Microsoft joins forces with Walmart to take on Amazon with cloud technology

As part of its cloud-computing deal with Microsoft Walmart will move “a significant portion” of its flagship website and the Sam’s Club website to Azure

"Walmart was never going to partner with Amazon for obvious reasons and Microsoft is the second largest provider of cloud solutions in the world", said Dusan Milosavljevic, an analyst at Berenberg bank.

Under a five-year deal announced Tuesday, Walmart will boost its use of Microsoft's cloud services and work with the tech firm on artificial intelligence and machine learning projects.

Walmart is banking on Microsoft Corp.to provide it with the technology foundation to meet the demands of today's evolving consumer marketplace.

Throughout the five-year agreement, Walmart plans to migrate "a significant portion" of its online presences at walmart.com and samsclub.com to Azure.

Meanwhile, GE Digital and Microsoft are also forming a co-sell and go-to-market strategy together, offering end customers Industrial IoT (IIoT) services across verticals.

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Walmart is already using Microsoft services for some applications and will expand that to tap into Microsoft's machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data platform, according to the statement.

Microsoft's business cloud computing platform known as Azure will help Walmart manage operations ranging from refrigeration and air conditioning to improving its supply chain and transportation.

And cloud computing is one of the few areas where Microsoft competes with Amazon. As part of this partnership, GE is planning to standardize its Predix solutions on Azure and will also deeply integrate the Predix portfolio with Azure's native services, including Azure IoT and Azure Data and Analytics.

"Walmart's commitment to technology is centered around creating incredibly convenient ways for customers to shop and empowering associates to do their best work", Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in the announcement.

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