workforce management capabilities.

Designed specifically for the South African market and using international best practice development methodologies, the Euphoria TMS is at the cutting edge of new technology.

Euphoria Telecom CEO John Woollam says the system empowers businesses to control, manage, automate, personalise and analyse every aspect of a company’s phone system from one central point. “You simply log-in to the TMS, from anywhere, make any change you require and it’s done. It’s as simple as that. “

“The new TMS is the result of nine years of building, learning and developing – and the end product is incredible. All the basics that our customers love are still available, but they are now even easier to use. And there is a host of additional features that are accessible through an upgraded web interface which is faster and better than ever before,” he explains.

Version 3 functionality offers multiple features such as per-extension based budgeting, mobile device applications (for both Android and IOS) that ensure full landline mobility and remote office deployment. Customers can also access browser phone applications, POPIA compliant call recording, global contact manager and extremely rich reporting tools.

Furthermore, overseeing team members is simplified with the new ‘User Manager’ feature that provides business owners with the freedom to give team leaders and managers access to specific sections of the TMS. By setting permissions for certain users, managers can easily control access to sensitive team data.

He says the real differences are the security layers. “Our TMS user interface allows full PBX control of every aspect, enabling management to restrict and secure their business phone system data and user functionality as required.”

“Reporting is a dream with Euphoria’s proactive scheduled reporting feature. One can now schedule reports to be delivered directly into your inbox hourly, daily, weekly or monthly. Version 3 also offers our customers the opportunity to design their own personalised reports,” he adds.

Woollam says customer satisfaction is the name of the game. “The customer experience can easily be managed with our SLA answer time adherence feature that provides you with a better understanding of your customer wait-to-answer times and overall experience.”

Management features include detailed drilldown functionality as well as great workforce management control in being able to create company specific pause and unpause codes, providing greater control of user productivity.

With stricter governance and data protection laws, it is important for every business to understand how long they need to keep customer data. Euphoria has made this extremely easy because business owners can now choose how long they want to keep their data, when it must be deleted and who exactly has access to that data.

Euphoria ensures that all data is safe and securely backed up, it is stored in top data centres across South Africa and Europe.

“We know that collaboration with other platforms through our integration technology is a critical component of our latest version. We have worked extremely hard to develop advanced Webhook features that make it possible for customers to integrate with other platforms that allow for API integration,” he explains.

Euphoria Telecom has always strived to give the power back to its customers. With over 4000 happy customers migrating to the new version, the company aims to improve the user experience while simultaneously enabling businesses to improve their general operational efficiency.

“We offer so much more than a just a phone system, we provide a game changing business tool that can take companies of all sizes to the next level,” he concludes.

www.euphoria.co.za

Westcon-Comstor unveils CloudCall to boost business operations

Westcon-Comstor Sub-Saharan Africa has announced the availability of CloudCall, which integrates the communication and collaboration features of Microsoft Teams with the advanced voice processing of AudioCodes.

 It has been developed in partnership with South African cloud development specialists Argantic. CloudCall removes the need to buy and maintain expensive hardware and software and protects existing investments by integrating with PBX systems.

CloudCall is suitable for companies of any size as it can easily scale according to the number and type of users in the organisation. Partners who sell the service can offer value-added features such as tailored reports with usage, session and device information.

CloudCall can also be deployed as a fully functional IP calling system. It combines the meeting functionality, video recording and conferencing features inherent in Microsoft Teams for improved collaboration in a cloud environment.

www.westconcomstor.com

Cloud IT infrastructure revenues decline amid a slowdown in overall spending, IDC

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker, vendor revenue from sales of IT infrastructure products (server, enterprise storage, and Ethernet switch) for cloud environments, including public and private cloud, declined 10.2% year over year in the second quarter of 2019 (2Q19), reaching $14.1 billion.

 IDC also lowered its forecast for total spending on cloud IT infrastructure in 2019 to $63.6 billion, down 4.9% from last quarter’s forecast and changing from expected growth to a year-over-year decline of 2.1%.

Vendor revenue from hardware infrastructure sales to public cloud environments in 2Q19 was down 0.9% compared to the previous quarter (1Q19) and down 15.1% year over year to $9.4 billion. This segment of the market continues to be highly impacted by demand from a handful of hyperscale service providers, whose spending on IT infrastructure tends to have visible up and down swings.

After a strong performance in 2018, IDC expects the public cloud IT infrastructure segment to cool down in 2019 with spend dropping to $42.0 billion, a 6.7% decrease from 2018. Although it will continue to account for most of the spending on cloud IT environments, its share will decrease from 69.4% in 2018 to 66.1% in 2019. In contrast, spending on private cloud IT infrastructure has showed more stable growth since IDC started tracking sales of IT infrastructure products in various deployment environments.

 In the second quarter of 2019, vendor revenues from private cloud environments increased 1.5% year over year reaching $4.6 billion. IDC expects spending in this segment to grow 8.4% year over year in 2019.

