Microsoft and Cisco have this week strengthened the partnership between the two companies. On Tuesday, the technology giants announced plans to build upon their collaboration regarding cloud applications and connectivity.

According to the announcement, Microsoft and Cisco will combine each other’s technology. Cisco’s software defined wide area network (SD-WAN) will integrate into Microsoft Azure Virtual WAN and Office 365.

With this combination, the goal is to boost connectivity from branch offices to Microsoft cloud and Office 365.

This is a continuation of a partnership originally started a year ago. At the time, Cisco connected SD-WAN into Office 365. According to the company, this integration increased Office 365 app performance by as much as 40 percent.

By leveraging SD-WAN, traffic from Office 365 is redirected from on-premises to the nearest Microsoft network points. Corporate datacenters are bypassed, improving performance.

With the ongoing collaboration, Microsoft and Cisco say they will build new abilities. IT admins will be able to connect organization branch offices to Microsoft Azure Virtual WAN automatically.

“As organizations modernize their network with software-defined WAN to support cloud-based digital transformation, Microsoft is excited to announce a deeper partnership with Cisco to integrate Cisco SD-WAN, Azure Virtual WAN and Office 365,” said Yousef Khalidi, corporate vice president of Microsoft Azure Networking, in a prepared statement.

Continuing a Partnership

In 2017, Cisco and Microsoft announced that Microsoft Azure Stack will be offered on Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) in Q3 2017. Cisco promotes UCS as a solution that helps users simplify open cloud development, tackle graphics-intensive apps, and unlock the hidden value in their data.

By combining Microsoft’s robust Azure cloud platform with Cisco’s UCS server platform, customers gain a powerful, cloud-ready solution.