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By 6 November 2018 | Categories: news

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Huawei’s plans to launch its own public cloud in South Africa were first hinted during its recent Connect 2018 event held last month. Now the company has offered a few more details ahead of the formal launch in Cape Town on the 14th, likely at the forthcoming AfricaCom conference.

Apparently, the move is part of Huawei’s ambition to accelerate its cloud business globally, with its public cloud offering aimed at providing cloud services to all countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Open to all

In an official announcement, the company elaborated that Huawei Cloud is positioned to be an open, cooperative, mutually-beneficial and customer-centric ecosystem that creates value. This, the company explained, is in lieu of the fact that the needs of enterprises in business development have become more complex and diverse, as they need not only to develop new applications on public clouds but also migrate some of their traditional services to public clouds, while continuing to provide support for these services.

Huawei further stressed that Huawei Cloud is, “committed to working with partners to build sustainable partnerships that can lead to an open ecosystem to better meet customers’ needs.”

The next step

The expansion into Southern Africa appears to also be the next step for Huawei’s Cloud offering, with it having previously been launched in Hong Kong, Russia and Thailand, as well as Asia Pacific, and partner public cloud services in Europe and Latin America.

Commenting on Huawei’s globalisation strategy, Deng Tao, the vice president of Huawei Cloud BU said, Huawei Cloud was globalised since its inception because Huawei had been providing its products and technologies in the form of cloud services to partners like Deutsche Telekom (Germany), Orange (France), Telefonica (Spain) and China Telecom.

“Based on Huawei’s 30 years of ICT infrastructure experience and nearly 10 years of continuous R&D in cloud computing technologies, Huawei Cloud can provide a one-stop solution to large enterprises; addressing their challenges in digital and cloud transformation, as well as to small and medium-sized companies that aim to expand their business,” he added.

Benefits to the country

The announcement is also good news for South Africa, as we can expect an exceeding competitive cloud environment in the year ahead, what with Microsoft Azure datacenters slated for Cape Town and Johannesburg, and Amazon Web Services (AWS)’s announcement earlier this month that it will be opening new data centres locally by 2020.

However, Huawei’s strategy appears to be a part of its comprehensive push to enable digitalization, and artificial intelligence (AI) for its customers.

Timing is everything

The question arises: Why enter the South African market now? The company explained that it believes cloud services are essential for the digitisation of economies.  As well, cloud is being viewed as an essential component for a fully connected, intelligent (AI driven) with the stated goal being to democratise digital access for all. In that light, it is perhaps not surprising that its plans were first hinted at during the course of last month’s AI focused conference in China, where the company outlined its AI strategy and what it believes are the ten keys needed to make AI work.

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