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Telstra-Microsoft Partnership Signals New Generation Digital Foundations for Australian Businesses

Companies collaborate on one of Australia’s largest digital twin, emissions reduction initiatives, and drive transformative operational models

Australia with city lights from space at night
Telstra-Microsoft partnership signals new generation digital foundations for Australian businesses.

Microsoft Corp. and Telstra have extended their long-standing strategic partnership to focus on accelerating the development and release of innovative and sustainable cloud-based solutions across multiple industries driving efficiency, amplifying decision making capability and enhancing customer experiences.

The partnership is founded on Telstra and Microsoft’s shared understanding that cloud, combined with 5G, will enable intelligent devices to be securely deployed on a much greater scale. Combining Microsoft Azure and Telstra’s network also supports Australian developers and independent software vendors (ISVs) as they develop solutions that leverage AI, low latency and increased resilience.

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This will help enterprises build end-to-end digital processes and enable completely new transformative business models that leverage data to accelerate smart decision making, maximise business opportunities and grow revenues. Telstra and Microsoft will partner to:

  • harness IoT, Edge, AI and digital twin capability to develop important new industry solutions in areas such as asset tracking, supply chain management, telematics and smart spaces;
  • leverage Azure as preferred cloud for Telstra’s ongoing internal digital transformation.
  • explore and pursue technology and data-driven solutions to advance our sustainability and climate commitments and
  • build ground-breaking, nationally important solutions that leverage the Telstra Data Hub.

The companies will partner on digital twins for Telstra customers as well as for Telstra’s own commercial buildings and selected other infrastructure – which when fully deployed will be one of the largest Azure-based digital twins in Australia. Telstra’s digital twin will map physical environments in an online virtual setting, to create models that provide at-a-glance understanding of what is happening in the real world, and support improved what-if scenario planning.

Telstra is working with Microsoft as its preferred cloud provider for ongoing internal digital transformation. Azure will provide the digital foundations for Telstra’s strategic plan to streamline and simplify operations, transitioning from legacy and on-premises applications to modern cloud-based solutions.

Telstra CEO Andrew Penn said the strategic partnership brought together the best strengths of the two organisations.

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“We already have a longstanding relationship with Microsoft and have worked together in areas that are market-leading to create unique experiences for our customers. Over the past 18 months, we have exclusively launched Xbox All Access for Australian gamers, were the first to launch Telstra Calling for Office 365, the only native Teams voice calling plan in Australia, which we recently expanded to include Microsoft Business Voice for SMB customers; and co-collaborated on Telstra Data Hub to help industries better manage their data securely.”

“Today’s announcement with Microsoft formalises the several streams of work we are already collaborating on. The global scale of Microsoft’s platform, tools, and applications, together with Telstra’s network solutions, reliability and leadership, will drive new and unique solutions for Australia,” Mr Penn said.

“In July, Telstra was certified carbon neutral in our operations. Significantly reducing emissions while the demand for connectivity and new digital technologies is rising rapidly is one of our biggest commitments, as well as one of our biggest challenges.  Microsoft and Telstra both have ambitious climate targets and share a commitment to a net zero carbon future.”

“The outputs from all workstreams will also help deliver more innovative products for customers across all segments of the market, and will aim to enhance customer experience and engagement, solve business challenges, and drive a new level of technology leadership. This is a great opportunity to drive further digital innovation to strengthen the Australian economy, and to build a sustainable, connected future so everyone can thrive,” Mr Penn said.

“The broad adoption of cloud and 5G technology will create new opportunities for businesses worldwide, including in Australia,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft.

“We’re expanding our partnership with Telstra and bringing together the power of Azure and Telstra’s network to build new solutions in critical areas like asset tracking, supply-chain management, and smart spaces, harnessing the latest advances in AI, digital twins, and mixed reality.”

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