To provide another retailer with its core computing needs, Microsoft has reportedly inked a five-year deal with Gap. The size of the deal was not made public, and the move comes as some retailers are tapping Microsoft and Google over Amazon, CNBC reported.
Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President for Global Retail and Consumer Goods Shelley Bransten said, according to the outlet, “what I hear from all these major retailers who are going through this transformation is they want to own their own data, and they want a partner that is not going to be a competitor of theirs in any other part of their businesses.”
With the deal, employees of Gap can also access Office 365, Windows 10 and a suite for enterprise mobility and security. In addition, the retailer plans to tap into business intelligence software Power BI, and is seeking to use the platform for inventory, workforce and eCommerce operations.
The news comes a few months after Walmart reportedly inked a deal with Microsoft to leverage the tech company’s cloud capabilities to make the shopping experience easier and faster for consumers. In a statement in mid-July, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said, “Walmart’s commitment to technology is centered around creating incredibly convenient ways for customers to shop and empowering associates to do their best work.”
With the partnership, engineers from both Microsoft and Walmart will collaborate to bring a large portion of SamsClub.com and Walmart.com to Microsoft Azure. And, in mid-July, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella remarked that “the world’s leading companies run on our cloud, and I’m thrilled to partner with Walmart to accelerate their digital transformation with Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365.”
And the news also comes as Britain’s Marks & Spencer Group (M&S) is collaborating with Microsoft. Through their strategic partnership, the companies will experiment with the integration of Microsoft AI technologies into M&S stores, as well as the retailer’s broader operations, retail news source Chain Store Age reported in June.