Tech giant Microsoft have announced the extension of their strategic partnership with Walmart that came into effect since July this year. As per the terms of the alliance, Microsoft and Walmart are creating a cloud factory to take on AWS by leveraging their chatbot, AI and cloud platform (Azure) to build new cloud applications.
According to Microsoft, Walmart was chosen in July since they saw a perfect fit with respect to the latter’s customer profile and their needs when it comes to eCommerce and internet services. They also say that Walmart’s dependency on cloud services made it imperative for them to migrate their workloads to a sophisticated orchestration stage where AI, IoT and chatbots could be leveraged easily.
By extending their current strategic partnership, Microsoft claim that they will create a cloud factory at Walmart’s Innovation Hub in Austin, Texas. They say that this factory will allow engineers to build brand new cloud applications and ensure that cloud services are infused into business processes easily.
Speaking about the extension, Corey Sanders, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft Azure, commented:
The exciting part of working with Walmart is sort of the massive breadth of experience and operational programs they have in front of them.
This extension of this strategic partnership, says Microsoft, will allow them to further compete with AWS on a global level. They also believe that Walmart’s enormous network of stores and warehouses provides an ideal testing ground for new technologies, products and services in this area.
Industry analysts opine that this alliance will be breeding ground for new applications that will provide better and faster workloads. Holger Mueller, Principal Analyst and Vice President of Constellation Research, commented:
As such they have achieved a new level of cooperation on artificial intelligence, and a new level of usage for big data. Hopefully, this will help Microsoft to become a better cloud infrastructure platform. For Walmart, it will be interesting to see how these new applications will help it to compete with Amazon.
In closing, Microsoft added that the ‘cloud factory’ will be unveiled by the end of 2018 or early 2019.