BHP said that the collaborations with AWS and Microsoft will support two distinct parts of its operations.
AWS will power BHP's digital transformation by providing capabilities in data analytics and machine learning to rapidly deploy digital solutions globally to improve operational performance.
Microsoft, through its Azure platform, will host BHP's global applications portfolio. This will enable BHP to leverage its existing Microsoft licences and SAP applications portfolio, as well as helping to reduce its reliance on regional data centres. BHP plans to transition applications from its regional data centres, corporate offices and operational sites as well as its SAP HANA environment to Microsoft Azure over the next three years.
Microsoft said that the multi-year strategic partnership will build on BHP's existing Microsoft Cloud foundations with Office 365, Dynamics 365 and Azure, and will enable BHP to improve safety, productivity and sustainably at its frontline operations across Australia, the Americas and globally.
Microsoft added that it will help deliver strong digital capability, data support and security, which will help BHP accelerate its journey to cloud, transitioning its global applications including SAP, in a portfolio move to Azure. This represents the transition of up to 17,500TB of data to Azure.
BHP has already been using Microsoft's HoloLens 2 powered mixed reality solutions to ensure business continuity and employee safety through the pandemic. They are powered by both Dynamics 365 and Azure cloud platforms.
Laura Tyler, chief technical officer at BHP, said that collaborating with two world-leading cloud providers highlighted the importance of cloud to support BHP's digital transformation.
"Digital technology is in everything we do at BHP, from how we connect to our customers and partners every day to how we extract and find resources more safely and sustainably," she said. "We are leveraging next generation technologies like cloud, machine learning and data analytics to solve complex business problems and unlock value even faster.
"Cloud is the foundation to our plans, and it will enable us to deploy digital solutions to the frontline quickly and at scale. Cloud will dramatically reduce the amount of hardware on sites and reduce costs. We are thrilled to have AWS and Microsoft on board to ensure we have a strong foundation to accelerate our digital transformation plans and lift capability across the business."
Judson Althoff, executive vice president of Microsoft's worldwide commercial business, added: "Our partnership with BHP will accelerate the company's cloud journey, improve enterprise agility and security, and advance its sustainability commitments through better data insights. We are excited to collaborate with BHP on deploying the digital tools and capabilities needed to respond quickly to opportunities in the global resources sector and ensure its people are fully supported to do their best work safely."
Last month, Chilean state-owned copper producer Codelco also announced plans to partner with Microsoft on a series of digitalisation initiatives.