Microsoft has joined Ericsson's IoT accelerator programme, allowing enterprises to deploy Internet of Things services through its Azure cloud computing platform.
Ericsson's IoT Accelerator, which launched last year, is a cloud-based solution that offers horizontal platforms along with the vendor's own services to operators and selected enterprise partners.
Operators can design, launch and tweak IoT solutions for enterprises that require cellular connectivity. Enterprises can also fully control and automate the creation and deployment of IoT solution.
By opening the platform up to Azure, Ericsson said it will reduce the amount of time it takes for enterprises to launch mobile-based IoT services.
Niklas Heuveldop, Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Technology and Emerging Business, Ericsson, said: "The latest Ericsson Mobility Report reveals that the IoT will surpass mobile phones as the largest category of connected devices in 2018.
"Today, enterprises are facing a major challenge of complexity in IoT deployment. By combining industry-leading innovation and ecosystems, our collaboration with Microsoft removes complexity and brings the possibilities of the IoT closer for enterprises everywhere."
The first enterprise to take advantage of the Microsoft and Ericsson service is Danish smart water company Grundfos.
Lars Enevoldsen, Group Vice President, Grundfos, said: "The pre-integration between the offerings from Microsoft and Ericsson allows us to focus on providing added value and new services to our customers."