[South Africa] Building a successful multicloud strategy unlocks IT business value, Routed

South Africa’s cloud market is showing good signs of growth and development as enterprise customers begin to take serious notice of multicloud and its benefits. As a result, it is imperative to develop and maintain a robust mutlicloud strategy that meets continuously evolving business demands.

Andrew Cruise, managing director, Routed, a neutral cloud infrastructure provider, notes there are clear business benefits of pursuing a multicloud approach, including having a choice of best-in-class platforms to match a variety of business requirements and the ability to efficiently allocate scarce capital by utilising the operating cost model of cloud consumption. “However, some other no less important advantages of mutlicloud involve its potential to drive innovation, flexibility, and scalability of new apps in hyperscale public clouds. Multicloud can also ameliorate risks of failure and vendor lock-in by load balancing across multiple cloud platforms. In addition, multicloud really enables IT to meet business needs by freeing up time to focus on where value is added.”

Considering the sheer number of options available, the task of building a successful strategy should inevitably begin with a clear decision on where an enterprise’s efforts and resources should be focused. “In other words, where does IT bring business value? Use cloud infrastructure to free up internal resources and scarce capital to facilitate investment in these areas,” he adds.

Cruise says it is also advisable to build out from familiar areas of expertise incrementally. “A ‘big bang’ re-platforming approach, especially involving multiple unfamiliar hyperscale environments, is fraught with risk. Instead, base digital transformation strategy on current expertise, use industry-standard virtualisation platforms like VMware both on-premise and in local clouds for core business critical foundational workloads, and then add cloud native apps in global hyperscalers in stages.”

Successfully managing a multicloud environment is another understandable area of concern for enterprises, especially where security and regularity compliance are non-negotiable. “A proper assessment of peopleprocesses and control can provide a bird’s eye view of all IT and from there what is required to apply policies and procedures coherently together with a security strategy across all platforms,” says Cruise.

As digital transformation and cloud migration are now fully understood as business imperatives, choosing the right provider should be a carefully considered decision. Cruise explains that it’s vital to understand that no two cloud providers are the same, and that each market and sell on what they do differently. “Each provider has their own unique set of services and tools, which paradoxically, is where their value lies, but the drawback is that it also creates a barrier to multi-cloud due to incompatibilities. Enterprises should be circumspect in targeting these specific USPs in each provider as they will enforce a level of vendor lock-in and base their multicloud strategy on which providers will give them a consistent user experience across all platforms.”

As enterprise demands shift, how cloud is deployed will adapt in tandem. Cruise believes the future is likely to be a pragmatic cloud or dirty cloud. “This is the path of least resistance as it leads to what works most easily. This is mixture of onsite; private-style cloud like local VMware VPC; and public cloud from global hyperscalers.”


[Africa Cloud Review] Simon Ngunjiri: Cloud adoption is the future of African SMEs

In our previous Africa Cloud Review report, we highlighted how cloud adoption is no longer merely an option but a necessity that promises tremendous rewards across entire organizations.

Africa is currently witnessing a revolution in new cloud and data centre capacity, with a growth forecast of 80 per cent and 50 per cent. In fact, Xalam Analytics has previously noted that African data centres are the hottest growth area in the African ICT market. 

The emergence of cloud in Africa as the Cloud Over Africa report by Research ICT Africa report notes is viewed as a natural extension of the deployment of advanced IT technologies by high-end users in both the consumer and enterprise services markets.

‘’Much of the hype around cloud computing in Africa is as a result of the adoption of high-end technology and software industries such as financial services, oil and gas; and of advanced next-generation networks by the telecommunications operators.’’ the report says.

This is of course something we have mentioned in the previous cloud review article we have published here. From fintech companies that are changing the way Africans send and receive money, to Agriculture, cloud technology has the power to transform how we work in emerging markets. 

SMEs and public services stand to gain the most from the adoption of cloud services, which provides immediate access to the infrastructure and services previously only available to big enterprises able to invest heavily in IT. 

As Soromfe Uzomah, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative notes Cloud computing gives businesses the ability to scale, cost-effectively, to new markets. This is particularly beneficial for SMEs, who often lacked the resources or infrastructure to expand before.

Pedro Guerreiro, Managing Director, Central Africa at SAP, also notes that investments into new technologies like cloud will greatly assist SMEs in the region as they adapt to a very different operating environment.

