By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb Senior Journalist

Microsoft South Africa has expanded its cloud services in its Johannesburg and Cape Town-based Azure data centres, to accelerate cloud adoption and help businesses drive growth.

The US multinational technology corporation has now made the Dynamics 365 and Power Platformavailable in its data centres, in efforts to increase cloud capacity and capabilities, to enable African organisations in the public and private sectors to accelerate their digital strategies.

Microsoft, which opened its South African cloud region in 2019, says the new expansion is underpinned by ongoing investments in Microsoft Business Applications on the continent and specifically in SA, to ensure the data centres offer businesses a variety of services to help drive digital transformation in Africa’s digital economy.

Since the launch of the data centre region, the company says it doubled the sales of its Azure products every year for the first two years and continued to see significant growth over the last year.

The latest expansion, notes the company, will enable the hyperscale data centre locations within SA to now provide Azure, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365 and Power Platform online services, to support organisations as they reimagine ways of doing business to adapt to the rapid pace of change in today’s digital economy.

“Microsoft’s ongoing investment in local infrastructure and the expansion of cloud services in South Africa is helping build the capability and improve operational efficiencies of organisations of all sizes across sectors,” says Karin Jones, director of business applications GTM at Microsoft South Africa.

“Leaders in organisations across industries and sectors are focused on finding ways to improve the flow of innovation and knowledge across the business in order to respond to market changes, customer needs and specific business and industry challenges at speed.”

The new services come after Microsoft in April completed the expansion of its Cape Town data centre, to increase efficiency in the facility, amid increased demand for Azure products.

“Ongoing investment to increase capacity and meet customer demand for dedicated disaster recovery necessitated the expansion of our Cape Town data centre region earlier this year,” says Johannes Kanis, director of the Azure Core Business at Microsoft South Africa.

“In the near future, we are bringing Azure Cognitive Search, Azure Machine Learning and Synapse Workspace to the Cape Town data centre region.”

Having these cloud services delivered from SA additionally means local companies can securely and reliably move their businesses to the cloud, while maintaining data residency and sovereignty and meeting compliance and regulatory requirements, he adds.

Combined with the opening of Azure Availability Zones in 2021, the services are further supported by the low latency, resiliency and high availability of business-critical applications and data that comes with in-region data centres, notes Microsoft.

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