SAN FRANCISCO — Microsoft is expanding its relationships with space companies through the Azure Space Partner Community, an initiative unveiled July 19 at the Microsoft Inspire 2022 conference.
“By launching the Azure Space Partner Community, we can enable our partners to deliver the most comprehensive and innovative offerings to our mutual customers and help shape the future of space technologies and services,” said Stephen Kitay, Senior Director of Microsoft Azure Space. SpaceNews. “It’s an ecosystem of space partners with exclusive access to technical support and scaling solutions.”
Microsoft’s inaugural cohort of space-related partners are Airbus, Amergint, Ball Aerospace, blackshark.ai, Esri, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, iDirect, Intelsat, Kratos, KSAT, Loft Orbital, Nokia, Omnispace, Orbital Insight, SES, SkyWatch, SpaceX, Thales Alenia Space, US Electrodynamics, Viasat and Xplore.
“We look forward to welcoming new partners in the days ahead,” said Kitay.
Microsoft has played a growing role in the space sector since announcing plans in 2020 to help customers move data directly from satellites to the Azure cloud for processing and storage.
“We increasingly saw an opportunity for this community to benefit from Microsoft’s engineering and go-to-market resources,” Kitay said.
Azure Space Community Partners will have access to Microsoft sales and engineering specialists, scale and go-to-market support, as well as guidance related to marketing and community engagement . Additionally, Azure Space Partners will be eligible for incentives such as Azure credits, sponsored accounts, and volume discounts.
By creating the Azure Space Community, Microsoft is “creating more of a structure” to clearly convey the benefits of membership and allow the tech giant to “effectively onboard” new partners, Kitay said.
Through the Azure Space Community, which falls under the broader Microsoft Partner Program, Microsoft also recognizes the growing importance of the space sector.
“It’s absolutely representative of the value and importance that Microsoft places on this industry and our excitement to grow alongside these partners,” said Kitay. “Space is a realm of big data, where massive amounts of data move through space with connectivity solutions or are collected from space and transmitted to Earth. The need to process this, understand it, then connecting it with customers is vitally important.”