Walmart and Microsoft have formed a strategic partnership that will see Microsoft’s Azure cloud services power Walmart’s digital transformation drive.
Azure becomes Walmart’s “preferred and strategic cloud provider” ahead of other large cloud players like Amazon Web Services (AWS). While the retailer hasn’t categorically shunned Amazon’s cloud service, Amazon has accused Walmart in the past of badmouthing its services to other tech suppliers.
Walmart has denied doing so, but said it has advised its suppliers to use Azure. This new partnership unites Amazon’s biggest rival in the cloud space with its closest competitor in the retail sphere, giving Microsoft another big name customer as it tries to close the gap on its cloud rival.
The strategic partnership builds upon the duo’s existing alliance, tagging on Azure’s machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data platform services to its current critical application and workload management implementation.
“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.”
Microsoft will help Walmart hit its digital transformation goals, such as migrating its walmart.com and samsclub.com to Azure, developing new innovations to benefit customers and improving staff productivity and collaboration using Office 365, 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.”