Energy Giant Chevron Calls On Azure In Long-Term Deal

The race for cloud supremacy just got a little bit tighter, as Microsoft and Chevron jointly announced this week a long-term deal for the energy giant to use Azure as its primary data center.

Chevron, which recorded earnings of more than $110 billion in 2016, will use Microsoft’s cloud platform Azure for the next seven years. What’s more, Chevron has made no secret about its expected growth globally and how it will dive into the IoT era, naturally producing incredible amounts of data that will need to be housed and analyzed.

Chevron is looking to digitize its oil fields and accelerate deployment of new technologies to increase revenue, reduce costs, and improve the safety and reliability of operations, according to Microsoft’s announcement.

“Chevron has a long history of applying technology,” said Bill Braun, CIO of Chevron, in a statement. “This partnership will allow us to digitally transform and leverage the scale and capabilities of Microsoft to ensure we harness the value of our data.”

The cloud race sees Amazon Web Services (AWS) with a healthy lead, with major players such as Microsoft, Google, and IBM trailing behind. But Microsoft and Google have lately made some major moves and won big business that may end up flipping the leaderboard in the years to come.

See related: $1B Contract For 3 Tech Giants In Air Force’s Cloud Move

In September, the United States Air Force announced it was spending $1 billion over five years for three tech giants – Dell EMC, General Dynamics, and Microsoft – to successfully carry it to the cloud and maintain operations.

Google is finding the same movement, collaborating to further its cloud services. In the last two weeks, the company acquired Bitium, a cloud-based IAM service provider, followed by an announcement to collaborate with Cisco and deliver a hybrid cloud solution that enables applications and services to be deployed, managed and secured across on-premises environments.

See related: In Cloud Race, Google & Cisco Form New Team

While all the major players in the cloud race boast impressive users and clientele, the Microsoft and Chevron marriage piques slightly more interest due to its time frame and the energy company’s public push toward digital transformation.

“It’s a two-way development program; both sides bring something and get something,” Braun said in the statement. “For us to evolve our technology skills at the pace the cloud is moving is very valuable. This partnership helps Chevron stay technically competitive.”