AT&T-Microsoft Pact Marks Carrier’s Second Big Alliance This Week


AT&T and Microsoft have forged a multiyear alliance in which Microsoft will be the preferred cloud provider for non-network applications, as part of AT&T’s public-cloud-first strategy, and will support AT&T as it consolidates its data center infrastructure and operations.

The deal comes just one day after news broke that IBM and AT&T have formed a multiyear strategic alliance enabling the carrier to host its business applications on the IBM Cloud.

According to CNBC, the AT&T-Microsoft pact is worth more than $2 billion, citing a person familiar with the matter.

AT&T and Microsoft will enable a “future of ubiquitous computing” through edge technologies and 5G, according to Microsoft.

A Microsoft spokesperson tells Channel Partners the companies already have joint enterprise solutions for networking, IoT and blockchain in market and expect to announce additional services beginning later this year. Last month, AT&T and Microsoft shared how Israeli startup Vorpal is using AT&T’s network and Microsoft Azure, IoT and Azure Stack to support real-time monitoring of drones.

“As part of the strategic alliance, Microsoft and AT&T are building a network edge platform to drive 5G scenarios which will be available to our partner ecosystem to innovate and build upon,” the spokesperson said. “For example Vorpal is an ISV, and that pilot is an example of a partner building on collaborative network edge components to deliver a unique service to market.”

The global scale of Microsoft’s Azure cloud and AT&T’s domestic 5G capabilities will enable “unique solutions” for the companies’ mutual customers, according to Microsoft. The companies will bring to market integrated industry solutions including in the areas of voice, collaboration and conferencing, intelligent edge and networking, IoT, public safety and cybersecurity.

AT&T Communications' John Donovan

AT&T Communications’ John Donovan

“AT&T and Microsoft are among the most committed companies to fostering technology that serves people,” said John Donovan, CEO of AT&T Communications. “By working together on common efforts around 5G, the cloud and AI, we will accelerate the speed of innovation and impact for our customers and our communities.”

AT&T is migrating most non-network workloads to the public cloud by 2024. That initiative will allow AT&T to focus on core network capabilities, accelerate innovation for its customers and empower its workforce while optimizing costs, the company said.

As part of the pact with Microsoft, AT&T will provide much of its workforce with cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools available with Microsoft 365, and plans to migrate non-network infrastructure applications to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

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