Microsoft and Nokia are teaming up to tackle the cloud computing, artificial intelligence and 5G markets with a new partnership.
This follows an ill-fated acquisition six years ago, which saw $7 billion written off after Microsoft purchased Nokia with a view to producing a new smartphone range that could better contend with the likes of Google and Apple.
The new partnership has a different market in mind: Industry 4.0. Microsoft’s cloud expertise, which spans Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, and Internet of Things (IoT), is set to be combined with Nokia’s newfound expertise as an end-to-end provider of 5G kit.
Together, the companies plan to create products for enterprises and communication service providers (CSPs), and manufacture the technologies of the so-called fourth industrial revolution, such as Internet of Things devices for smart cities.
With the partnership in place, Nokia’s analytics-virtualisation-automation (AVA) tools will be hosted on Microsoft’s Azure, helping cloud service providers to realise cost savings by switching away from private data centres.
“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,” said Jason Zander, Executive Vice President of Microsoft Azure in a statement. “We’re excited about the opportunities this will create for our joint customers across industries.”
The need for efficiency is leading companies in a range of industries to buy, fund, or partner with firms building the next generation of industrial technologies. This makes Industry 4.0 one of the hottest M&A sectors.
As a strategic partnership in this space, the deal between Microsoft and Nokia echoes one inked in June 2018 between Rockwell Automation and PTC which aimed to capitalise on industrial demand for Internet of Things technology.