Engineering Matters by Bengt

Bengt – Director, Network Engineering – Global Networking Services Team

I’ve been in Microsoft’s Global Networking Services (GNS) team for just over 36 months.  Global Networking Services is the team that designs, deploys and supports the networks behind Microsoft’s online services, including Bing, Windows Azure, Microsoft Business Productivity Online Services, Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger, and  I recently reflected on why I came here.


I’ve been ‘heads down’ in a lot of work that’s distracted me from one of my most important roles, keeping Network Engineering on the same page as GFS, our product groups, and Microsoft.  When I take a moment to reflect on the work we do, I’m taken aback by our role and the impact we have on the company’s online services.  These are still the reasons I’m here and the reasons I still love my job:


There is tremendous potential energy in GFS.

This is the epiphany I had when I was considering my own career and it’s something I want each of you to consider.  Most of us probably learned about potential and kinetic energy at some point. Kinetic energy is energy that an object has due to its motion (car doing 90mph). Potential energy is energy something could have due to motion or stored energy (rocket fuel).


When I looked around the company and considered my own career, I looked for things that mattered (to me and to Microsoft), I looked for teams of smart people, and I looked for potential energy.  I looked for the teams that had capabilities that weren’t being leveraged to the extent they could.  Global Foundation Services (GFS) fit this description and I believe that we have something to offer the company.


Consider the rocket fuel analogy. Potential energy needs a catalyst to convert to kinetic energy, something to kick off the reaction.  I think we have it!  We’ve got a role that matters, a management team that believes in the work we’re doing, and lots and lots of opportunity.  Product groups are asking, our partner teams in GFS are asking, and we’re here to help them meet their infrastructure needs.  We seize the opportunities.  Consider how you, in Network Engineering, could find cases where you could help with fuel (raw engineering work) or catalyst (attitude, ideas, teamwork).


GNS has some of the most knowledgeable engineers working in online services.

The skillset, knowledge, ability, and raw depth in networking that the Network Engineers I work with have isn’t common at Microsoft.  I work with the best and the brightest in the industry.  I am here because I want to work with people who drive themselves to become the (bar none) most highly skilled and capable engineers in the industry: certainly not a stretch to make that statement about my team.  I came here because I like working with smart people and that’s why I’ve stayed.


GNS will play a key role in delivering the “big bets” for the company. (Software + Services, Cloud, Infrastructure as a Service)

When Steve Ballmer talks about Microsoft’s strategy, he uses one of these words on almost every topic: connected, online, anywhere, networked (yes, really!), and cloud.  If you asked him to break down what he means, every single one of these means, “has a network between the consumer/user and a service that Microsoft provides.”  Ballmer has also internally made some statements about GFS, things that make me optimistic about our future and our impact on the company’s core growth strategy.  He’s said things like: “GFS is our one path to the internet” and “GNS is the networking team for Microsoft’s online services.” I read a lot of industry press and there’s no question that Microsoft is “all-in” on our Software + Services bet.  GFS really is make-or-break for one of the company’s strategies.   Did I mention that this stuff matters?



Literally every day I’m reminded of the reasons I came to Global Foundation Services and why I love my job.  I came for the opportunity and stayed for the people and the difference we’re making.





If interested, join Microsoft’s Global Networking Services team talent community – you can sign up to get notifications on Network Engineering roles that are aligned with your skills and career goals!  Click on the link below and look in the top right corner for “Join our Talent Network.”