South African companies are entering the cloud era in a big way, moving more and more mission-critical data, infrastructure and processes to virtualised environments, saving on capex and enhancing efficiency, collaboration and productivity. Terabytes of mission-critical business data are transmitted over the Internet between geographically distributed data centres, employees and customers. At the same time, new digital platforms are increasingly disrupting traditional value chains in verticals such as financial services, commerce, transport and logistics. As a result, there is an explosion in demand for capacity services in the country.
In response to this trend, several of the world’s biggest cloud players and Infrastructure-as-a- Service (IaaS) players in particular are investing in South Africa. For example, Amazon will be opening an Amazon Web Services (AWS) region in South Africa in the first half of 2020, enabling more African organisations to leverage AWS cloud technologies. Early in 2019, Microsoft Azure opened their first enterprise-grade data centers in Africa and are now proposing Azure services from 2 new cloud regions in Johannesburg (South Africa North) and Cape Town (South Africa West), while Oracle plans to launch local servers in South Africa in 2020.
At BICS we have steadily expanded our capacity services in the wholesale market to cater to these trends and help our customers serve South African companies
Our Johannesburg Point of Presence has long connected the South African market to global Internet exchanges and capacity providers. It is now closer than ever to the landing stations of all the submarine cables connecting South Africa to the world, through a close collaboration with a strategic South African partner, making it easier for local and global customers to establish connections into and out of the country.
BICS offers a choice of four diverse submarine routes through WACS, EASSy, SAT3 and SAFE to connect South Africa to the rest of the world. To cater to the increasing levels of trade and investment into Africa from the Asia Pacific region, we have developed the lowest latency route in the world between South Africa and Asia, bringing Johannesburg and Singapore even closer together via the SAFE submarine cable.
We offer a portfolio of advanced capacity services to organisations who seeking to connect to South Africa from anywhere in the world.
Carrier Ethernet: BICS Carrier Ethernet allows customers to scale up bandwidth in a flexible manner with speeds of up to 100 Gbps with full MEF compliance. We offer the highest quality of service, backed up with carrier-grade SLAs that cover a range of network metrics that cover any data application – voice, data, multimedia and more. BICS makes it easy for customers to define and change the physical characteristics of their networks, such as sites and bandwidths, to shape their service according to their own needs. Customers can also define traffic priorities, to route and schedule data based on use, and define their own network architectures depending on their needs.
Remote Peering: Our remote peering solution allows service providers to quickly connect to major internet exchanges across the globe via the private BICS network; a high-performance, robust, extremely secure service for mission-critical traffic. Service providers can connect from anywhere in the world thanks to our extensive network to internet exchange partners and in more than 74 points of presence. BICS manages all the required infrastructure setup, establishing connections between the two points and transporting data over its own dedicated network. The lowest latency path is always chosen, ensuring customers stay connected with their content with minimum delay. There is no need for hardware to be installed at the IXP’s premises, thanks to pre-existing connections that BICS has with all major global IXPs.
Cloud Connect: BICS Cloud Connect service is a dedicated multi-cloud connectivity solution that offers dedicated, reliable and secure connectivity directly from the customer’s on-premise infrastructure into every major cloud environment including AWS and Microsoft Azure, completely bypassing the public internet. Easy to set up and manage, the service is scalable, and enterprises pay only for real usage, not port access. It allows access to multiple locations via a single port, making it the most flexible way for customers to connect securely to the cloud.
South Africa is one of the most exciting capacity markets in the world, thanks to strategic region-wide initiatives such as Smart Africa that are prioritising the provision of affordable broadband access to enable socioeconomic development. At BICS we are deeply committed to supporting the digital transformation of South African companies and will continue to invest in services and infrastructure on an ongoing basis to enable this.