[Africa Cloud Review] Simon Ngunjiri: Cloud is accelerating digital change across different industries

Cloud technology is driving change and accelerating digital transformation across multiple industries simultaneously. According to Marilyn Moodley, the South African Country Leader for SoftwareONENot only is cloud technology itself evolving at pace in Africa, but the way organisations buy and manage software is having to adapt as well. 

In our previous Africa cloud review article, we highlighted how cloud services have certainly revolutionized the way African enterprises conduct their businesses, offering various benefits such as cost-effective access to computing power, on-demand applications, and services among others.

Recent data presented by TradingPlatforms.com, global public IT cloud services market revenue for 2020 also shows how the cloud industry earned an estimated revenue of over $300 billion globally. To be precise, the revenue was at $312.4B – a 34% Increase from 2019.

In 2016, the data shows that global spending on public IT cloud services was just under $100B. In 2021 that figure has ballooned to a healthy $312.4B after experiencing a 34% increase from 2019’s $233.4B revenue. In the 4 year period from 2016-2020 revenue from spending on cloud services grew at an impressive compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 36.31%.

The data shows how big the cloud market is. In continents like Africa for example, Hybrid cloud is providing enterprises with a trusted and capable foundation to adapt to changing market needs. As Tonny Tugee the MD at SEACOMEast Africa notes, today, businesses around the world are relying increasingly on connectivity for conducting business transactions and payments, running apps and services in cloud environments, marketing, or simply sharing information with each other.

This also explains why companies like Google are going big on cloud in Africa with Google cloud. With 24 regions and 73 zones in 17 countries, Google Cloud delivers high-performance, low-latency cloud services to customers with partners like Incentro Africa. A couple of weeks ago, Google announced it will be offering Android and cloud development scholarships to developers across  Africa. Last week, it also announced a new partnership with Shopify, a global commerce company to enable Shopify’s more than 1.7 million merchants to have access to Google Cloud’s technology across a broader set of regions.

With increasing connectivity and availability of reliable and cheap internet across Africa, it has changed the way people work. Cloud is a leapfrog technology, comparable to the introduction of the mobile phone and we are just at the beginning of it.

Simon Ngunjiri Muraya is Google Cloud Architect at Incentro Africa.

[Column] Marilyn Moodley: A digitised supply chain has become a necessity for building business efficiency

Cloud technology is driving change and accelerating digital transformation across multiple industries simultaneously. Not only is cloud technology itself evolving at pace, but the way organisations buy and manage software is having to adapt as well.

Marilyn Moodley, Country Leader for South Africa and WECA (West, East, Central Africa) at SoftwareONE, says navigating multiple systems, processes, and software licence agreements presents a significant challenge. “Software is one of the largest expenses for many organisations. But the buying, optimising and management of that software requires the right balance between tools and digitisation, processes and expertise that work together to reduce costs and the administrative burden on IT and procurement teams.”

She says the bourgeoning number of enterprise applications means IT procurement and asset managers are under increasing pressure to deliver efficiencies and cost savings while improving user experience through faster response times and automation strategies. “Taking into account the resources required to manage licenses and user requests, ensure compliance, and manage spend, organisations are constantly looking for ways to eliminate unnecessary IT costs and optimise contracts across their software and cloud portfolios.”

Moodley explains that IT Procurement functions need to evolve into connected, efficient and digitised operations to address business demands more rapidly and effectively. A software Digital Supply Chain (DSC) is created through a seamless, integrated set of systems and activities across the software lifecycle to support these goals through automating and expediting the purchase of approved products in a portfolio while streamlining the process of requesting and acquiring new software products and services, via the right channels.

“Ineffective software procurement processes pose compliance challenges as businesses don’t have on-demand access to the right information regarding their license entitlements and contract use rights, such as any applicable geographic restrictions or their renewal options that would let them make the right buying decisions,” says Moodley.

