Presented by MTN

Partnership between MTN and Microsoft flourishes

 ·18 Apr 2023

Organisations of all sizes are turning to cloud migration and modernisation to support growth, future-proof their businesses, and reduce costs. As a result, optimising workloads, consolidating vendors, and simultaneously adopting hybrid and multi-cloud architectures are becoming common strategies.

Most organisations use multiple private and public clouds. With so many options available to them, businesses of all sizes are looking for value in all their cloud offerings.

This is one of the reasons that Microsoft Azure is rapidly growing its global market share, which now sits at just under a quarter of all global cloud customers. In fact, the number of Azure users worldwide is approaching the 1 billion mark, with 85% of Fortune 500 companies using Microsoft Azure Cloud.

One of the reasons for this growth is the value offered by strategic partnerships like the one MTN has with Microsoft, says Vaughn Naidoo, Acting Executive at MTN Business.

“At the end of last year, MTN and Microsoft signed a five-year strategic partnership that is not only providing added value to existing customers, but is also offering new customers significant cost savings and other benefits,” he explains.

Growing customer base

The MTN x Microsoft partnership is focused on helping customers access innovation with speed, flexibility and predictable investments and operations.

From migrating Business and Operational Support applications to the Microsoft Azure cloud to realise operational benefits and cost efficiencies, to the migration of EVA (MTN’s extensive core big data platform) to Azure, this partnership is designed to bring the power of cloud computing to life for organisations of all sizes.

The value offered by the partnership has seen MTN grow its base of Azure customers, with its latest deal having been signed with the Media, Information and Communication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority (MICT SETA).

MICT SETA aims to strategically lead the MICT sector skills development system within the sub-sectors where it operates, including Advertising, Film and Electronic Media, Electronics, Information Technology and Telecommunications.

The MICT SETA will be leveraging a number of products in the Microsoft Azure offering.

“This is a significant milestone for MTN Business and a testament to the tireless work that has been done behind the scenes by numerous teams. The MTN x Microsoft partnership is a collaborative effort, and we believe that the offering reflects our commitment to meeting customer needs, not to mention helping enterprises enhance organisational agility while reducing costs,” says Naidoo.

“We have taken a unique approach to the deployment of workloads to the public cloud, with a focus on finding opportunities to improve customer experience and reduce costs.”

“This approach has already enabled MTN to complete a proof of concept for the world’s first 5G standalone core network solution deployed in Microsoft’s Azure public cloud in just a few weeks, and has allowed us to create a licensing offer designed to help customers significantly reduce the costs of running their workloads in the cloud, realising cost savings of up to 49%.”

Nurturing the future

Beyond cost and infrastructure optimisation, the MTN x Microsoft partnership is helping MTN evolve its common data model to enable use cases that bridge typical divides across network, IT and commercial domains by taking advantage of native Azure capabilities – including machine learning and artificial intelligence.

The MICT SETA will be able to take advantage of this, as well as the MTN Group Cloud Centre of Excellence.

MTN has also started migrating carefully-selected business applications to Azure through an initiative called Project Nephos.

Project Nephos is built around the principle of delivering maximum value as early as possible by selecting the most suitable applications to be migrated to Azure with a fixed migration cost and carefully designed operational costs.

Naidoo adds that MTN’s focus on nurturing and growing digital skills is strongly reflected in both the MTN x Microsoft partnership and Project Nephos.

“We have embarked on an extensive skills development program in cloud technologies, DevSecOps, and data management,” says Naidoo.

“Hundreds of MTN employees across MTN’s African marketing team have already benefitted from the Microsoft Enterprise Skills Initiative (ESI), which provides hands-on technical training and certification in Microsoft Azure technologies. The program will run across multiple countries where MTN operates to maximise the impact of the partnership,” he says.

“We are looking forward to growing our Microsoft Azure practice and are extremely proud to have been able to achieve as much as we have with the MTN x Microsoft partnership in such a short space of time.”

“MTN has recently achieved the Modern Workplace – Microsoft Cloud Partner accreditation as part of this journey – and as the partnership evolves and we help grow Microsoft skills and capabilities in the regions we operate in, we believe that customers like the MICT SETA will only gain more benefits through their Azure investments.”

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