Ericsson enables smarter networks that learn and improve

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) launches its Network Data Analytics Function (NWDAF) solution, based on smarter data-driven networks that learn and improve. Ericsson’s NWDAF enables service providers to improve customer experience by using the data generated by the network to flag and fix problems, thus improving service quality.

For 5G, automation is a continuous endeavor ranging from automating specific simple and complex tasks to supporting zero-touch autonomous networking, which requires the application of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and reasoning. NWDAF achieves this by getting the right data at the right cost to feed into the AI/ML models.

NWDAF enhances network operability by providing insight that helps the service provider identify and solve network problems on different levels as well as input for taking valued business decisions. One example is automated closed loops (data retrieval, analytics processing, insights generation and action enforcement) on different network and application levels.

Ericsson’s NWDAF can drive up to 45 percent reduction in OPEX and CAPEX compared with typical third-party NWDAF implementation with event exposure. Smart data acquisition allows more efficient integration and testing, simpler orchestration and optimal footprint.

Neil McRae, MD Architecture & Strategy, BT Group Chief Architect says: “At BT we connect for good and our customers increasing reliance on the network requires us to think differently. With Ericsson we are working on cloud native solutions for 5G Core architecture to support multiple generations of technologies and we see the need for greater automation and analytics to manage complex networks and ensuring the best quality experience for our customers. I’m pleased to see that Ericsson is launching NWDAF building upon Ericsson’s built-in software probes and Expert Analytics (EEA), a natural next step development to enhance closed loop automation and service assurance that could benefit BT’s Customer Network Experience (CNE) platform.”

Monica Zethzon, Head of Solution Area Packet Core, Ericsson, says: “Everything 5G, especially 5G Core networks, must be automated. Automation will improve operational efficiency, reduce time to market for new services and is required to handle the magnitude of tailor-made services that will be introduced with 5G. With the launch of NWDAF we build the automated closed loop and assurance, enabled by AI and machine learning, to leverage data-driven operation based on network data.”

James Crawshaw, Principal Analyst, Telco IT & Operations, Omdia, says: “Ericsson’s NWDAF adds intelligence to the 5G core, bringing new insights that enable automation and optimization. With this solution, Ericsson shows its technology leadership in 5G Core.”

NWDAF is a reusable set of microservices integrated into Ericsson’s cloud-native dual-mode 5G Core and in Ericsson Expert Analytics . Flexible deployment scenarios and model portability enable the NWDAF to be located both centrally and as a built-in NWDAF in the 5G Core products. NWDAF is based on 3GPP Release 17, defining a distributed network analytics architecture where inference and training, and data repository are separated.

www.ericsson.com

Google joins Smart Africa Alliance to drive digital transformation in Africa

Google has joined Smart Africa as a platinum member of the Alliance, advancing its commitment to the digital transformation of Africa.

The Alliance is tasked with defining Africa’s digital strategy to ensure socio-economic transformation and this is in sync with Google’s vision for Africa. Therefore, Google will contribute towards closing the digital gap through advancing digital skills development. Africa has a growing youth population which offers an unparalleled opportunity for development and economic growth. Therefore digital skills development is essential for Africa to develop.

In addition to skills development, Google will use its vast experience, competencies and networks to contribute towards Africa’s development of broadband connectivity, data governance and the ICT startups and innovation ecosystem which are all key initiatives that Smart Africa is undertaking. Google and Smart Africa will also work together towards promoting the adoption of Artificial Intelligence, promoting the innovative use of data, encouraging cloud technologies, promoting digital government and enabling an inclusive payments system.

With 32 countries under the Smart Africa Alliance, representing 815 million people across the continent, the partnership between Smart Africa and Google is well poised to make a significant impact on the vision of Smart Africa.

Google joins other international and African technology firms as members of Smart Africa including Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Microsoft, Facebook, Inmarsat, Liquid Telecom, Orange, Intel, Ericsson, Huawei and Tata Communications & Transformation Services. Smart Africa also partners international organisations such as the International telecommunications Union (ITU), the African Development Bank (AfDB), GSMA and the World Bank among others.

