Microsoft and Genesys partner to provide enterprises with new cloud services

Microsoft is teaming up with Genesys to provide organisations around the globe with new cloud services for contact centres that will enable them to deliver superior interactions for customers. 

With the omnichannel customer experience solution, Genesys Engage™, running on Microsoft Azure, enterprises have the security and scalability they need to manage the complexities involved with connecting every touchpoint throughout the customer journey.

Genesys Engage on Microsoft Azure will be available in late 2020. To accelerate adoption, the companies are providing Genesys Engage on Microsoft Azure through a joint co-selling and go-to-market strategy. Customers will benefit from a streamlined buying process that puts them on a clear path to the cloud.

With its multi-tenant architecture, Genesys Engage on Microsoft Azure will give customers the ability to innovate faster and improve their business agility. In addition, by running the Genesys customer experience solution on this dependable cloud environment, enterprises will be able to maximise their investment in Microsoft Azure through simplified management and maintenance requirements, centralised IT expertise, reduced costs and more. These solutions make it easier for enterprises to leverage cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies so they can gain deeper insights and provide tailor-made experiences for their customers.

Nemo Verbist, senior vice president of Intelligent Business and Intelligent Workplace at NTT Ltd one of the top five global technology and services providers for the world’s largest enterprises and a partner of both Microsoft and Genesys said, “Many of our customers have standardised on Microsoft solutions, and Genesys Engage on Microsoft Azure gives them an additional opportunity to take advantage of their investment. Together, these solutions provide enterprises a secure and powerful foundation to communicate with their customers in creative and meaningful ways.”

“Large contact centres receive an exceptionally high volume of inquiries across a growing list of channels and platforms. One of the biggest challenges is connecting the details of every interaction across all channels to ensure each customer has a seamless experience,” said Kate Johnson, president, Microsoft U.S. “By leveraging Microsoft’s Azure cloud and AI technologies, Genesys is helping enterprises create a seamless customer journey with Microsoft’s trusted, secure, and scalable platform.”

“We are thrilled to give large enterprises the opportunity to run their mission-critical customer experience platform in the cloud environment they already know and trust — Microsoft Azure,” said Peter Graf, chief strategy officer of Genesys. “Together, we’re making it simpler for even the most complex organizations to transition to the cloud, enabling them to unlock efficiencies and accelerate innovation so they can build deeper connections with customers.”

The companies are also exploring and developing new integrations for Genesys and Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Azure Cognitive Services to streamline collaboration and communications for employees and customers.

www.microsoft.com

www.genesys.com

Microsoft and Oracle partner to interconnect Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud

Microsoft and Oracle have announced a cloud interoperability partnership enabling customers to migrate and run mission-critical enterprise workloads across Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud.

Microsoft and Oracle have announced a cloud interoperability partnership enabling customers to migrate and run mission-critical enterprise workloads across Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud. Enterprises can now seamlessly connect Azure services, like Analytics and AI, to Oracle Cloud services, like Autonomous Database. By enabling customers to run one part of a workload within Azure and another part of the same workload within the Oracle Cloud, the partnership delivers a highly optimized, best-of-both-clouds experience. Taken together, Azure and Oracle Cloud offer customers a one-stop shop for all the cloud services and applications they need to run their entire business.

Connecting Azure and Oracle Cloud through network and identity interoperability makes lift-and-improve migrations seamless. This partnership delivers direct, fast and highly reliable network connectivity between two clouds, while continuing to provide first-class customer service and support that enterprises have come to expect from the two companies. In addition to providing interoperability for customers running Oracle software on Oracle Cloud and Microsoft software on Azure, it enables new and innovative scenarios like running Oracle E-Business Suite or Oracle JD Edwards on Azure against an Oracle Autonomous Database running on Exadata infrastructure in the Oracle Cloud.

“As the cloud of choice for the enterprise, with over 95% of the Fortune 500 using Azure, we have always been first and foremost focused on helping our customers thrive on their digital transformation journeys,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and AI division. “With Oracle’s enterprise expertise, this alliance is a natural choice for us as we help our joint customers accelerate the migration of enterprise applications and databases to the public cloud.”

“The Oracle Cloud offers a complete suite of integrated applications for sales, service, marketing, human resources, finance, supply chain and manufacturing, plus highly automated and secure Generation 2 infrastructure featuring the Oracle Autonomous Database,” said Don Johnson, executive vice president, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). “Oracle and Microsoft have served enterprise customer needs for decades. With this partnership, our joint customers can migrate their entire set of existing applications to the cloud without having to re-architect anything, preserving the large investments they have already made.”

