Microsoft is making some big moves to corner the lucrative police camera cloud storage industry. Today, the company announced a partnership with their chief rival in the space, Taser, to create new cloud services for law enforcement The new cloud services are mainly designed for creating an integrated system for retrieving and viewing police body camera footage and other evidence online.
In a blog post, Microsoft vice president of U.S. state and local government Michael Donlan said that “Officers will be able to securely capture, store, and manage digital evidence through a trusted cloud platform that connects each part of the investigation process and streamlines operations from beginning to end. Microsoft Azure will also power next-generation analytics and collaboration with stakeholders throughout the criminal justice system.”
Up until now, Microsoft and Taser were rivals trying to attract police departments and other law enforcement agencies to each other’s respective platforms. Microsoft already has partnerships with video camera manufacturers Vievu and Getac/IRSA. Taser, despite being best known for their electroshock weapons, is also a major player in the police body camera industry thanks to their purchase of a company called Evidence.com in 2010.
Earlier in 2015, the Justice Department announced they were investing $20 million in helping police departments acquire body cameras. Because each police department, no matter the size, requires storage and contracts with their vendors, the area promises to be a financial growth area for companies providing cameras and cloud storage.
The move is also a poke in the eye to Amazon Web Services, Taser’s previous preferred vendor of choice.