 “As one of the most important drivers for job creation and economic growth, the SME sector is vital to the region’s economic recovery. Technology will continue to play a determining role in how well the sector recovers from this year’s events, while also digitally-tooling organisations to out-perform their competitors in this new economy and enabling them to execute the business, operate, and thrive in the market,” he says.

Currently, most of these SMEs are struggling to survive in an ongoing global recession. Cloud offers many opportunities and could help companies to improve their business and use technology more efficiently. 

The Cloud Computing: Adoption Issues for Sub-Saharan African SMEs report envisages that as cloud computing evolves, more SMEs in sub-Saharan Africa will adopt it as an IT Strategy. This could positively contribute to the successes of these SMEs and consequently, contribute to the economic growth desired by these developing countries.

Bottomline, cloud platforms are the future of African SMEs. This Digital transformation is imperative for these SMEs, as it enables them to streamline back-office operations and free up time and resources to focus on their core business.

Simon Ngunjiri Muraya is Google Cloud Architect at Incentro Africa


Nokia and Google Cloud partner to develop new, cloud-based 5G radio solutions

Nokia has today announced a partnership with Google Cloud to develop new, cloud-based 5G radio solutions. The two companies will collaborate on joint solutions combining Nokia’s Radio Access Network (RAN), Open RAN, Cloud RAN (vRAN) and edge cloud technologies, with Google’s edge computing platform and applications ecosystem. The collaboration will lead to the development of solutions and use cases to solve key 5G scenarios for businesses worldwide.

The initial collaboration, which is already underway at Nokia’s Espoo headquarters, will pursue a number of different workstreams. The first, which will focus on Cloud RAN, will integrate Nokia’s 5G vDU (virtualized distributed unit) and 5G vCU (virtualized centralized unit) with Google’s edge computing platform, running on Anthos. Nokia’s 5G standalone network with vCU and 5G core will also be tested on Google Cloud Anthos platform as a cloud-native deployment.

Today, global CSPs can unlock new monetization opportunities by driving 5G connectivity and advanced services to enterprise customers at the network edge, to deliver new, digital experiences for consumers. By leveraging its Open RAN and Cloud RAN leadership and combining it with best-in-class public cloud infrastructure from Google Cloud, Nokia is expanding its ecosystem of partners and helping CSPs lower deployment and operational costs, which is essential for monetizing 5G deployments. Both Nokia and Google Cloud will continue to develop the scope of these initial collaborations by exploring new technologies and solutions that will enhance their joint 5G Cloud RAN and edge cloud solutions.

Recognizing the performance demands of a 5G network, Nokia will also work to certify its Nokia AirFrame Open Edge hardware with Anthos. Nokia AirFrame Open Edge distributes computing capacity into the edge of the network and drives the implementation of Cloud RAN, Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC), as well as 5G.

“In the 5G era, we’re committed to delivering solutions underpinned by world-class engineering that support our customers’ requirements and help them to take advantage of 5G.” George Nazi, Global VP, Telco, Media & Entertainment Industry Solutions at Google Cloud, said. 

Bikash Koley, VP, Google Global Network and Head of Technology for Telecom Products at Google Cloud, said “This partnership with Nokia will combine both of our decades of mobile communications expertise to deliver new solutions that help CSPs enable business transformation at the network edge.”

Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia, said they were are excited to develop new 5G solutions at the network edge with Google Cloud. ”Our service provider customers will benefit greatly from this collaboration with more choice and flexibility to efficiently deploy and orchestrate 5G networks. This will ultimately help our customers deliver 5G services on the network edge providing multiple options of cloud-based solutions paving the way forward.” he said. 


[Africa Cloud Review] Simon Ngunjiri: Cloud adoption is now a necessity

As we have previously highlighted, businesses in Africa are increasingly turning to cloud to improve operational efficiency and COVID-19 is accelerating this adoption. 

In light of the immense challenges that have been brought about by the pandemic especially in 2020, cloud adoption is no longer merely an option; indeed, it is a necessity that promises tremendous rewards across entire organizations. 

As IDC notes,  ‘’the region’s enterprises dramatically accelerate their digital transformation journeys, they need to embrace the power of cloud computing and its holy grail – frictionless, hybrid multi-cloud that provides infrastructure-agnostic views and unified management capabilities across all clouds and even legacy data centres’’

IDC has highlighted cloud as the key technology in its five stages of enterprise recovery.  It is the fastest path and natural choice to enable a resilient digital infrastructure. CIOs across the region are aggressively investing in increasing their cloud leverage, and the effectiveness of their cloud strategies will be a critical factor in shaping their competitiveness and growth post-recovery.

