19 minutes | Oct 13, 2020

Ep 5 – The BFCs: Putting Microsoft Azure to the test for telcos

Ok, telcos – let’s get to the cloud! This is the first in my three-part series, The Big Effing Clouds, or BFCs for short. I’m talking to Azure, GCP and AWS, and I’m going to help you figure out which one is right for you.

In this episode, I sit down with Rick Lievano, Worldwide Director of Technology Strategy at Microsoft, who builds a GREAT case for why Azure should be telecom’s cloud platform of choice. In case you haven’t heard, Microsoft’s Azure for Operators is calling the ball and building the carrier-grade cloud [05:45].

Tune in to hear Rick talk about the steps Microsoft has taken to build telco muscle [06:15], the results of a super-cool experiment with underwater data centers [11:54], and an in-depth look at Azure Cognitive Services, which uses AI and ML to understand and speak spoken language (CX boost, anyone?) [08:55]. Other good reasons to give Azure a close look: 

  • Azure Communication Services, which allow developers to add rich communication capabilities with simple APIs [03:19];
  • Azure Orbital to speed data processing and deliver instant analytics [03:41]; and
  • Drag and drop building blocks to help telcos reduce costs and boost revenue [04:44].

And did you know Microsoft signed one of the biggest, highest profile public cloud deals with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)’s JEDI contract? If you’re worried about security and the public cloud, this should put you at ease.[13:36].


Rick Lievano is the Worldwide Director of Technology Strategy for the Microsoft Telecommunications industry.  Rick works with customers and partners in developing telecommunications industry solutions and reference architectures to address the rapidly changing needs of service providers across the globe.

Listen to our conversation by clicking play above or subscribe through your favorite podcast feed.

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Podcast Credits
  • Executive Producer and Host: Danielle Royston, TelcoDR
  • Executive Producer: Kristin Donelson, OneLouder Marketing
  • Senior Producer: Lindsay Grubb
  • Editor/Producer: Alisa Jenkins Wilson, Springboard Marketing
  • Audio Capture: Aaron Joslow, Rally Point Webinars
  • Audio Editing: Andrew Condell
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