Liquid Telecom expands Microsoft Azure to entire pan-African network
14 March 2019 | Jason McGee-Abe
Liquid Telecom has made Microsoft Azure across its 70,000km pan-African network, stretching via a direct terrestrial high-speed fibre link across the continent.
Liquid Telecom, a Microsoft Gold Partner, brings cloud-optimised connectivity offering the benefits of low latency, high capacity and resiliency to businesses across Africa. With the availability of Microsoft’s Azure regions in South Africa and using local Microsoft Azure Stack deployments in Liquid Telecom’s African data centres connected via Microsoft ExpressRoute, customers are able to access a hybrid cloud solution residing within the African continent.
“We are delighted by the launch of Microsoft’s cloud regions in Africa, and by extending the reach of Microsoft Azure to an increasing number of countries and customers, Liquid Telecom is helping Africa realise its digital future,” said Nic Rudnick, Group CEO of Liquid Telecom.
“We offer customers a single, unified solution for their Microsoft Azure strategy. This is underpinned by an unrivalled fibre network, strategically located data centres, a hybrid cloud architecture covering Azure and the Azure Stack and an ExpressRoute connection to maximise the benefits of the cloud. Together, Microsoft and Liquid Telecom are creating a modern business foundation for customers in Africa – one that inspires innovation, cloud-paced change, compliance and business growth.”
The scale-out of the Microsoft cloud-based architecture offers customers across the African continent greater opportunities for agility, security, and compliance. It also offers increased efficiencies and improved performance for business and public sector organisations operating in Africa, but also multi-nationals with a presence in Africa.
As a result of the availability of the new Azure cloud regions, SMEs, enterprises, public sector organisations and multi-nationals with a presence in Africa will have access to globally available services with local data residency and the benefits of low latency, high local capacity built upon Microsoft’s trusted cloud principles of security, privacy, compliance, transparency and reliability.
A private, high-performance CloudConnect via Microsoft ExpressRoute, together with Liquid Telecom’s expert cloud enablement services, will also enable customers to accelerate their cloud deployment and achieve faster time to value.
“This availability of Microsoft Azure, delivered from cloud regions in South Africa, answers the call from customers across Africa for a truly modern and hybrid cloud,” added Dean Erasmus, Azure business lead for Africa at Microsoft.
“It enables customers across the continent to simplify IT implementation and reap the benefits associated with cloud operating models, either hosted or delivered on-premise. Liquid Telecom is a trusted partner of Microsoft with the breadth of its fibre network, data centre infrastructure, market reach and expertise to enable customers to realise their business objectives more quickly and effectively.”
Microsoft ExpressRoute, part of Liquid Telecom’s CloudConnect offering, allows customers to establish flexible, private connections to Azure for better performance, tighter security and lower latency. Liquid Telecom is providing ExpressRoute service across eight African countries on its own fibre. CloudConnect also delivers additional direct connection products to other global and local African providers, facilitating flexible hybrid cloud solutions.
Liquid Telecom confirmed its ecosystem will offer Microsoft Azure Stack hybrid cloud services in five countries in Africa – South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, and Rwanda – with more regions scheduled to go live later including the Middle East, North and West Africa.
The news comes after Liquid Telecom announced the appointment of a CEO for its Ugandan business.
Other Liquid Telecom appointments over the past year include:
- Susan M’kandawire Mulikita named CEO of Liquid Telecom Zambia;
- Mohamed Abdel Bassit was appointed as new regional CEO for the Middle East and West Africa (MEWA);
- Adil Youssefi as new regional CEO of East Africa, overseeing five key markets in the region: Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia;
- Wellington Makamure as new regional CEO of Southern Africa. He is directly responsible for the leadership, strategic and operational management of Liquid Telecom’s wholesale, enterprise and retail businesses throughout Zimbabwe, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Botswana;
- Stephane Duproz as the new chief operating officer of Africa Data Centres (ADC); and
- Reshaad Sha as CEO of Liquid Telecom South Africa.
2018 was a very busy year for Liquid Telecom, which was named Best African Carrier at the Global Carrier Awards in October. Some key stories in the year saw the company:
- Announce plans to invest $400 million in a partnership with Telecom Egypt to build data centres and fibre infrastructure in Egypt;
- Complete the Cape-to-Cairo fibre network, which will see Zambia connected to the One Africa fibre network;
- Secure $180 million of equity investment from UK financial development firm CDC Group; and
- Partner with China Telecom Global for Asia and Africa services.