Overall, the IT infrastructure industry is at crossing point in terms of product sales to cloud vs. traditional IT environments. In 3Q18, vendor revenues from cloud IT environments climbed over the 50% mark for the first time but fell below this important tipping point since then.

 In 2Q19, cloud IT environments accounted for 48.4% of vendor revenues. For the full year 2019, spending on cloud IT infrastructure will remain just below the 50% mark at 49.0%. Longer-term, however, IDC expects that spending on cloud IT infrastructure will grow steadily and will sustainably exceed the level of spending on traditional IT infrastructure in 2020 and beyond.

Spending on the three technology segments in cloud IT environments is forecast to deliver growth for Ethernet switches while compute platforms and storage platforms are expected to decline in 2019.

Ethernet switches are expected to grow at 13.1%, while spending on storage platforms will decline at 6.8% and compute platforms will decline by 2.4%. Compute will remain the largest category of spending on cloud IT infrastructure at $33.8 billion.

Sales of IT infrastructure products into traditional (non-cloud) IT environments declined 6.6% from a year ago in Q219. For the full year 2019, worldwide spending on traditional non-cloud IT infrastructure is expected to decline by 5.8%, as the technology refresh cycle driving market growth in 2018 is winding down this year. By 2023, IDC expects that traditional non-cloud IT infrastructure will only represent 41.8% of total worldwide IT infrastructure spending (down from 52.0% in 2018). This share loss and the growing share of cloud environments in overall spending on IT infrastructure is common across all regions.

Most regions grew their cloud IT Infrastructure revenues in 2Q19. Middle East & Africa was fastest growing at 29.3% year over year, followed by Canada at 15.6% year-over-year growth. Other growing regions in 2Q19 included Central & Eastern Europe (6.5%), Japan (5.9%), and Western Europe (3.1%). Cloud IT Infrastructure revenues were down slightly year over year in Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) (APeJ) by 7.7%, Latin America by 14.2%, China by 6.9%, and the USA by 16.3%.

www.idc.com

Oracle to expand cloud infrastructure globally

Technology company Oracle has announced plans to expand quickly its cloud infrastructure around the world for hosting customer applications.

The company launched 12 new cloud regions in the past year, and plans another three new sites this year as part of the expansion announced in October 2018. Additional redundant and new sites will be added over the coming year, to take the company to a total 36 cloud regions around the world.

Based on customer feedback, the company has decided to build redundant regions in almost every country where it operates.

This will occur over the next 15 months, while also adding multiple new countries. When the expansion plan is completed, Oracle will have multiple regions in 10 countries and the EU, and multiple government clusters. It’s adding in total 20 new regions to the 16 it already operates – 17 for commercial use and three for government use.

New regions will be built in the Bay area in California; Montreal; Belo Horizonte, Brazil; Newport, Wales; Amsterdam; Osaka, Japan; Melbourne; Hyderabad; Chuncheon, South Korea; Singapore; Jeddah and another city (TBD) in Saudi Arabia; Dubai and another city (TBD) in UAE; Israel (city TBD); South Africa (city TBD); and Chile (city TBD). The government regions will be Newport and London in the UK and in Israel.

www.oracle.com

[Column] Trent Odgers: Maximizing data availability using a multi-cloud approach

The ways businesses leverage cloud to manage and maximize the value of their data continues to evolve.

Following the launch of two multi-national data centers in South Africa recently, the years when adopting cloud-based solutions felt like the first step into some brave new world are well and truly behind us.

However, this is ushering a new era of multi-cloud deployment – one which is attracting attention, questions, and scepticism from local businesses.

A hybrid cloud is an amalgamation of on-premises “private cloud”, public cloud and managed Cloud Service Provider (CSPs) environments into a single entity where the data is physically located in multiple datacenters to deliver the right fit for a specific workload. It is a nod towards the fact that businesses are increasingly using different clouds for different purposes. 

In today’s digital economy, 81% of enterprises are embracing a multi-cloud strategy and South African businesses have already adopted this digital gold rush with many more who are planning to do so. 

It is common for the IT industry to promote the idea of a one-stop-shop or single provider strategy – to avoid the perceived inefficiency and confusion of dealing with multiple vendors. 
This is the “traditional way” of doing IT, which had its place, but with the speed at which the world is changing, businesses can truly deliver on IT’s requirements using the hybrid approach. 

Data is now described as the new oil of the digital economy, and it has become a company’s most valuable resource. As businesses demand an infrastructure which maximises the potential value of that data, IT departments are under pressure to deliver.

For example, a business may wish to store data from its business unit in Google Cloud for scalability at relatively low expense but use Amazon Web Services (AWS) for its R&D databases to enjoy the benefits of AI and voice-assisted search.

And in the same instance, that business could be using Microsoft Azure to help drive its productivity solutions or mission-critical enterprise resource planning processes, while keeping a copy of all the data on-premises or hosted at a local cloud provider. 

Previously, the only viable decision for the business would have been to make a judgment call based on its priority needs and budget constraints. Today, the best strategic option is to adopt a multi-cloud approach.