“Establishing a system of records, that holds trustworthy software entitlements and contracts data, combined with insights & analytics is one of the largest challenges facing organisations today, and a lack of an effective digital supply chain makes that even harder to accomplish. Missing renewal deadlines due to lack of visibility and monitoring is not only detrimental to productivity, it leaves little time to prepare for contract negotiations,” says Moodley.

She adds that because cloud and software are often some of the largest investments a company makes, it makes sense to take digital supply chain management seriously as a means of improving an organisation’s bottom line. 

In addition to improved efficiencies, cost savings, and overall end-user experience, an effective digital supply chain embeds automation by eliminating time-consuming manual tasks and ensuring the right software is in the hands of the right user at the right time.

“Despite this, very few businesses have the tools to ensure that this spend is continuously cost-optimised and aligned with business objectives,” says Moodley.

SoftwareONE’s Digital Supply Chain (DSC) service, powered by the PyraCloud platform, solves a multitude of challenges by providing organisations with the right mix of tools, automated workflows and experts to more closely align software purchases to business requirements. The service allows customers to easily and effectively transact software licenses and cloud subscriptions; view the entire on-premises and cloud software estate; manage contracts; track, control and predict cloud spend across multiple providers; and identify cost saving opportunities across the entire software estate.

Moodley says there is a growing interest in this area. “As South African organisations mature their cloud strategies, business leaders are seeing the inherent value and importance of streamlining their supply chains. International examples are very instructive, as Omnico, a leading global guest engagement technology company headquartered in the UK, halved its cloud spend costs using SoftwareONE’s PyraCloud and managed cloud services. South African organisations who want to remain competitive should be putting a digital supply chain in place if they haven’t already.”

Marilyn Moodley is the South African Country Leader for SoftwareONE.

Global spending on cloud Services surpasses $300 billion, report

Cloud Services have become an integral part of business operations for many large companies and in 2020 the industry earned an estimated revenue of over $300 billion globally.

According to data presented by TradingPlatforms.com, global public IT cloud services market revenue for 2020 was at $312.4B – a 34% Increase from 2019.

In 2016, global spending on public IT cloud services was just under $100B. In 2021 that figure has ballooned to a healthy $312.4B after experiencing a 34% increase from 2019’s $233.4B revenue. In the 4 year period from 2016-2020 revenue from spending on cloud services grew at an impressive compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 36.31%.

Of the three main types of cloud services, Software as a Service (SaaS) still accounts for the largest share of total revenue with a 63% share. In 2020 SaaS revenue amounted to $197.6B which is a 33% increase from 2019’s $148.5. S From 2016-2020 SaaS revenue grew at a CAGR of 34.1%

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) held the second-largest share of the revenue accounting for 21.5% of total revenue. IaaS experienced the largest growth among the three main types of cloud services with a 37% increase in revenue from $49B in 2019 to $67.2B in 2020. From 2016-2020 IaaS had a staggering CAGR of almost 40%.

Platform as a Service (PaaS) revenue accounts for just 15% of total revenue and experienced a 32.6% increase from $35.9B in 2019 to $47.6B in 2020. PaaS experienced a CAGR of 42.42% from 2016-2020, the highest out of the three main types of cloud services despite experiencing the lowest YoY growth.

Rex Pascual, editor at Trading Platforms, commented: “The cloud services industry was already gathering strong momentum prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Lockdowns across the world resulted in many businesses rapidly shifting to cloud-based services giving the industry its highest YoY growth to date. Expect the industry to sustain this growth as many more businesses see the value in the adaptability of cloud services even in a post-pandemic world.”

www.tradingplatforms.com

[Column] Setumo Mohapi: Finding the right cloud strategy for your business

2021 will be the year defined by business’ attempt to recover, build better resilience and restructure their operations following a tumultuous year of change as a result of the global pandemic.

The ability to adapt to the new world of work and the additional challenges that now lie ahead in 2021 will be the defining factor for those who will maintain business success – and those who won’t.

