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Tata Continues Pursuit of Cloud Enablement

Since Microsoft announced Skype for Business and spelled out its plans for incorporating communications as part of Office 365, we've heard lots of news from its partners about how they can help enterprises jump on board the train.

In late September, for example, hosting provider Tata Communications announced plans to allow enterprises the ability to connect to Office 365 via private cloud connections. They will be able to do so via IZO, Tata Communications' global network platform designed for enhanced hybrid cloud enablement.

Tata Communications will now offer Azure ExpressRoute for Office 365 through its IZO Private platform, connecting businesses that are concerned that using the public Internet will not provide high enough reliability or powerful enough security for their organizational requirements. IZO Private provides a way to "turn your IP VPN into a VIP VPN," as the tagline states. This means businesses can bypass the public Internet and use the company WAN to access Office 365.

While this partnership is certainly noteworthy, Microsoft Azure and Office 365 are only the latest cloud platforms to join the IZO ecosystem, which already includes Salesforce, Amazon Web Services, and the Google Cloud Platform, as well as more than 50 data centers around the world. In addition, more than 20 network providers in 42 countries have partnered with Tata Communications on IZO, too. The goal is to utilize Tata Communications' strong partnerships to turn IZO into the most comprehensive enterprise WAN and cloud-enablement platform available.

"Connecting businesses via ExpressRoute to Office 365 represents another milestone for our IZO cloud-enablement platform," said Julie Woods-Moss, CMO and CEO of NextGen Business at Tata Communications, in a company-issued press release. "We're excited to be working with Microsoft to build a global ecosystem that harnesses our extensive global network, and we're committed to enabling more global businesses to drive their digital transformation through the cloud."

This is simply the latest news to hit the wire about Tata Communications, a company that I find particularly interesting. Tata Communications has evolved in the past decade from a service provider primarily in the Indian market to a global communications services provider offering a wide array of solutions across the stack.

For enterprise UC, its Jamvee Unified Communications platform and audio and Web conferencing services stand out. I learned about the value Tata Communications' UC offerings can bring to a business in a recent conversation I had with Kannan Subbiah, CTO of MF Utilities, a provider of online transaction aggregation platform for mutual funds investors in India. MF Utilities uses Tata Communications audio conferencing services and Global Meeting services, and Subbiah spoke a bit about why Tata was an ideal fit for the business.

The use of Tata Communications' audio conferencing services has been essential to helping MF Utilities carry on conversations with its partners, Subbiah told me. It's reduced time and cost of travel, and the pay-per-use model is particularly attractive to Subbiah, who also noted that MF Utilities' previous provider was unable to deliver the necessary level of reliability and additionally limited the number of participants in a conference.

One attractive component of Tata Communications' Global Meeting Exchange is that it eliminates the problems businesses can run into when trying to conference with partners that utilize different network and telepresence carriers. This is done through the use of Tata Communications' agnostic video network.

As Subbiah noted, communications are converging, and it's one of the many reasons that a unified approach to communications technology solutions can often provide the best business results.

With more businesses coming to understand the power of unified communications, and the surge in enterprises looking to the cloud for an answer, I could see Tata Communications becoming an even more significant communications provider player in the near term -- especially with its extensive partner ecosystem.

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