Microsoft and retail chain M&S have signed a strategic partnership agreement focused on testing Microsoft artificial intelligence (AI) technologies.
The partnership will see the two organisations work together to explore how AI can be used within the retail environment to improve the customer experience and optimise operations. A team of AI engineers and product personnel from Microsoft will partner with the M&S Retail Labs team to accelerate M&S’s digital transformation.
The announcement forms part of M&S’s drive to become a truly ‘digital first’ business that brings real value to its business and customers under its business-wide transformation programme. The partnership with Microsoft builds on M&S’s new technology approach which was announced earlier this year.
Steve Rowe, M&S CEO, said: “M&S is transforming into a digital first retailer, at a time when the sector is undergoing a customer-led revolution. We want to be at the forefront of driving value into the customer experience using the power of technology.
“Working together with Microsoft to understand the full potential of how technology and AI can improve the in-store experience for our customers and the efficiencies of our wider operations could be a game changer for M&S – and for retail.”
“We firmly believe that AI has the power to amplify human ingenuity,” said Cindy Rose, CEO, Microsoft UK. “The retail sector is one of the most challenging landscapes in the UK right now and we are thrilled to be working with M&S to explore how AI can help such an iconic brand transform the customer experience and improve wider operations.”
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