A Collaboration forged through innovation, next-generation infrastructure, unrivalled cloud, and digital transformation expertise.
There is something special about opening the door to a first home. Often it is the first step towards independence, and a time of hope, optimism, and knowing that anything is possible.
Technology is no different. Applications need a home to live in and the cloud offers many options. Much like an investment in a new home, businesses need the assurance they have a strong foundation that can withstand headwinds and keep you safe.
There is concern that with the numerous design choices on offer, setting up a cloud environment for your application will be onerous. The worry is that in addition to having a deep understanding of the cloud, the process of establishing a cloud environment will necessitate the configuration of multiple accounts and services.
Synthesis is an AWS Advanced Consulting partner headquartered in South Africa that specialises in cloud migration and modernisation initiatives since 2017. It was then that Synthesis acquired status as the first AWS Advanced Consulting Partner in Africa.
With an extensive track record of cloud experience and over 200 certifications, Synthesis has competencies in Migration, DevOps, Windows Workloads, Security, Microsoft Workloads, as well as Financial Services – it is the only partner with this competency in the Middle East Africa (MEA) region.
These competencies have been earned through sheer hard work and dedication to deliver high-quality services and solutions to our customers. These services and technology are underpinned by a solid partner programme network that includes programmes such as the well-architected framework, immersion days, commercial and solution provider agreements, and marketplace.
Our journey with AWS
Synthesis was in the “housing market” long before it became fashionable.
Back in September 2013, Synthesis was on a mission to showcase the value of the cloud and help customers on their cloud journeys. We started out using little servers in the broom closet that could not scale. We needed a platform “home” for our application to scale up and down as required..
We evaluated different providers and discovered that AWS, in general, was a really good developer platform. It was, that the team quite enjoyed, and this became the foundation for our internal applications.
“In the next 18-to-24 months, our engagements with customers revealed that they too were looking for cost-effective scalable solutions to house their applications and data. Being an early adopter of AWS, gave us the confidence, skill, and expertise to help our customers start to shape their IT landscape, well before the AWS partner network was established in South Africa. Reflecting on our journey, we are proud of our achievements, the customers we’ve innovated with, and the growth of our business”, explains Darryl Govender, Director of Cloud Services at Synthesis.
AWS recognised the growth in the South African region and quickly mobilised teams to establish a local presence. Moving from global to local support accelerated the pace at which AWS and Synthesis worked together, and the partnership quickly gained momentum. At that stage, the customers were curious but cautious about the public cloud. This presented an opportunity to educate, test, and prove value by tapping into the cloud space.
Chris Erasmus, Country Manager, AWS South Africa said, “We are genuinely excited about our collaboration with Synthesis Software Technologies, headquartered in South Africa, holding the highest number of AWS competencies in the region. Synthesis’ commitment to reinventing itself and delivering results for customers aligns seamlessly with our shared vision. As we embark on the strategic journey ahead, expanding beyond financial services into new industries and realms of data and Gen AI, the partnership promises revolutionary products shaped by customer insights. With Synthesis being natural builders, utilising AWS’ extensive portfolio of over 200 services, the future holds exciting possibilities for our collaborative endeavours.”
As an early AWS adopter and partner, Synthesis leveraged AWS’s global and local support to navigate challenges, educate clients across industry, and prove the value of the cloud in addressing security, regulatory compliance, and latency concerns, contributing to the successful evolution of the AWS collaboration
AWS created a strong South African presence and quickly started to reinforce its team. The developer platform rose to the occasion and invested in recruitment to fill vacancies in technical, partner development management and sales management. AWS’ international prominence and its effective partner network helped to grow Synthesis.
Strong brand recognition and AWS’ reputation fuelled customer demand for adoption.
Leveraging its expertise in the financial services vertical, Synthesis has been successful in developing additional skillsets and experience to broaden its AWS service offering.
Our experience in financial services and AWS is a powerful differentiator and resulted in better quality service delivery for customers and securing additional competencies over the years.
Looking back, why was this such a game-changer?
Reflecting on the early days as an AWS partner, Synthesis believes that it was the right decision to invest in building skills and capabilities with a cloud partner who is equally customer-obsessed and innovative.
With the skillset, backed by AWS and an eagerness to help customers solve their problems, a relationship of mutual respect and trust was forged. Customers wanted us to be a part of their migration to the cloud.
The fact that the top five banks; ABSA, Nedbank, Standard Bank, FNB, and Capitec all utilised Synthesis to enable their AWS capability when they were all new to the public cloud was a game changer.
Our experience and skills are sought after internationally and Synthesis has grabbed the opportunity to expand beyond South Africa.
Internationally, Synthesis has rebranded with AWS to enable business-led and value-based solutions. By leveraging this cloud enablement angle, the company has been able to tap into other areas/customer bases, specifically retail.
Growing and maturing:
Building on AWS to rapidly support our customers on their journey became critical for us not only to architect our team, but also to support the cloud destination of choice for customers.
Over the years, Synthesis has developed strong capabilities in:
- Landing Zones (LZ’s) and Control Towers to set up our customer’s environments.
- Robust Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), Migration Readiness Assessments (MRA), and Business Cases for Cloud.
- Migration practice to support our customers in a successful migration to the cloud.
- DevOps and modernisation.
- NextGen Managed Services (MSP) and Security capability to safeguard and manage our customer’s critical workloads on the cloud.
Synthesis continues to evolve and maintains momentum in keeping up with the development of cloud. We do this by developing solutions such as platform services, GenAI, and many others.
Synthesis continues to strive to be the thinking and doing partner.
Where is South Africa now in their Cloud journey?
South Africa is still in the early phase of cloud adoption. What is promising is that more customers are realising the value of AWS Cloud in helping their businesses transform at speed, at scale, and in a resilient and safe manner.
“Synthesis Software Technologies has been an integral part of the AWS community for the past decade, contributing to the success of our joint endeavours. Their deep understanding of AWS services, coupled with their innovative approach and builder mentality in solving complex challenges, has played a pivotal role in delivering transformative solutions for our mutual customers. We’re excited about the possibilities that the next decade holds”, says Chris Erasmus, Country Manager, AWS South Africa.
What’s next for Synthesis and AWS?
Over the years Synthesis has cemented its role as an AWS cloud transformation and enablement partner and has solved various business challenges for clients. It has continued with a multi-layered approach that strongly embeds training at the core of the adoption journey by leveraging the Cloud Value Framework to show tangible business value realisation throughout.
Our strategy has traditionally been about creating a broad skills base, but now the company is focusing on transforming the business to create more specialisation in different fields to expand our skillset across cloud engineers, data engineers, and software engineers.
Synthesis has recently achieved the AWS Migration Competency which means customers can have full confidence in the company’s ability to help migrate and modernise. The Migration Acceleration Program (MAP) gives Synthesis access to AWS’s flagship partner program and allows it to leverage AWS funding to help offset consulting and consumption efforts of migrating to the cloud.
“The Synthesis and AWS partnership is founded on innovation and resilience, shaping the future of cloud transformation in South Africa. As we celebrate our journey, we remain dedicated to creating not just solutions but opportunities to build a foundation for success in the ever-evolving landscape of Cloud technology” concludes Michael Shapiro, Managing Director at Synthesis.