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Publicis Groupe is expanding its alliance with Microsoft — combining the ad company’s Cosmos A.I. marketing technology with the tech giant’s Azure cloud platform and Cortana Intelligence Suite, aiming to help big businesses better understand and reach customers.

The partnership, announced today, aims to use artificial intelligence and behavioral data about customers to target email messages and digital display advertising to customers. Cosmos A.I., from Publicis’s SapientRazorfish digital agency, will also be made available to businesses through Microsoft’s Azure Marketplace.

“Together, we want to bring the power of artificial intelligence to help brands create new customer experiences and transform digital operations,” said Joseph Sirosh, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s data group, in a news release announcing the partnership.

The Wall Street Journal reports that it’s “a potentially lucrative play for the agency and other Publicis shops that now will have access to Cosmos and Azure,” by boosting revenue from licensing fees from agency clients.

Microsoft has a long history with Publicis and Razorfish, having sold the digital agency to the advertising company for $530 million in 2009. Razorfish had joined Microsoft as part of its acquisition of Seattle-based advertising technology company aQuantive for $6.3 billion in 2007.

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