Today, Microsoft South Africa makes Office 365 services available from its South African datacentre regions as part of a move to provide best-in-class productivity and collaboration capabilities for customers and partners while meeting data residency, security and compliance needs.
This will provide businesses with the cloud-powered intelligence needed to enable the modern workplace, as well as empower employees with the tools to drive real-time productivity and collaboration from anywhere.
“Office 365 has for years been providing the foundation of digital transformation for South African businesses. Delivering the richest Office experiences from the newly available Microsoft datacentre regions in South Africa is the next step in our journey of partnering with businesses to empower them to do and achieve more, with the security of their data being top of mind,” says Lillian Barnard, Managing Director Microsoft South Africa.
Underpinning these benefits of Office 365 are the robust policies, controls and systems built in to help keep data secure and comply with regulations. Office 365 provides in-country data residency for core customer data, for example, to help customers meet their data residency requirements.
Data privacy and reliability in the Office 365 experience
In-country data residency for core customer data adds additional assurances regarding data privacy and reliability for organisations and enterprises. Core customer data is stored only in their datacentre geography (Geo)—in this case, the cloud datacentres within South Africa. This is particularly important and relevant in industries such as healthcare, financial services and government, where organisations need to keep specific data in-country to comply with local regulations.
Businesses that have already enjoyed the benefits of Office 365 for years need not worry that the experience will change based on the location of the Geo. “The Office 365 experience remains seamless because Microsoft’s continued investments in its global cloud network, global cloud infrastructure, and services architecture help provide users with a singular, consistent experience independent of where their data is stored,” says Barnard.
Customers like Altron and Gauteng Provincial Government have used Office 365 to transform their workplaces, and the latest development will enable them – and other businesses using Office 365 – to ramp up their digital transformation journey.
“Altron is committed to modernising our infrastructure and embracing a strategy to become a cloud-first company to better serve our customers and empower our employees through modern collaboration,” says Debra Marais, Lead: IT Shared Services at Altron. “We’ve noticed a tangible difference since making the move to Office 365.”
Gauteng Provincial Government is seeing the difference too. “Office 365 is driving our modernisation journey of Government ICT infrastructure and services by allowing us to develop pioneering solutions at manageable costs and create overall improvements in operations management, all while improving transparency and accountability,” says David Kramer, Deputy Director General: ICT at Gauteng Provincial Government.
Also, in the pipeline to empower businesses in their transformation journey is the introduction of the next generation of intelligent business applications and tools – Dynamics 365 and Power Platform – which are anticipated to be available in the fourth quarter of 2019.
The general availability of Office 365 is another step in Microsoft’s investment to enable digital transformation, and create sustained societal impact, in Africa.
“We are committed to accelerating digital transformation across the continent and we have seen already seen a tangible difference since we opened Africa’s first hyper-scale datacentres in South Africa earlier this year – combined with the first Africa Development Centre (ADC) in Lagos and Nairobi, which allow us to listen to our customers and partners, we are now able to develop locally and scale for global impact better than ever before,” concludes Barnard.