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#Microsoft Corp. today announced an important new partnership with the professional services company #KPMG International Cooperative, which will use its cloud services to accelerate its digital transformation efforts.

KPMG is another big win for Microsoft, since it’s known as one of the world’s “Big Four” accounting organizations, along with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd., Ernst & Young Global Ltd. and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Its main focus is on providing tax, audit and advisory services to large global enterprises.

As part of the new partnership, KPMG plans to roll out services such as Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365 to its members and clients. Those products will become the collaboration and productivity tools of choice for some 207,000 KPMG employees in 153 countries worldwide, the company said.

In addition, KPMG plans to adopt Microsoft’s Azure and Azure AI cloud services as the backbone of a global, cloud-based computing platform it intends to build. That platform will help KPMG to establish a range of new capabilities in artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and robotic process automation, it said.

The large contract follows Microsoft’s surprise win in October of the Pentagon’s $10 billion, 10-year Joint Enterprise Defense Initiative or JEDI contract. It beat out front-runner Amazon Web Services Inc., which has since filed a protest of the award following alleged political interference by President Donald Trump.

Constellation Research Inc. analyst Holger Mueller told SiliconANGLE the KPMG deal is also important for Microsoft because it needs growth accelerators like this one to achieve greater economies of scale. Although software-as-a-service providers are the main target in that regard, service integrators such as KPMG are also a big prize, he said.

“The challenge with the model is that the customer still decides and so the service integrators may not dominate the decision,” Mueller said. “Microsoft is doing well in both categories, with recent deals with SAP and Salesforce, and now with KPMG conveniently announced during AWS re:Invent. The future will tell how much Azure load Microsoft can gain from this.”

As part of their collaboration, Microsoft and KPMG are also jointly funding an incubator that’s involved in cloud business transformation, intelligent business applications and smart workplace solutions, they said. That should lead to the development of new tools for healthcare and life sciences organizations that aim to improve clinical, operational and financial performance, and a new risk management, compliance and internal auditing tool to digitize risk and compliance processes, they said.

The companies have signed an initial five-year agreement.

“KPMG’s deep industry and process expertise, combined with the power of our trusted cloud — spanning Azure, Dynamics 365 and Microsoft 365 — will bring the best of both organizations together to help customers around the world become more agile in an increasingly complex business environment,” Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella said in a statement.

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