Google is focused on leveraging its expertise to help make advanced technologies available to more of the world’s citizens, regardless of geographic location. By creating innovative and accessible digital infrastructures and skills, Google and other organizations within the Smart Africa Alliance can lead the world into an era of advancement and sustainable development.

Together with other members of the Alliance, Google is committed to transform Africa into a single digital market.

www.smartafrica.org

Zoom elevates platform experience with launch of Zoom apps and Zoom events

Zoom Video Communications, Inc. announced the general availability of its latest innovations, Zoom Apps and Zoom Events. Zoom Apps seamlessly embeds third-party apps within the Zoom Meetings and desktop client experience, enhancing collaboration, productivity, and entertainment for today’s hybrid workforce. Zoom Events is an all-in-one platform for creating a wide range of interactive and immersive virtual events to reach and engage audiences.

“I’m thrilled to see our platform vision expand through Zoom Apps and Zoom Events, as the world embraces hybrid work, empowering the workforce today and into the future,” said Eric S. Yuan, Founder and CEO of Zoom. “These innovations will enhance the ways in which we connect and collaborate with our colleagues, clients, friends, family members, and others, improving productivity and collaboration while maintaining elements of fun and well-being.”

“Zoom Apps and Zoom Events are critical components in broadening Zoom’s offering and reach,” said Roopam Jain, Vice President, Information and Communications Technologies at Frost & Sullivan. “These solutions empower users to accomplish more with video communications and are a testament to Zoom’s focus of enabling customers to create and grow businesses entirely on its platform—whether through applications, integrations, events, or other services.”

Zoom Apps expands the offerings of the Zoom App Marketplace, which already hosts over 1,500 third-party integrations. With Zoom Apps, you can boost productivity and stay focused on your workflows by incorporating your favorite apps into your meetings. There are over 50 Zoom Apps available now, ranging from enterprise to consumer use cases—including whiteboarding, project management, note-taking, and video games, with more in development and available soon. A few Zoom Apps currently available include:

  • Asana: Host purposeful meetings with the ability to create in-meeting action items and next steps beforehand so your teams are always moving forward with clarity. You can also create, edit, and assign tasks, all without leaving your Zoom meeting.
  • Dot Collector: The Dot Collector app allows everyone in a meeting to share their perspective through real-time feedback and polling. Dots are systematically collected, shared and preserved enabling adjustments to be made in the moment and over time. The Dot Collector app fosters more inclusive collaboration, transparency, and meaningful relationships among colleagues, while empowering individuals with insights that help them to unlock their full potential.
  • Dropbox Spaces: Get more out of your meetings with the Dropbox Spaces app for Zoom. Keep everyone on the same page by collaborating in real time in a single shared workspace before, during, and after Zoom Meetings.
  • Heads Up!: Heads Up! is a fun and hilarious game by Ellen DeGeneres. Heads Up! is the perfect party game to play with your colleagues and friends, and is a fun way to pass time with your coworkers while waiting for meetings to start. The app is developed for Zoom by Ellen Digital and Playco.
  • SurveyMonkey Enterprise by Momentive: Drive more engaging and inclusive meetings with in-the-moment feedback from surveys and polls available directly within the Zoom meeting experience. Capture optimal stakeholder insights from customers, employees, patients—any meeting attendees. Take action to increase employee engagement, improve the customer or patient experience, and make remote meetings more productive.
  • Wellness That Works by WW: Wellness that Works by WW, a leader in weight loss and wellness, helps users move more, eat better and shift their mindset with push notifications to stand and stretch, along with a hydration tracker, mindset tools, and go-to recipes. Wellness that Works reinforces WW’s credentials in behavior change science by helping users build and maintain healthy habits wherever they are… even in meetings!

