Home-grown e-commerce major Flipkart has just announced that it has entered into a strategic relationship with technology giant Microsoft, for adopting Microsoft Azure as its cloud computing platform.
The development is good news for both Flipkart, which has continued to grow rapidly in the e-commerce space in India, and for Microsoft. The latter will be able to further demonstrate benefits of cloud computing to the industry, on how companies can leverage the cloud to cut costs, improve operational efficiencies, improve decision making by optimising artificial intelligence, and deliver improved customer experience.
Flipkart’s Group CEO Binny Bansal and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, were both present while announcing the significant development.
Time for Flipkart to Shift to the Cloud
Flipkart has ambitious plans of increasing their customer base by 5x over the next 10 years. It recently crossed 100 million customers and aims to cross 500 million in a decade. Flipkart generates a significant amount of data and has not been able to fully deploy deep analytics and artificial intelligence to enable faster and relevant decision making.
It already has an extensive IT infrastructure that has helped operations thus far, but now, by shifting its operations to Microsoft Azure, it will be able to use machine learning and artificial intelligence to assist its managers across verticals to make decisions based on real data, and in some cases, in real time.
Explaining this, Binny Bansal spoke of having around 20,000 to 25,000 managers in their logistics supply chain that need to make critical decisions on a daily basis. With data mined through artificial intelligence, they will now be able to make those decisions that will improve efficiencies and deliver cost savings for the company.
In another example, he stated how Myntra, a subsidiary of Flipkart, has a fashion label called Moda Rapido, where their engineers have created an entire fashion line based on buyer preferences and without the help of fashion designers. The cloud services of Microsoft will help them take similar initiatives in different functions within the company.
It Was a Matter of Time for Flipkart
Shifting over to the cloud was a necessity for Flipkart as it has been witnessing mounting losses and lowering of valuations, while being forced to continue to invest in customer acquisition and retain market share.
Managing resources efficiently and keeping costs under control is a major challenge for any company that grows as fast as Flipkart has been growing.
Despite having extensive data and service assets at its command, it has not been able to fully mine the data to its benefit. With Azure, Flipkart expects to significantly improve efficiencies, as the cloud service lays out a strong base of scaling up operations for the latter. The company will get to leverage Microsoft’s extensive global experience with larger enterprises and use that knowledge for innovative decision making.
In fact, many retail platforms are increasingly introducing in-house brands to optimise margins. With 3D printing making rapid in-roads, its only a matter of time when companies like Flipkart will be able to utilise cloud services and information to churn out products in real time, and ship them out the same day to customers.
Internationally, this is a reality and one can expect Flipkart to use its extensive data in future for yet another innovative customer service.
Why Flipkart Chose Microsoft’s Cloud Services
The cloud services are expected to deliver superior customer experience and improved operational efficiencies in:
- Big Data and Analytics
- Data Warehouse
- Digital Marketing
- Internet of Things
- Mobile Apps Development
- Microservice Applications
- Business SaaS
- Business Intelligence
- ERP Services
- Hybrid Integration
- High Performance Computing
- Back-up and Archive
- Disaster Recovery
- Development and Testing
The good news for India is that Microsoft Azure is already being used by over 2,000 start-ups and that’s a great sign of early adoption of IT services, as it will help them easily scale up as and when required.
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