Microsoft announced last year that it will deliver cloud services from data centres in Johannesburg and Cape Town in 2018.
Services offered will include Microsoft Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics 365.
Speaking at the Microsoft Tech Summit in Cape Town, Azure Marketing General Manager Victoria Grady said South Africa must prepare for the launch of Azure data centres.
Grady said there is no reason for potential cloud customers to wait before familiarising themselves with cloud solutions, and they should be prepared to take advantage of Azure’s features as soon as the platform launches.
Microsoft has not stated who it will partner with for the local data centres, but an industry source previously told MyBroadband that two data centre players will be involved – a different one for each city.
The launch of the local data centres will allow for the adoption of latency-dependent cloud-based applications in South Africa.
Microsoft’s reach currently covers 42 regions, and its coverage includes at least two physical data centre locations to account for disaster recovery.
Microsoft also stated it plans to launch a preview programme ahead of the live Azure launch in South Africa to assist customers in adopting the technology.
The company confirmed the Azure preview programme will be available to the public.
Grady said that hybrid cloud implementations, education, and cost-effective plans were crucial to the successful on-boarding of potential Azure customers.
Many South African organisations run on legacy systems which can be difficult to directly move to a cloud-based environment if approached incorrectly.
Grady said services such as partnered digital advisers, cloud cost management, and Azure Stack deployments can be used to improve the efficiency of moving legacy systems to fully cloud-based systems.
Microsoft did not confirm a launch date for Azure data centres in South Africa, but said they would be deployed in 2018.