Bharti Airtel struck a deal with Google to add the latter’s cloud services to its portfolio, as the Indian operator stepped-up its digital offering for enterprise customers.
In a statement, Airtel said the agreement would enable it to offer Google’s G Suite of apps comprising Gmail; Docs; Drive; Calendar and more to small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), while providing real-time collaboration and machine learning tools.
Airtel said it serves more than 2,500 large businesses, and more than 500,000 SMBs and technology start-ups in India.
The deal was tipped to provide a platform for both companies to tap growth opportunities in the country.
Indeed, for Google, the partnership gives it a larger presence in India to compete with a major rival in cloud services, Microsoft.
Microsoft struck a deal with Airtel’s rival Reliance Jio in August 2019 to provide small businesses with cloud services.
The tie-up with Google follows rumours earlier this month that Airtel was in talks with local rival Vodafone Idea and China Mobile on developing a joint venture cloud service.
In its statement, Airtel quoted a recent report by Indian software and services trade association Nasscom, which tipped the Indian cloud market to be worth more than $7 billion by 2022, as businesses adopt more digital services.
Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud, said Indian companies “are making a massive transformation to the cloud”.
“The combination of G Suite’s collaboration and productivity tools with Airtel’s digital business offerings will help accelerate digital innovations for thousands of Indian businesses,” he added.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back