IBM opens first South African cloud data centre for managing SAP workloads


IBM’s quest for cloudy world domination continues apace with the opening of its first cloud data centre in South Africa.

The new data centre is geared towards running SAP applications and workloads in the cloud, and involves IT provider Gijima and operator Vodacom as partners. From Gijima’s perspective, the move with IBM and Vodacom represents an extension of its hybrid cloud strategy, while for Vodacom, the deal will aim to put them at the forefront of IT solutions across the continent.

“Our new cloud data centre gives customers a local onramp to IBM cloud services, including moving mission critical SAP workloads to the cloud with ease. It also gives customers the added flexibility of keeping data within country, which is a key differentiator for IBM,” said Hamilton Ratshefola, IBM South Africa country general manager. “We’re working to drive cloud adoption that best leverages a customer’s existing IT investments.”

“CIOs are looking to gain efficiencies and cut cost by moving more of their IT infrastructure, application and processes into the cloud,” said Vuyani Jarana, chief officer of Vodacom Business. “Vodacom’s extensive fixed and mobile network infrastructure, Pan-African and global footprint and its investment in data centre infrastructure provides the ideal platform and environment to deliver cloud services to large and multinational enterprises.”

Africa has thus far been something of a barren territory for the major public cloud infrastructure providers; neither Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, nor Google have data centres on the continent as yet. IBM’s move to various new territories from London in July 2014, Canada in August of that year, to Italy in June 2015, shows a cloud operation which shows no sign of slowing down, even with the spectre of job cuts again hanging over the Armonk giant.

IBM’s push to Africa includes global delivery centres in Morocco, South Africa and Egypt, as well as competency centres, research labs, and technology development centres.

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