Reliance Jio partners Microsoft for cloud infrastructure

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on August 12, 2019 Published on August 12, 2019

Will build new data centres across the country

Within months of launching its new Jio Fiber services, Reliance Jio could soon become one of the largest customers and partners for Microsoft globally.

On Monday, during Reliance Industry’s 42nd Annual General Meeting, Chairman Mukesh Ambani announced a partnership with Microsoft, wherein Reliance Jio will completely migrate all its internal workforce to Microsoft Office 365, which will include all the cloud-based collaboration tools. Jio will also port all its existing software applications used within the company to Microsoft Azure Cloud.

Now, while all this Jio data is set to reside on Microsoft servers, Reliance said it will be building new data centres across the country where Microsoft will setup its cloud solutions. Essentially, for the first time Microsoft is revealing who actually will host its data centres in India.

Microsoft currently has three data centres in India, each of which are actually part of existing data centre facilities of companies such as Netmagic and CtrlS DataCenters.

Now, Microsoft will be able to expand its data centre footprint in India in a big way with RJio-operated data centres.

Solutions for enterprises

To get enough customers for Microsoft, Jio will jointly offer solutions for small, medium as well as large enterprises where Jio will sell a bundle of offerings, including Jio Fiber and several of Microsoft’s cloud-based solutions such as video conferencing and collaboration offerings in a package that’ll start as low as ₹1,500 a month.

“As part of this new agreement, Jio will set up data centres across India, consisting of next-generation computer, storage and networking capabilities, and Microsoft will deploy its Azure platform in these data centres to support Jio’s offerings,” RIL said in a release.

The initial two data centres, which can house IT equipment consuming up to 7.5 MW of power, are being set up in Gujarat and Maharashtra. These are targeted to be fully operational in calendar year 2020.

Reliance Jio has been already spending billions of dollars laying infrastructure to support its mobile and broadband services. The new data centres will add to the company’s revenue potential by offering value added services.

“Your company has invested nearly ₹3.5 lakh crore towards creating a state-of-the-art digital infrastructure across India, with the largest optical fibre footprint,” Mukesh Ambani told shareholders on Monday.

“Jio and Microsoft will partner to launch new cloud data centres in India, ensuring more organisations can access the tools and platforms they need to build their own digital capability,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella through video conferencing during the RIL AGM.

“We have an incredible opportunity to apply advances in technology to help organisations across India innovate and grow,” said Nadealla. “The combination of Jio’s leading connectivity and digital solutions with Azure, Azure AI and Office 365 will bring powerful tools and platforms for compute, storage, productivity and more to millions of businesses in the country.”

Jio is already now the world’s largest mobile operator with 340 million users and if things go according to plan, it could as well become the world’s largest broadband provider. With that kind of scale, Microsoft will be able to scale up at an unprecedented pace.

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Published on August 12, 2019
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