A cloud partnership grounded in Terra firma

Terra Analytics combines professional services, technology and science in the domain of land administration, -spatial planning, property valuations and taxation, data collection and mobile forms technologies.

The Terra Analytics brand emerged after the acquisition of Data World, eValuations and Xcallibre, all leading innovators in the land administration, geospatial and mobility solutions space over the past two decades. The group’s clients include major metropolitan city authorities and national ministries involved in the administration of land and property in South Africa, parts of Africa and India.

“Not all of our clients understand cloud, how to migrate and the extent of integration required,” says Jeff Walker, Terra Analytics’ Chief Sales and Marketing Officer. “We apply our skills and the value Huawei brings to the table to offer innovation, competence and cost-efficiency to our clients to meet their requirements across the entire geospatial value chain, from data collection, creation, conversion, and enhancement to software development, modelling, analytics, and consulting.

“We provide Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) products for our clients so they can undertake their digital transformation strategies. These advanced, scalable end-to-end software solutions enable them to optimise their productivity and return on investment.

Jeff Walker, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Terra Analytics

Jeff Walker, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer,

Terra Analytics“Huawei Cloud offers our clients a safe, secure and advanced world-class platform for data management, data backup and disaster recovery capabilities. The collaborative partnership with Huawei Cloud also allows Terra Analytics to expand its global footprint.”

Terra’s CEO, Willy Govender adds that the decision to move its entire business to cloud was driven by the demands of collaboration, especially in a remote working sense for both employees and clients, plus economics because they wanted to scale on demand, based on the growth of the company and its clients.

“Huawei’s offering provided a simple migration due to their expertise, support and high-end technology solutions, as well as the important financial considerations around payper- use and scale-on-demand factors,” says Govender.

“Today, we can work from any location on any device, have a robust and redundant data management solution and therefore our business has the necessary resilience to handle such unexpected events as the pandemic and recent unrest. Huawei Cloud has futureproofed our back-end technology, provided unheralded efficiency to the business and all at a lower cost.”

“When Terra Analytics made the decision to move all its applications to Huawei Cloud, we allocated a dedicated team to work with them to design the best practice cloud solution together,” says Stone He, President, Huawei Cloud (Southern Africa). “After several workshops, a reliable, scalable and cost-efficient cloud solution was quickly validated through a proof of concept.”

Walker says the value Terra Analytics is getting out of this partnership include Huawei Cloud providing for a more comprehensive solution catering for full disaster recovery and failover services without an over-reliance on limited and skilled in-house specialists and physical infrastructure.

Value-based costing

“Since partnering with Huawei and the migration to Huawei Cloud, the applications are running steadily, which has saved the engineering teams significant time, simultaneously freeing up capacity for us to focus on application configuration and optimisation for existing and new projects,” continues Walker.

“We have also increased market opportunities by being able to offer clients value-based costing and easier deployment, which they prefer. We are more competitive as we have cloud-ready innovative solutions and increased integration potential as we can tap into a broad ecosystem of partners through Huawei.”

“Huawei strives to build an open and collaborative ecosystem founded on shared success to provide the best products, services, and solutions to clients,” elaborates He. “Our solution partners are key members of the ecosystem and critical to the strategy of business-driven ICT infrastructure.”

Stone He, President, Huawei Cloud (Southern Africa)

Stone He, President, Huawei Cloud (Southern Africa)

Asked his thoughts around the state of cloud adoption in South Africa, and how he sees this evolving, Walker says there is a general understanding that cloud provides speed of delivery and scalability while keeping costs down and that around 50% of the public sector segment is already productively using cloud.

“However, integration with existing systems is the top factor that hinders public sector organisations from meeting their key objectives, as is the lack of skills, followed by cost,” says Walker.

“The impact of Covid-19 on workforce distribution and remote delivery capacity across various industries, the significant increase in security breaches, the need to lower operational costs in a declining economy and a growing skills gap are all contributing to the increased and continued speed of cloud adoption.

Hedging technology bets

“While there has been a marked contraction in spend in 2020, we anticipate a recovery in 2021 and an upswing in the coming months as vaccination rates improve and the economic activity resumes.”

Stone concurs, saying: “The big boys of technology have all hinged their bets on the cloud being the future of the enterprise. Today, almost everything has a connection to the cloud in one way or the other. Technology giants and startups are finding new ways of organising, processing and presenting data in the cloud; consequently, cloud computing is bound to become more integral in our day-to-day lives. “The global cloud computing market is forecast to exceed $350 billion this year, and to exceed $1.025 billion by 2026.

“In 2021, the emerging cloud trend is that enterprises are becoming less worried about sticking with one cloud vendor and are embracing a multicloud or hybrid-cloud offering where they can get the best out of each solution. IDC affirms this in their 2021 report, stating that by 2022, over 90% of enterprises will be relying on a hybrid cloud solutions model that includes on-premise, dedicated private clouds, multiple public clouds and legacy platforms. “We find that the use of standard cloud services is already widespread on the African continent, with 75% to 80% of enterprises using cloud services in some fashion.

“The migration to cloud services is something else entirely, refering to the process of migrating traditionally on-premises enterprise applications to an externally managed server set-up in a private or public cloud configuration, or some combination thereof. Migration numbers are lower, though increasingly encouraging.”

“The ability to foster collaboration between open source and commercial software provides significant options including the ability to leverage existing investments,” says Walker. “Huawei Cloud will assist us in extending our reach globally into both public and private sector markets with our digital services and solutions.”

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