Global retail brand Gap Inc. is to implement the Microsoft Azure cloud in a move that will enable it to create a more seamless shopping experience for customers.
The retailer will use the cloud solution to accelerate mobile and digital capabilities, modernise its supply chain, improve the in-store experience and deliver new ways to shop.
“Gap Inc. is focused on using technology to transform how we provide a frictionless customer experience wherever and however our customer wants to shop,” said Sally Gilligan, chief information officer at Gap Inc. “Our journey and partnership with Microsoft will enable us to be more resilient and stable as a platform, scale more efficiently, and innovate and build solutions faster.”
Gilligan is leading the company’s technology evolution with Rathi Murthy, Gap Inc.’s chief technology officer. Their work will facilitate ongoing growth of the retailer’s active and value business, and support expansion of online and mobile services across its brands, including Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic and Athleta.
The elasticity of Azure will help Gap Inc. quickly scale for peak holiday seasons. It plans to migrate hundreds of applications to Azure over the coming years, starting with critical inventory, store and site management systems.
“Azure is going to play a very, very big role for us to be able to scale our business seamlessly,” Murthy said.
Gap Inc. is also building a centralised data platform on Azure to enable personalised shopping experiences and faster responses to a changing retail landscape. As more consumers shop digitally and research products online before they head to a store, the company will be able to better understand customers’ tastes and preferences with advanced analytics, data visualisation and machine learning. It will be able to deliver tailored merchandising and marketing, and win more omnichannel, cross-brand shoppers.
“We’ve seen a huge transformation in the whole retail industry in shopping patterns,” Murthy said. “Our online business continues to grow, so we need to make sure our platform is fast, responsive and able to scale.”
Gap Inc. is also empowering its global workforce with Microsoft 365 solutions. The tools will help employees collaborate across brands and channels and enable them to work faster and more efficiently through the company’s transformation.
“You can’t be on your legacy platforms if you want to empower your best talent,” said Murthy. “You’ve got to be on the next-generation platform. That’s where Office 365 and Windows 10 come in.”
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