Although companies had previously set long term goals for their digital transformation, the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital solutions to ensure business continuity and sustainability.

Hybrid cloud has provided enterprises with a trusted and capable foundation to adapt to changing market needs.

In a hybrid cloud landscape, there are five key reasons that amplify the case for adoption:

Hybrid cloud brings agility, business resilience and continuity to the fore

Agility has always been a crucial outcome for most if not all enterprises. The ability to innovate and respond to changing market conditions is vital. Yet the speed, scale, and intensity of the impacts of Covid-19 has exposed certain deficiencies that may not have been considered. In our experience, it is often the case that the infrastructure and services requirements for transformation of the end-to-end network are understated when planning deployments of cloud solutions. The hybrid network that supports hybrid cloud deployments and services must not be the single point of weakness for organisations that require the full-stack capabilities to support agile, yet resilient businesses. The hybrid network must be programmable, flexible and allow for methods of consumption and billing that are standard in the cloud world. 

Hybrid cloud brings security and compliance complexities

As distributed workloads become the standard, and the security attack surface expands and potentially becomes as dynamic as the dynamic hybrid intelligent infrastructurte in the network and across the hybrid cloud environment, the overall response to the new security challenges must be equally up to the task. From conceptualisation and design of IT interventions, integration of OEM solutions, and finally, full-stack operations within the enterprise, organisations have to adopt the mantra  of secure by design, covering cloud, infrastructure, access, application and data security enabling business continuity seamlessly.  In this respect, embedded security moves from being a cost centre to being the critical transformation enabler under shared organisational responsibility.

Hybrid cloud is a driver for cost efficiency                                    

A more efficient total cost of IT operations is the biggest driver of hybrid cloud adoption, and it’s easy to see why. The shift to a distributed workforce model has meant people require access to both data and applications in new, different, and often complex ways – and organisations want to enable that in not only a cost-efficient manner but in a high-performance environment too. SD-WAN has emerged as a more cost-effective way of connecting to the cloud but it’s critical to note that optimising traffic flows across multiple connectivity options requires proper architecture and ongoing analysis and management.

Hybrid cloud simplifies internal operations through automation

It is complex to implement, but hybrid cloud ultimately simplifies internal operations through automation and streamlines the management of IT resources. This increases overall efficiency by reducing the time spent by IT teams on managing supporting infrastructures. To take advantage of hybrid cloud, understanding exactly what works in any given scenario, as well as how and where it can fulfil the needs of a particular business model is crucial. Mixing public and private cloud leverages the best of both worlds, each for different reasons and of course, different workload priorities.

Hybrid cloud offers business and IT leaders the chance to meet changing business demands head- on. While continuity and business resilience are fundamental, improving customer experiences and growing revenues still features highly on the list of business objectives.

You don’t have to go it alone

The role of partners also brings to light not only how much organisations rely on their partners’ skills and expertise, but how they drive greater efficiencies through the provision of integrated and flexible intelligent platforms and automation, led by cloud solutions. With more and more enterprises shifting a majority of their IT infrastructure to various third parties, customers can now fully benefit from the guidance and strategic counsel offered by vendors that are specialising across the OEM ecosystem.

“We believe that no two clouds are the same, and as such that no two implementations or approaches should be identical. Each cloud offering must be developed to serve a specific need and to answer a specific question.”

Setumo Mohapi is the Chief Go-to-Market Officer for Dimension Data 

[Africa Cloud Review] Simon Ngunjiri: Migrating to the cloud is the most effective route to digital transformation

For African businesses that are still at the start of their digital transformation, migrating to the cloud might seem like a very daunting task. This is according to an article by Francis Wainaina is a Senior Product Manager at SEACOM East Africa where he talks about the four steps to successful cloud migration. 

The costs of delaying this migration, however, Francis says, can be far greater than the initial challenges of cloud adoption. 

