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Microsoft and Flipkart announce e-commerce cloud partnership

Mon 20 Feb 2017

Microsoft and Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart have signed a new deal to establish a strategic cloud partnership to support innovation in online retail.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced the plans alongside Flipkart Group CEO and co-founder Binny Bansal at a Microsoft AI event held in Bengaluru this week.

According to a Microsoft press release, the new agreement will see Microsoft Azure become the exclusive public cloud platform behind Flipkart’s online business. The IT company is also expected to add an advanced cloud-based layer of services and analytics capabilities, including Cortana Intelligence Suite and Power BI, to Flipkart’s existing data centres.

Flipkart hopes that the strategy will help to boost innovative merchandising, advertising, marketing and customer service strategies.

Bansal revealed at the conference that Flipkart had reached over 100 million customers in India since its launch in 2007, and plans to increase this up to 500 million over the next ten years. He acknowledged innovations such as Cash on Delivery, No Cost EMI, Product Exchange, easy returns, same-day delivery and instant refunds, as having paved the way for the e-commerce market in the country.

During the announcement, Nadella emphasised his interest in pushing artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to support scaling businesses like Flipkart.

‘At Microsoft, we aim to empower every Indian and every Indian organisation with technology, and key to this is forging strategic partnerships with innovative companies like Flipkart,’ said Nadella.

He continued: ‘Combining Microsoft’s cloud platform and AI capabilities with Flipkart’s existing services and data assets will enable Flipkart to accelerate its digital transformation in e-commerce and deliver new customer experiences.’

Bansal added that the partnership will allow the two organisations ‘to leverage [their] combined strength and knowledge of technology, e-commerce and markets to make online shopping more relevant and enriching for customers.’

The partnership comes after Microsoft became one of the first companies to receive cloud services accreditation from the Indian government in October last year. The new stamp of approval means that all federal agencies may select Microsoft cloud solutions for their various requirements.

The accolade has already given the company considerable headway in leading the cloud services market in India, in both the public and private sectors.

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