IBM and Microsoft Are Upgrading Walmart’s Digital Supply Chain
October 7, 2018
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The two tech giants could help Walmart streamline its business and cut operating costs.
IBM Digital- Many investors pay close attention to Walmart‘s (NYSE:WMT) consumer-facing digital efforts, which include its expanding e-commerce marketplace and new delivery options. However, Walmart’s supply chain is also undergoing a dramatic transformation through its new partnerships with Microsoft(NASDAQ:MSFT) and IBM(NYSE:IBM).
How is Microsoft helping Walmart?
Earlier this year, Microsoft and Walmart signed a five-year partnership to make Azure Walmart’s preferred cloud infrastructure service. That was a major victory for Azure, which trails behind Amazon‘s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Amazon Web Services (AWS) as the world’s second-largest cloud platform.
Walmart is converting its websites and apps to run natively on Azure and using Microsoft’s tools to improve its machine learning and data management capabilities. Walmart is also using Azure’s tools to manage its supply chain, monitor energy consumption levels, and control Internet of Things (IoT) devices across its stores and warehouses. Microsoft is reportedly helping Walmart develop cashierless stores to counter Amazon Go as well.
How is IBM helping Walmart?
IBM is the market leader in enterprise blockchain solutions. Blockchain is a decentralized peer-to-peer ledger that is often associated with bitcoin, but the technology can also be used to trace the origins of a product faster than traditional databases.
During a shareholder meeting last year, Walmart food safety VP Frank Yiannas demonstrated that IBM’s blockchain-powered Food Trust Solution could track the condition and origin of a food product within 2.2 seconds — a process that would have taken nearly a week with traditional methods. Walmart co-developed the platform with IBM.
That’s why it wasn’t surprising when Walmart told all its suppliers of leafy green vegetables that they needed to upload their data to IBM’s Food Trust Solution platform by September 2019. IBM will offer an onboarding system for Walmart’s suppliers.
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Article Credit: The Motley Fool
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