April 10, 2021 8:00 pm
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Microsoft introduces retail industry-focused Microsoft Cloud for Retail

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Months after launching Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, now the American technology giant has announced its intention to launch Microsoft Cloud for Retail.

Currently available in preview mode, the retail-industry-focused cloud is likely to have the same capabilities as a healthcare-specific cloud, including bundling of services such as Azure, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Power Platform.

According to a senior company executive, the retail-specific cloud service will have , Microsoft Power Platform, Microsoft 365, Microsoft Dynamics 365, and Microsoft Advertising.

“By bringing together disparate data sources across the retail value chain, we will enable retailers to realize the true value of their data,” said Shelley Bransten, corporate vice president, WW Retail & Consumer Goods industry, Microsoft, in a blog post.

The Cloud for Retail follows the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare launched in May 2019. It is offered as a bundled service with Azure, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Power Platform, along with various templates and connectors, to help healthcare organizations deal with structured and unstructured health data.

While the cost for a healthcare-specific cloud is $95 per user per month, the company is yet to reveal the price for Microsoft Cloud for Retail. The newly launched service will be an add-on. The users will have their licenses for Azure, Dynamics 365, Microsoft 365, and Power Platform separately.

“Our rich partner ecosystem will extend the value of the platform with retail-specific solutions to address the industry’s most urgent challenges, and future-proofing retail organizations to proactively be ready for what’s next,” Bransten said.

“If 2020 taught us anything, it was that no business is resilient to everything. But those that had laid their digital tracks early were better positioned to recover, and in some cases, even speed ahead,” she said.

The pandemic’s impact on the retail sector is so high that retailers are juggling with their offline and online stores and are compelled to leverage the latest solutions built using cutting-edge technologies.

A Deloitte report says that nearly 70% of Indian shoppers prefer digital devices rather than sales personnel for in-store activities such as pricing comparison, procuring product information, checking product availability.

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