Microsoft in cloud deal with India e-commerce company Flipkart

Microsoft has joined hands with Flipkart for cloud partnership and will expand e-commerce in India.

Microsoft is betting big on cloud & artificial intelligence (AI), Cortana (its voice-controlled intelligent virtual assistant), and augmented reality, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said at an event in Bengaluru today, in his first visit to India after being named the chief of the tech giant in February 2014.

The integration of Azure and its related AI capabilities with Flipkart's existing services and data assets will enable the marketplace to expedite its digital transformation in the e-commerce ecosystem. Flipkart plans to leverage AI, machine learning, and analytics capabilities in Azure to optimise its data for innovative merchandising, advertising, marketing, and customer service. The company is already offering its cloud services from data centers in the country to meet local data storage requirements of some of its customers. "Given Microsoft's strong reputation in cloud computing, coupled with scale and reliability, this partnership allows us to leverage our combined strength and knowledge of technology, e-commerce and markets to make online shopping more relevant and enriching for customers". He chatted with Nandan Nilekani, co-founder of Infosys and the torch bearer of Unique Identification Authority of India.

Microsoft aims to provide the cloud infrastructure for numerous developers to rapidly build their services, Nadella said.

Under the association, Flipkart will foster Azure as its whole and sole public cloud platform.

He said many startups, such as hotel aggregator OYO Rooms, have adopted Azure. "I would love for our services, whether it is Office 365 or Dynamics 365, anything that we are doing end user or Windows itself, to be great participants in the India Stack", Nadella said.

Gartner said this month that the Indian public cloud services market was worth an estimated US$1.3 billion in 2016, growing to $1.8 billion this year, and to $4 billion in 2020.

  • Zachary Reyes