After the colossal disaster of a megadeal that was the $7 billion Microsoft-Nokia devices partnership, the two technology giants have teamed up once again.
This time around — some five years after their previous partnership failed to lift off — the companies are focussing on the business-to-business space and will be developing cloud, artificial intelligence and the internet of things solutions.
US-based technology major Microsoft will bring its cloud expertise to the table, while the Finnish telecommunications giant, Nokia, will lend its mission-critical networking experience.
Microsoft, which has carved a name for itself in the cloud services space with Azure, claims that its products, especially Azure IoT, Azure AI and machine learning solutions will work strategically with Nokia’s LTE/5G-ready private wireless solutions, IP, SD-WAN, and IoT connectivity offerings, according to a statement.
The British Telecommunications (BT) group will be the first global communications service provider that will offer managed service solutions using Microsoft Azure cloud and Nokia SD-WAN solutions for its enterprise customers.
“Bringing together Microsoft’s expertise in intelligent cloud solutions and Nokia’s strength in building business and mission-critical networks will unlock new connectivity and automation scenarios,” said Jason Zander, executive vice president, Microsoft Azure.
Kathrin Buvac, president of Nokia Enterprise and chief strategy officer, said that the partnership will help accelerate the digital transformation journey of enterprises and service providers towards Industry 4.0.
Smart cities, warehouses, healthcare settings, transportation hubs and digital factories are some of the key spaces that Microsoft and Nokia will be focussing on.
The 5G private wireless broadband solution from Nokia, called as the Nokia Digital Automation cloud, will be enabled with on-premise Azure entities to help clients with better connectivity, efficient coverage and more mobility than what is possible with traditional wi-fi networks.
Microsoft also stated that Nokia’s Nuage SD-WAN 2.0 solution will now have the ability to integrate with Microsoft Azure Virtual WAN for a better branch to cloud connectivity. This will lead to a simplified and faster access to cloud applications such as Office 365, integrated security and reduced risk of configuration.
Back in 2014, Microsoft had acquired the smartphone business of Nokia in hopes that it would pump new energy into the windows phone division. However, the failure of the Nokia smartphones saw Microsoft stopping the manufacturing of smartphones.
In 2016, Microsoft sold the Nokia smartphone business for $350 million to a subsidiary of Foxconn Technology Group and HMD global, two companies which were led by former Nokia and Microsoft executives.