Microsoft has announced a major new partnership with AT&T that could net the company as much as $2 billion.
The deal will see the American telco giant switch to Microsoft's Azure cloud system as the two companies work together on technologies such as cloud, AI and 5G to improve the lives of customers around the world.
AT&T will also move many of its employees over to the Microsoft 365 office suite, giving access to tools such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel and more.
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AT&T says the move is part of its transformation to become a "public cloud first" company, migrating most of its non-network workloads to the public cloud by 2024.
The deal is not exclusive, with AT&T free to utilise other cloud providers alongside Azure - a point it highlighted with a seperate deal with IBM yesterday that will involve cloud migration.
“AT&T and Microsoft are among the most committed companies to fostering technology that serves people,” said AT&T CEO John Donovan. “By working together on common efforts around 5G, the cloud, and AI, we will accelerate the speed of innovation and impact for our customers and our communities.”
AT&T was the first US operator to switch on 5G, and is anticipating a huge growth in mobile data in coming years that will be supported by Azure and other Microsoft technologies.
The companies have already worked together on a number of products and services, with networking, IoT, and blockchain on the market now, and say they expect to announce additional services later in 2019.
“AT&T is at the forefront of defining how advances in technology, including 5G and edge computing, will transform every aspect of work and life,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
“The world’s leading companies run on our cloud, and we are delighted that AT&T chose Microsoft to accelerate its innovation. Together, we will apply the power of Azure and Microsoft 365 to transform the way AT&T’s workforce collaborates and to shape the future of media and communications for people everywhere.”