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Telstra partners with Microsoft on business-focused data-sharing hub

Built on Azure, the platform will target use cases including water management and the connected supply chain

Telstra has launched a platform to give customers the capacity to seamlessly share data from their Internet of Things (IoT) devices using Microsoft's Azure cloud platform.

The two companies have teamed up to co-develop the Telstra Data Hub, a modular system which aims to reduce the barriers that businesses face when it comes to sharing data, including the costs involved.

The technology will allow organisations, initially within the connected supply chain, water management and agribusiness industries, to share and exchange data securely.

The thinking is that by allowing businesses to harness their data through the platform, it'll lead to productivity gains.

"Our heritage is in building national infrastructure that benefits generations," said Telstra's group executive for product and technology Christian von Reventlow.

"We see more than $100 billion in incremental value to customers and the economy through digitisation and data-driven collaboration.

"We are excited to be partnering with Microsoft and unveiling this new innovation today at Telstra Vantage and we look forward to sharing further news as we continue to develop this exciting product."

The telecoms firm outlined a case study centred on the connected supply chain, in which one of Australia's largest supermarkets has used the system to track and monitor shipping containers to reduce the cost of missing cargo.

The supermarket, and its partners, can in future use data accessed via the hub to respond to ongoing operational problems, as well as understand chokepoints and improve efficiencies within the supply chain.

Telstra identified several problems it aims to solve, including a reluctance to share data for fear of losing control, high costs in setting up platforms, a lack of data standardisation and having to integrate various systems together.

The partnership is part of a wider effort across the industry to give business customers far more power to access and exploit the vast amounts of data gathered.

Salesforce and Amazon Web Services (AWS), for example, bolstered their existing partnership in September last year to simplify data sharing, and give customers better access to data to drive digital transformation.

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