Oracle this week opened its Johannesburg-based datacentre, its first cloud region in Africa, and according to its regional MD, this is part of an aggressive expansion strategy and one of the fastest of any major cloud provider.
The company made headlines yesterday after announcing its Oracle Cloud Johannesburg Region, and said it would boost cloud adoption across Africa “while also helping businesses achieve better performance and drive continuous innovation.”
The Johannesburg region is built on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), which, according to Oracle, enables customers to easily migrate IT workloads and data platforms to the cloud or build new cloud native applications.
Cherian Varghese, Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Oracle, said OCI’s next-generation architecture “provides a high-performing, resilient foundation for cloud services” and that its physical and virtual network design enables the fast provisioning and on-demand consumption of over 80 cloud services.
Asked if the company was concerned that COVID-19 has delayed its cloud expansion plans announced in 2019, Varghese said: “We’re aggressively expanding our cloud regions by putting datacentres where customers need them, so they have easy access to their data and the cloud technology. Today’s opening of our cloud region in Africa marks Oracle’s 37th cloud region worldwide with plans to have at least 44 cloud regions by the end of 2022, continuing one of the fastest expansions of any major cloud provider.”
Oracle stated that the OCI enables customers to easily migrate IT workloads and data platforms to the cloud or build new cloud native applications.
“In addition, Oracle offers a wide range of application modernisation and cloud strategies to help African organisations operate with global competitiveness,” the company added.
Varghese told ITWeb Africa that Oracle’s strategy is to meet customers where they are, enabling customers to keep data and services where they need it. It looks to compete with vendors on the availability and range of SaaS and IaaS cloud services.
“Our strategy is based on the idea that the cloud should be engineered to support every app, rather than forcing customers to re-engineer their applications to work with the cloud. To do this, we had to build a different cloud. Unlike any other Cloud vendor, Oracle offers a complete range of Software as a Service (SaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud service,” he said.
Varghese continued, “In South Africa, and wider Africa we see similar urgency to drive transformation, need for more business agility, cost reduction and data security, as in other global markets. Therefore, we have built a data region in South Africa with the exact same characteristics as any other data region that we build around the world, as we are trying to address similar problems.”
According to Oracle, the IDC estimates that Public Cloud services adoption is accelerating at CAGR of 25% year-on-year between 2020 and 2025 in Sub-Saharan Africa and the market analysis and research firm projects that the growth momentum will continue.
Varghese added: “Cloud-based technologies have helped organisations weather the COVID-19 crisis and cloud is now helping them build resilient organisations that can withstand uncertainties.”
He said that IDC’s survey of CIOs in South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria highlights that an in-country datacentre is an important factor for sixty percent of organisations that are planning to adopt cloud over the next 12-18 months.”
Richard Smith, executive vice president, EMEA, Oracle, added: “The fourth industrial revolution, which is powered by cloud-led technologies, has significantly accelerated in South Africa and the wider African continent. In recent months, cloud technologies have played a vital role in helping African public and private sector organisations ensure business continuity, deliver essential services, and meet evolving customer expectations.”