Walmart and Microsoft have signed a new deal on cloud and artificial intelligence. This new strategic partnership will help both companies put up a strong front against Amazon. The agreement will last five years. Walmart will leverage on Microsoft’s cloud computing solutions in order to make shopping quicker and more efficient.
Walmart is Amazon’s biggest competitor when it comes to online shopping. On the other hand, Microsoft has been challenging the e-commerce giant in the cloud computing sector. The new partnership between the two companies will help share technology and experience with the hope of edging out Amazon in their own unique sector.
Many experts think that the deal is a clear indication that Walmart is trying to double down on its e-commerce presence. There are reports too that Microsoft is working on a new technology that could eliminate cashiers and checkout lines from its brick and mortar stores. It’s very likely that Walmart will leverage on this new technology to improve customer experience in its thousands of stores around the country.
Walmart said in a statement that its commitment has always been to focus on technologies that are centered on creating a convenient way for customers to shop while empowering associates to do their jobs. Hopefully, this new partnership will get the retail giant closer to that goal.
Lately, Amazon has been opening up physical retail locations equipped with some of the latest AI technology. The company recently rolled out a pilot program for cashier-less stores in the US and Canada. The online retail giant also completed a multibillion-dollar deal to acquire Whole Foods. Many analysts saw this as Amazon’s attempt to dominate the retail space both online and offline.
But Walmart feels that the deal with Microsoft is the best possible defense against Amazon. The company said that with its experience and Microsoft’s technology it will be able to fend off Amazon both online and offline. Microsoft released a statement after the deal noting that some of the leading companies in the world run on Microsoft’s cloud and that it was great to bring Walmart on board to help the retailer with its digital transformation.
However, the specific details of the deal haven’t been disclosed yet. We don’t know how the two companies intend to explore this agreement to grow in their own industries or the extent in which they will be sharing their solutions. Financial details about the agreement are also not clear Nonetheless, reports indicate that engineers from both companies will work together over the coming months to move a significant portion of Walmart’s web presence to Microsoft’s Azure.
The migration will affect Walmart.com and samsclub.com. It’s possible that Walmart will try to see how it can explore Microsoft’s cloud technology and AI to support its offline stores. Microsoft is definitely one of the biggest innovators in the market. Even though Amazon remains a huge player in both online and offline shopping, this deal could just help strengthen its competitors in the future.