Fonterra has signed up to be part of Microsoft's proposed data centre in New Zealand.
The dairy co-op is the first major company to come onboard after Microsoft announced its plans to build the centre earlier this year.
The centre will deliver digital cloud services here, enabling both small and large businesses to store their data in New Zealand.
Fonterra said the move was part of its wider plan to fundamentally reshape how it delivers IT.
"The new platform aims to bring together all parts of Fonterra and build a culture around data," Piers Shore, Fonterra's chief information officer, said on Thursday.
"By capturing and integrating data across the organisation, this will create a foundation for actionable insight and enable Fonterra to deepen our relationships with farmers and customers, optimise our supply chain and manufacturing operations and deliver better products and services."
Data from the company will be transferred from on-site data centres to Microsoft's Azure cloud platform, increasing the amount of data Fonterra can gather and analyse in real time, Shore said.
Vanessa Sorenson, managing director of Microsoft New Zealand, said she thinks cloud computing will be a huge benefit for the agrifood sector.
"Watch this space. This is the first customer signing of many. When we disclosed the launch of the New Zealand datacenter region, we knew there would be an appetite for the scope and solutions that it would provide to unlock innovation across so many industries," Sorenson said.
"We’re not only excited at the opportunity to support Fonterra to grow and achieve more as a business, but at how this will demonstrate how we can achieve greater efficiency, innovation and sustainability across New Zealand’s entire agrifood network."
Plans to build the centre were announced in May, though no date for when it is expected to be opened has yet been given.