As a result of this expanded partnership, the companies are making available a new set of capabilities. This include connecting Azure and Oracle Cloud seamlessly, allowing customers to extend their on-premises datacenters to both clouds. Customers will also get a unified identity and access management, via a unified single sign-on experience and automated user provisioning, to manage resources across Azure and Oracle Cloud. Also available in early preview today, Oracle applications can use Azure Active Directory as the identity provider and for conditional access.

Other capabilities include supported deployment of custom applications and packaged Oracle applications (JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, Oracle Retail, Hyperion) on Azure with Oracle databases (RAC, Exadata, Autonomous Database) deployed in Oracle Cloud. The same Oracle applications will also be certified to run on Azure with Oracle databases in Oracle Cloud. A collaborative support model to help IT organizations deploy these new capabilities while enabling them to leverage existing customer support relationships and processes. Oracle Database will continue to be certified to run in Azure on various operating systems, including Windows Server and Oracle Linux.

“The alliance between Microsoft and Oracle is welcome news as we accelerate Albertsons’ digital transformation and leverage the full value of the public cloud,” said Anuj Dhanda, executive vice president and chief information officer at Albertsons Companies. “This will allow us to create cross-cloud solutions that optimize many of our current investments while maximizing the agility, scalability and efficiency of the public cloud.”

“As we look to bring our omnichannel experience closer together and transform the technology platform that powers the Gap Inc. brands, the collaboration between Oracle and Microsoft will make it easier for us to scale and deliver capabilities across channels,” said Sally Gilligan, chief information officer at Gap. “The interoperability between Azure and Oracle Cloud allows us to deploy Oracle or custom-built applications on Azure and Oracle databases on Oracle Cloud.”

“At Halliburton, we have a long history of running both Oracle and Microsoft technologies for our most critical applications. Our deep experience with these two strategic vendors has yielded consistently stable and performant application deployments,” said Ken Braud, senior vice president and CIO at Halliburton. “This alliance gives us the flexibility and ongoing support to continue leveraging our standard architectures, while allowing us to focus on generating business outcomes that maximize returns for our shareholders.”

www.microsoft.com

www.oracle.com

[South Africa] Microsoft to provide cloud services for Standard Bank Group’s i internal corporate functions.

Standard Bank Group has selected Microsoft to provide cloud services for its internal corporate functions. The new strategic partnership between the two companies will help transform the bank’s technology estate and internal corporate functions, enabling the largest bank in Africa to accelerate its digital transformation journey significantly improving its employee experience.

The partnership also forms part of Standard Bank’s multi-cloud approach and strengthens its long-term relationship with Microsoft.

“Standard Bank is embracing digital transformation and the opportunities it presents. They realise that investment in digital transformation is also about investing in your organisational culture, ensuring that employees can succeed in a fast-changing world,” says Jean-Philippe Courtois, EVP and President, Microsoft Global Sales, Marketing & Operations. “Together we aim to bring innovation into every aspect of the bank’s IT systems, transform every employee experience and in turn enable enriched interactions with the bank’s customers. Being part of Standard Bank’s digital journey is particularly exciting as we share the ambition of making a positive impact on the African continent.”

The new partnership agreement adds to the work the two businesses are doing together. Microsoft already provides infrastructure, software, and platform services to the bank as well as cloud services across its productivity suite. These services continue to support Standard Bank’s expansion into Africa as well as enabling a true modern workplace.

“By providing these services, Microsoft is supporting Standard Bank Group in our digital transformation, helping to better leverage data to empower employees, create operational efficiencies, optimise our processes and transform our services and products to serve our clients with consistent excellence,” says Sim Tshabalala, Group CEO of Standard Bank. “The relationship between the Group and Microsoft has helped us execute our digitisation strategy and embark on this digital journey.”

Last month, Microsoft announced the launch of its new enterprise-grade data centre regions in South Africa. Microsoft Cloud — comprising Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365 — offers scalable, available and resilient cloud services to help organisations, businesses and government meet their data residency, security and compliance needs. Microsoft is the first global provider to deliver cloud services from datacentres on the continent, and there are plans in place to migrate a proportion Standard Bank’s cloud services to these local data centres.

Microsoft also provides the bank with access to its cloud expertise across its array of teams and businesses allowing it to leverage the learnings from Microsoft’s own transformation journey and its strong culture of collaboration.

