Nokia and Microsoft to sign cloud and network partnerships

The new partnership between Microsoft and Nokia will see the two companies combine their respective IT and telecommunications technologies into joint products for enterprises and communications service providers (CSPs).

Microsoft has invested billions in cloud platforms and enterprise services offering dedicated artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities through Azure. Meanwhile, Nokia introduces itself as a complete 5G supplier with growing interest in the enterprise market.

In particular, the partners believe that the alliance will accelerate the development of digital technologies, drive automation and enable customers to harness the power of Industry 4.0. Target areas: manufacturing, smart cities, transport and healthcare.

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Partnership with Microsoft Nokia

One early example of this work is Nokia Digital Cloud Automation, which integrates Azure services with its own 5G-ready cellular network, providing industrial systems with greater coverage, greater reliability, and more flexibility than Wi-Fi.

Other collaborative efforts include SD-Wan products that improve cloud connectivity, simplify IoT device management, and AI platforms that will allow carriers the ability to move away from their own infrastructure to embrace Azure.

“By combining Microsoft's expertise in intelligent cloud solutions and Nokia's strength in building business and mission-critical networks, it will open up new connections and automation scenarios,” said Jason Zander, executive vice president, Microsoft Azure for. “We are excited about the opportunity this will create for our joint clients in various industries.”

“We are thrilled to be bringing together mission-critical Nokia Networks with Microsoft's cloud solutions,” said Catherine Buvac, Nokia's President of Enterprise and Chief Strategy Officer. “Together we can accelerate the digital transformation towards Industry 4.0, driving economic growth and productivity for businesses and service providers.”

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Microsoft and Nokia were the main partners in the smartphone market in the first half of this decade. Nokia was effectively the flagship Windows phone provider until its Devices and Services was bought by Microsoft in 2013.

However, the acquisition proved disastrous for Microsoft, which moved from mobile devices to cloud services and software after Satya Nadella was named CEO. Nokia has reinvented itself as one of the major players in telecommunications equipment, competing with the likes of Ericsson and Huawei.

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