Expected. Walmart has joined hands with Microsoft for a technology hub expansion, with plans underway to bring thousands of internal business apps to the Azure cloud platform.
The two companies first unveiled their strategic partnership back in July. Propelled, no doubt, by the common competitor the two companies share in Amazon — the online retail giant purchased Whole Foods in a blockbuster deal not long ago.
And this was said to be a decision that made Walmart opt to go all in with Azure instead of AWS.
As things stand, Walmart is engaged in digital transformation projects with the Redmond based technology giant, committing to enterprise use of Azure cloud services and Microsoft 365 — the end user package made up of Office 365, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility and Security functionality.
And one of the first steps of this agreement has the two companies announcing that they would be jointly staffing a cloud factory early next year.
This is basically an expansion of the existing Walmart technology center in Austin, Texas:
“The Walmart-Microsoft team – known internally as “4.co” for its location at Fourth and Colorado streets – will initially focus on migrating Walmart’s thousands of internal business applications to Microsoft Azure. The team will also build new, cloud-native applications. The collaboration will be part of a multi-year journey to modernize Walmart’s enterprise application portfolio, create more efficient business processes and decrease operational costs associated with legacy architecture.”
The two companies will be housing 30 technologists here, with varying specialties.
Microsoft engineers will be mixed in with technology experts from Walmart in order to accelerate everything the two companies have undertaken.
Assignments will include many of the projects Redmond encourages companies to develop, ranging from migrations of existing business applications to Azure to building new cloud-native apps.
Modernizing applications into the Azure cloud platform also includes work on emerging technologies like AI and the Internet of Things. Walmart already has IoT sensors in several locations, and the company plans to backhaul all this data to Azure for analytics and insights.
With $500 billion in revenue, Walmart has 11,200 global stores and 2.2 million associates that will see the effects of this platform upgrade.
As for Microsoft, the company is sure to learn new lessons as it deploys Azure at this high a scale.