South Africa's MTN has announced its business arm is to partner with Microsoft for the launch of a pan-African cloud platform, providing customers with a hybrid cloud solution serviced from MTN's data centres.
The platform is powered by Microsoft's technology and is built on MTN's Multi-Protocol Label Switching network which has 23 points of presence across the globe - a combination the partners say will ensure lower latency and better response times.
MTN Business's customers will be given access to a self-service management portal which is powered by Microsoft Azure Pack; while the platform is run off enterprise-grade infrastructure, which the partners say will provide customers with increased flexibility and agility.
"We have undertaken a strategic journey that has prepared us to become a formidable and a key player in the ICT space," said Alpheus Mangale, Chief Enterprise Officer for MTN Business SA.
"We have developed tailored and bespoke solutions that cater to the requirements of our corporates, SMEs, multinationals and public sector customers across our footprint in Africa and the Middle East," he said.
"We are excited to be embarking on this journey with Microsoft to offer this cutting edge solution to our customers. The partnership between MTN and Microsoft will deliver a combination of strengths and capabilities that will enable our clients to harness a world class hybrid cloud solution."
The offering will provide corporates and the public sector with a platform to build and run mission critical applications for their end users, develop and host new applications for their own customers, as well as use the platform as a disaster recovery site.
"Microsoft is pleased to have worked with MTN on these solutions that will provide MTN's customers with additional choice when it comes to their cloud journey. We value partnerships like these, as they play a big part in Microsoft being the only vendor positioned as a leader in Gartner's Magic Quadrants for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, Application Platform as a Service, and Cloud Storage Services for the second consecutive year," said Zoaib Hoosen, Microsoft South Africa managing director.
MTN said it will roll out the Azure ExpressRoute offering by the end of the third quarter of the year which it said will provide a more reliable, secure and faster connection to the Microsoft Azure data centres than going through a public internet connection.