Liquid Intelligent Technologies expanding its data centre infrastructure across Africa

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Earlier this week Liquid Intelligent Technologies (LIT) South Africa held a media event at its Midrand-based HQ to further unpack its strategy following a recent rebrand.

The company was careful to explain that this new name is about more than simply sticking a new coat of paint on its building or reworking the logo, with the rebrand also involving an accompanying strategy that will see LIT aim to be a one-stop shop for businesses in need of a myriad cloud services and connectivity solutions.

This strategy will also hinge on the expansion of its data centre infrastructure not only in South Africa, where LIT says it is poised to be one of the largest providers, but also in other territories across the African continent.

In fact, the company is busy building in Nigeria and Togo, along with creating a second site in Nairobi, Kenya, as well as eyeing up Mombasa in the East African country.

To gain a bit more insight into the expansion, as well as what this new strategy means for service delivery from LIT, we spoke to Liquid Intelligent Technologies South Africa CEO, Deon Geyser (pictured below).

Deon Geyser (right), Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams (middle) and Group CEO & MD at Econet Global Limited, Hardy Phemiwa (right).

The first significant change that the expansion of its services will bring to LIT, is a strengthening of its relationship with hyperscalers on the continent, such as Microsoft via Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google. Azure in particular is an important relationship for Liquid Intelligent Technologies, explains Geyser, with the company assisting to get that environment up and running locally back in its previous incarnation.

“We want to strengthen our relationships with all hyperscalers. If you look at our relationship with Microsoft for example, we are one of their largest partners across Africa,” notes Geyser.

“If you take AWS, Facebook, Google, all the hyperscalers and OTT players, we have relationships with all of them that we plan to strengthen over time and play a vital role as far as disruption on this continent goes,” he highlights.

Geyser also points out that while relationships are going to be strengthened, LIT will continue to look at what each company offers in the South African and African regions, and see what is the best fit as far as customer requirements are.

“In the case of Microsoft, we see a great opportunity to further develop our relationship with them given the assets they currently have available. I was on a video call with a Microsoft team out of the US and some European operators for example, talking about what capabilities they can bring around 5G, and how we can look at certain segments around manufacturing, as well as how we could use AI jointly around that,” the CEO continues.

“So we see a great opportunity in engaging with these different partners moving forward,” he enthuses.

Geyser is equally excited about the strides being made on the data centre infrastructure front, especially as it pertains to the aforementioned territories that LIT will be breaking ground in over the coming year and developing from there.

“If you look at our data centre business today, we have three locations in South Africa. In Kenya we have a large data centre and we’re looking at expanding into Nigeria and the DRC as a couple of examples. In December last year we announced a $300 million investment that will be going towards our data centre business, so as a part of the entire transformation, Liquid Intelligent Technologies is placing the data centre business within its own entity,” explains Geyser.

“There is a lot of data that goes in to cloud hosting and cloud services. If you really want to be in that environment, you have to bring your infrastructure closer to that if you want to have edge computing capability where your latency improves your experience for example,” he continues.

With more data centres set to crop up in other parts of the continent, as well as expanding in areas where Liquid Intelligent Technologies already has a presence, it looks like infrastructure will play a crucial role in the company’s recent rebranding and new strategy moving forward to become a major cloud services enabler.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.