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Microsoft and NEC expand their global strategic partnership

By Catherine Knowles, Thu 15 Jul 2021

Microsoft and NEC have expanded their strategic partnership with the aim of improving business resiliency and growth for customers.

Through a new multi-year strategic partnership 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 to help enterprise customers and the public sector across multiple markets and industries to accelerate their cloud adoption and digital transformation initiatives.

Furthermore, NEC states it intends to double the number of digital-focused engineers within the NEC Group who are specialised in Microsoft technologies.

According to a statement, the partnership will see NEC adopt Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud platform to help drive digitalisation, help customers transform their business models, and build digital workplaces.

To accelerate NEC's internal digital workplace innovation and workforce initiatives, the companies will work together to migrate NEC's on-premises IT environment to Azure and deploy Azure Virtual Desktop and other Azure services among the NEC Group's 110,000 employees worldwide.

This modernisation builds on NEC's existing Microsoft 365 platform and is designed to create a highly sustainable environment that is more secure and robust, accelerating cloud migration for NEC and its customers throughout the commercial and public sector.

On the whole, NEC and Microsoft state they will deliver greater speed and lower-latency data connections to provide high-performance network experiences. This, in turn, will help to create more efficient workplaces and empower employees to realise more personalised work styles for public sector as well as private sector customers.

In addition, NEC and Microsoft plan to explore network innovation initiatives built on Microsoft Azure for enterprise domains and specific industries.

In retail, for example, the two companies will work together to analyse customer transaction data in real time using AI to better understand buying patterns, improve operational efficiency and identify new market opportunities.

The combination of Azure and both companies' AI and IoT technologies and expertise will enhance NEC's customer experience through advanced solutions and enable more secure maintenance and operation of stores.

Microsoft chairman and CEO Satya Nadella says, "As we've seen over the past year, digital adoption curves are accelerating across every industry and business function.

"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 Corporation president and CEO Takayuki Morita says, "NEC is pleased to enter into this strategic collaboration with Microsoft Corp.

"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."

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