After a failed $7 billion acquisition of Nokia's smartphone business five years back, Microsoft has announced a strategic collaboration with the Finnish company to accelerate transformation and innovation across industries with Cloud, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT).
The new partnership brings together Microsoft cloud solutions and Nokia's expertise in mission-critical networking, to help enterprises and communications service providers (CSPs) transform their businesses.
"Bringing together Microsoft's expertise in intelligent cloud solutions and Nokia's strength in building business and mission-critical networks will unlock new connectivity and automation scenarios," Jason Zander, executive vice president, Microsoft Azure, said in a statement on Tuesday.
BT is the first global communications service provider to offer its enterprise customers a managed service that integrates Microsoft Azure cloud and Nokia SD-WAN solutions.
"Together, we will accelerate the digital transformation journey towards Industry 4.0, driving economic growth and productivity for both enterprises and service providers," said Kathrin Buvac, President of Nokia Enterprise and Chief Strategy Officer.
The Nokia Digital Automation Cloud (Nokia DAC) 5G-ready industrial-grade private wireless broadband solution with on-premise Azure elements will enable a wide variety of secure industrial automation solutions.
"For example, connected smart tools and machines on manufacturing floors that enable increased productivity, flexibility and safety for workers, or autonomous vehicles and robots in industrial environments that improve automation, efficiency and overall safety," said Microsoft.
Enterprises will be able to use Azure IoT Central and partner solutions for faster and easier enablement and implementation of their IoT applications together with Nokia's IoT connectivity solutions.
In 2014, Microsoft acquired Nokia's smartphone business. The company later quit the smartphone business, laying off thousands of employees.
In 2016, Microsoft sold the Nokia smartphone business for $350 million to HMD Global which now sells Nokia-branded phones.