In its quest to support communities and businesses on the African continent, Standard Bank is also developing a comprehensive education and digital skills programme in Southern Africa to address to critical skills shortages and to upskill the next generation of African cloud experts.

www.microsoft.com

www.standardbank.com



Microsoft drives digital transformation through cloud adoption in Kenya

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

www.microsoft.com

[South Africa] Microsoft opens first data centres in Africa with general availability of Microsoft Azure

Microsoft has today announced the opening of its first datacentres in Africa, with the general availability of Azure from the new cloud regions in Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa. This makes Microsoft the first global provider to deliver cloud services from datacentres on the continent, which will help companies securely and reliably move their businesses to the cloud while meeting compliance needs.

“Microsoft Azure is now available from our new cloud regions in Cape Town and Johannesburg. The combination of Microsoft’s global cloud infrastructure with the new regions in Africa will create greater economic opportunity for organisations in Africa, accelerate new global investment, and improve access to cloud and internet services,” said Yousef Khalidi, corporate vice president, Azure Networking, Microsoft.

Ibrahim Youssry, general manager, North, West, East, Central Africa, Levant & Pakistan, Microsoft said, “Today is a milestone moment in bringing the global cloud closer to home for African citizens and businesses. Enterprises across Africa can now take full advantage of the many benefits of Microsoft Azure, using cloud services to maintain security and meet compliance standards.”

According to the Cloud Africa 2018, the use of cloud among medium to large organizations in Africa has more than doubled between 2013 and 2018. Due to the benefits of cloud in offering efficiency and scalability, more than 90 percent of surveyed companies in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria have plans to increase their spending on cloud computing in the next year.

However, a secure offering remains important in maintaining this momentum, with many African CEOs being concerned about cyber threats.

“Microsoft has deep expertise in protecting data and empowering customers around the globe to meet extensive security and privacy requirements, including offering the broadest set of compliance certifications and attestations in the industry,” adds Khalidi. “We look forward to supporting more African enterprises in their cloud journeys and offering a trusted path to digital transformation.”

 With a network of over 10,000 local partners – and a nearly 30-year history of operating on the continent – the new datacentres form part of Microsoft’s ongoing investment to enable digital transformation across Africa.

 In 2013, Microsoft launched its continent-wide 4Afrika Initiative where it has been working with governments, partners, start-ups and youth to develop more affordable access to the internet, 21st century skills, and locally relevant technology. Most recently, this included a partnership with FirstBank Nigeria to expand cloud services and digital educational platforms to SME customers.

In Kenya, Microsoft is expanding FarmBeats, an end-to-end approach to help farmers benefit from technology. FarmBeats strives to enable data-driven farming, bringing together traditional knowledge, intuition and data to help increase farm productivity and yields.

On the skills development front, Microsoft has established a network of more than 800 Microsoft Imagine Academies across Africa, offering students of various age groups direct training in the technology field. In partnership with the African Development Bank, Microsoft is also rolling out `Coding for Employment` to create more than 25 million jobs and reach 50 million youth and women across Africa.

“We’re working with partners to accelerate cloud readiness and adoption in Africa, ensuring enterprises can deliver services to market faster, businesses can make more data-driven decisions, and governments can better connect with citizens,” adds Youssry. “As we connect more businesses to Azure, we’re seeing heightened innovation in the cloud and start-ups expanding their services to new markets. The combination of Microsoft’s global cloud infrastructure with the new regions in Africa will now connect businesses with even more opportunity and customers across the globe.”

Azure is the first of Microsoft’s intelligent cloud services to be delivered from the new datacentres in South Africa. Office 365, Microsoft’s cloud-based productivity solution, is anticipated to be available by the third quarter of calendar year 2019, while Dynamics 365, the next generation of intelligent business applications, is anticipated in the fourth quarter.

www.microsoft.com

Microsoft collaborates with Telecom Egypt to extend its global cloud network to Egypt

Microsoft Corp. and Telecom Egypt have announced their collaboration to extend Microsoft’s cloud network to Egypt.

Telecom Egypt will provide low-latency connectivity into and across Egypt to help enhance performance and increase reliability for customers of Microsoft services. The partnership will increase Microsoft’s reach to the large Egyptian market in addition to improving connectivity across North Africa and the Middle East.

Microsoft’s global network is one of the largest and most innovative in the world. It connects Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure of more than 100 datacenters, 135 edge node locations and more than 100,000 miles of fiber and undersea cable systems to deliver Microsoft services to customers.