African startups are also massively investing in cloud services such as Amazon AWS or Google Cloud, a clear indication of how critical cloud is. 

This rise has gone beyond basic office applications. From banks looking to accelerate the rollout of new applications among other things, cloud services are transforming Africa’s productive capacity and emerging as one of the most essential pillars of Africa’s digital transformation.

Data centres

As the demand for cloud services also continues to grow, the demand for data centres also keeps growing.  In fact, Xalam Analytics has previously noted that African data centres are the hottest growth area in the African ICT market. 

South Africa is already Africa’s largest data centre market, accounting for ~60% of the continent’s available MTDC power supply. That colocation gap, however, is set to widen according to Xalam Analytics.  ‘’We anticipate that South Africa will add ten times more colocation power capacity over the next two years than all other African markets combined.’’ the company says. 

A new report from The African Data Centres Association (ADCA) and Xalam Analytics also revealed that Africa needs 1000MW and 700 facilities to meet growing demand and bring the rest of the continent onto level terms.

Compared with other Data Centre markets around the world, Africa is unique in the sense it has a population of over 1.3 billion people and with a total landmass of 30,365,000 km and has the potential to create huge demand for Data Centres and the digital services provided by Data Centre facilities.  This is according to data from the “The Cloud and Data Centre Revolution in Africa” report. 

To-date only a small portion of the potential demand for African Data Centre space has been met with Africa having a low Data Centre penetration rate compared with other regions.

Early this month, The Raxio Group, a premier pan-African data centre developer and operator, announced that it is establishing and investing in ‘Raxio Kinshasa’, the first in a series of state-of-the-art, privately owned, carrier-neutral, data centres in the DRC. Africa Data Centres, also recently had its Tier III certification renewed by the Uptime Institute for its Nairobi-based data centre.

Data Centres are entering new markets including Cameroon, Ethiopia, Senegal, Tanzania, and Zambia. A trend as ResearchAndMarkets.com notes includes facilities being created as PFMs (Pre-Fabricated Modules), as smaller self-contained Data Centres to be used for network, cloud, wholesale and colocation, suitable for local environments.

As the report from The African Data Centres Association (ADCA) and Xalam Analytics noted “Expanding the breadth of Africa’s data centre capacity is fundamental to reducing latency, optimizing intra-African traffic flows, and slashing operating costs in the broader African economic supply chain,”

Simon Ngunjiri Muraya is Google Cloud Architect at Incentro Africa


IFS launches IFS Cloud platform

IFS has launched IFS Cloud™, a single platform that innately connects all its products to deliver the end-to-end capabilities a company needs to orchestrate its customers, people and assets. Customers can choose to deploy best-of-breed or leverage the power of connecting their value chains across capabilities such as enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), human capital management (HCM), asset management (EAM) and field service (FSM).

With IFS Cloud, IFS offers a unique and single technology platform with one common user experience, one data model and one consistent support offering. IFS Cloud brings simplicity, choice and innovation to organizations that need to evolve to new business models, control costs, expand faster and serve their customers better. By implementing IFS Cloud, companies can easily scale and simply switch on new functionality (such as additional modules or new innovative capabilities) when the time is right for their business.

Likewise, customers can choose how and where they deploy IFS Cloud, which has been engineered for the cloud but can be deployed on-premises with a choice of residency. Unlike many offerings, IFS customers will benefit from the same solution functionality and delightful user experiences, regardless of their deployment choice, without compromise.

As a departure from competing, legacy suites and software portfolios that rely on complex and costly integrations, IFS Cloud is designed to make it easier and more cost-effective for customers to buy, deploy, run, and update their enterprise software. IFS Cloud marks the start of twice-yearly feature releases, giving customers the choice to move to the latest version as and when their business is ready.

The path to digital transformation is not a simple one. Most businesses are complex and have intricate value chains, which is why few organizations succeed and even fewer vendors provide the tools to truly enable it. At IFS, our single most important goal is to deliver value to our customers, and we want to provide a clear path for them to evolve to new business models, compete and win.” Darren Roos, IFS CEO, said.

