Search
Homepage This page's url is: -crn- Rankings and Research Companies Channelcast Marketing Matters CRNtv Events WOTC Jobs HPE Discover 2019 News Cisco Wi-Fi 6 Newsroom Dell Technologies Newsroom Hitachi Vantara Newsroom HP Reinvent Newsroom Lenovo Newsroom Nutanix Newsroom Cisco Live Newsroom HPE Zone Tech Provider Zone

Microsoft Wins 10-Year Cloud Services Deal With Indian Telecom Jio

‘Our ambition is to help millions of organizations across India thrive and grow in this era of rapid technological change,’ says Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. ‘Together, we will offer comprehensive technology solutions -- from compute and storage, to connectivity and productivity -- to SMBs everywhere in the country.’

Microsoft has a new 10-year deal to provide Azure cloud services to Mumbai conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd.’s Jio Infocomm, a mobile network operator subsidiary.

Microsoft has a new 10-year deal to provide Azure cloud services to Mumbai conglomerate Reliance Industries Ltd.’s Jio Infocomm, a mobile network operator subsidiary.

The partnership is aimed at spurring India’s digital transformation by providing connectivity, computing, storage solutions and other technology solutions -- including data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), cognitive services, blockchain, internet of things (IoT) and edge computing -- to startups, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and enterprises.

“Our ambition is to help millions of organizations across India thrive and grow in this era of rapid technological change,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said via video at Reliance Industries' annual meeting today. “Together, we will offer comprehensive technology solutions -- from compute and storage, to connectivity and productivity -- to SMBs everywhere in the country

Jio will build data centers across India that will be hosted on the Microsoft Azure cloud, so businesses can access the combined services of Microsoft’s Azure and Office 365 and Jio’s connectivity and digital solutions. Jio will use Microsoft’s speech and language cognitive services for its device ecosystem, with support in 13 Indian languages and the ability to add more.

“We now have the capability to develop truly India-native solutions, including speech recognition and natural language understanding, for all major Indian languages and dialects,” Reliance Industries chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani said.

Jio also will provide the cloud-based Microsoft 365 productivity and collaboration tools access to its own employees and migrate its non-network applications to Microsoft Azure.

The Microsoft-Jio deal will benefit channel partners in India, Microsoft India president Anant Maheshwari said in a blog post.

“For the partner ecosystem in India, these new offerings create more avenues for greater innovation, deeper customer relationships and exponential growth for their businesses,” he said.

As a Microsoft Partner with operations in the United States and India, Menlo Technologies appreciates Microsoft’s new commitment to the Indian market, said Gary Prioste, CEO of the company, which specializes in cloud integration, data analytics and mobile technology.

“India can use the infrastructure support Jio can provide to take advantage of Microsoft’s cloud offerings, and it’s good to see Satya’s commitment to seeing that India remains competitive with the rest of the developed world through alliances such as this,” Prioste said.

The Microsoft-Jio partnership will help accelerate the adoption of Microsoft Azure, specifically for solutions that support IoT, data and AI workloads, said Lou Lutostanski, vice president of IoT for Avnet, a Phoenix-based Microsoft Partner with locations in India. That puts Avnet into a good position as Microsoft’s lead distributor of the Azure Sphere chip, he said.

“Avnet’s ecosystem makes us ideally-suited as the technology partner that can develop those ‘last mile implementations’ while also helping to reduce the complexity, time to market and costs associated with hardware and software for IoT applications,” Lutostanski said.

Jio’s launch upended the Indian telecom sector in 2016 with its free voice and bargain data plans, forcing some competitors out of business and others to match prices and consolidate in a crowded industry that formerly had 10 carriers competing, according to Reuters. Jio has been used to launch internet-enabled devices, deliver entertainment services, build fiber broadband and develop other offerings, the news agency said.

Jio has “transformed” the communication and data landscape in India by connecting 340 million-plus people with affordable data, according to Maheshwari.

Jio plans to provide free connectivity and cloud infrastructure to start-ups and will offer a “bundle of connectivity, productivity and automation tools” to micro, small and medium-sized businesses starting at 1,500 rupees or $21.05 per month.

“India has one of the largest small and medium business markets in the world, which continues to grow significantly,” Maheshwari said. “This collaboration will accelerate innovation to create more affordable offerings for Indian SMBs and startups, including a new range of solutions for one-stop IT (information technology) capabilities and allowing front-end applications on mobile devices, desktops and other tools.”

The first two data centers, which will house IT equipment consuming up to 7.5 megawatts of power, are under development in India’s Gujarat and Maharashtra states, with plans to be fully operational next year.

The new Microsoft partnership will give the No. 2 cloud provider cheaper and easier inroads into India, according to Sid Nag, a Gartner analyst who focuses on cloud services and technologies.

“It seems like it's another route to market or channel play there for Microsoft,” Nag said. “They want to use the Jio ecosystem and reach in terms of all the mobile devices to promote Azure cloud platform.”

Relying on Jio to set up the data centers is not only beneficial to Microsoft because of cost, Nag said.

“(Jio knows) the ins and outs of doing business in India,” he said. “Setting up data centers requires a lot of maneuvering of bureaucracy. Since Jio has their own labor force and their own real estate, then it's obviously cheaper from an operations perspective than if somebody like AWS came in and did it themselves and used their cost-of-doing-business model. Microsoft basically is saying we can go in and provide AWS-like services but at a lower cost to us, which we can pass on to the customers.”

Back to Top

Video

 

sponsored resources