Liquid Telecom has announced a partnership with Microsoft through the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider programme. Basically this means Liquid Telecom will now be selling Microsoft cloud solutions directly to customers on behalf of Microsoft.
The target market is therefore clearly enterprise. So it is worth noting how things have changed. For many such customers, Liquid Telecom will essentially is replace the role of the traditional IT department in as far as direct administration of the infrastructure is involved. High level strategic and very low level IT roles however will remain an inhouse requirement especially for large companies.
Techzim understands Liquid Telecom will go live with the Microsoft cloud based services in a few days from now. The rollout will start with South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya and Zimbabwe and then eventually across Liquid Telecom’s entire network footprint on the continent.
Beyond becoming Liquid Telecom’s direct customer for Microsoft cloud based products, enterprise customers can also expect faster delivery of services due to Liquid’s strength in connectivity.
Liquid is positioned to be a key partner for Microsoft because of its expansive terrestrial fibre network and data center it’s building on the continent. About 50,000km now of fibre, the company says in the announcement today, and large data center is South Africa as well as East Africa.
It’s also a great position to be in right now as a lot of companies even on the continent (In Zimbabwe thanks to Liquid’s fibre work the past 5 years) both large and small are using cloud based applications (or at least considering them) because of all the clear advantages. Top of these are data security and ease of access.
Liquid is also in a great position to bundle Microsoft cloud based products with other connectivity products like fibre for business.
If you’re wondering why Liquid has partnered first with Microsoft instead of other cloud services providers like Amazon and Google, the clear reason we see is that Microsoft already has strong presence in many companies; Windows on desktops, Exchange on email servers, Windows Server for identity management and application servers, Microsoft Office for everyday work both on pcs and mobile devices. Amazon and Google on the hand are mostly used new type of companies that are building things on the internet. Microsoft therefore has low-hanging-fruit type products, especially in Africa right now.