According to a report by Bloomberg, Microsoft is increasingly positioning itself as the cloud vendor of choice for retailers seeking to avoid Amazon, as well as more generalized software vendors.
The software giant has been rolling out a number of cloud tools and services designed specifically for the retail market. Microsoft has had tremendous success in this market, as many retailers want to avoid relying on software made by their primary competitor, Amazon.
“A key part of our offering is that we partner and we don’t compete,” Shelley Bransten, Corporate Vice President, Global Retail & Consumer Goods, told Bloomberg.
One such feature that has come from that partnership is one that allows Teams users to use their phones as walkie-talkies for in-store communication. Microsoft is quick to point out, however, that features such as this one have value far beyond the retail environment.
The end result of this focus has been some large, high-profile defections from competing products to Microsoft. Ikea, for example, has already moved 70,000 employees from Slack to Teams and “plans to have the rest of its 165,000-person workforce on Office 365 cloud software and Teams by the end of spring.”
As Bloomberg points out, Microsoft’s stature in this market is turning heads. CEO Satya Nadella is scheduled to speak at the National Retail Federation’s annual show next week, “underscoring how significant the industry is to Amazon’s biggest cloud competitors.”