Office 365 services are now generally available through relatively new data centers in South Africa. Microsoft has expanded its presence in Africa steadily, including bringing Microsoft Azure to the continent earlier this year.
Opening data centers in South Africa is important because many countries have rules regarding the location of cloud data centers. Paul Lorimer, Distinguished Engineer for Microsoft 365, expanded on the importance of the data center in a Microsoft blog post:
In-country data residency for core customer data helps Office 365 customers meet regulatory requirements, which is particularly important and relevant in industries such as healthcare, financial services, and government—where organizations need to keep specific data in-country to comply with local requirements.”
Microsoft claims that they are the first global provider to bring cloud services to the African continent. The company now provides both Office 365 services and Azure services to Africa through local data centers. Microsoft’s growth in Africa helps extend its reach even further according to Lorimer:
The addition of South Africa as a new geography for Office 365 increases the options for secure, cloud productivity services combined with customer data residency in 16 geographies across the globe along with three additional geographies also announced.”
Lorimer added that Dynamics 365 and Power Platform should also be available in the area in the fourth quarter of this year.