In a survey by World Wide Worx, 31% of Kenyan businesses reported spending between 51% and 75% of their IT budgets on cloud services in 2020, and 68% intend to increase their cloud spend in 2021. With so many businesses moving to the cloud, you can’t afford to be left behind.

The pandemic has doubtlessly accelerated this shift toward cloud environments as we have mentioned before. More organizations are beginning to capitalize on the various innovations that cloud can offer. 

According to industry analysts Gartner, Cloud spending rose 37% to $29 billion during the first quarter of 2020. This trend Gartner says is likely to persist, as the exodus to virtual work underscores the urgency for scalable, secure, reliable, cost-effective off-premises technology services. In fact, despite the inevitable economic downturn in the wake of the pandemic, cloud spending is estimated to rise 19% for the full year, even as IT spending as a whole is forecast to fall 8%. 

In countries like South Africa, 51% of the public sector segment are already using cloud in production. This is according to a recent survey conducted by ITWeb and AWS on the state of cloud adoption in South Africa

Migrating to the cloud is the most effective route to public sector transformation for African businesses. Just recently, Google announced a new programme to offer new scholarships for Android, Web and Google Cloud development to developers across Africa. The programme will be offered in partnership with tech talent companies Pluralsight and Andela

Cloud services have certainly revolutionized the way we do business, offering various benefits such as cost-effective access to computing power, on-demand applications, and services among others. African businesses are moving faster and cheaper especially with platforms like Google Cloud.  With 24 regions and 73 zones in 17 countries, Google Cloud delivers high-performance, low-latency cloud services to customers.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) also recently announced that it is bringing its re/Start cloud skills training program to Kenya and South Africa this month as part of its rapid expansion plans this year. 

AWS re/Start is a free, full-time, 12-week program designed to support people who are unemployed or underemployed, and who have little technology experience, for careers in cloud computing. The program provides participants with new cloud computing skills, career, and resume coaching, and interviews with local employers.

Bottom line, migrating to the cloud is the most effective route to digital transformation and IS ultimately essential for African businesses that wish to thrive in today’s digital age.

Simon Ngunjiri Muraya is Google Cloud Architect at Incentro Africa.

Siemens and Google Cloud partner on AI-based solutions in manufacturing

Google Cloud and Siemens, an innovation and technology company in industrial automation and software, have announced a new cooperation to optimize factory processes and improve productivity on the shop floor.

 Siemens intends to integrate Google Cloud’s leading data cloud and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) technologies with its factory automation solutions to help manufacturers innovate for the future. 

Data drives today’s industrial processes, but many manufacturers continue to use legacy software and multiple systems to analyze plant information, which is resource-intensive and requires frequent manual updates to ensure accuracy.

 In addition, while AI projects have been deployed by many companies in “islands” across the plant floor, manufacturers have struggled to implement AI at scale across their global operations.

For more than 170 years, Siemens has built its business on pioneering technologies that have led the manufacturing industry forward. By combining Google Cloud’s data cloud and AI/ML capabilities with Siemens’ Digital Industries Factory Automation portfolio, manufacturers will be able to harmonize their factory data, run cloud-based AI/ML models on top of that data, and deploy algorithms at the network edge. This enables applications such as visual inspection of products or predicting the wear-and-tear of machines on the assembly line.

Deploying AI to the shop floor and integrating it into automation and the network is a complex task, requiring highly specialized expertise and innovative products such as Siemens Industrial Edge.

The goal of the cooperation between Google Cloud and Siemens is to make the deployment of AI in connection with the Industrial Edge—and its management at scale— easier, empowering employees as they work on the plant floor, automating mundane tasks, and improving overall quality.

