Microsoft and Reliance Jio (Jio), a subsidiary of Reliance Industries (RIL), announced a 10-year alliance.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jio will leverage the Microsoft Azure cloud platform to develop innovative cloud solutions focused on the needs of Indian businesses.
Indian startups will have access to cloud infrastructure and platform services, enabling them to develop innovative products and services faster and more cost-effectively.
SME businesses in India will have access to cloud-based productivity, collaboration and business applications including Office 365.
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 cloud services partnership with Microsoft underscores Mukesh Ambani’s ambitions to tie up with retail giant Amazon, which offers cloud services in India and is also one of the country’s biggest online retailers, Reuters reported.
Jio will provide free cloud services for startups for as little as 1,500 rupees ($21) a month, which Ambani said was less than one-tenth of global rates.
Jio will install across India one of the largest blockchain networks in the world with tens of thousands of nodes operational on day one.
Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, said: “The combination of Jio’s connectivity and digital solutions with Azure, Azure AI and Office 365 will bring tools and platforms for compute, storage, productivity and more to millions of businesses in the country.”
Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries, said: “By working together to develop affordable cloud-enabled digital solutions built around Jio’s digital infrastructure and Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, we will make Indian businesses globally competitive.”