Nokia and Microsoft announce tech partnership

IT behemoth Microsoft and comms technology provider Nokia forge first joint solutions, to enable communications service providers and enterprises to accelerate digital transformation

In a move that sees the IT behemoth and the leading comms technology provider forge their first joint solutions, Microsoft and Nokia have announced a collaboration designed to enable communications service providers and enterprises to accelerate digital transformation.

The joint solutions combine Microsoft cloud, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning expertise with Nokia’s networking and communications prowess. Specifically, the venture will bring together Microsoft’s Azure, Azure IoT, Azure AI and machine learning solutions with Nokia’s LTE/5G-ready private wireless solutions, IP, software-defined wide-area networking (SD-WAN), and IoT connectivity offerings.

The result, claim the two companies, will be that firms can drive industrial digitalisation and automation across enterprises, and communications service providers (CSPs) will be able to offer new services to enterprise customers.

In the enterprise scenario, the joint offering is seen as being able to accelerate digital transformation by offering connectivity and IoT solutions that unlock potential automation across multiple industries, including digital factories, smart cities, warehouses, healthcare settings, and transportation hubs such as ports and airports.

One scenario could be see connected smart tools and machines on manufacturing floors – based on 5G-ready private wireless broadband solutions with on-premise Azure elements – enabling increased productivity, flexibility and safety for workers, or autonomous vehicles and robots in industrial environments that improve automation, efficiency and overall safety.

For CSPs, Nokia and Microsoft see SD-WAN 2.0 integration with Azure resulting in more options for branch to cloud connectivity. By automating branch and hybrid WAN connectivity, they say that enterprises will have simplified, faster access to cloud applications such as Office 365, integrated security from branch-to-branch and branch-to-Azure and reduced risk of configuration errors causing security or connectivity issues.

BT will be the first global CSP to offer its enterprise customers a managed service that integrates Microsoft Azure cloud and Nokia SD-WAN solutions.

BT customers can access this through a customer automated delegated rights service, which enables the telco to manage both the customer Azure wan and the Agile Connect SD-WAN, based on Nokia’s Nuage SD-WAN 2.0.

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