For the last year and a half, I’ve been obsessed with one of the biggest collaborations worldwide between a telco and a hyperscaler: AT&T and Microsoft Azure. In 2021, the CSP sold its network cloud to Azure. Since then, people in the industry have been wondering what’s been going on, who’s doing what, and how things are going. For this episode, Shawn Hakl, Microsoft VP of 5G Strategy, joins me to answer these questions and talk about:
- Why the partnership made sense for both sides [02:37];
- The benefit of handing over infrastructure management to a hyperscaler [04:22];
- How Azure and AT&T collaborate and divide responsibilities [05:52]; and
- The challenges of bringing it all together and adopting a new playbook [12:03].
Listen to our conversation by clicking play above or subscribe through your favorite podcast platform – see the links in the right column above. You can find the transcript for this episode here.
Links and Resources
- Read AT&T’s June 2021 announcement about Microsoft’s acquisition of its Network Cloud
- Check out this Protocol article from July 2021, Why AT&T moved its core tech — but not everything — to Microsoft Azure
- Here’s Shawn’s update on the collaboration from early 2022
- Listen to other Telco in 20 episodes featuring Microsoft Azure:
- Ep 5 Rick Lievano: The BFC’s: Putting Microsoft’s Azure to the test for telcos
- Ep 9 Yousef Khalidi: Microsoft’s big move
- A big part of the strategy for Azure with its acquisition of AT&T’s Network Cloud is to refactor the code to run natively on Azure and then sell it to other operators. Read my blog on why refactoring for native public cloud is key to really leveraging the power of the public cloud.
- Shawn is way into making antique furniture by hand, and even made a piece with a SECRET DRAWER. You know what else has a secret drawer? The Resolute Desk, at least according to the movie National Treasure. Watch how Nicolas Cage cracks the code and finds the hidden drawer.
THIS WEEK’S GUEST
Shawn Hakl is responsible for building and executing the product strategy and partnerships for Microsoft’s Azure for Operators portfolio. His team works across product, engineering, and sales to help operators execute on the digital transformation of the core and edge networks. Prior to Microsoft, Shawn served at Verizon as the Senior Vice President of Business Product, responsible for a $29B portfolio covering services such as enterprise networking, 4G/5G, cyber security, collaboration, and IoT.
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