Kathy Gibson is at Dell Technologies Forum in Sandton – A number of hyperscale cloud providers have opened data centres in South Africa, and the journey to the cloud is on.

That is the word from Doug Woolley, GM: South Africa at Dell EMC, announcing that Microsoft and VMware will collaborate on hybrid cloud and multi-cloud operations.

Lillian Barnard, MD of Microsoft South Africa, explains that Microsoft is the first major public cloud provider on the continent, making almost unlimited storage and compute capacity available.

“The increased utilisation of public cloud plus additional investments in private and hybrid cloud, will allow business to focus on innovation,” she says.

The advent of public cloud is good news for South African businesses, Barnard adds. “Microsoft is giving businesses the ability to generate net new revenues to the tune of R80-billion.

“At the same time, we will have the opportunity to generate 112 000 jobs. This is hugely encouraging.”

With the Microsoft Azure data centre, the organisation helps to empower customers on their digital transformation journeys. “It is about giving them choice, ensuring we drive flexibility,” Barnard says.

Partnership with VMware enables a wider range of options for customers. “We want to help our mutual customers with integrated cloud flexibility, driving workplace solutions, meeting evolving needs and tapping into the technologies we offer.”

Lorna Hardie, regional director: sub-Saharan Africa at VMware, agrees that cloud opens up opportunities for customers in South Africa.

“This is collaboration for the greater good of customers, of the economy, and of the country,” she says.

“If we want to drive the economy forward, we have to embrace digital transformation. From VMware, we focus on driving and delivering a digital foundation, which is executable and which the South African economy can take advantage of.

“With this partnership, we are able to work together to harness private cloud, private cloud and the edge; with services and offerings that are commercially viable for our customers.”