The Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), Walgreen's global "pharmacy led health and well-being enterprise," has partnered with Microsoft to provide the pharmaceutical company access to the tech giant's Azure cloud computing software, which will help them "develop new health care delivery models, technology and retail innovations to advance and improve the future of health care," according to Microsoft. Additionally, the deal will give the pharmacy company's 380,000 employees access to Microsoft 365's suite which includes Windows 10, Office 365, and the Enterprise Mobility + Security software.
The companies will also commit to a multiyear investment to research and build health care solutions and help reduce costs for the services. The investment includes funding, tools, and healthcare experts, although no financial details have been shared. Additionally, Walgreens will open its "digital health corners" in 12 stores, which will focus on selling merchandise and health care related equipment and devices. In a statement, WBA's CEO and executive vice chairman, Stefano Pessina, stated that:
"Our strategic partnership with Microsoft demonstrates our strong commitment to creating integrated, next-generation, digitally enabled health care delivery solutions for our customers, transforming our stores into modern neighborhood health destinations and expanding customer offerings. WBA will work with Microsoft to harness the information that exists between payors and health care providers to leverage, in the interest of patients and with their consent, our extraordinary network of accessible and convenient locations to deliver new innovations, greater value and better health outcomes in health care systems across the world."
The deal marks the second major deal Microsoft had made with a retailer in the first month of the new year. The company also made a deal with Kroger, giving the supermarket access to Azure services and build tools to improve customer experience.