Microsoft has entered into a strategic partnership with John Keells IT in an effort to accelerate digital transformation strategies across both Asia Pacific and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) regions.
The Sri Lanka-based provider and Microsoft have been partnering since 2012, with the IT consultancy the site of the vendor's first-ever Office 365 deployment in-country.
As part of this partnership, the tech giant will host SAP S/4HANA on Microsoft Azure, representing John Keells' first-ever deployment on the platform and one of the first in the Asia Pacific region to deploy SAP S/4HANA on Azure.
"SAP HANA on Azure will give John Keells IT a joint ecosystem that brings unique insights and rich product integration to help their customers make the most out of running SAP solutions and applications in the cloud — accelerating their performance, productivity, and innovation with seamless enterprise-class support,” said Hasitha Abeywardena, country manager for Microsoft Sri Lanka and Maldives.
"John Keels IT has been at the forefront of digital transformation and innovation and we are happy to have them as our partner and see them driving this transformation across Sri Lanka and beyond."
This is part of the consultancy’s efforts to realise its bi-modal IT strategy as part the push towards digital transformation.
However, not everyone is a fan of a bi-modal IT strategy, with IDC predicting its demise by 2019 because of spiralling complexity, costs, and lost credibility.
What is bimodal IT? It's the practice of managing two separate, coherent models of IT delivery. One of these nodes would be focused on stability using legacy IT while the other node is focused on agility that is the main driver of innovation and revenue.
"Building innovative and transformative solutions based on a bi-modal strategy and design thinking philosophy requires collaboration, co-innovation and co-creation,” added Ramesh Shanmuganathan, executive vice president and group CIO John Keells Group and CEO, John Keells IT.
"Microsoft’s partnership strengthens our value proposition and helps us to further our digital transformation mission.
"With this partnership, we can unlock the true potential of digital for our customers and have already expanded on this partnership in MENA and Southeast Asia’s new markets."
This announcement comes after a series of moves by Microsoft to expand its base across the APAC region, including NTT preparing to launch a managed Azure stack in Singapore later in 2018, as well as its partnership with Hortonworks and Epsilon.