Sizwe Africa IT Group, Huawei make the cloud journey less daunting

Centurion, 01 Sep 2021

The emergence of the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) and its related technologies present unique opportunities to address the social and economic challenges facing the South African economy. The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic also heightened the social and economic challenges that the country is facing, while the economic fallout and restrictive local lockdowns meant the digital channel was the only customer touchpoint available.

“Digital transformation in the 4IR is driving major changes in the local ICT landscape, and Sizwe has been keeping pace with these changes,” explains Aadiel Ayob, Executive: Innovative Enterprise Services and Solutions at Sizwe Africa IT Group. He states that the company has been delivering end-to-end ICT solutions to clients in various sectors since its inception in 2001, and over this period, it has transformed its service offerings to meet the demands of the ever-changing client landscape.

“To this end, Sizwe – which is already a Huawei strategic partner from an enterprise networking, storage and server solutions perspective – has decided to partner with Huawei Cloud. This now enables it to offer additional world-class enterprise cloud-based services to its clients, to help them meet their digital transformation needs,” Ayob says.

“The demand for cloud services in both medium and large enterprises continues to grow exponentially, as businesses increasingly prefer to procure their ICT solutions as services. Thus, cloud services have become some of the most implemented platforms, since these are enablers of digital transformation and result in fast growth and improved productivity in several IT workarounds.”

According to Michael Langeveld, Vice-President for Huawei, Southern Africa region, the company attributes its success to several key factors, namely partnerships, support, forward-thinking technology, a diverse and skilled team as well as local relevance.

“Our approach begins with putting the customer at the centre. What follows is a support system to add value and to find the best solution possible. Then around this, we work closely with peers in government, distributors and our great cloud partners,” he says.

“Huawei understands the importance of leveraging technology to transform local businesses and to enable partners to deliver new services. Thanks to our locally sited data centre, we are able to assist partners like Sizwe Africa IT Group to deliver Huawei cloud services to customers throughout southern Africa, as well as further afield on the continent. In this way, we help them to grow their business by gaining access to a much broader market.”

Ayob adds that one of the keys to Sizwe Africa IT Group’s success is the level of security it provides to its clients, noting that the 70+ Huawei Cloud security certifications it holds demonstrate the company’s commitment to providing clients with secure tailor-made ICT solutions. The Huawei Cloud is accredited by the South African POPI Act, ISO as well as PCI/DSS and, with its data centres being hosted in South Africa, compliance with data residency and sovereignty are addressed. The fact that client data will be processed locally also eliminates the latency challenges imposed by it residing outside South Africa.

“At Sizwe, our cloud computing initiative forms part of our ‘Strategy 2020 Towards 2025’ and positions Sizwe as a leading provider of cloud solutions for large enterprises locally. Our intention is to leverage the services on the Huawei Cloud to extend our current service offering and to build new and innovative enterprise solutions,” explains Ayob.

By Aadiel Ayob, Executive – Innovative Enterprise Services and Solutions, Sizwe Africa IT Group.

“While the journey to the cloud can be a daunting one for most clients, due to challenges related to skills, integration and expertise, we work closely with Huawei to provide our clients with access to technical architects, as well as free training. This ensures that migration to the cloud is as seamless as possible”

He notes that the cloud journey does not end once the last server is migrated, and adds that Sizwe provides its clients with continuous optimisation in the form of right-sizing servers and services to suit actual usage. The company also builds a roadmap for clients to drive down costs by leveraging cloud native services, encouraging the move from infrastructure as a service (IaaS) to platform as a service (PaaS).

“IaaS will be Sizwe’s initial key focus area with its solutions on Huawei Cloud, with a view to expanding these services as more clients migrate to the cloud,” Ayob points out.

“Our value proposition will include the internet of things (IOT); big data analytics; machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI); intelligent automation and blockchain; cloud native applications using PaaS; scalable on-demand servers; cloud backup and recovery and many more.”

With a value proposition like this, Sizwe will continue to focus on servicing the needs of clients in the public and private sectors, while targeting several verticals in collaboration with Huawei Cloud, which is strategically positioned to assist Sizwe in providing hosted services to these markets.

“Something else that is well worth noting is that the Huawei Cloud Partner Network (HCPN) is a global partner programme for Huawei Cloud, with a strong local presence and brand recognition through its mobile consumer handset market.

“Huawei has placed a lot of focus on assisting HCPN partners like Sizwe – which is a Premier Tier partner (the second highest level of partnership in the Huawei Cloud Partner Programme) – build success on the Huawei Cloud by providing valuable business, technical and marketing support. As Sizwe, we are focused on working with a long-term, reliable partner for our cloud journey – not merely another vendor. We look forward to an exciting partnership with Huawei Cloud to offer our clients new and cutting-edge solutions as they transform their digital solutions,” Ayob concludes.