Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio), the telecom arm of Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries (RIL), has signed a 10-year partnership with Satya Nadella-led IT giant Microsoft to push emerging tech-led connectivity, storage and computing solutions in the country.
The solutions, which will be based on technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), analytics, blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT), will not only be used for RIL's existing and new businesses but also for other enterprise customers including small and medium businesses (SMBs), the companies said in a joint statement.
“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 digitisation of the Indian economy and make Indian businesses globally competitive," Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of RIL, said.
As part of the agreement, 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.
It also said Jio will promote the adoption of the Microsoft Azure cloud platform along with its connectivity infrastructure within its growing ecosystem of startups as part of Jio’s cloud-first strategy.
Jio will set up data centres across India, consisting of computing, storage and networking capabilities, and Microsoft will deploy its Azure platform in these data centres to support Jio’s offerings.
The initial two data centres, which can house IT equipment consuming up to 7.5 MW of power, are being set up in Gujarat and Maharashtra and are expected to be fully operational in 2020, the statement said.
“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,” Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, said.
The partnership is also expected to see Jio execute its integrated speech and computer vision solutions for the country. One of the major aspects of these solutions will include Jio trying to support major Indic languages and dialects.