“The potential for artificial intelligence to radically transform the plant floor is far from being exhausted. Many manufacturers are still stuck in AI ‘pilot projects’ today – we want to change that,” said Axel Lorenz, VP of Control at Factory Automation of Siemens Digital Industries. “Combining AI/ML technology from Google Cloud with Siemens’ solutions for Industrial Edge and industrial operation will be a game changer for the manufacturing industry.”

“Siemens is a leader in advancing industrial automation and software, and Google Cloud is a leader in data analytics and AI/ML. This cooperation will combine the best of both worlds and bring AI/ML to the manufacturing industry at scale. By simplifying the deployment of AI in industrial use cases, we’re helping employees augment their critical work on the shop floor,” said Dominik Wee, Managing Director Manufacturing and Industrial at Google Cloud. 

www.siemens.com

cloud.google.com

[Column] Anthony Njoroge: The importance of flash storage for the cloud

As cynicism about the benefits of the cloud give way to rapidly embracing digital transformation, companies are finding themselves in a position where they must optimise their infrastructure.

While the modern cloud environment delivers improved performance and more responsive use of resources, it must be configured properly with the relevant hardware in place. This is where flash storage becomes an enabler to help unlock the business benefits arising from effective digital transformation.

There is no arguing about the speed advantage flash provides over more traditional storage options. But perhaps, more importantly, it results in improved productivity and responsiveness within the organisation. Because of the higher input/output operations per second of flash, it can deliver faster response times for those IT services that support the business. It makes it possible for insights to be extracted in real-time from the data warehouse further aiding the decision-making process.

The resultant enhancements in efficiencies that come from flash storage means companies will use fewer CPU cores and cloud cycles. Given how most cloud providers work on a pay-per-use model, there will be a significant cost savings that can be reinvested in other parts of the business.

According to the rule of thumb, flash storage can deliver approximately 10 times the performance of traditional storage arrays with just one tenth of the power consumption. It is therefore not difficult to understand why companies are increasingly adopting flash in their cloud architecture.

Storage flexibility

IT departments have also been exploring using NVMe to reduce response time and storage latency. For its part, NetApp was the first enterprise storage vendor to deliver NVMe/FC on all midrange and high-end all-flash A-series storage. This innovation allows customers using a 32Gb fibre channel to immediately see latencies drop to under half a millisecond.

All-flash arrays also enable storage tiering capabilities. After all, one of the ways to reduce cloud costs is to tier infrequently used data to less-expensive storage formats. However, the public cloud providers only offer data tiering between classes of their object storage offerings. This means that as storage requirements become more dynamic, companies require options in matching the fastest storage with the most critical applications.

By moving this less critical data to more affordable alternatives using a cloud-agnostic solution, such as the NetApp AFF, companies can tier data more strategically to meet both cost and access requirements.

Modernisation

Combining flash performance and application integration, while leveraging the power of the hybrid cloud, organisations can extend the capabilities of their data centres. These combine to make up part of the data fabric that help users unless the full potential of the data at their disposal.

Consider how consistent and integrated data management services and applications facilitate data visibility and insights, data access and control, and data protection and security. Together, these technologies will accelerate digital transformation and allow the business to address its highest imperatives.

All-flash storage has become a vital component in the cloud migration journey. It is something that companies must consider if they are to be effective in their digital transitions and leverage the agility that come from the high performance computing capabilities delivered through the cloud.

Anthony Njoroge is the Product Manager for NetApp at Westcon-Comstor Sub-Saharan Africa

Elaraby leverages cloud to deliver efficiency across businesses in Egypt, Africa and Middle East

Riverbed has announced that Elaraby Group, an Egyptian manufacturer and retailer of home electronics, has maximized the value of its Microsoft Office 365 investment by deploying Riverbed® SaaS Accelerator.

 In an effort to enhance user experience and employee collaboration as it advances its cloud-first strategy throughout its vast geographic operations, Elaraby has enabled a faster, more responsive Office 365 experience for its employees by reducing network latency and empowered its teams to be more productive and better equipped to serve customers by deploying Riverbed SaaS Accelerator.