The new point of presence in Egypt will benefit from a direct connection to Microsoft’s global infrastructure to enhance the delivery of numerous services for customers. Microsoft’s network investment will increase capacity and use the latest in network optimization for the delivery of Microsoft services in Egypt.

“Through our collaboration with Telecom Egypt, we are extending Microsoft’s global network in Egypt and improving connectivity across North Africa and the Middle East,” said Yousef Khalidi, corporate vice president, Azure Networking, Microsoft. “We are continuously investing to increase the size, speed, reliability and intelligence of Microsoft’s global network to help enable the digital transformation of organizations and enterprises locally and abroad.”

Commenting on the announcement, Dr. Amr Talaat, minister of Communications and Information Technology of Egypt, said, “Our commitment to the industry comes in line with the government’s Sustainable Development Strategy: Egypt Vision 2030. Egypt is spearheading a promising digital transformation strategy that will transform the society and the economy. We value collaboration that aims to empower local enterprises and accelerate transformation for business advancement.” The Minister also, on the occasion of this new relationship, emphasized that: “Egypt is capitalizing on its unique geographic location, which makes it a hub for digital businesses and datacenter activity due to the strong presence of submarine cables passing through both the Red and Mediterranean seas.”

Telecom Egypt’s global network was built over the years through investments in consortiums and private international submarine cable systems. Its reach and position as an international hub with tens of terabits per second lit capacity makes it the partner of choice for content providers.

Egypt’s distinctive geographic location on the Red and Mediterranean seas has enabled Telecom Egypt to connect more than 11 cable systems from the east and 13 from the west linked with the Red-Med Corridor consisting of 7 diversified highly reliable routes across Egypt.

“We are pleased to partner with Microsoft as it represents one of the first steps toward our strategic digital transformation plan,” said Adel Hamed, chief executive officer, Telecom Egypt. “Telecom Egypt’s geographical position and its digital infrastructure will enable major cloud providers such as Microsoft to enhance their reach to consumers and enterprises in Egypt as well as reach other markets.”

Khaled Abdel Kader, general manager, Microsoft Egypt said: “Microsoft is committed to providing world-class cloud services to enable and accelerate the digital transformation of organizations, businesses and people in Egypt. Our collaboration with Telecom Egypt and Microsoft’s investment in the country will further empower Egypt to achieve more through Microsoft services.”

The new enhanced network presence in Egypt will connect via Microsoft’s global network to transatlantic and trans-Arabian paths, which will improve connectivity across North Africa and the Middle East, including enhancing connectivity to the new Microsoft cloud regions in development in South Africa and the United Arab Emirates.

www.microsoft.com

www.te.eg

Public cloud services will enable organisations to accelerate digital transformation in South Africa

The increased utilisation of public cloud services and the additional investments into private and hybrid cloud solutions will enable organisations in South Africa to focus on innovation and accelerate the pace of digital business transformation. This is according to the IDC report, Economic Impact of IT & Microsoft in South Africa. In turn, the report says this will help businesses generate close to R81 billion in net revenue over the next four years.

The Intelligent Cloud is the enabler of true digital transformation, enabling businesses to transform their existing business models into digital business models, thereby improving operational efficiency, empowering employees, enabling richer customer engagements, and transforming and innovative products and services.

According to Ashleigh Fenwick, Head of Communications at Microsoft, the IT the IT sector in South Africa is expected to grow at a five-year compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.25% to reach R175 billion by 2022.

‘’This growth is fuelled by public cloud growth – the cloud market is expected to reach R11.53 billion by 2022, representing a CAGR of a whopping 21.9%. This could potentially lead to 119k nett new job opportunities,”  he said.

Fenwick was speaking when he announced that Microsoft had pushed the launch of its two data centres in South Africa to 2019. Located in Johannesburg and Cape Town, said it is targeting cloud services growth on the continent. These data centres are expected to deliver the Microsoft Cloud, including Microsoft Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics 365 to Africa. They had initially been set to be launched in 2018.

While the software market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 2.9% over the next 5 years, the cloud market in South Africa is expected to grow at 21.9% to reach R11.53 billion. The increased adoption of cloud services in the country will create 112,000 net new job opportunities in the economy by 2022, driven by the benefits of cloud computing, such as lower capex, efficiency, scale, and flexibility.

Cloud computing has taken off dramatically across Africa’s major markets. Its benefits are however being experienced very differently in each region – as are its budget allocations.

www.microsoft.com

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