Walmart to transform retail business with Microsoft cloud

Walmart to transform retail business with Microsoft cloud
Multinational signs five-year deal to leverage cloud, AI and IoT solutions across its enterprise

Elly Yates-Roberts |

American multinational retail corporation Walmart is to use Microsoft’s cloud, internet of things (IoT), machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to accelerate its digital transformation, empower its associates worldwide and make shopping faster and easier for customers.

Walmart already uses Microsoft technology to support and run critical applications and workloads, has now signed a five-year agreement with the technology giant and will embark on a series of cloud innovation projects that will improve multiple external customer-facing services and internal business applications.

“Walmart’s commitment to technology is centred around creating incredibly convenient ways for customers to shop and empowering associates to do their best work,” said Doug McMillon, Walmart CEO. “Walmart is a people-led, tech-empowered company and we’re excited about what this technology partnership will bring for our customers and associates. Whether it’s combined with our agile cloud platform or leveraging machine learning and AI to work smarter, we believe Microsoft will be a strong partner in driving our ability to innovate even further and faster.”

The retail corporation has invested in Microsoft Azure to leverage the public cloud so it can capitalise on Microsoft’s compute capacity, better manage workloads, gain access to new toolsets to innovate faster, and drive a more cloud-native environment which will help it to manage costs.

The corporation will implement the full range of Microsoft cloud solutions, including Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365, to help standardise the IT environments across the company’s brands. Walmart and Microsoft engineers will collaborate on the assessment, development and support phase of moving existing applications to cloud native architectures. For example, the companies will migrate a significant portion of and to Microsoft Azure.

Meanwhile, Walmart’s global IoT platform built on Microsoft Azure will be used to do everything from connecting HVAC and refrigeration units to reduce energy usage in thousands of US stores, to applying machine learning when routing thousands of trucks in the supply chain.

Walmart’s employees will benefit from a phased roll out of Microsoft 365, which will give them access to a full range of tools, including Microsoft Workplace Analytics, Microsoft Stream, and Microsoft OneDrive.

“Walmart is a pioneering retailer, committed to empowering its employees and delivering the best experience for its customers wherever they are,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “The world’s leading companies run on our cloud, and I’m thrilled to partner with Walmart to accelerate their digital transformation with Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365.”

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