Brick and mortar retail giant Walmart that recently brought over Flipkart of India to master online retail and address emerging markets, has got into a 5 year tech (call it strategic because its all about IT, cloud, data analytics and AI) deal with Microsoft. This long term agreement will let Walmart leverage some of the critical cloud solutions and tools including Azure, 365 that enable better shopping experience for consumers with better speed and ease. With this announcement, Walmart and Microsoft software engineers will get down to porting important parts of walmart.com and samsclub. com (a Walmart owned US based chain membership based e-commerce player) to Microosft Azure.
According to market experts closely watching the building up battle of the two global retail giants, on one hand Walmart is doubling its e-commerce presence to better compete with Amazon, on the other trying to leverage technology for enhancing customer experience at its existing chain of stores (and maybe some upcoming new ones too). Microsoft is working on a technology that would eliminate cashiers and checkout lines from stores, aiming at coming out with something better than Amazon Go, the highly automated convenience store chain (also dubbed as store of the future) Amazon is working on. While Walmart will begin entering India with its Flipkart acquisition, Microsoft already has a huge base in India in terms of tech workforce, as a well as enterprise and SME business customers.