KAMPALA – Hamilton Cloud Services (HCS), Uganda’s first local cloud service provider and a subsidiary of Hamilton Telecom, on Thursday, February 7, finalised an agreement to collocate their servers in Raxio Data Centre’s state-of-the-art, data centre at the Kampala Industrial and Business Park, Namanve.
Raxio announced its plans to construct Uganda’s first tier 3, carrier-neutral and cloud-neutral data centre in July last year. To date, Raxio has completed feasibility studies, acquired land and done design works and is now in the process of finalizing regulatory approvals.
First signed customer
With last week’s announcement, HCS becomes Raxio’s first officially signed customer for service when Raxio opens its doors in October this year.
Raxio General Manager James Byaruhanga and Paul Nalikka, the Director Hamilton Telecom, flanked by Ahura Vianne Allan, the CFO, signed for their respective organisations, at Raxio’s offices at Rwenzori Towers, Nakasero, Kampala.
“Today is an exciting day for Raxio. Not only are we proud to announce Hamilton as our first officially signed customer, but Hamilton is also a uniquely strategic kind of partner that will give other Raxio customers an opportunity to enjoy a seamlessly integrated data centre and local cloud service experience under one roof,” said Byaruhanga.
He further said: “HCS will now operate their infrastructure in a failsafe, always-on environment provided by Raxio, protecting their business and that of their customers and supporting their growth ambitions. Among other services, the HCS cloud computing and backup service model uses cloud resources to protect applications and data from disruption caused by disasters on a pay-as-you-grow model that allows customers to stay ahead with access to cutting-edge hardware and/or software solutions.”
He said the agreement with Hamilton is proof of a “win-win model” that “enables especially start-ups, Small and Medium Enterprises and mid-sized businesses to overcome the obstacle of upfront capital investments and to reduce total cost of ownership on software, storage and backup infrastructure, into manageable monthly operational expenses that are scalable and on demand, thus avoiding costs associated with over-capacity.”
“This is very exciting for us and the market and we couldn’t be any happier to have Hamilton on board,” he said.
Derrick Sebbaale, the Chief Operating Officer, Hamilton Cloud Services, said the deal will make HCS, “pioneers in providing the biggest local cloud service in a tier 3 data centre environment in Uganda.”
“Our vision is to revolutionize businesses in Uganda by providing affordable cutting-edge technology solutions, which enable them to thrive and prosper in a globally competitive economy. Our services are delivered via hyper-converged cloud infrastructure; delivered, sold, and supported by DELL EMC, which will enable customers to run and host applications across private, public, dedicated and hybrid cloud environments. By hosting our equipment in Raxio’s data centre, we will be able to quickly scale up our services, without the high capex costs on infrastructure; which savings will be passed on to our customers,” he said.
He added the agreement with Raxio will not only reduce on the high costs as well as risks of hosting and storing data overseas, but it will also provide a 24/7 secure, accessible and dedicated platform to HCS clients.
Model is a game changer
Sebbaale called upon business owners, government decision-makers and regulators to support the shift to cloud computing as “it is a game-changer with real and proven return on investment, manifested through new efficiencies, enhanced customer experiences, and new business models, leading to accelerated revenue and productivity growth.”
Quoting a 2017/18 study by the National Informational Technology Authority, Sebbaale said that while 86.4% of government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) had reported that cloud computing significantly reduces ICT related costs, to date, only 28.6% of all MDAs reported using cloud computing services.
According to the report, some of the reasons MDAs are not using off-site data storage and or cloud services include: risk of a security breach, high cost of buying cloud computing services, uncertainty about the location of the data (36.4%), uncertainty about applicable law, jurisdiction, dispute resolution mechanism and difficulties in unsubscribing or changing service provider and data portability.
“This landmark agreement between Raxio and Hamilton is a paradigm shift and answers all these issues. We are giving businesses in Uganda a reliable and secure pay-as-you-grow local cloud service, housed in a world-class tier 3 data centre under local laws, with local customer-service,” Sebbaale said.
Big discounts for early customers
Byaruhanga said that Raxio was offering an early-bird offer that offers up to 40% discount on core co-location fees to customers who sign between now and the end of February 2019.
“Any customer signing up between now and the end of February is entitled to a 25% discount and they will be able to carry this price on for the duration of their contract. For customers that take up more than 5 racks, they will be eligible for an additional 15% discount, meaning that customers can save up to 40% on the price they will have to pay when we open for business in September 2019,” he said.