Walmart has established a strategic partnership with Microsoft Corp. as the retailer continues to accelerate its digital transformation in retail, empower its associates worldwide and make shopping faster and easier for customers.
Through the five-year partnership, Walmart has chosen Microsoft as its preferred and strategic cloud provider tapping into the full range of Microsoft’s cloud solutions. Walmart, already using Microsoft services for critical applications and workloads, will now embark on a broad set of cloud innovation projects that leverage machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data platform solutions for a wide range of external customer-facing services and internal business applications.
In terms of digital programs, the investment in Microsoft Azure is a continuation of Walmart’s cloud initiatives and extends across its family of brands and international businesses, allowing them to leverage Microsoft’s public cloud to capitalize on depth and breadth of Microsoft’s compute capacity; ability to seamlessly manage workloads; leverage expanded access to new toolsets to innovate faster; and drive a more cloud native environment.
As part of the partnership, Walmart and Microsoft engineers will collaborate on the assessment, development, and support phase of moving hundreds of existing applications to cloud native architectures. For example, to grow and enhance the online experience, the company will migrate a significant portion of walmart.com and samsclub.com to Azure, including its cloud-powered check-out enabling Walmart to grow with rising customer demand and reach more global markets.
Whether it’s a continued focus on site availability and speed, or the ability to quickly and seamlessly launch new features, customers will continue to see Walmart innovating technology, the company said. Walmart will also build a global IoT platform on Azure to reduce energy usage in thousands of U.S. stores and apply machine learning when routing trucks in the supply chain.
Walmart also said it is investing in its people with a phased rollout of Microsoft 365 providing associates with productivity tools to foster a culture of collaboration, creativity and communication.
“Walmart’s commitment to technology is centered 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 artificial intelligence to work smarter, we believe Microsoft will be a strong partner in driving our ability to innovate even further and faster.”