New Delhi: Bharti Airtel on Tuesday said it has partnered with Microsoft India to offer cloud computing services to small and medium business enterprises (SMBs).

Bharti Airtel will deliver Microsoft's cloud-based Office365 solution to SMBs through its cloud platform, the telecom giant said in a statement.

In cloud computing, end users are not required to buy software or devices and are provided by service providers on a rental basis.

The Indian cloud computing market, which was estimated at USD 535 million in 2011, is likely to grow by more than 70 percent in the current year, according to research firm IDC.

Bharti Airtel CEO (India & South Asia) said: "The partnership will allow us to become a virtual CIO (chief information officer) for our SMB customers. According to industry estimates there is a growing affinity towards technology adoption in this segment and their IT spending is surging at a rate of 15 percent per year".

The telecom operator had also partnered with HP to offer cloud-based e-mail, accounting packages, business software and storage services to small and mid-sized businesses.

SMB segment has shown a high adoption of Cloud computing especially SaaS (software as a service) - which contributes more than 50 percent to the overall cloud market, he added.

Office 365 along with Airtel's DSL and Internet Leased Ports/Lines (ILP) services will allow SMBs to create a website with their own domain name, access anti-virus and anti-spam solutions, as well as documents and emails.

Microsoft India Chairman Bhaskar Pramanik said: "We are pleased that Bharti Airtel will offer our world-class cloud productivity solution to SMBs in India. The agreement will enable SMBs to take advantage of a secure cloud computing environment at an opex model based pricing".


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