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Microsoft partners experience cloud rush in SA

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Lionel Moyal, commercial partner lead at Microsoft SA.
Lionel Moyal, commercial partner lead at Microsoft SA.

Local innovation in the partner ecosystem is showing great results, locally and abroad.

This was highlighted at the Microsoft South Africa Partner Awards 2019, held this week in Johannesburg.

The landing of two Azure data centre regions in the country earlier this year triggered much movement in the local market for cloud.

“The past financial year has been a great year, filled with exciting announcements and new innovations coming to market,” said Lionel Moyal, commercial partners lead at Microsoft SA.

“There’s big demand for cloud services in South Africa. It’s been only six months but already we’ve seen customers moving to the cloud at a rate beyond our expectations. It’s been a real game-changer.

“We've moved from early adoption to the mainstream; it's a cloud rush actually. There's more demand than our partner ecosystem can cope with, which is why we're driving so much on the skills,” he said.

Digital transformation represents a significant opportunity, especially on the African continent, Moyal noted, adding the company will continue to invest in and grow services in the local data centres.

The awards evening was themed around stars and astronomy, with each award-winner receiving their own glass star trophy and having a star named after the company. With awards being given in 24 categories, the evening culminated with the Managing Director’s Partner of the Year Award being handed to Accenture.

Moyal attributed Accenture’s success to its ability to help large customers transform at scale, as well as transforming its own operations.

“It’s a company that’s pivoted the entire business from being a traditional consultancy to having a big focus around Microsoft, and building an entire division focused on that, as well as hiring some great talent from the industry.”

He added that Accenture has adopted the culture of collaborating and co-selling with Microsoft. “And working with us to envisage what is possible; the art of the possible inside customers.”

Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Willie Schoeman, MD of technology at Accenture Africa, said: “We strongly believe Microsoft is going to be one of the, if not the, most important ecosystem partners globally and certainly here in South Africa. We’re going to see hyper-growth in most of the Microsoft technologies over the next 18 to 24 months.

“On the back of the hyperscale data centres that Microsoft has launched, it’s going to expedite the movement to these technologies. If we look at the vibrancy of the ecosystem here tonight, it’s alive and kicking.”

Accenture was the only global systems integrator to have won an award, but Schoeman said this is a good reflection on the state of the South African partner ecosystem.

“In this country, innovation is going to be the thing that sets us aside. Microsoft is incubating innovation and is well poised to make the most of these responsibilities and opportunities around innovation, as we’ve seen from these successful smaller partners here today.”

Award-winners

Competency Awards

Modern Workplace Partner of the Year – Altron Karabina
Cloud Platform Partner of the Year – BUI
Software Asset Management Partner of the Year – Vantage Systems SA
Data and Analytics Partner of the Year – Altron Karabina
Artificial Intelligence Partner of the Year – Mint Group
Security Partner of the Year – BUI
Application Development Innovation Partner of the Year – Tangent Solutions
Cloud CRM Partner of the Year – Mint Group
Business Applications ERP Partner of the Year – Altron Karabina

Business Awards

Consumer and Retail Partner of the Year – Tarsus Technology Group
Retail Partner of the Year – Makro
OEM Partner of the Year – Mustek
Licensing Solution Provider of the Year – First Technology
Top CSP Indirect Provider of the Year   – Tarsus on Demand
Top CSP Reseller of the Year – First Technology
Open Source Partner of the Year – Tangent Solutions
Services Partner of the Year – BUI
Industry Vertical Solution Partner of the Year – Nebula

Strategic Awards

IP Co-Sell Impact Partner of the Year – Citrix
Best Go To Market Execution Partner of the Year – Mint Group
Azure Consumed Revenue Partner of the Year – BUI
Top Customer Adds Partner of the Year – Ascent Technology
ISV Partner of the Year – IoT.nxt
Emerging Partner of the Year – Phulukisa Health Solutions

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