Edsby piloting in South Africa

Edsby is entering into a trial in schools across South Africa’s Western Cape province

A region-wide trial of Edsby is getting underway in the South African province of Western Cape.

The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) selected Edsby in a solution review, provided approval for the pilot in WCED schools and helped choose schools for the project.

Western Cape is the southernmost South African province, with coasts bordering the Indian and Atlantic oceans. It’s one of the nine new South African provinces established in 1994 and is where port city of Cape Town is located, nestled beneath famous Table Mountain. In Table Bay, Robben Island is the notorious prison that once held Nelson Mandela, now a museum. Farther afield, vineyards surround historical towns like Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl where some of the country’s best wines are produced.

There are six million people in the province, and 1.2 million K-12 students.

The Western Cape’s Edsby system will be hosted in South Africa in new world-class Azure cloud datacenters just opened by Microsoft.

“It’s critical to state, provincial and national customers that their public sector data such as education information reside within their region,” said Edsby CEO and co-founder John Myers in a pilot kickoff session today. “Our relationship with Microsoft has enabled us to leverage Microsoft’s investment in Azure data centres around the world, including the recently opened Azure centres in South Africa. This enables Edsby to conform to South African data sovereignty requirements, and local servers also mean excellent performance for local users.”

Representatives from 15 schools across South Africa's Western Cape province learn about piloting Edsby.

After pilot schools’ data is connected to local Edsby servers, local teacher and administrator training is scheduled for September. Edsby is to be open to selected Western Cape students and parents in January, 2020.

Financial support is being generously provided by two organizations with a long history of supporting public education in South Africa: Pick n Pay, the second largest supermarket chain store in the country, and Woolworths, a large local retailer.