“Customers have told me that their main goals are to drive efficiency, control costs and to develop better products and services. We know that to achieve this, cloud is a pre-requisite. Digital innovations need to be easily consumable and embedded into daily business operations, which is why I am confident that IFS will succeed where others have not. IFS Cloud is unique and delivers on customer-centricity and experience as well as capabilities. I am proud to say we are again keeping our promise to deliver value so that customers can deliver on their Moment of Service.” Roos added. 

With digital innovations embedded, IFS Cloud’s architecture also includes new and improved application services for intelligent and autonomous business that can be natively leveraged across IFS products and across industries. This makes it practical and affordable for customers to take advantage of technologies such as machine learning (ML), augmented and mixed reality (AR/MR), artificial intelligence (AI), and internet of things (IoT), ready to use ‘out of the box’. 

IFS Cloud is being adopted by a number of pioneer customers across IFS’s focus markets of Aerospace & Defense, Construction & Infrastructure, Energy & Utilities, Manufacturing, and Service industries. One such customer is Cimcorp Group, a world-leading manufacturer of robotics and automation systems.

Commenting on the benefits of IFS Cloud, Cimcorp Technology Director Jyrki Anttonen said, “The manufacturing and manufacturing service industries are very dynamic and highly competitive, which means we are constantly looking for technologies that will allow us to work smarter and faster than our competitors. Company growth is certainly a goal, but we are a global business and therefore we need to have visibility into our operations globally so that we can target efficiencies, control costs and devise news ways to create value for our customers. IFS Cloud is a platform with next-generation technology built for our industry and this gives us the confidence we need to achieve this and flank the competition.”

IFS Chief Product Officer Christian Pedersen said, “IFS Cloud was designed and built to respond to customers’ needs when shifting to digital business models; something we never lost sight of over the last two years.” Pedersen continued, “We recognize that IFS Cloud will be pivotal in bringing success in a customer’s business and this shaped our approach in several areas: being able to make fast and informed decisions based on a single data model, being completely open with native APIs and providing one single upgrade experience so that customers can focus on what is important, which is to deliver exceptional moments of service to their customers.”

Also released today is the first instalment of IFS’s application lifecycle management capability, IFS Lifecycle Experience. IFS Lifecycle Experience features a portal that puts users in control of their application by fusing multiple touch points, to give them access to information, tooling, code, and permissions.


[Kenya] FirstWave announces level one partner agreement with Moja Access

Global, cybersecurity-as-a-service company, FirstWave Cloud Technology Limited  has announced the signing of a three-year Level 1 Partner Agreement with Moja Access, part of CSquared Group, a pan-African technology company.

The First revenues to flow immediately under ‘oppt-out’ path to market.

Moja Access is the Kenya-based operating company of CSquared, a panAfrican operator of wholesale and open-access fibre and WiFi infrastructure in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and Liberia. 

 CSquared currently operates fibre and last mile WiFi networks in these cities, with over 40 mobile operators and internet service providers relying on its infrastructure for serving mobile consumers and corporate customers.

These four African nations had over 10 million Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and over 70 million internet users at the end of 2020. In the initial phase of this partnership, FirstWave has deployed its recently launched FirstCloud™ WebProtect DNS platform for each of CSquared’s four territories for use by CSquared’s operating companies and Level 2 partners.

CSquared’s operating companies’ partners and their end-customers will get the web security solution as part of their internet service on an “opt-out” basis. As a consequence, revenue generation will commence immediately, and end-customers can ‘opt-out’ if, for any reason, they decide they do not want the service.

Moja Access is currently in conversations with customers for uptake of this service. The Partnership Agreement is for a 3-year term with rolling 6-month extension options thereafter and in keeping with FirstWave’s service proposition – democratising enterprise-grade cybersecurity-as-a service – the vast number of MSMEs and Internet users across these 4 African nations can now be protected on CSquared’s network from cyber intruders, on a consumption basis, at an affordable monthly price.

Lanre Kolade, Group CEO of CSquared, said, “We are very excited to have signed this partnership with FirstWave. Our clients, including Telcos and Internet Service Providers, will benefit from FirstWave’s differentiated SaaS products. It will allow us to rapidly deploy and sell on a consumption based monthly pricing model, enterprise grade cybersecurity services to all our clients and their end-customers, large and small.”

