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Microsoft Targets Oz Market With New Cloud Service Range

SYDNEY/REDMOND: Microsoft is cementing its push into Australia, expanding the reach of its Azure cloud services, which now include a new set of features that could impact the Australian communications sector.

The US company has been increasing its availability zones, the equivalent of expanding a mobile phone network, in widespread countries like Australia after being caught out two years ago in the US following a lightning strike.

The Windows giant says it will target Australia’s eastern seaboard, which has expanded its business profile since the work-from-home movement has taken off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Microsoft’s addition of its new Azure Communication Services, announced at its virtual Ignite event this week, will enable developers here to add voice and video calling, chat and text messages to their apps, as well as telephony to the mix.

Redmond describes ACS as the first fully managed communication platform offering from a major cloud provider.

Google and AWS already offer some of these features, but not as part of a cohesive communication service.

The move pitches Azure Communication Service against services offered by Twilio, which has an office in Melbourne or MessageBird, which relies on partners here to relay its services.

Microsoft is also pushing additional tools such as translation and encryption services.

Microsoft already has an extensive reach into Australian business and government agencies and the expansion of Azure is certain to strengthen its dominance of the SaaS sector here. – Chris Castellari

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