Microsoft and NEC announced an expansion of their decades-long partnership on Tuesday. The companies will leverage Microsoft Azure, Microsoft 365, NEC's network and IT expertise, including 5G technologies, and each other's AI and IoT solutions through a new multi-year strategic partnership.
NEC will use Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud platform as a result of the partnership. The companies will collaborate to migrate NEC's on-premises IT environment to Azure and to deploy Azure Virtual Desktop and other Azure services to the NEC Group's worldwide workforce of 110,000 employees.
The companies will collaborate to help customers across industries transform by leveraging their combined assets, which include Microsoft's Intelligent Edge solutions and NEC's private 5G networking technologies. For example, in retail, the two companies will collaborate to analyse real-time customer transaction data using AI to gain a better understanding of purchasing patterns, increase operational efficiency, and identify new market opportunities.
Azure and both companies' AI and IoT technologies and expertise will enhance NEC's customer experience and enable more secure store maintenance and operation. Additionally, NEC and Microsoft intend to explore network innovation initiatives for enterprise domains and vertical industries based on Microsoft Azure.
The companies will collaborate to double the number of digital-focused engineers specialising in Microsoft technologies within the NEC Group.
“As we've seen over the past year, digital adoption curves are accelerating across every industry and business function,” said Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO, Microsoft. “Our strategic partnership with NEC brings together the power of Azure and Microsoft 365 with NEC's services and infrastructure expertise to help public and private sector customers build resilience and transform during this era of rapid change.”
“NEC is pleased to enter into this strategic collaboration with Microsoft Corp.,” said Takayuki Morita, president and CEO of NEC Corporation. “With Microsoft's trusted cloud and services, the experience that NEC has cultivated in its own systems, and both companies' AI and IoT technologies, we will enable companies globally to use digital services that are safer and more secure than ever before as they progress with digital initiatives.”