Verizon serves up Microsoft ExpressRoute, Azure Government Cloud for business customers

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) has added Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) ExpressRoute for Office 365, Skype for Business and Microsoft Azure Government Cloud to its Secure Cloud Interconnect service, adding another service choice for business customers considering a cloud migration. 

Azure ExpressRoute for Office 365 and Skype for Business with Secure Cloud Interconnect are now available in Verizon's Northern Virginia, San Jose, London and Hong Kong data centers, while Microsoft Azure Government is available to Azure customers in Microsoft's data center in Northern Virginia with an additional site in Chicago planned to come online this fall. 

The new offering is focused on addressing some of the initial barriers that have prevented enterprises from adopting cloud services such as control and network security.

A key element Verizon brings to the table for Microsoft Azure users is its Private IP network, enabling customers to get a connection that's not prone to the latency and security issues of the public Internet. Because these offerings ride on top of Verizon's Secure Cloud Interconnect which uses Verizon's Private IP network connections, cloud customers gain a number of additional benefits, including consumption-based bandwidth, pre-provisioned on-demand resources, controlled application performance and varying classes of service.  

Microsoft uses Verizon's Secure Cloud Interconnect to pre-provision wireless and IP data networking to the cloud service provider community to ensure a secure environment.

Verizon said that Azure users can maintain the security, consistency and reliability of their business cloud connections without the need to expose data to the public Internet or to construct custom network connections. By building Microsoft and Verizon's interconnect with redundant links it adds another layer of reliability to the solution. 

For government customers, Microsoft Azure Government complies with FedRAMP and FISMA requirements.

Microsoft is just one of several cloud service partners that Verizon offers over its Secure Cloud Interconnect platform. Previously, it established similar pacts to carry Secure Cloud Interconnect (SCI) service over the HP Helion Managed Cloud Service and the Salesforce Customer Success Platform.

Verizon may be the latest to offer business customers another option to connect to Microsoft Azure and other cloud services, but it is hardly alone.

A number of Verizon's global service provider competitors like AT&T (NYSE: T), BT (NYSE: BT) and Level 3 also offer similar capabilities for their customers.

AT&T recently enhanced its partnership with network integrator CSC where it is combining NetBond technology with the CSC Agility platform, while BT began offering directly to the Microsoft Office 365 productivity suite with Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute. Meanwhile, Level 3 has established partnerships with Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Microsoft to enable business customers move applications and workloads from physical locations into the cloud.

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