Walmart Inc. agreed to use Microsoft Corp.’s cloud technology to power functions that could include algorithms for purchasing and sales-data sharing with vendors, the two companies said, deepening a partnership between two of Amazon.com Inc.’s most powerful rivals.
沃尔玛和微软表示，沃尔玛已同意使用微软的云技术来增强某些功能，其中可能包括采购算法和与供应商共享销售数据等。这将加深亚马逊公司(Amazon.com Inc., AMZN)最大两个竞争对手之间的合作关系。
The five-year deal, to be announced Tuesday, pairs Amazon’s largest retail competitor with its closest challenger in cloud computing. Walmart has warmed recently to working with technology companies, as it fends off Amazon’s retail ambitions and expertise in data.
The shared rivalry with Amazon “is absolutely core to this,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in an interview.
“How do we get more leverage as two organizations that have depth and breadth and investment to be able to outrun our respective competition,” Mr. Nadella said.
Walmart plans to deploy Microsoft’s machine-learning, artificial-intelligence and other services to help employees, for example, pick products that go on shelves and optimize the performance of freezers and other equipment. The retailer is aggressively cutting costs as it invests in growing sales online, and it is using tech to analyze its operations, an area of Amazon’s expertise.