FirstWave’s CEO, Neil Pollock explained, “I’m delighted to welcome CSquared Group’s Moja Access as our 8 th Level 1 partner and see initial revenues already flowing from the partnership. CSquared is a fast-growing panAfrican service provider backed by two large global corporations Google LLC and Mitsui & Co. CSquared already delivers robust fibre connectivity and internet access to thousands of end-customers via its 40+ mobile operator and ISP clients. With revenues already delivered, the partnership has had a really positive start.” This announcement has been approved for release by the Board of Directors.



Galvanize extends HighBond regional cloud offering to Africa and South America with new AWS Regions

SaaS governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) software provider Galvanize has announced that it now provides regional hosting in Africa and South America via local AWS Regions – AWS Africa (Cape Town) and AWS South America (São Paulo) Region respectively. This the company says demonstrates its commitment to its local partners and customers by supporting their data sovereignty requirements, and in particular ensuring compliance with POPIA in South Africa and LGPD in Brazil.

In addition to data sovereignty compliance, the AWS hosting environment provides customers and partners with numerous other benefits including top performance, the highest levels of security, low latency, continuous availability, and automatic fail-over, ensuring customers avoid having a critical service dependent on a single data centre.

“By offering regional hosting in Africa, Galvanize customers who are sensitive to data sovereignty will have the peace of mind that their data will remain in Africa at all times. They’ll also benefit from AWS’s world-class infrastructure and service. Having a Galvanize data-centre in Africa demonstrates Galvanize’s commitment to the continent and its loyal customers. This is another step closer to Africa’s adoption of cloud technology as a primary choice.” said Dino Carletti, Head of South Africa, Surtech (Galvanize partner)

“Organizations worldwide face a new era of risk and uncertainty as a result of the pandemic. By partnering with AWS, Galvanize ensures data sovereignty in Africa and South America to meet regulatory and compliance requirements. This gives global organizations a unified, automated platform for any and all GRC needs.” – Dan Zitting, Chief Product and Strategy Officer, Galvanize

“Our investment in world class, locally provisioned AWS infrastructure demonstrates our continued commitment to providing a high-performance experience to our customers across Africa and South America. Data sovereignty is an extremely important issue for both our public and private sector clients, with in-country hosting often mandated for public and enterprise organisations. Galvanize is now one of the few global, cloud-based GRC enterprise software providers who provision their services in a locally hosted environment, ensuring data sovereignty and regulatory compliance.” Barnabas Chirombo, Head of Africa, Revival Holdings (Galvanize partner) said.

“This is an important and differentiating investment by Galvanize. Data sovereignty is a ‘must have’ customer requirement and being able to provide local hosting via AWS will give them confidence that these regulatory compliance priorities are being met by best-in-class infrastructure.” said Roberto Faria, Executive Director, Quality Nextech, Brazil.


[Africa Cloud Review] Simon Ngunjiri: Cloud Platforms are Empowering Africa’s Digital Economy

In our last column of the Africa Cloud Review, we highlighted how the pandemic has boosted the uptake of cloud services in AfricaBusinesses in Africa are increasingly turning to cloud to improve operational efficiency and COVID-19 is accelerating this adoption. 

A recent report by ResearchAndMaarkets now reveals how Global And Local Cloud Platforms Are Powering Africa’s Digital Economy.  

This research finds that the use of standard cloud services is already widespread in the African continent, turbocharged by the COVID-19 pandemic. Cloud-based office applications are increasingly vital components of the African modern workplace. The rise of the cloud in the African market ostensibly goes beyond basic office applications. From banks looking to accelerate the rollout of new applications to startups disrupting entire industries with innovative, cloud-powered models, cloud services are transforming Africa’s productive capacity and emerging as one of the most essential pillars of Africa’s digital transformation. 

There is some way to go, for Africa is, in truth, a tough place for cloud services. Many countries do not offer adequate, affordable, broadband speeds; latency to cloud data centres is too high from many locations. And perhaps most of all, the cloud is fundamentally about putting trust in what you cannot see, in a region where seeing and touching are essential to trust. All the same, the upside is considerable – and cloud services represent an opportunity that only the undiscerning would be prompt to dismiss.

Cloud-based technological applications, services, and solutions afford businesses the opportunity to optimise business processes, functionality, efficiency, and growth.  This empowers them with the ability to deliver the right information to the right place at the right time. Cloud-based operations allow for access to real-time data that can be accessed from anywhere and from multiple devices. This accessibility allows for quicker turn-around time on decision-making processes, with instant and immediate access to relevant insights.

