Australian supermarket chain, Coles, today announced a new partnership with Microsoft which will see it using the company’s Azure cloud platform to improve workflow, business operations, and customer experience.
“This strategic partnership builds on our long-standing relationship with Microsoft and will enable the Smarter Selling pillar of our strategy through efficiency and pace of change,” Coles’ Roger Sniezek told Yahoo! Finance’s Lucy Dean. “The Azure-based Enterprise Data Platform will allow us to execute advanced analytics and artificial intelligence across all areas of our business at extreme scale.”
The implementation of Azure technologies is expected to streamline how staff work within stores in addition to improving customer shopping data and reducing overhead.
With Coles announcing a $1 billion cost cutting strategy just last month, it’s safe to assume that this new partnership with Microsoft is at least partially financially motivated.
Coles is one of the largest supermarket chains in Australia and has over 800 locations nationwide. It frequently competes with Woolworths (almost 1,000 locations) for the top position and both have started innovating in recent years with newer technology to reduce costs and retain customers with the rise in popularity of Aldi and the looming threat of Amazon.