Microsoft has officially launched two Azure cloud data centres in South Africa, in Cape Town and Johannesburg, which is a gamechanger for Azure resellers, who can now offer enterprise-grade reliability and performance with local data residency.

First Distribution, African distributor of public and private cloud solutions, has long urged Azure resellers to prepare for the Microsoft South Africa Datacentre launch.

“It has been Microsoft’s experience that local data centre infrastructure supports and stimulates economic development for both customers and partners alike,” says Natasha Bezuidenhout, Microsoft Brand Executive at First Distribution.

“Local data centres take the benefits of the Cloud a step further, bolstering the technology ecosystem that supports local innovation and business, and offering enterprise-grade reliability and performance with local data residency, which is important for African companies.”

According to Bezuidenhout, the launch of local Microsoft Datacentres provides Azure customers – and potential customers – with trusted Cloud services that will help them meet local compliance and policy requirements, such as the Protection of Personal Information (PoPI) Act. It is important for resellers to take this into consideration, as well as other benefits that Azure customers can now leverage.

“The replication of data by Microsoft in multiple data centres across South Africa gives Azure customers reliable protection for business continuity, in both pure and hybrid scenarios,” says Bezuidenhout.

“This is a valuable conversation that resellers should be having with their customers now – particularly business owners that haven’t yet embraced a digital transformation because they were not comfortable with the idea of their data being stored outside of South Africa’s borders.”

According to Microsoft, the new facilities will provide highly available, scalable and secure cloud services across Africa, with the option of data residency in South Africa. The initial launch will enable Azure compute services, with future plans to also enable Office 365 and Dynamics 365 on the local nodes.

With 54 Azure regions and availability in 140 countries, Azure has more global regions than any other Cloud provider—offering the scale needed to bring applications closer to users around the world, preserving data residency, and offering comprehensive compliance and resiliency options for customers. The network comprises 100 highly secure facilities worldwide, linked by one of the largest networks on earth.

The value proposition of the new Datacentres in South Africa is simple: Customers can achieve the global reach and local presence they need. Microsoft’s Cloud is scalable, trusted, and reliable – and now local.

Go Inside Microsoft Azure 2019 an EXCLUSIVE White Paper and nine-part Video Mini Series: Revealed – Nine reasons why South African businesses are migrating to the Azure Cloud. PLUS: A practical guide to migrating your business to Azure.