Elaraby has also invested in Riverbed® Cloud Accelerator to speed migration and access to workloads on Microsoft Azure. As a long-standing customer of Riverbed® SteelHead™, the market-leading WAN optimization solution worldwide, Elaraby is now accelerating applications from on-prem to cloud to the client and end-user.

Elaraby is a player in developing and manufacturing consumer electronics and home appliances in Egypt, the Middle East and Africa and the company’s products are widely accepted in more than 60 countries.

The Elaraby business has more than 40,000 employees, 16 commercial and industrial enterprises, over 3,000 sales partners, 17 trade stores across Egypt and approximately 600 after-sales service centers.

Elaraby is leveraging the cloud to deliver the efficiency, agility, and scalability its business demands. To ensure all locations and all employees are seamlessly connected, the company has migrated to Office 365. “Our use of the cloud is significantly growing,” said Medhat ElAraby, Vice President of Elaraby Group. “We have already migrated one of our data centers to Azure, and we are leveraging both PaaS and SaaS.”

While the company had successfully implemented Office 365, issues with network latency, congestion, and last-mile delays were restricting Elaraby ‘s ability to realize the full potential of its investment. As latency could potentially impact many aspects of the business – from direct sales and production, to store management and marketing – Elaraby turned to Riverbed to reduce data transfer costs and optimize speed across the enterprise, compressing data before sending it between sites.

With the support and expertise of Riverbed’s local partner, Global Brands Group, a leading provider of Consulting, Technology and Outsourcing services, the IT team recently extended its Riverbed SteelHead solution with the addition of six new appliances and one software instance in Azure.

 In addition, the company has deployed 3,500 licenses of Riverbed SaaS Accelerator, which accelerates popular SaaS apps up to 10x, as well as Riverbed Cloud Accelerator. In total, 6,000 users at Elaraby now have access to Office 365 and the improved performance across email, Dynamics 365 for Customer Service and Field Service, and SAP, and it has had a direct and very positive impact on retail and production.

“We could immediately see with Riverbed how we could address network latency,” explained Medhat ElAraby. “Since the deployment, Elaraby has reduced data transmission between sites by 60% with, on average, 900GB less data per day. We are now far more efficient in the way data is consumed which is delivering significant cost savings and improving connectivity and collaboration between sites and teams. Riverbed has also helped us improve our data management. The encryption of data is very important to us because all the data transferred in our organization has value, whether it’s sales figures, product designs, or customer insights. Securing our data has helped us maintain our competitive advantage.”

“With its workforce spread across such a vast geography, and its focus on having a cloud-first IT strategy, Elaraby has benefited greatly from the joint value proposition of the Microsoft Office 365 suite and the Riverbed acceleration solutions,” said Mirna Arif, Country General Manager, Microsoft Egypt. “Microsoft and Riverbed have a long-standing partnership globally, and at a regional level this has meant a strong collaboration between our local sales and technical teams. This has ultimately translated to a robust solution that enables Elaraby to offer its employees a consistent and impressive user experience across their collaboration and productivity applications.”

“Cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools such as those in the Office 365 suite are becoming increasingly fundamental to the modern business. The effectiveness of these solutions and their adoption by the workforce ultimately depends on end-user experience which can be easily impacted by poor performance,” said Mena Migally, Regional Vice President, META at Riverbed. “Elaraby ‘s success with Riverbed underpins the value that our solutions bring to the new breed of cloud-first organizations who are looking to enjoy the flexibility and scalability that cloud offers, while ensuring performance remains unaffected by the network latency, irrespective of where applications are hosted and how they are accessed. Elaraby is an innovative enterprise that continuously adopts and implements the latest technologies to accelerate and maintain their leadership regionally. As one of our first customers in Egypt, with a strong decade-long relationship, we are proud to continue to partner and support them on their digital journey.”

www.elarabygroup.com

Fieldcloud SAS joins the Smart Africa Alliance

French-based technology firm, Fieldcloud has joined the Smart Africa Alliance

Smart Africa is an alliance of 31 African countries, international organisations and global private sector players tasked with Africa’s digital agenda. The alliance is empowered by a bold and innovative commitment by African Heads of State to accelerate sustainable socioeconomic development on the continent and usher Africa into the knowledge economy through affordable access to broadband and use of ICTs.

