In a jab at Amazon, Walmart announced today that it will be forming a new partnership with Microsoft to accelerate their digital transformation. Under a five-year agreement, the partnership will see the retail giant come on board with the Microsoft Cloud to help make online and retail shopping faster and easier.
Specifically, Walmart will be using Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365 in a standardization across their brands. There are plans for Walmart and Microsoft Engineers to work together on accessing Walmart's technologies and developing and supporting the company's move to the Microsoft Cloud. The cloud backends for the Walmart.com and Samsclub.com websites will also move to Azure as part of the plans, helping Walmart deal with increased customer demand.
As noted by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella:
"Walmart is a pioneering retailer, committed to empowering its employees and delivering the best experience for its customers wherever they are...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."
Though Walmart already uses Microsoft products and services for workloads across their company, this new partnership will see them use Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and data platform solutions. There are also hopes that Walmart can capitalize on Microsoft's compute capacity to help Walmart innovate faster, manage their cost, and seamlessly manage workloads.
In the words of 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."
The news of this partnership is another big stab at Amazon, as rumors indicated Microsoft was planning software to rival the Amazon Go cardless purchasing service. It also comes after Microsoft announced similar Azure and digital transformation partnerships with both GE and Campbell.