IBM has opened its first cloud data centre in South Africa. The Johannesburg-based facility runs on Vodacom’s network and leverages Gijima’s SAP resources to run and manage SAP workloads for customers across Africa.
The establishment of a local cloud data centre will resolve data latency and in-country regulatory issues and could also offset data networking costs. Gijima and Vodacom will both resell IBM’s cloud managed services to the SAP enterprise customer base in the region.
The IBM cloud data centre will provide SAP enterprise customers in South Africa and Africa with access to IBM’s global network of Cloud Data Centers and services expertise. This will enable businesses to run critical applications on the cloud, providing access to a broad array of services for building in-country cloud solutions, while offering faster network speeds to improve performance and reach end users faster.
“Gijima believes that the timing for the introduction of the managed cloud service offering on South African soil is opportune as the industry readies itself to respond to local enterprise requirements in accelerating their digitalization strategies,” comments Gijima CEO Eileen Wilton.
Gijima recently concluded a multi-year turnaround strategy and the announcement of the IBM cloud offering is the first of a number of new announcements the company will be making this year, Wilton adds.
Through Gijima’s multiple core competencies housed internally and based on the standardised cloud solution from IBM, the company will offer its clients a full “journey to the cloud” including modernisation and migration of applications, she adds. “In fact, Gijima hasĀ  already embarked on this journey, having moved about 3,5-million mailboxes to the Microsoft 365 cloud platform, and migrated several clients to the SAP HANA platform.”
Part of the service Gijima offers is an evaluation of what applications can and should be moved, and which shouldn’t, and the ability to manage and maintain a hybrid cloud environment until such applications reach end of life.
“Our business is built around the transition to cloud and offers support for bi-modal IT – our expertise and experience with long-running systems, such as our IBM PaaS for SAP is testament to this strength and capability and we have and continue to invest in technologies that enable rapid deployment, such as Microsoft 365, IBM BlueMix, and others,” Wilton explains.
“With a track record that spans over eight years, Gijima not only possesses extensive experience in facilitating the transition to cloud but also a wide portfolio of service offerings ranging from a systems of record cloud managed services to innovative and flexible solutions aligned to a digital business strategy including such themes as process automation, big data, Internet of Things, mobility and social.”
Hamilton Ratshefola, IBM country GM in South Africa, comments: “We’re working to drive cloud adoption that best leverages a customer’s existing IT investments.
“Our new Cloud Data Center 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.”
Vuyani Jarana, chief officer of Vodacom Business, adds: “The increase of enterprise cloud computing on the continent is being driven by large enterprise and multinational organisations expanding their presence and IT requirements across Africa.
“CIO’s are looking to gain efficiencies and cut cost by moving more of their IT infrastructure, applications and processes into the cloud. Vodacom’s extensive fixed and mobile network infrastructure, pan-African and global footprint and its investment in data center infrastructure provides the ideal platform and environment to deliver cloud services to large and multinational enterprises.”
Gijima believes that the IBM Cloud point of delivery (POD) centre will provide the infrastructure that will underpin many ICT systems in the future, Wilton adds. “The platform provided by the IBM cloud POD will also serve as a base for Gijima to migrate its clients and, most importantly, their applications into a private, public or hybrid cloud infrastructure, providing a flexible model to cater to their business needs.
“Gijima will benefit from IBM’s expertise in providing certified SAP service, hosting, cloud and management of applications for over 30 years and bring deep industry and technology experience. This will allow customers to deploy SAP service across global geographies in an efficient and secure manner.
“This point of delivery centre will offer Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and SAP-certified- platform as a service (Paas) to enterprise customers across South Africa and the African continent.”