Zoom Events gives organizations the power to create engaging hybrid and virtual experiences. Zoom Events enables large and small businesses alike to seamlessly manage and host back-to-back event sessions from sales summits, customer events, trade shows, and internal events. Zoom Events offers features such as event hubs, dedicated corporate virtual event spaces, customizable registration, and networking through a chat-enabled virtual event lobby. Zoom Events also allows event-specific reporting around registration, attendance, and ticket sales. Zoom will be hosting its annual user conference, Zoomtopia, and Zoom Academy, on Zoom Events this year.

OnZoom, the consumer-focused Zoom Events solution, helps brands and small businesses reach a consumer audience by creating, hosting, and monetizing events, including fitness and cooking classes, theatrical presentations, and more. OnZoom will remain in beta and serve as a place where small businesses and entrepreneurs can host and publish events to our public event directory.

www.zoom.us

iSAT Africa and SES Networks to provide reliable 4G services in East Africa via O3b mPOWER

Communities living across the eastern most peninsula of Africa will be able to enjoy 4G services on their mobile phones following a three-year partnership  agreement signed by fixed satellite solution and professional service provider, iSAT Africa and SES, the leader in global content connectivity solutions. The two companies announced today that this new service will be available first via SES’s O3b medium earth orbit (MEO) constellation to subsequently migrate and expanded to SES’s next-generation MEO system, O3b mPOWER, in 2022.

iSAT Africa  is well-established in the region for embracing innovative mobile internet connectivity solutions for unconnected rural communities in Africa. Through SES’s highly-flexible and scalable O3b mPOWER system that can deliver low-latency high-speed connectivity services from tens of megabits to multiple gigabits per second to a single site, iSAT Africa will be able to quickly scale its network to meet anticipated extensive connectivity demands. The fibre-like connectivity will equipe iSAT Africa to enable local mobile operators to deploy 4G services to close the digital divide. iSAT Africa is among the first companies in Africa to sign up for O3b mPOWER. 

According to the GSMA 2020 report, mobile coverage has been expanding in Sub-Saharan Africa quickly; 3G coverage expanded to 75% compared to 63% in 2017, while 4G doubled to nearly 50% compared to 2017. However, the coverage gap in Sub-Saharan Africa remains the highest globally as it is home to 67% of the world’s population not covered by mobile broadband. This is because attempts to deploy 4G networks in sparsely-populated rural and remote areas continue to be an economic challenge. With telcos and internet service providers increasingly seeking innovative, cost-effective yet reliable connectivity solutions, SES’s MEO satellite-based MEF-certified service that can ensure seamless interconnectivity with any network is an ideal solution. 

“At iSAT Africa, we don’t just believe in delivering connectivity to everyone across Africa. It’s also about delivering differentiated, cost-effective and reliable services that will enable various businesses to expand. This agreement represents a leap towards achieving that mission with iSAT Africa being able to deliver 4G services to communities and businesses located in underserved areas. As long-term partners of SES, we are confident this innovative solution will enable us to offer differentiated connectivity services to our telco customers,” said Rakesh Kukreja, Founder and Managing Director  at iSAT Africa.

John-Paul Hemingway, CEO of SES Networks said, “We will be able to revolutionise the connectivity capabilities of mobile operators across Africa together through this agreement with iSAT Africa. The O3b and O3b mPOWER systems will easily enable the deployment of 4G services and high-performance networks for cloud applications regardless of where they are across the region. The enhanced flexibility and scalability of O3b mPOWER will truly connect Africans living in underserved areas in the most economically viable manner.”

www.ses.com

Internet Exchange Points are critical in lowering connectivity costs in Africa, Internet Society report

A new report published by the Internet Society outlines the state of Internet interconnection in Africa and the critical role Internet Exchange Points (IXP) play in improving access and lowering costs.

The report, entitled “Moving towards an interconnected Africa: the 80/20 Initiative,” examines the Internet ecosystem in Africa.

There is an urgent need to increase Internet access across the continent, especially in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, fewer than 1 in 5 households have Internet access.

 Reliable and affordable Internet access also fuels economic growth. A recent study estimates that the Internet economy has the potential to contribute up to USD180 billion to Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2025.

