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Jio and Microsoft announce alliance to accelerate digital transformation in India

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MUMBAI: Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (Jio), a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited, and Microsoft Corp. are embarking on a unique, comprehensive, long-term strategic relationship aimed at accelerating the digital transformation of the Indian economy and society. This 10-year commitment combines the world-class capabilities of both companies to offer a detailed set of solutions comprising connectivity, computing, storage solutions, and other technology services and applications essential for Indian businesses and will span the broad Reliance Industries ecosystem including its existing and new businesses.

In combining efforts, Jio and Microsoft aim to enhance the adoption of leading technologies like data analytics, AI, cognitive services, blockchain, Internet of Things, and edge computing among small and medium enterprises to make them ready to compete and grow, while helping accelerate technology-led GDP growth in India and driving adoption of next-gen technology solutions at scale.

As part of this new agreement:

1. Jio will provide its internal workforce with cloud-based productivity and collaboration tools available with Microsoft 365 and will migrate its non-network applications to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

2. Jio’s connectivity infrastructure that aims to connect everyone, everything, everywhere will promote the adoption of the Microsoft Azure cloud platform within its growing ecosystem of startups, as part of Jio’s cloud-first strategy.

3. Jio will set up datacenters in locations across India, consisting of next-generation compute, storage and networking capabilities, and Microsoft will deploy its Azure platform in these datacenters to support Jio’s offerings. The initial two datacenters, which can house IT equipment consuming up to 7.5 MW of power, are being set up in the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. These are targeted to be fully operational in calendar year 2020.

4. Jio will leverage the Microsoft Azure cloud platform to develop innovative cloud solutions focused on the needs of Indian businesses. Through these Jio-developed solutions:

Indian startups will have access to efficient and affordable cloud infrastructure and platform services, enabling them to develop innovative products and services faster and more cost-effectively.

Small and medium businesses in India will have access to a range of cloud-based productivity, collaboration and business applications including Office 365, enabling them to compete more effectively in the Indian marketplace.

Large companies will be able to accelerate their own digital transformations by leveraging new Jio solutions that can work with Microsoft offerings already in use today within many large enterprises.

The partner ecosystem in India will have the opportunity to leverage Jio’s new offerings to serve the unique needs of their customers and rapidly grow their businesses.

5. Jio will be executing on its vision of integrated speech and computer vision solutions for Indian customers by working together with Microsoft to develop solutions that support major Indian languages and dialects, which will promote the adoption of technology across all cross-sections of Indian society.

“Jio is delighted to partner with Microsoft in our efforts to further deepen the use of technology on scale to all Indians,” said Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries. “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. 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 digitization 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.”

“We have an incredible opportunity to apply advances in technology to help organizations 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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