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Focus India

Microsoft announced a strategic partnership with Indian e-tailer Flipkart to provide consumers in India with the best online shopping service. As a first step in the broad collaboration between the two companies, Flipkart will adopt Microsoft Azure as its exclusive public cloud platform

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In February, Satya Nadella made his much-awaited maiden visit to India after taking over as the CEO of global tech giant Microsoft.  Nadella’s visit gave a clear indication that India is at the top of Microsoft’s global priority list. And even industry insiders believe his Indian origin will perhaps only add to the thrust on India.

During Nadella’s visit, Microsoft announced a strategic partnership with Indian e-tailer Flipkart to provide consumers in India with the best online shopping service. As a first step in the broad collaboration between the two companies, Flipkart will adopt Microsoft Azure as its exclusive public cloud platform.

“At Microsoft, we aim to empower every Indian and every Indian organisation with technology and key to this is forging strategic partnerships with innovative companies like Flipkart,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft during his February visit. “Combining Microsoft’s cloud platform and AI capabilities with Flipkart’s existing services and data assets, will enable Flipkart to accelerate its digital transformation in e-commerce and deliver new customer experiences.”

Microsoft is offering Flipkart its artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and analytics capabilities in Azure, such as Cortana Intelligence Suite and Power BI, to optimise its data for innovative merchandising, advertising, marketing and customer service, Microsoft stated.  

Microsoft is also tapping the startup ecosystem in India with its Microsoft Accelerator programme, a global initiative empowering entrepreneurs around the world on their journey to build great companies. “We work with later-stage start-ups to provide the tools, resources, connections, knowledge, and expertise they need to become successful companies,” Microsoft stated.

The programme operates across seven locations around the world today with Bengaluru being the hub for the India market. Microsoft Accelerator in Bengaluru has over 150-plus mentor network and associations with notable organisations, and offers entrepreneurs a platform to accelerate their startups and take them to the next level.

“Our variety of programmes, including Accelerator Plus and Scale Up, are designed to get seed- and series-funded start-ups the growth and traction they need to be successful in the future. We believe that with individualised support and access to our resources, a startup can accelerate their growth by 6x through our programs,” Microsoft stated.  

According to a report filed by IANS, a team of 30 researchers at Microsoft labs in Redmond and Bengaluru are developing a new class of machine-learning software and tools to embed AI onto bread-crumb size computer processors. “The project is part of a paradigm shift within the technology industry that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella described recently as moving from what is today’s mobile-first, cloud-first world to a new world that is going to be made up of an intelligent cloud and intelligent edge,” the report stated.

Microsoft is also working on its ‘intelligent cloud’ that leverages its Azure public cloud platform and Cortana AI suite. In India, the company is in discussions with various state governments to use its ‘intelligent cloud’ in areas of agriculture, education, and healthcare.