Microsoft inks seven-year cloud deal with Chevron in win for Azure

Energy giant Chevron is teaming up with Microsoft to power its cloud and IoT needs.

Microsoft has announced a new partnership that will see Chevron leveraging Azure as its "primary cloud." The seven-year deal, Microsoft says, will be a key part of Chevron's plans to digitize its oil field operations and drive down costs.

Azure, Chevron hopes, will help to parse and harness massive amounts of data coming in from drill sensors around the world. "Azure is going to be very helpful in getting real-time data, handling the volume and giving us the ability to scale and apply analytics," said Bill Braun, chief information officer of Chevron. Eventually, Chevron could leverage Azure to do things like more quickly and consistently read seismic surveys with the help of machine learning.

Microsoft says that the partnership will also include "technical collaboration, joint innovation and employee cross-training."

Cloud computing has become a clear point of growth for Microsoft, making up a significant portion of the $24.5 billion in revenue the company reported in its latest earnings, and securing big customers like Chevron is key to that growth. In addition to Chevron, Microsoft also recently secured Bank of America and GE as Azure customers.