Data-driven transformation

Already, there is a movement for organisations to become more data-driven. Decision-makers are recognising the importance of data in both high-level business strategy as well as on the operational side of their business. 

Furthermore, consumers and employees are beginning to appreciate the true value of their data, which means businesses must ensure that the people who share data with them see the value in doing so through receiving more personalised experiences.

People want to know that their data is protected, secure and also want greater transparency about what it is being used for.

Of course, in South Africa, this is where it is critical to adhere to corporate governance requirements, especially the likes of the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA).

 Fortunately, with local multi-national data centres, aspects such as data sovereignty and speed of accessing data are no longer concerns.

But creating this data-driven culture is underpinned by continuous digital transformation – embracing the latest and greatest technologies which allow the business to repeatedly lift its performance levels. 

According to Gartner’s 2018 CIO Agenda report, making progress towards becoming a digital business is a top priority for CIOs – and the proliferation towards multi-cloud reflects this trend.

Despite this, the latest Veeam Cloud Data Management Report reveals that more than one in ten decision-makers said their organisation has experienced over 10 unplanned outages in the last 12 months, with 65 minutes being the average length of time unplanned outages last. 

Successful multi-cloud deployments depend on the always-on availability of all apps and data. So, businesses looking to take advantage of multi-cloud environments must ensure that their apps and data are always available – and that their culture of data-driven decision-making is fully supported to maintain customer confidence and brand reputation.

Availability in the multi-cloud

The complexity of maintaining availability within a multi-cloud environment is the reliance on multiple Cloud Service Providers (CSPs). While all major vendors and CSPs will make backup and disaster recovery (DR) solutions available to their customers, each provider has different protocols, shared responsibility models, service level agreements (SLAs) and capabilities. 

The last thing any business wants to hear when disaster strikes is that they are not adequately protected or that recovery has failed.

While no business, regardless of whether it is using multi-cloud or not, can guarantee that it will never experience unplanned downtime, every business can ensure that it is prepared for this possibility.

Even having local data centres is no guarantee that there will never be any downtime. South African businesses opting for multi-cloud need to ensure that they have an availability solution which sits across their entire cloud platform, making cloud data protection easy with a seamless process for sending data offsite to the cloud.

For businesses using multi-cloud to power their digital transformation in the bid to establish a more data-driven culture across the organisation, data is akin to running water – a utility which all rely on and must be available at all times. 

Businesses embracing multi-cloud should not be put off by the prospect of working with multiple vendors as software-based platforms can give the peace of mind and a turnkey solution to minimising downtime.

Trent Odgersis Cloud and Hosting Manager for Africa at Veeam

African cloud market takes off bouyed by demand from public and private sectors, report

The African cloud has arrived. While the cloud services sector is in its early stages of development, the impact of cloud services is already far-reaching according to a new report by Research and Markets.

 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.

The 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

Johannesburg Stock Exchange starts offering historical tick data in the cloud

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), Africa’s largest, multi-asset class stock exchange, now offers historical equity; equity derivatives and currency derivatives tick data in the cloud, meaning that clients, data vendors, investors and traders will now be able to access historical data more swiftly.

The JSE has partnered with CME Group, the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, to house its first cloud solution offering.

The move modernises the JSE’s market data offering and strengthens the exchanges position as a global market player.  

The historical tick data will enable clients, traders and investors to assess trading opportunities, strengthen their market insights and improve risk mitigation intelligence based on both the market and various individual stocks’ past performance, support compliance reporting with more extensive data and conduct other valuable trading-related analyses.

“Traders, investors and our clients require tick data all the time in order to make informed decisions and we are pleased to offer them swifter access to information that can enable them to make these decisions.  As the JSE we constantly aim to provide our clients with the right solutions to meet their needs,” says Mark Randall, Director of Information Services at the JSE. 

www.jse.co.za

Increased digitization, investment in cloud-based services drive growth of Africa data center market, report

The Africa data center market is likely to grow at a CAGR of around 14 per cent during the period 2018 – 2024 according to a recent report by Research and Markets.

icolo.io, MainOne (MDXi), Cloud Exchange Datacenter, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Medallion Communications are the prominent investors in the Africa data center market. Digitization is considered an important avenue for the African economy. It is transforming African economies through retail payments systems, financial inclusion, sustainable business models, and revenue administration.

Governments in the region are taking several initiatives to replace legacy systems and migrate to cloud-based services as part of smart city initiatives. IaaS is expected to grow at a CAGR of 40%, followed by SaaS at 30% with enterprises increasingly shifting to the public cloud platform. There has been a surge in colocation data center investment in markets such as Kenya, Nigeria, Morocco, and Senegal in the past two years. Governments are taking initiatives to increase the share of renewable energy in the electricity generation.

Increased digitization in African countries, the adoption of cloud-based services, migration from server rooms to managed, colocation, and hybrid infrastructure services are driving the investment in the Africa data center market. The report provides an in-depth market and segmental analysis of the Africa data center market by electrical infrastructure, mechanical infrastructure, tier standards, general construction, and countries.

www.researchandmarkets.com