Authored by: Austin Spreadbury, Principal Technical Program Manager
Microsoft understands that both fixed and mobile operators must optimize existing communications investments and services as critical voice workloads are moved to the cloud. As part of this effort, we announce private previewof Azure Operator Voicemail – a significant milestone for operators looking to transform their support of legacy voice services while realizing meaningful cost savings.
The core value of Azure Operator Voicemail is that it enables operators to migrate their current voicemail services to Azure and to take advantage of a highly reliable, fully managed service in the process. Azure Operator Voicemail reduces the operational support burden and simultaneously severs the hardware purchase life cycle. In this way, it is the last voicemail system you will ever need to deploy.
The service allows operators to strategically focus their limited resources on greater revenue-producing projects. Because of its importance and ease of use, Azure Operator Voicemail is shaping up to represent the perfect 'first workload' candidate for many cautious operators looking to take more steps along their journey toward the cloud.
Simple integration while maintaining regulatory compliance
Geo-redundant by design, Azure Operator Voicemail is deployed across multiple regions in any given geography, with a fully active-active model, meaning that the stateless service instance in any region can provide service for any subscriber. State is stored in a database layer with multiple replicas in each region, and is further replicated across regions in a geography. Communication between regions occurs over Microsoft’s network, which functions as the high-quality global backbone operating behind the service.
This replication model means that all data belonging to the service provider and to the end-user (i.e., the subscriber) remains firmly within the geography in question, in order to comply with regulatory and operator data residency and privacy rules.
Azure Operator Voicemail is designed for low-impact, simple integration into service provider networks, with the following touch points:
Voice – SIP and RTP between your network’s session border controller and the service instances in Azure regions, for both incoming calls (for callers leaving messages, as well as subscribers accessing their mailboxes) and outgoing calls (live reply and outdial notifications).
Visual Voicemail – IMAP and SMPP to elements of your network core, including your SMSC or appropriate proxy.
Provisioning – REST interfaces for programmatic integration with your OSS and existing flow-through provisioning systems.
Monitoring – Leverage graphical dashboards and data feeds.
Lawful interception – Execute warrants from law enforcement agencies with ease.
Azure tools allow operators to do more
Azure Operator Voicemail supports private connections between Azure regions and your network over Azure Peering Service and ExpressRoute.
Microsoft operates all aspects of Azure Operator Voicemail, handling deployment, maintenance, upgrades, security updates, round-the-clock monitoring, diagnosis, and repair. Because of this, service providers are enabled to free up skilled personnel so they can take on tasks that create more overall value for the business.
Graphical dashboards allow operators to monitor the health of the service and to observe key metrics such as call load, error rates, and user experience quality indicators such as time-to-first audio.
Azure Operator Voicemail is built with security and privacy of data in mind, with data encryption occurring during storage and across external interfaces. The service uses Azure Active Directory for authorization and authentication of administrator accounts, integrated with the service provider’s own Active Directory domain to provide robust role-based access control under service provider control and policy.
Azure Operator Voicemail also changes the economics of providing voicemail to your subscribers, with usage-based subscription pricing. This means that you pay only for mailboxes being actively used, aligning the cost of providing the service to the value you and your subscribers derive from it. This also eliminates the periodic costs associated with renewing the hardware and software platform, as this is all taken care of as part of the service offering.
Learn more today
Telecom services require a combination of agility, resilience, and scale that is typically difficult, expensive, and time-consuming to deliver. Running voicemail on Azure makes this easy.
Azure Operator Voicemail is 'ice-breaking' into the carrier cloud opportunity, building the trust and capabilities that operators need to develop when moving more of their network to Azure.
If you would like more information about the Private Preview of Azure Operator Voicemail, complete the form here.