Walmart agrees to 5-year cloud services deal with Microsoft

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Walmart already uses Microsoft services for critical applications and workloads.

Microsoft and Walmart are joining forces in a partnership that will see Walmart adopting Azure cloud services to "further accelerate" its retail digital transformation.

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

Last month, Walmart announced a new personal shopping service that lets customers order items via a text message with speedy delivery.

Plans call for Walmart and Microsoft engineers to move hundreds of the Bentonville, Ark. -based retailer's applications to cloud-native architectures.

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. Walmart is a people led, tech empowered company, and we're excited about what this technology partnership will bring for our customers and associates.

Predix offers a range of IoT-focused apps, including flagship applications Predix Asset Performance Management and Predix ServiceMax, and is also open to customers to create their own services, with the likes of BP and Maersk regular users. This includes potential usage of modern workplace tools such as Workplace Analytics and OneDrive in order to increase productivity through better communication and collaboration.

"Walmart is a pioneering retailer, committed to empowering its employees and delivering the best experience for its customers wherever they are". The five-year agreement pits leading e-commerce company Amazon against two of its closest competitors in retail and cloud computing.

As part of the partnership, Walmart will be moving its website and services to Microsoft Azure.