Yesterday the Sandton Convention Centre played host to Dell’s annual Technologies Forum, where the firm unpacked the significant moment that the South African ICT landscape is set to experience, as more organisations look to the cloud to drive their digital transformation.

This discussion came to the fore particularly when Dell Technologies SA GM, Doug Woolley, invited executives from two traditional IT competitors onto stage to announce a new partnership. The execs in question were Microsoft SA MD, Liallian Barnard, and VMware regional director, Lorna Hardie.

The pair confirmed what was announced at Dell Technologies World in April, with VMWare a available as part of the Microsoft Azure platform, and now being made ready for local businesses to take advantage of.

The promise of what’s to come

The collaborative partnership is set to bring a native, supported and certified VMware experience onto Microsoft’s Azure hyperscale cloud platform, Woolley confirmed, with Barnard and Hardie explaining what the partnership will deliver for local customers and the ICT sector in general in coming months and years.

Barnard notes that the partnership will help ensure a hyperscale infrastructure will power emerging cloud, AI and edge computing innovations.

“We’re making unlimited storage and compute power available to our customers. Increased utilisation of public cloud services, combined with additional investments in private and hybrid cloud, will allow businesses in our country to focus on innovation and make sure we build digital businesses at scale,” she adds.

Barnard also highlighted an IDC study which Microsoft commissioned, finding that investments into hyperscale infrastructure could generate R81 billion locally, and the opportunity within this ecosystem up to 112 000 jobs. If true, it could vitally significant for the country, where skills and unemployment are two critical issues in need of addressing.

Local solutions for local needs

Hardie echoed her counterparts sentiments, adding that the partnership will hold for local businesses, particularly because local solutions are being tailored to match the unique requirements stemming from a tough economic landscape, she says.

“This is a collaboration in the real sense of the term. It’s for the greater good of the customers, economy and country. To make it real – if we want to drive the economy forward –  we need to embrace and harness the digital economy. The collaboration between Microsoft and VMware talks to that,” adds Hardie.

As for the role that VMware will be playing in this partnership, the regional director says their focus is on driving and delivering a digital foundation its customers can use.

“It’s about how we can work together to harness public cloud, private cloud, hybrid cloud, multi-cloud and edge, and take it to market. We want to make it a tangible solution set the market can use. It’s about looking at where the economy is going and delivering services and offerings that are more commercially viable for our customers,” Hardie notes.

Priming digital transformation

Powered by Dell Technologies, Woolley says the collaboration between Microsoft and VMware can have a massive impact on helping South Africa and the rest of the continent take full advantage of what digital has to offer.

“You can do your digital transformation, you can move to the cloud and you can embrace the multitude of cloud offerings that are out there. It’s better together. Embrace and start the journey if you haven’t yet,” he concludes.

[Image – Photo by Kaushik Panchal on Unsplash]