Following the announcement of Microsoft’s Azure data centres going live locally, service provider Liquid Telecom has confirmed that it will be utilising its own pan-African infrastructure in order to make the Azure stack available to customers in other parts of the continent.

The network which spans an estimated 70 000 kilometres will give Liquid Telecom’s data centres connectivity to Azure, bringing with it access to the hybrid cloud-based solutions that are on offer.

Added to this is the fact that Liquid Telecom is a Microsoft Tier I and Tier II Cloud Solution Provider, along with a private, high performance CloudConnect via Microsoft ExpressRoute, and expert cloud enablement services.

This combination, the company points out will allow their customers to accelerate their cloud deployment and achieve faster time to value.

“This scale-out of the Microsoft cloud-based architecture offers customers across the African continent greater opportunities for agility, security, and compliance. It also offers increased efficiencies and improved performance for business and public sector organisations operating in Africa, but also multi-nationals with a presence in Africa,” explained the firm in a press statement.

Liquid Telecom is particularly excited for what this latest announcement will mean for SMEs and larger enterprises, with access to a local data residency also offering lower latency, better compliance and reliability, according to the company.

Currently the Liquid Telecom infrastructure will provide access to five countries on the continent – South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda. They also add that other regions in Africa and the Middle East will get access in the coming year.

“This availability of Microsoft Azure, delivered from cloud regions in South Africa, answers the call from customers across Africa for a truly modern and hybrid cloud,” noted Dean Erasmus, Azure business lead for Africa at Microsoft.

“It enables customers across the continent to simplify IT implementation and reap the benefits associated with cloud operating models, either hosted or delivered on-premise. Liquid Telecom is a trusted partner of Microsoft with the breadth of their fibre network, data centre infrastructure, market reach and expertise to enable customers to realise their business objectives more quickly and effectively,” he concluded.