Joint Venture formed to ensure South African businesses seamlessly migrate to the cloud
SUSE, Microsoft, Mint & SAB&T join forces to help businesses do more with less
Blog by Matthew Lee, Cloud and Strategic Alliances Manager at SUSE
I am very pleased today, as SUSE, Microsoft South Africa, Mint and SAB&T have entered into a local joint venture designed to assist organisations across industry sectors in migrating their SAP workloads to Azure given the imminent arrival of two Microsoft data centres in Africa.
SUSE will be providing the SAP-optimised Linux operating system tuned for Azure with Microsoft the cloud infrastructure provider. Mint will deliver the required Azure expertise and SAB&T will offer the SAP partner skills to support companies with the transition.
This joint venture is significant as it shows companies that the local tools, processes, programmes, and skills are in place for a successful SAP migration when the local Microsoft data centres go live. This partnership between these four experts in their field will provide the comfort levels needed when it comes to running SAP in the cloud – something South African businesses are looking for.
For Carel du Toit, CEO of the Mint Group, this partnership reflects a growing trend to deliver customer value propositions that transform their computing, storage, and communication into utilities that are easily available through cloud resources on an as-needed basis. “Opportunities exist for organisations to look at operationalising their current environments, driving down running costs, and aligning their operational cost model with the actual utilisation requirement for their solutions. Azure is a compelling hosting option for customers who are also making use of Office365 – since their SAP and Office environments would essentially be hosted in the same Azure Regions – enabling deep integration between the systems for workflow and reporting,” he says.
According to Riedwaan Bassadien, Azure Open Source Lead at Microsoft SA, cloud migrations are becoming popular with many organisations as they look to downsize their data centre footprint. “This is an opportunity for IT solution providers in the local ecosystem to help customers move to the cloud and for software vendors and start-ups to deliver cloud native solutions to Africa and the world stage. With the advent of Azure data centre regions in SA, it is seen as a big enabler.”
Tinus Brink, Director of Consulting at SAB&T feels part of this migration entails putting the skills in place to deliver an integrated offering to customers that have decided to enhance their SAP environments for a digital world. “The cloud offers numerous opportunities to deliver enhanced business value. This joint venture is designed to provide a comprehensive and professional offering that removes the challenges of migrating to the cloud, so businesses can remain focused on delivering their strategic objectives,” says Brink.
Given the infrastructure challenges that still exist in Africa, the cloud provides a viable alternative that addresses many business continuity concerns. I believe that leveraging the respective skills of our four organisations will create an enabling environment for companies to easily and cost-effectively move to the Azure-based data centres.
With mission-critical systems such as those delivered through SAP environments, companies do not have the luxury of down-time or losing data. Our joint venture is designed to deliver the best value possible and make the cloud journey an empowering one for business.
According to du Toit, a successful SAP on Azure cloud migration requires a solid partner in terms of the cloud infrastructure, an expert on deploying and configuring SAP, and a reliable and cost-effective operating system to use as a platform between these worlds. “By combining the efforts of Mint (as a Microsoft Cloud Gold Partner), SAB&T (as one of the de facto names in SAP knowledge and training in the South African market), and SUSE’s cost effective, performant, resilient, specially-tailored SAP workloads, we give customers a no-compromise value proposition which covers all the bases,” he says.
Bassadien from Microsoft agrees. “I believe that each party in the joint venture brings something special to the market. It speaks of depth of expertise and high levels of trust between each party as well as trust that our joint customers can rely on. Experienced CIOs and business decision-makers know that there is no one organisation that can give you everything. What we have tried to do here is to bring together a dream team of sorts, for the benefit of our joint customers.”