17 August 2015
Amazon will open its new Johannesburg office during 2015/16, recruiting over 250 local engineers, network specialists, media specialists and other technology staff to service the growing number of Amazon Web Services (AWS) clients in South Africa, Africa and the rest of the world.
The service provides cloud technology and storage offerings to businesses, including web start-ups, SMMEs and governments. The first Amazon Web Services office in South Africa – the Amazon Cape Town Development Centre – opened in 2004, and now the increasingly popular service requires a second location to manage business demand.
“Amazon has been an active contributor to the South African technology community for over a decade,” said Steve Midgley, head of Amazon Web Services for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and now, with the new expansion and creation of jobs, the company intends to further accelerate the growth of cloud customers in Africa and around the globe. “Over (ten years) we have seen some key technologies of the AWS cloud emerge from the country, so it is no surprise we are also seeing strong growth amongst African organisations moving to the cloud. Choosing to locate an office in South Africa speaks to the rapidly growing customer base, the broad set of talent here and the investment we are making to support cloud adoption around the world,” Midgley said.
The Amazon Cape Town Development Centre was established to facilitate the operations of the company’s Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) service, and while that office will continue drive the service, the Johannesburg office will focus more on developing new products for the cloud service, designed specifically for Africa and regions outside of Europe and the United States.
South African companies using Amazon Web Services include Standard Bank, MTN and Travelstart.
Travelstart, one of Africa’s largest online travel booking websites, operates in more than 15 countries in Africa and the Middle East. Anders Back, Travelstart Chief Technology Officer welcomes the Amazon expansion, saying “thanks to the pay-as- you-go nature of AWS, we have been able to grow our Middle Eastern websites in leaps and bounds while reducing operating costs.” Without active support structure on the ground for cloud storage technology, says Back, would be unachievable for South African companies looking for international expansion.
Amazon are currently accepting relevant employment applications for the new Johannesburg site through their corporate website.