“An essential part of how we work is that we seek to put the private sector first. We believe that our partnerships with companies like Fieldcloud are essential in ensuring that we deliver cutting edge technologies in Africa and move toward creating a single digital market. ”, said Mr Lacina Koné, Smart Africa’s Director General / CEO.

Founded in 2009, Fieldcloud is an edge computing, network connectivity and Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure solutions specialist systems integrator focused on energy, resources and telecom market sectors. Fieldcloud SAS works with enterprises to deal with the challenges of moving data between the field, legacy devices, factory floor and the cloud.

Today, fieldcloud’s activities are in IoT hardware design, systems integration, legacy systems digitization, embedded software applications, connectivity solutions, strategic business advisory and consulting. Fieldcloud continues to develop competencies in cutting edge technologies in global satellite IoT communications, IoT systems integration and LPWAN solutions to support projects in energy, telecommunications and resources sectors.

“Multistakeholder collaboration is essential to enable Africa’s single digital market, sustainably. The Smart Africa Alliance fosters a powerful and growing ecosystem of public and private members and fieldcloud is delighted to be of service as we partner together to build capacity, connect people and digitize industry.”, said Mr Matthew D. Smith, CEO fieldcloud SAS.  

With a vision to create a single digital market in Africa by 2030, the Smart Africa Alliance brings together Heads of State who seek to accelerate the digitalization of the continent and create a common market. Launched in 2013 by seven (7) African Heads of State, the Alliance now has 30 member countries, representing over 750 million people and over 40 Private Sector members committed to the vision and the advancement of Africa.

Other private sector members of the Smart Africa Alliance include Facebook, Intel, Orange, Ericsson, Econet, Microsoft, Inmarsat and Huawei among others.

www.fieldcloud.com

www.smartafrica.org

Box appoints former Google Cloud Executive Sebastien Marotte as President of Box EMEA

Box, Inc., the Content Cloud, has announced that Sebastien Marotte will be joining the Box Executive team as President of Box Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), effective June 7, 2021.

The appointment underscores Box’s continued commitment to the region where the Company recently announced a new office opening in Warsaw, Poland, and its recent acquisition of SignRequest, a European electronic signature company.

“Sebastien is joining at an exciting time for Box, as we’re continuing to grow our international presence and amplify the power of the Content Cloud,” said Stephanie Carullo, COO of Box. “Sebastien has comprehensive knowledge of the EMEA business landscape, and extensive experience leading in multiple markets. We’re thrilled to welcome him to lead our EMEA operations.”

Over a 30+ year career, Sebastien has held executive roles at some of the world’s highest-profile software companies including Google, Hyperion, and Oracle. He most recently led Google Cloud’s EMEA Channels as Vice President, having previously served as Vice President of Google Cloud EMEA for eight years. As an early leader at Google Cloud, Sebastien was responsible for much of the foundational growth and development across EMEA, including the launch of G Suite (now Google Workspace).

“The pandemic has accelerated the pace of change for just about every company on the planet, and the move to the cloud has never been more urgent,” said Sebastien Marotte, incoming President of Box EMEA. “As more companies realize that their businesses run on content, the demand for a secure platform for managing all of that content in the cloud will continue to grow. I strongly believe that Box has the strategy and team in place to capture this amazing opportunity, and I’m incredibly excited to join at this important part of the journey.”

Sebastien holds a Master’s degree in Finance and Business from ESLSCA Business School Paris. He also serves as a board member at Temporall.

www.box.com