An IXP is technical infrastructure where multiple networks, including Internet service providers, mobile operators, enterprise networks, research and education networks, e-Government services, and content delivery networks (CDNs) come together to connect and exchange Internet traffic.

IXPs enable the local exchange of Internet traffic instead of using expensive international transit routes. This not only makes Internet access much more affordable but also improves the quality of access by providing more direct network connections. Access speeds for content can be up to 10 times faster with an IXP because traffic is routed locally versus international transit routes.

According to the Internet Society report, the number of African IXPs has increased by 58 percent over the past eight years, from 19 in 2012 to 46 in 2020. In addition:

More than half of the countries in Africa have an IXP; six countries have more than one.

The most developed Internet ecosystem is in South Africa followed by Kenya and Nigeria . These countries have the most interconnected networks and have succeeded in exchanging 70-80% of their traffic locally.

IXPs provide significant savings by localizing Internet traffic. The report shows that a network can save up to $240,0000 per year by connecting to a local IXP.

The presence of content delivery networks has increased significantly and the amount of locally available content and demand for content hosting has increased.

The new report expands on a 2020 analysis of IXP growth in Kenya and Nigeria and provides an overview of the evolution of Internet interconnection on the continent by examining a country in each of the six subregions: Angola (Southern Africa), Burkina Faso (Western Africa), Democratic Republic of Congo (Central Africa), Egypt (Northern Africa), Mauritius (Indian Ocean), and Rwanda (Eastern Africa).

“Thanks to the continued work with partners over the years, we have many more sustainable IXPs that exchange a considerable amount of Internet traffic in Africa. But there’s still work to do to ensure that more Internet traffic is exchanged on the continent,” said Dawit Bekele, Africa Regional Vice President for the Internet Society, a global nonprofit organization promoting the development and use of the Internet.

“A key success factor for IXPs is that governments understand the value that Internet infrastructure provides, which encourages the adoption of policies and regulations that enable Internet ecosystems to thrive,” added Bekele.

Since 2008, the Internet Society has been working with the African Internet community, including community groups, technical experts and policymakers, to improve local Internet infrastructure by helping to establish IXPs and strengthen the trust and cooperation between those that build the Internet. The overall goal is for 80 percent of Internet traffic in Africa be exchanged locally, and only 20 percent routed from outside the continent.

The report can be downloaded here

www.internetsociety.org

Nokia unlocks unlicensed private wireless networks with the world’s first MulteFire solution

Recently Nokia mentioned that CBRS in the US leads the world on vertical spectrum and that Nokia is addressing this opportunity with some key partnerships and innovations. Nokia is now unlocking the global unlicensed spectrum with the industry first MulteFire 4.9G/LTE private wireless network solution. This solution features the industry’s first certified MulteFire device: the Nokia Industrial MulteFire router 700.  

The availability of licensed spectrum is often seen as a barrier to the deployment of new private wireless networks. While the situation has improved in quite a few countries, it is not yet ideal for all markets. When it comes to unlicensed spectrum, some countries allow the use of LTE-U on the unlicensed 5.8 GHz bands, which are traditionally used by Wi-Fi or wireless backhaul. But these bands are mainly used for static point-to-point applications and mobility is not allowed.

MulteFire now makes it possible to quickly set up and tear down a private LTE/4G network anywhere that Wi-Fi is allowed in 5.x GHz spectrum without worrying about spectrum availability, site footprint and boundaries, regulatory consent or licensing costs. It is a new very important option for small and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs), and we hope it will help take private wireless to the mass market.

Communication service providers (CSPs) should also rejoice because MulteFire gives them a tool to tap into the SME market and offers private wireless more easily in countries where they don’t own any spectrum. Value-added resellers and distributors will also find MulteFire private wireless networks to be an ideal fit for their high-volume models.

One of the cherries on the cake with MulteFire is the potential to add capacity to existing licensed networks by deploying a few extra MulteFire access points. These access points can use the existing core network and operations and maintenance (O&M) functions.

