Reliance Jio & Microsoft Partner To Offer Data Services To SMEs
Reliance Jio and Microsoft have announced a partnership at the Reliance AGM on Monday, 12 August, to bring in a range of data services to small and medium enterprises, as well as set up data centres around the country.
Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani, while making the announcement also said Jio will offer free connectivity to new startups in the country. Jio will offer data connectivity and access to Microsoft’s suite of applications for as little as Rs 1,500 per month, while such access would normally cost about Rs 10,000-20,000 per month.
As part of the deal with Microsoft, Jio will also be setting up data centres around the country which will be powered by Microsoft’s Azure Cloud service, offering services to business users at lower prices.
Reliance will first set up two data centres in Gujarat and Maharashtra by 2020. These will have a power-draw of up to 7.5 MW and will run on Microsoft’s Azure system.
In addition, the company plans to set up a blockchain network across India, with “tens of thousands of nodes” according to Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani. He says that blockchain technology will help with data privacy. Customer data will no longer be controlled by corporates, but by a network of people in the blockchain. He didn’t elaborate further on this.
At the Reliance AGM, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella also addressed the gathering through a video conference. Together with Reliance Jio, Microsoft is reaching out to small and medium enterprises getting them up to speed with technologies and services such as data analytics and AI.
While Reliance Jio will provide the infrastructure and the data connectivity, Microsoft’s software will power the data centres and offer all the software tools to small businesses.
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