Microsoft and TomTom have announced a partnership expansion to further benefit both parties. Under a new collaboration, TomTom will provide its map and traffic data to Azure, while taking the cloud service as its preferred provider.

The location data will be used to improve various products, including Bing Maps, Cortana, Windows, and more.

“This deep partnership with TomTom is very different from anything Microsoft has done in maps before,” explained Tara Prakriya, Partner Group Program Manager of Azure Maps and Connected Vehicles. “TomTom hosting their services in the Azure cloud brings with it their graph of map data. Manufacturing maps in Azure reduces the latency to customer applications, ensuring we offer the freshest data through Azure Maps. Azure customers across industries end up winning when their geospatial data and analytics, TomTom data, and Azure Maps services are all running together in the same cloud.”

Customer Benefits

For Azure customers, it will mean native support for tasks like IoT spatial analytics, as well as sensor tracking, map-based dashboards, and more. As the world moves increasingly towards smart cities and connected vehicles, such information could prove very useful for a variety of customers.

However, TomTom isn’t without competition in this area. Google has been collaborating with manufacturers to get its Maps in cars. AWS has its own ventures and sells location services from HERE.

It’s clear that data will soon be a very lucrative business, with TomTom recently selling its telematics business for $1.03 billion to focus on the location industry.