Meet Steve Mantle, born an Australian, later moved to the USA. As Industry Solution Manager for Communications Sector Telco sell-to (selling Microsoft solutions to telecommunications companies) team, Steve is responsible for the Telco Digital Marketing and Telco Server/Datacenter Solutions.

How did you end up at Microsoft?

My career has spanned IT, systems engineering and business development...leading me to design and build out FTTX/triple play networks for telcos, universities and military bases.  Living just 2 miles from Microsoft's Redmond campus made it almost impossible to not have a number of friends that work for Microsoft.  And as such, a friend told me that I should look at a division of Microsoft called Communications Sector. I found out that Comm Sector focused on pairing Microsoft offerings with the service provider channel.  That got me thinking about all of the interesting B2B & B2C offerings that could result from these partnerships, and I was really compelled to land at Microsoft.  A few interviews later (yes, the interview process at Microsoft fully lived up to its reputation!), and I landed in good ol' Comm Sector.

What's become of that initial interest you had in Comm Sector, almost 4 years ago?

I truly believe that the possibilities are unlimited at Microsoft.  We are uniquely equipped to partner with service providers and help them move up the stack.  We've got a great set of consumer offerings with Mediaroom, Xbox (especially with Xbox Kinect!!), Windows Phone 7, Zune, Bing, MSN, Windows Live, Windows Home Server, and Windows 7; on the SMB side we have cloud offerings through Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS) with cloud-based mail, calendaring, intranet, web conferencing and unified communications...and oodles of applications being built on the Windows Azure platform.  The beauty of software and services is that all of these offerings have APIs that enable service providers and developers to extend and tie together these offerings in combination with their brand - ultimately enabling rich, multi-screen experiences for their customers.  It's really quite impressive when you start to think about all of the things you can do with these components when combined with the strength of service providers.

There are certainly plenty of things going on in Comm Sector. Can you tell us a little more about where you're focusing these days?

A strategic area of focus for us this year is Digital Marketing.  Microsoft is uniquely positioned to offer Digital Marketing solutions to service providers for three key reasons:  

1) We understand the challenges facing digital marketers - as Microsoft itself is one of the biggest marketers/advertisers in the world

2) We own an advertising/media network with amazing reach - Microsoft Advertising (think Bing, Facebook, MSN, millions of mobile devices, ...) and

3) We have the software to power websites, devices, and deliver rich media - with deep business intelligence capabilities enabling marketers to not only measure the effectiveness of their campaigns - but tweak them in real-time based on changing marketplace dynamics. 

We have some fantastic digital marketing success stories with some of the largest service providers and media and entertainment companies in the world. Stay tuned to this space for case studies and more details on our digital marketing solutions.

Sounds like you have a lot on your plate!  What do you do outside of that thrilling world?

I spend as much time as I can with my wife and two little girls and take advantage of the outdoors and beauty of the Pacific Northwest.  I'm truly fortunate to live in such a beautiful corner of the world and enjoy hiking, mountain biking, downhill skiing (Stevens Pass, Summit at Snoqualmie, and Whistler are my nearby favorites) and an occasional backpacking getaway. I'm looking forward to four days backpacking at Mount Rainier next month.