As this opportunity keeps growing SaaS governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) software leader Galvanize announced that it now provides regional hosting in Africa and South America via local AWS Regions – AWS Africa (Cape Town) and AWS South America (São Paulo) Region respectively. 

IBM also announced that its hybrid cloud services are now generally available in any environment — on any cloud, on-premises or at the edge — via IBM Cloud SatelliteLumen Technologies and IBM have integrated IBM Cloud Satellite with the Lumen edge platform to enable clients to harness hybrid cloud services in near real-time and build innovative solutions at the edge.  

Although cloud adoption has greatly accelerated in recent years, many businesses today still find themselves on the wrong end of the cloud revolution. Amr Eid, CEO and board member of OmniClouds attributes this reluctance to several factors with the first one being personal perception,

 “In a disruptive market environment, your background works against you, while your mindset works for you. Market dynamics are very different and doing things the same way you used to will lead to failure,” said in an article published on Gulf Business.

Bottom line, African companies need to embrace the cloud, which is ‘foundational to digital transformation’. 

Simon Ngunjiri Muraya is Google Cloud Architect at Incentro Africa


IBM Hybrid Cloud Services Now Generally Available in Any Environment

IBM has announced that its hybrid cloud services are now generally available in any environment — on any cloud, on premises or at the edge — via IBM Cloud Satellite. Lumen Technologies and IBM have integrated IBM Cloud Satellite with the Lumen edge platform to enable clients to harness hybrid cloud services in near real-time and build innovative solutions at the edge.  

IBM Cloud Satellite brings a secured, unifying layer of cloud services for clients across environments, regardless of where their data resides. This is essential to help address critical data privacy and data sovereignty requirements. Industries including telecommunications, financial services, healthcare and government can now benefit from reduced latency that comes with analyzing data securely at the edge. Workloads related to online learning, remote work, telehealth services and more can now be delivered with increased efficiency and security with IBM Cloud Satellite. As workloads shift to the edge, IBM Cloud Satellite will help clients deliver low latency, while still enabling them to have the same levels of security, data privacy, interoperability and open standards found in hybrid cloud environments. 

IBM is also extending Watson Anywhere with the availability of IBM Cloud Pak for Data as a Service with IBM Cloud Satellite. This gives clients a flexible, secure way to run their AI and analytics workloads as services across any environment – without having to manage them on their own. EquBot, a fintech firm helping global investment professionals, is already seeing early benefits. The work has shown reduced latency from ten seconds to under one second on some of the time critical models. This allows investors to make better-informed decisions across financial markets. 

Lumen, an enterprise technology company enabling the 4th Industrial Revolution, is using its global Edge Compute platform to deliver IBM Cloud Satellite to customers. By combining the deployment flexibility of IBM Cloud Satellite with the Lumen edge platform’s broad availability, adaptive networking and connected security capabilities, Lumen customers gain choice and speed in how they securely tap into the benefits of edge computing services. 

Customers using the Lumen platform and IBM Cloud Satellite can deploy data-intensive applications like video analytics across highly distributed environments such as offices and retail spaces and take advantage of infrastructure designed for single digit millisecond latency. Because the application can be hosted on Red Hat OpenShift via IBM Cloud Satellite from the close proximity of a Lumen edge location, cameras and sensors can function in near real-time to help improve quality and safety. For example, cameras can detect the last time surfaces were cleaned or flag potential worker safety concerns. Additionally, customers across geographies can better address data sovereignty by deploying this processing power closer to where the data is created. 

“With the Lumen platform’s broad reach, we are giving our enterprise customers access to IBM Cloud Satellite to help them drive innovation more rapidly at the edge,” said Paul Savill, SVP Enterprise Product Management and Services at Lumen. “Our enterprise customers can now extend IBM Cloud services across Lumen’s robust global network, enabling them to deploy data-heavy edge applications that demand high security and ultra-low latency. By bringing secure and open hybrid cloud capabilities to the edge, our customers can propel their businesses forward and take advantage of the emerging applications of the 4th Industrial Revolution.” 

As part of this collaboration, customers will be able to Deploy applications across more than 180,000 connected enterprise locations on the Lumen network to provide a low latency experience. They will also create cloud-enabled solutions at the edge that leverage application management and orchestration via IBM Cloud Satellite  Customers will also be able to build open, interoperable platforms that give customers greater deployment flexibility and more seamless access to cloud native services like AI, IoT and edge computing 

“IBM is working with clients to leverage advanced technologies like edge computing and AI, enabling them to digitally transform with hybrid cloud while keeping data security at the forefront,” said Howard Boville, Head of IBM Hybrid Cloud Platform. “With IBM Cloud Satellite, clients can securely gain the benefits of cloud services anywhere, from the core of the data center to the farthest reaches of the network.” 

