Reflecting on my attendance at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, I’m reminded of the skill and talent of not only one of the greatest footballers of all time but an inspirational leader, Johan Cruyff. As a kid, Cruyff was my hero. He brought European Cup success to Dutch club Ajax before joining Barcelona and inspiring them to their first-ever La Liga title. Many years later, he returned as manager, building “the dream team” and establishing Barcelona as a European football superpower.

Cruyff once said: “Quality without results is pointless. Results without quality are boring.” It’s a lesson I’ve always applied in business.

BT prides itself on the excellence of its managed services. We work with partners such as Microsoft to offer services that not only deliver the results customers expect but give quality experiences to ensure they are well used and easily adopted across their organisation.

Around 18 months ago, we renewed and deepened our strategic partnership with Microsoft. Together, we committed to ensuring Microsoft solutions work “best on BT” delivering both quality and results. Here’s an update on our successes so far:


We’re innovating not only in the development of products and services but in a digital experience. We have a digital quotation journey for Operator Connect and five solutions now available on Microsoft’s commercial Marketplace. On AppSource, we have Operator Connect for Microsoft Teams with BT; Microsoft Teams Voice with BT; BT Virtual Events for Microsoft Teams Live Events.

And on Azure Marketplace we have: Managed Microsoft Sentinel and Extended Detection and Response (XDR) with BT; and 5G Private Network with Microsoft Azure Multi Edge Computing (MEC). 

Enterprise voice

We said we were migrating our Global Managed Voice platform to run on Microsoft Azure as part of Microsoft’s Azure for Operators programme. This is now live.

We’re offering our Global Managed Voice services directly through Microsoft Teams. And we’ll be launching Microsoft Teams Phone Mobile too.

Cyber security

We’ve expanded our security portfolio from Managed Sentinel (Cloud SIEM) to include Microsoft Defender and XDR.  We’ve enabled Microsoft Sentinel onto the UK Government G-Cloud framework for Public Sector. We’re seeing an increasing number of customers buying Microsoft security plus other Microsoft services from BT in a true multi-cloud approach. 

Industry-focused services

We’re working with Microsoft to develop a new private 5G and edge technology service designed to unlock safety, sustainability, productivity and security for a range of industries, from transport and logistics to manufacturing. It will bring together private mobile networks from BT with Microsoft’s Azure private multi-edge computing, which includes Azure Private 5G Core, cloud-managed edge computing and an ecosystem of application partners in robotics, video analytics and IoT.


Over in our Consumer division across both our EE and BT brands, we’ve been highly successful in integrating Microsoft services into a variety of our tariffs and plans. We were the first partner globally to offer M365 as an integrated solution and the integration of Game Pass Ultimate has made us the go-to fixed and mobile network for Xbox and gaming in the UK.

When I last met Omar Abbosh, president of Industry Solutions at Microsoft, he said the world is still at an early stage in its digital journey. “Partnerships are key to progress. Our Microsoft-BT partnership is built on a culture of teamwork, innovation and co-creation. By delivering high-quality digital services to end-users, we motivate customers to adopt digital technology to drive market impact and results,” he said.

At BT, we aim to be the world’s most trusted connector of people, devices and machines. To earn trust, we must deliver repeatable, predictable results for our innovative managed services. As Cruyff also said: “Winning is just one day, a reputation can last a lifetime.”

Bas Burger is the CEO, BT Business


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