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Vodacom targets 2023 to execute ‘all-in’ AWS strategy

Samuel Mungadze
By Samuel Mungadze, Africa editor
Johannesburg, 07 May 2020
Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub.
Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub.

Vodacom has hailed the launch of data centres in SA by Amazon Web Services (AWS), saying the move will enable the telco to deliver improved business, cloud and other solutions to clients.

Last month, AWS announced the opening of the AWS Africa data centre (Cape Town) Region, and with this launch, AWS now spans 73 Availability Zones within 23 geographic regions around the world.

The opening of the AWS data centre in Cape Town comes amid a hive of activity in SA’s cloud computing space.

Vodacom, which is an AWS advanced consulting partner, says it selected AWS as its primary cloud provider and is migrating the core of its information services landscape, including over 4 000 workloads, to AWS Cloud.

It says as a result, it will be able to increase the automation of services and business processes, as well as drive greater agility and innovation.

According to the telco, the partnership has far-reaching benefits for Vodacom Business clients from a service offering perspective.

It says the most notable benefit is the way in which these services can help boost digital transformation and cloud adoption strategies for organisations of all sizes, with ease of access to services such as big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

“This enables businesses to now have a global reach through the AWS global footprint,” says Vodacom.

Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group CEO, says: “Naturally, we are very pleased that they have made the decision to invest in the South African market, as well as the broader African market, by opening these data centres in Cape Town.

“The most exciting aspect of this is the integration of AWS into the Vodacom Network, which will allow our clients to take advantage of the benefits of both offerings, and use them to transform their businesses into digitally-enabled, tech-first companies.”

Vodacom says it chose AWS as its partner because SA’s leading telco has in recent years taken the decision to expand its focus beyond telecommunications and become a technology service provider.

“Part of this process requires that Vodacom’s own internal processes and infrastructure are as modern and digitally capable as possible, so that the company can provide the highest levels of service to clients,” it says.

Vodacom is one of the leading African communications companies, providing a wide range of services, including mobile, voice, messaging, financial and converged services to millions of customers across the continent.

“The launch of the AWS Africa (Cape Town) Region will enable us to fully leverage AWS’s capabilities to execute an all-in strategy by 2023. In addition, the launch of the AWS region will allow us to deliver integrated solutions, such as our Internet of things (IOT) offerings, expanding our customer value propositions and drive new revenue streams,” explains Joosub.

“We have also created the Vodacom AWS Cloud Centre of Excellence to help small and medium businesses, enterprise, as well as public sector clients migrate to AWS Cloud.

“This will ensure Vodacom Business’s clients accelerate adoption and benefit from next-generation technologies, including 5G, AI, blockchain, mobile edge, IOT, robotics and mobile applications. The Vodacom AWS Cloud Centre of Excellence will also support Vodacom’s own internal migration to the cloud and will enable employee upskilling through the in-house AWS technical training and certification programmes.”

Systems integrator Dimension Data has also put its weight behind the local availability of the AWS data centre region.

SA is this year expected to see a cloud “land grab” as more multinational companies open their data centre facilities locally.

US-based software giant Microsoft last year opened two data centre regions in SA, becoming the first global provider to deliver cloud services from data centres on the African continent.

In March 2019, Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei started offering its cloud services in SA. It is leasing a data centre in Johannesburg from a partner, from where it is deploying localised public cloud services based on local industry policies, customer requirements and partner conditions.

US-based enterprise software company Oracle in September last year also announced plans to launch data centres in SA.