Info-tech

Google signs partnership deal with Bharti Airtel; takes on AWS and Microsoft Azure

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on January 21, 2020 Published on January 21, 2020

Google, on Monday, announced a partnership deal with Bharti Airtel, India’s third-largest telecom operator to grow its cloud consumer base, according to an official release.

The deal enables Airtel to offer G-Suite services to small and medium-sized businesses in India as part of the Airtel integrated ICT portfolio. G-suite services include Google’s intelligent apps — Gmail, Docs, Google Drive and Calendar based on the cloud.

Thomas Kurian, Chief Executive of Google Cloud, said in a statement, “The combination of G-Suite’s collaboration and productivity tools with Airtel’s digital business offerings will help accelerate digital innovations for thousands of Indian businesses.”

Airtel’s Indian consumer base

Bharti Airtel had already ventured into offering cloud-based solutions to businesses with its Airtel Cloud service. Airtel already has a set consumer base for its cloud services in India. In the official release, Airtel said that it currently serves 2,500 large businesses and over five lakh small and medium-sized businesses and start-ups in India.

Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India and South Asia), Bharti Airtel, said, “India, with its growing economy and adoption of digital services, offers one of the biggest opportunities to serve customers with innovative solutions. We are pleased to further strengthen our deep relationship with Google Cloud and build products and services aimed at transforming Indian businesses."

Google vs. Microsoft Azure and AWS

The move will help Google compete against big payers such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services in the growing Indian cloud market. Microsoft Azure had already signed a similar deal with India’s largest telecom operator Reliance Jio back in August, Tech Crunch reported.

Microsoft and Jio had announced a 10-year partnership in August that enabled Jio to sell Microsoft services to small businesses.

Airtel and Google are banking on Indian businesses’ rapid adoption of digital tools with this deal.

Airtel, in their official statement, said, “Indian businesses are embracing digital tools and cloud-based solutions to enhance agility and efficiency, and serve the evolving requirements of their customers.”

According to a Nasscom report, India’s cloud market is estimated to cross the $7-billion mark, while the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) market is expected to be worth more than $3.5 billion by 2022.

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Published on January 21, 2020
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