Microsoft Azure is investing in operators

The Azure platform, powered by Microsoft, is now actively working on a new segment, namely telecom.

There were probably many of us who became curious when Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, started looking for companies that worked with telecom software. Now the answer is clear, Microsoft is putting extra focus on cloud servers for telecom.

Jason Zander, Executive Vice President of Microsoft Azure, says this in his blog: “We’re building a carrier-grade cloud and bringing more Microsoft technology to the operator’s edge. This, in combination with our developer ecosystem, will help operators to future proof their networks, drive down costs, and create new services and business models.”

A saturated market for Iaas

Infrastructure-as-a-service is becoming more common in all industries and Microsoft is now entering the Iaas race against Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform. AWS has been the dominant player since they entered the sector, in 2006. Despite the dominance of AWS, Microsoft has managed to gain ground in the market under Nadella’s flag.

The necessary parts are now, according to Microsoft, in place to be able to compete to become a cloud partner for operators who want to invest in new technology such as 5G and IoT.

Zander says “The network infrastructure must ensure operators are able to optimize costs and gain efficiencies, while enabling the development of personalized and differentiated services.”

A big plus for the telecom industry

For the telecom industry, it is a big plus that the three technology giants compete in cloud-based telephony as it will most likely lead to the price being kept market-based while innovation is forced forward.

Microsoft is increasingly seen as a competitor by many players, and although they themselves certainly want to see this as a step that partners benefit from, I think many service providers will be skeptical.

It will be exciting to see how this affects the dynamics of the market and whether Microsoft can find more synergy effects that do not exist in, for example, AWS.

Read more about Microsoft Azure and their investment in telecom and operators here.

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