Finally, MulteFire opens-up many new segments that lack access to licensed spectrum for some of their use cases. For example, MulteFire could be used to build temporary networks for events, construction sites, broadcasting, public safety operations, defense sites or field operations.

The Nokia Industrial MulteFire router 700 can break free from deployment and regulatory constraints to reliably connect a broad and growing range of IoT and digital assets in areas such as:

  • Communications, including LAN, business- and mission-critical communications, Industrial Ethernet and Machine Type Communication (MTC)
  • Visual intelligence, including video surveillance, image recognition and video analytics
  • Asset insights, including tracking, predictive diagnostics and supply chain management
  • Cloud automation, including automated guided robots (AGRs) and vehicles (AGVs) and remote machine control

By opening the world, new uses and making private wireless easier for SME, MulteFire further enhances Nokia Digital Automation Cloud (DAC) plug & play and easy-of-use capabilities. The solution can be delivered using an as-a-service package approach with a quick set-up service and includes a catalog of applications. 

With such announcement, Nokia opens-up the field of the unlicensed spectrum to drive growing MulteFire ecosytem and pave the way for the future 5G NR-U market and use cases.

SoftBank, Smart Africa collaborate to provide affordable broadband solutions, enhance digital transformation in Africa

Japan’s SoftBank and Smart Africa entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to collaborate on innovative solutions towards achieving the vision of providing affordable broadband. Through this partnership, SoftBank and Smart Africa will work to bridge the digital divide by providing accessible and affordable internet connectivity to Africa’s underserved regions.

Through various projects and activities, Smart Africa has an ambitious strategy to double broadband penetration to 51% in Africa by 2025. As part of achieving this vision, Smart Africa is working to implement the Bulk Capacity Purchase Project, an initiative that aims to deliver affordable internet connectivity for African citizens through the large-scale joint procurement efforts of Smart Africa member countries. To contribute to the Project, SoftBank will deploy its Non-Terrestrial Network (NTN) Solutions to reduce internet costs and build affordable internet infrastructure. SoftBank also became a Smart Africa Gold Member in October 2020.

SoftBank’s NTN Solutions will utilize the connectivity services of OneWeb, Skylo, and HAPSMobile, among other solutions, that provide connectivity from space and the stratosphere. SoftBank aims to deploy NTN Solutions in African markets by collaborating with Smart Africa and working closely with its member countries.

SoftBank and Smart Africa will begin their collaboration by identifying demand for NTN solutions and conducting further feasibility studies in the five African countries that have already expressed interest in the Bulk Capacity Purchase Project (the Republic of Djibouti, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Republic of Kenya, the Kingdom of Morocco, and the Republic of Rwanda). SoftBank and Smart Africa will also draw up implementation plans and consider potential market entries in the future.

The partnership, with a vision to expand the area of work from internet infrastructure into digital transformation (DX), will boost the transition and development of a knowledge-based social economy in Africa. The collaboration will also align with the fundamentals of Smart Africa’s goal, which is the realization of a single digital market on the continent through Information and Communication Technology (ICT). To bridge the digital divide, SoftBank and Smart Africa will also study ways to collaborate and engage with organizations such as the HAPS Alliance, which seeks to promote the commercial adoption of HAPS, among others. Further, through a series of engagements in the coming future, this partnership will also consequently work to contribute to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by providing digital solutions that address societal challenges.

“The vision of transforming Africa into a single digital market requires us to embrace partnerships. Therefore we are honoured to welcome SoftBank Corp. into the Smart Africa Alliance. Together, we will be able to inject further innovation into Africa’s digital innovation as we move towards creating a Single Digital Market by 2030,” said Lacina Koné, Smart Africa’s CEO.

Contributing to the SDGs is a top managerial priority for SoftBank, and the company has identified six key initiatives (materiality) to achieve them. “Building high-quality social communication networks” is one such initiative, and SoftBank is working to build sustainable communication infrastructure so people anywhere can connect to stable and trustworthy networks.

