Microsoft Cloud Profile: From Azure technical engineer to entrepreneur and Microsoft MVP

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First-time Microsoft Azure MVP Catalin Popa has worked on a range of enterprise application development projects worldwide. A cloud solutions architect based in Bucharest, Popa was nominated for his MVP award in July or August and received his award in October, which he admits was “fairly quick.”

Working at Microsoft, then starting his own firm

From August 2014 to August 2017, Popa worked for Microsoft in Bucharest, starting out as an Azure technical engineer responsible for resolving second-level customer issues related to the Azure PaaS services. At the time he left Microsoft his role had evolved from technical engineer to include building key customer relationships, identifying business opportunities, and negotiating and closing business deals.

My first job at Microsoft was as a technical engineer on the Azure platform. That’s how my career started although I didn’t really plan on working on Azure. I was quite knowledgeable about the Microsoft technologies at that point and Microsoft just offered me a position with this new technology and this new team. They said, ‘Look, you already know some parts of Microsoft, you can learn the new parts, the Azure part,’ and that was it. The rest is kind of history.

In 2017, Popa co-founded to help organizations realize digital transformation by providing solutions and services on any cloud project. The company started with three people – Popa and two former Microsoft colleagues – and now boasts 10 employees.

Popa and his colleagues started as a consultancy offering its services to large government and enterprise customers mainly from Western Europe. In 2019, started developing its own solutions. Currently, the team on the solutions side of the business develops AI-solutions based on optical character recognition and form recognizers, according to Popa.

Wearing two hats

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