Microsoft and mobile network operator Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio) have partnered to accelerate India’s digital transformation. The firms aim to encourage small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to adopt leading technologies like data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and internet of things.
This 10-year commitment will offer Indian businesses solutions for improving connectivity, computing and storage to help them compete. It will also help to accelerate technology-led GDP growth in India.
“This is a unique and first-of-its-kind partnership that brings the capabilities of two large companies focused on creating significant value to Indian enterprises — small and large,” said Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries, parent company of Jio. “By working together to develop innovative and affordable cloud-enabled digital solutions built around Jio’s world-class digital infrastructure and Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, we will accelerate the digitisation of the Indian economy and make Indian businesses globally competitive. This will be a showcase to the world to demonstrate tech-enabled value creation that is both exponential and inclusive.”
As part of the new agreement, Jio will provide its workforce with cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools available via Microsoft 365 and will migrate its non-network applications to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. Jio’s connectivity infrastructure will promote the adoption of Azure within its ecosystem of start-ups and it will leverage the cloud itself to develop innovative solutions for Indian businesses.
Jio will also set up data centres across India which can house IT equipment consuming up to 7.5 megawatts of power. The first two are being set up in Gujarat and Maharashtra and are expected to be operational in 2020.
“We have an incredible opportunity to apply advances in technology to help organisations across India innovate and grow,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “The combination of Jio’s leading connectivity and digital solutions with Azure, Azure AI and Office 365 will bring powerful tools and platforms for compute, storage, productivity and more to millions of businesses in the country.”
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