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Microsoft Australia Wins Massive Cloud Order From Coles

Coles has adopted Microsoft Azure as its cloud platform of choice, saying the move will accelerate its digital transformation, transform the shopping experience for customers, make life easier for team members and improve productivity across the business.

It is the latest in a series of major digital transformation deals signed by Coles since late 2018.

Coles will also deploy Microsoft Dynamics 365 enterprise resource planning tools in its Coles Express and meat manufacturing businesses “to create simpler, more efficient and robust operations that empower team members,” and will deploy Microsoft’s Modern Workplace suite of technologies, including Office 365, to help it achieve more agile ways of working, boost team member engagement and pace in execution.

The retail giant is building an enterprise data platform in Azure that will power advanced analytics across its business and “enable the rapid deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) technology to drive innovation in physical stores and through the supply chain.”

It says the application of Azure AI to data analysis from its proprietary research, flybuys and customer transactions will bolster its decision making and enable it to better tailor its range to meet customers’ needs.

In stores team members will be provided with a range of new tools that will “transform how they work, such as removing manual tasks for repetitive activities like stock management and price markdowns,” Coles says. “These changes will boost productivity and allow them to focus on the things that matter most to customers.”

Microsoft will also provide tailored training and “invest its world-class engineering resources to innovate with Coles to deliver technology-led, next generation retail solutions.”

The deal with Microsoft is the latest in a string of major announcements by Coles. Others include:

• Two new automated distribution centres to be built by German automation specialist Witron;

• Implementation of SAP systems to transform HR, indirect procurement and financial reporting;

• Signing Optus to rollout a high-speed network to boost store efficiencies and innovation; and

• Deployment of Ocado’s online grocery platform, automated fulfilment and home delivery system.

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