Amazon Cloud Challenges Microsoft in Africa: Maxi-hub in Cape Town
Amazon cloud is expanding in South Africa with a new maxi office in the nascent hitech pole of Cape Town, ready to conquer the leadership in the cloud services to the detriment of the other big stars and players: Microsoft and Google.
According to reports from Reuters, Amazon AWS has rented an entire eight-story building nearing completion in the South African city’s tech hub and has posted a series of announcements to search for staff for the new office. Among the sought-after figures, there is a software developer that the American giant claims to be involved in a team for a “greenfield project” that touches the fields of machine learning, big data analysis, and cloud computing.
Amazon Web Services ( AWS ) is already the world’s number one cloud computing with a share of 32%, compared to 16% of its closest rival, Microsoft, which, however, grows faster, according to research firm Canalys. Microsoft is also completing two data centers in South Africa (in Cape Town and Johannesburg), to serve local customers better. The other players in the cloud have smaller shares, but they are pressing to expand to the detriment of the leaders.
To strengthen its position with respect to Microsoft, Amazon decides to build data centers in South Africa. In Cape Town and Johannesburg, Jeff Bezos’ group already has Edge locations, infrastructures to increase the speed of transmission from Amazon data centers located outside Africa. In Cape Town, Amazon had so far only a technical center, where it also manages customer support activities.
To attract new customers to the detriment of rivals, Amazon is also offering local start-ups free trials of its cloud service: some companies have already migrated to AWS from other providers such as Google.
Cape Town employs about 35,000 people in the hitech sector and is reached by fiber optic connections. The expansion of Amazon in the hitech pole of the South African city is a sign of the intensification of competition in the cloud services segment and the continuous growth in the demand for computational power that pushes the creation of new data centers in various global locations, as close as possible to final customers.