“We believe our NTN solutions will be extremely effective technologies to provide connectivity to African countries and regions that lack sufficient Internet access. With our NTN solutions powered by OneWeb, Skylo and HAPSMobile, we’ll work closely with Smart Africa to provide telecommunication networks,” said Hidebumi Kitahara, SoftBank Corp. Vice President and Head of the Technology Unit’s Global Business Strategy Division.

www.smartafrica.org

www.softbank.jp

Google Cloud and Ericsson partner to deliver 5G and Edge cloud Solutions

Google Cloud and Ericsson announced a partnership to jointly develop 5G and edge cloud solutions to help communications service providers (CSPs) digitally transform and to unlock new enterprise and consumer use cases.

Globally, industries with edge presences – including communication service providers, retailers, manufacturers, transport businesses, healthcare and media/entertainment providers – face pressures to build more digitized businesses and new digital experiences for their customers.

To help businesses address this shift, Google Cloud and Ericsson are working together to develop new solutions at Ericsson’s Silicon Valley D-15 Labs, a state-of-the-art innovation center where advanced solutions and technologies can be developed and tested on a live, multi-layers 5G platform.

Ericsson and Google Cloud have already completed functional onboarding of Ericsson 5G on Anthos to enable telco edge and on-premise use cases for CSPs and enterprises.

As part of the partnership, Google Cloud and Ericsson are also piloting enterprise applications at the edge on a live network with TIM. The project, which will automate the functions of TIM’s core 5G network and cloud-based applications, will use TIM’s Telco Cloud infrastructure, Google Cloud solutions and Ericsson’s 5G core network and orchestration technologies.

The joint offerings will help enterprises in the automotive, transportation, manufacturing and other sectors improve efficiencies and lower latency by bringing connectivity close to companies’ physical locations.

Thomas Kurian, CEO, Google Cloud, says: “Organizations have a tremendous opportunity to digitally transform their businesses with 5G and cloud capabilities like artificial intelligence and machine learning at the edge. We are proud to partner with Ericsson to help build a foundation for communications service providers and enterprises alike to take advantage of cloud technology and cloud-native services, from telecom network core to the  edge and enterprise premises.”

Niklas Heuveldop, President and Head of Ericsson North America, says: “5G is a powerful innovation platform. Combined with edge cloud capabilities, 5G has the potential to accelerate the digital transformation of virtually any sector of industry or society. We are excited about our partnership with Google Cloud as we engage with our customers to leverage our combined capabilities to solve real-world business challenges for the benefit of consumers, enterprises and society at large.”

Ericsson and Google previously formed a services partnership to enable the digital transformation of operator networks and application migration through cloud-native, container-based solutions.

www.ericsson.com

Facebook and leading Health Organizations form alliance for advancing health online

Facebook is partnering with leaders from the technology, healthcare, global development and academic sectors to establish the Alliance for Advancing Health Online. This new initiative aims to advance public understanding of how social media and behavioral sciences can be leveraged to improve the health of communities around the world. 

The partners of the Alliance include the Bay Area Global Health Alliance, the CDC Foundation, Facebook, the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, Merck, Sabin Vaccine Institute, the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the World Bank and the World Health Organization. Merck and Facebook are each committing $20 million to this multi-year initiative, which will initially focus on addressing vaccine hesitancy and vaccine equity among underserved communities. 

“Social media is a powerful, constantly evolving tool that is shaping opinions and behaviors across the globe,” said Heidi Larson, PhD, head of the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. “The Alliance will help us build a deeper understanding of the dynamics of health communication online and how the global community can use social media to improve health.”

The Alliance has established the Vaccine Confidence Fund, an independent fund to support research on how social media and online platforms can best support confidence in and access to COVID-19 vaccines around the world, as well as routine immunizations impacted by the pandemic. The goal of this initial research is to produce timely, practical applications, focused on reaching historically underserved communities and those communities particularly at risk in the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Fund will provide grants to researchers and organizations that are exploring how best to use behavioral science, social media and digital platforms to build confidence in and access to vaccines. Global Impact, which will manage this fund on behalf of the Alliance, has issued a request for proposals. Researchers who would like to participate in this effort can apply here

All of the findings generated through this research will be shared quickly, broadly and publicly. To this end, Facebook is awarding grants to the Sabin Vaccine Institute and Bay Area Global Health Alliance who will facilitate a series of community discussions over the coming months. 

