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Vodacom Business scales up cloud capability


South African corporates shifting to cloud computing to counter tough economic times are offered more certainty of significant investment and large scale resourcing availability to the local market thanks to Vodacom Business.
Preparing for the increase in uptake in the local market, the company has assembled an array of cloud capablities including SAP certification, the continent’s largest SAP Hana cloud environment and most recently IBM’s cloud point of delivery centre linking it to a global network of 42 cloud data centres.
According to Vuyani Jarana, chief executive of Vodacom Business: “The climate and demand for cloud in South Africa has seen a dramatic transformation over the past year. This is due to digitisation as well as a challenging economic climate.”
With big data, enterprises are realising the need and importance of cloud computing capacity. Previously, they would host their data in internationally hosted clouds. However, this can prove to be a very costly exercise in light of the current forex volatility. Coupled with limited skills to manage enterprise grade cloud computing platforms in most local enterprises, this means they are increasingly turning to local cloud providers like Vodacom to take additional workloads.
“With extensive investment in data centre and cloud computing infrastructure, our strategic alliances with similar credible and forward thinking partners like IBM, Vodacom has become the natural partner for enterprises as they migrate to cloud computing.”
According to a new study entitled “SA Data Centre and Cloud Services” from BMI-TechKnowledge (BMI-T), cloud computing initiatives are seeing rapid acceleration in the local market. BMI-T analyst Clinton Jacobs says “Cost control is still key in the current economic environment. Companies expect their ICT providers to come to the party to help them manage costs. They expect to spend the same or less on IT, but gain more value, and improve reliability.”
In just less than three years Vodacom Business has become a full-fledged and well established cloud managed solutions provider. Vodacom’s extensive network reach and capacity and its investment in data centre facilities provides the ideal platform and environment to deliver enterprise cloud solutions.
Jarana adds: “The partnership we brokered with IBM extends our very mature SAP certification and  SAP capabilities to both a regional and global  level. We’ve built on our already established cloud capability and are now ideally positioned to offer industrial scale cloud computing capability to very large enterprises and multinationals.”
Vodacom Business’ cloud journey has gained momentum with the opening of its industrial-scale state-of-the art Data Park in 2014. This was followed by its SAP certification in 2015 and an investment into its SAP Hana cloud environment which it uses to currently support four customers.
In March this year, Vodacom announced that it would co-invest in an industrial-scale cloud managed services delivery centre for Africa, operating out of its Midrand and Roslyn data centres. The first IBM cloud centre to be rolled out in the Middle East and Africa region, and the first facility in the South African market to provide infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and SAP certified platform-as-a-service (PaaS), the centre enables corporates to fully outsource their business process management. This is not limited to just SAP environments but includes other platforms such as Oracle.
“Not only will pressure on the economy drive business to find cost cutting iniatives. But big data and digitisation will drive a need for cloud at an entirely new level, which will enable CIOs and CEOs to leverage a large scale of benefit when compared against the investment,” concludes Jarana.
According to BMI-TechKnowledge (BMI-T) cloud services are likely to grow from R2,6-billion in 2015 to R6,4-billion by 2020.