IBM is collaborating with more than 65 ecosystem partners, including Cisco, Dell Technologies and Intel to build secure cloud services helping clients run workloads in any environment via IBM Cloud Satellite. Infrastructure partners offer a choice of storage, networking and server solutions to help clients leverage their existing infrastructures to deploy IBM Cloud Satellite locations at data centers or the edge.

Service partners plan to offer migration and deployment services to help clients manage solutions as-a-service anywhere. IBM Cloud Satellite clients can also access Red Hat OpenShift-certified software offerings on Red Hat Marketplace, which can be deployed to run on Red Hat OpenShift via IBM Cloud Satellite, offering flexibility to install and manage with greater simplicity. 


[Column] Shanon Ramdaw: How the Cloud Transforms Manufacturers into Agile, Efficient Innovators

The demand for manufacturing organisations to be agile and efficient is higher in today’s technological world than ever-before. Rapid technological advancements, coupled with an uncertain and unstable economic and work climate, mean that organisations are required to remain adaptable, functional, and highly efficient from anywhere, at any time. 

Manufacturing organisation are being confronted with new a[nd intensified challenges within their day to day operations. These challenges could potentially be represented as issues with product personalisation, with an increasingly high demand for a quick turnaround on products that are configured and personalised. Businesses may also be struggling with project profitability, especially within the current economic climate and when faced with an intricate project that involves multiple product entities.

Further challenges may arise in the areas of global supply chain and supply chain collaboration. Here vendors and contractors require efficient and timeous methods in order to collaborate and track the flow of information and goods. Manufacturing organisations also need to be able to manage and maintain their service revenue growth, and to effectively manage and utilise their analytical data. 

“For business success in today’s modern world, especially with the rapid and increasing demands placed on organisations during the time of the Covid-19 Pandemic, shifting operations to the cloud instead of on-site applications can aid in increasing productivity, reliability and efficiency,” explains Shanon Ramdaw, Business Development Manager at iOCO, within iOCO Software Distribution, the local Infor Master Reseller.

Ramdaw confirms that Cloud based technological applications, services, and solutions, afford businesses the opportunity to optimise business processes, functionality, efficiency, and growth. This empowers manufacturing organisations with the ability to deliver the right information to the right place at the right time. Cloud-based operations allow for access to real-time data that can be accessed from anywhere and from multiple devices. This accessibility allows for quicker turn-around time on decision making processes, with instant and immediate access to relevant insights.

Utilising cloud-based services can additionally empower staff be to be more efficient, effective, and innovative. Work-life modernisation can be optimised when employees and decision makers have instant and in-depth access to accurate, real-time data. Efficiency is further increased through cloud-driven cross-functionally collaboration on product and business innovation.  

“Cloud based services such as Infor’s CloudSuite Solutions, ensure the streamlining of processes. This means that information processing and the information gleaned from relevant data is accurate and instant. The problem with manual and on-site systems is that the more complex the product or process becomes, the higher the risk of human error. Yet with cloud-based solutions this human error risk is practically eliminated,” continues Ramdaw.  

Cloud-based solutions give manufacturing businesses the advantage of being able to leverage and transform former technology efficiently through the incorporation of real-time data. Strategy and innovation can be optimised through product and project planning management. With cloud-based solutions, real-time data can be incorporated directly into the plan and the process of the plan can be continually and efficiently monitored. This allows organisations to adjust product and strategy plans more effectively allowing for adaptability and flexibility, while driving innovation, agility, and efficiency. 

The correct cloud-based solutions bring manual based process from outside an organisation’s digital ecosystem into it.  This offers manufacturing organisations powerful tools, meaning less time and money are spent on sourcing and managing information, and more time is spent on business growth, strategy, and innovation. “Complex products become easily configurable, solutions become readily available, and mobility and accessibility are enhanced. Therefore, businesses are able to become exponentially more innovative and agile in their manufacturing processes,” concludes Ramdaw.

Shanon Ramdaw is the Business Development Manager – Infor Services at iOCO, Infor’s Gold Partner in Africa.