Facebook together with partners, have seen promising results from their health work over the past few years. This highlights the Alliance’s opportunity to better understand what’s working, so it can be replicated and scaled.

“The Alliance for Advancing Health Online and the new Vaccine Confidence Fund are important steps forward in leveraging social media for health impact at scale. A recent collaboration between WHO and Facebook demonstrated what this can achieve. WHO’s Science Behind Vaccines campaign ran globally, resonating most among Spanish and Chinese speaking audiences who expressed an increased willingness to get the COVID-19 vaccine by 2.8 and 2.9 percentage points, respectively, across more than 50 million people.” – Andy Pattison, Team Lead, Digital Channels, WHO.

At the same time, we recognize that more research and understanding is needed to replicate and scale the approaches that work, and to learn from those that do not. By bringing together public and private sector partners, we hope the Alliance will accelerate our collective ability to have a lasting positive impact on health behavior through leveraging the unique scale and personalization of digital channels.

www.about.fb.com

Dimension Data earns top cloud accreditation as an Azure Expert Managed Services Provider

NTT Ltd., a leading global technology services company, has earned the Azure Expert Managed Services Provider accreditation. Branded Dimension Data in the Middle East and Africa region, it has been recognised by Microsoft with the highest accolade for Azure Cloud experience, being named an Azure Expert Managed Services Provider (MSP).

Microsoft’s highly selective programme helps customers identify top tier partners to enable and support hyper-scale cloud implementations, from mission-critical apps, entire data centre footprints, to hybrid environments.

As one of a handful of partners globally, the Azure Expert MSP status forms the fundamental foundation for Dimension Data’s success in the global arena of High Value Services and Managed Services on Azure.

“We are honoured to be recognised for our skills as an Azure Expert Managed Services Provider. There are very few companies around the world who have earned this accolade, and it is a testament to our talented technical teams and deep Microsoft skills and experience. Our current and future cloud clients can be assured that we meet the highest standard for service delivery, support and security.” Says Werner Kapp, Chief Executive Officer, Dimension Data.

This prestigious endorsement is based on Dimension Data’s proficiency across a breadth of capabilities and for its customer service delivery and technical knowledge. Having met the stringent skills and experience prerequisites, Dimension Data also completed a rigorous audit by an independent third party that evaluates its managed services offerings, technical teams, processes and technologies.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this programme,” says Fernando Navarro, Head of Product Management for Managed Services at NTT. “Azure Expert MSP is the highest accreditation as a managed services provider by our strategic partner, Microsoft. We have been able to prove our skills and know-how in the public cloud arena and look forward to helping our clients do great things with Microsoft Azure.”

With deep experience in Microsoft technology, Dimension Data offers full-stack services from networking and infrastructure that supports Azure, to cloud migrations and cloud applications. Backed by unrivalled security and comprehensive managed services, Dimension Data is leveraging Microsoft Azure to innovate and develop cutting edge solutions using data, AI, IoT and Machine Learning.

This achievement further strengthens Dimension Data’s strategic partnership with Microsoft, as the two companies are committed to driving digital transformation with their clients.

“In the last year, our partners have helped their customers to reimagine a new world of business, while at the same time, continuing to invest in specialised skills and capabilities.  Achieving the Azure Expert MSP accreditation is a hallmark of the commitment with which partners like Dimension Data are not only supporting their customers to become more digitally resilient, but also to how they are building new products and services for digital transformation,” says Lionel Moyal, Commercial Director at Microsoft South Africa.

With the widest reach across the Middle East and Africa and together with global parent company NTT, Dimension Data is solidifying its status as an industry leader in cloud managed services.

www.dimensiondata.com