Microsoft moves into cloud-led consumer marketing with Coles

In a further sign that the cloud technology sector is at the stage where it can start making changes to the way some markets operate, Microsoft has announced it is teaming up with the Australian supermarket brand, Coles, to use data to push specific promotions. The idea moves into the theory of customers being welcome to personalised marketing, which suits their needs better, and is more likely to help them enact a purchasing decision.

Coles says its plan is to 'future-proof' its business by working towards more automation, utilising artificial intelligence, and bringing machine learning into its general decision process.

With a yearly revenue of over £20bn, it seems that Coles now wants to make the most of its: “21 million transactions a week in our stores and online.” The transaction data can now be used for something more effective in terms of planning and output, which will make it easier for the supermarket to reduce waste, save on inefficient resources, and be more in-tune with its customers.

CIO, Roger Sniezek, said that part of his core role was to “use technology to simplify our business, as much as we possibly can.” He also said that “modern cloud computing technologies” were a key asset to realise this aim. Coles plans to make savings of over £500m by 2021, with a move towards sustainability and being an innovative retailer are also key drivers. Microsoft Azure will be its cloud provider, while Dynamic 365 will be implemented in its business units and Office 365 for its workforce.