Microsoft and SK Telecom join forces on AI, 5G, and cloud technologies

Microsoft and SK Telecom have signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) to collaborate on AI, 5G, and cloud technologies.

Under the MoU, the companies will share knowledge to further each other’s ambitions in areas which make use of such technologies like the IoT.

Jason Zander, Executive Vice President of Azure at Microsoft, said:

“Through the strategic partnership with SK Telecom, we will play a key role in shaping the future and accelerating the digital transformation of the telecommunications industry with our world-class network and technology.

This will be a deep and multifaceted partnership that strengthens the power of cloud and AI to deliver innovative new services to customers.”

Microsoft recently announced updates to its Cortana digital assistant during the company’s annual BUILD developer conference. Earlier this year, CEO Satya Nadella admitted Cortana no longer competes directly with Google Assistant or Alexa.

Rather than give up on Cortana, Microsoft is changing strategy and focusing on integrating the assistant in areas where it adds value – especially for workers.

Speaking with The Verge, Cortana chief Andrew Shuman recently said:

“What we’ve been really working on over the last year is how we can better embed Cortana across Microsoft 365 experiences and really delight users, especially those users who really are on board, so we have to understand their calendar, their tasks, their work documents, their interfacing with their close collaborators.”

SK Telecom says it will combine the capabilities of its own AI platform NUGU with Cortana ‘to offer new AI-powered products and services, including consumer solutions such as smart speakers and other offerings for the enterprise.’

Although the companies are yet to expand on their plans, the partners also mention an intention to create a ‘new level’ of experience for customers in the field of media and entertainment.

Park Jung-ho, President and CEO of SK Telecom, commented:

“SK Telecom is pleased to join hands with Microsoft as collaboration with global leading companies like Microsoft is essential to gain leadership in the 5G market, where competition is already fierce.

SK Telecom will work closely with Microsoft to create unprecedented value by combining the strengths and capabilities of the two companies.”

This isn’t the first time Microsoft and SK Telecom have collaborated this year. Back in February, the companies announced a strategic partnership to launch Microsoft Azure with Metatron – SK Telecom’s self-developed big data solution. The companies are working together to improve the service in addition to joint marketing.

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