Walmart establishes strategic partnership with Microsoft to further accelerate digital innovation in retail

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The five-year agreement will leverage a broad base of the cloud, AI and IoT solutions for enterprise-wide use

BENTONVILLE, Ark. and REDMOND, Wa. – Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) announced it is establishing a strategic partnership with Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) to further accelerate Walmart’s digital transformation in retail, empower its associates worldwide and make shopping faster and easier for millions of customers around the world. Through this partnership, Walmart has chosen Microsoft as its preferred and strategic cloud provider tapping into the full range of Microsoft’s cloud solutions.

“Walmart’s commitment to technology is centered around creating incredibly convenient ways for customers to shop and empowering associates to do their best work,” said Doug McMillon, Walmart CEO. “Walmart is a people led, tech empowered company, and we’re excited about what this technology partnership will bring for our customers and associates. Whether it’s combined with our agile cloud platform or leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence to work smarter, we believe Microsoft will be a strong partner in driving our ability to innovate even further and faster.”

“Walmart is a pioneering retailer, committed to empowering its employees and delivering the best experience for its customers wherever they are,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “The world’s leading companies run on our cloud, and I’m thrilled to partner with Walmart to accelerate their digital transformation with Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365.”

Walmart is already using Microsoft services for critical applications and workloads and is now embarking on a broad set of cloud innovation projects that leverage machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data platform solutions for a wide range of external customer-facing services and internal business applications. The flexible, secure and rapidly scalable global technology will significantly accelerate Walmart’s ability to execute in three key areas:

Digital transformation: The investment in Microsoft Azure is a continuation of Walmart’s cloud journey and extends across Walmart’s family of brands and international businesses – allowing them to leverage Microsoft’s public cloud to:

  • Capitalize on depth and breadth of Microsoft’s compute capacity
  • Ability to seamlessly manage workloads in an elastic environment
  • Leverage expanded access to new toolsets to innovate faster
  • Drive a more cloud native environment and therefore continue to manage cost 

In a five-year agreement, Walmart has selected the full range of Microsoft cloud solutions, including Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365 for enterprise-wide use to help standardize across the company’s family of brands. As part of the partnership, Walmart and Microsoft engineers will collaborate on the assessment, development, and support phase of moving hundreds of existing applications to cloud native architectures. For example, to grow and enhance the online experience, the company will migrate a significant portion of walmart.com and samsclub.com to Azure, including its cloud-powered check-out enabling Walmart to grow with rising customer demand and reach more global markets than ever before.

Innovation: Whether it’s a continued focus on site availability and speed, or the ability to quickly and seamlessly launch new features, customers will continue to see Walmart innovating to save them time and money across the shopping journey. There are also massive benefits to operating at scale as Walmart builds a global IoT platform on Azure – from connected HVAC and refrigeration units to reduce energy usage in thousands of U.S. stores or applying machine learning when routing thousands of trucks in the supply chain.

Changing how we work: Walmart continues to foster a curious, collaborative, accountable, and agile culture to position the company for further growth. To do that, it’s critical to have tools that encourage those skills and traits. Through this partnership, Walmart is investing in its people with a phased rollout of Microsoft 365 providing associates with the productivity tools to foster a culture of collaboration, creativity and communication. Microsoft’s modern workplace platform supports connected teams and breaks down silos – with access to a full range of tools including Microsoft Workplace Analytics, Microsoft Stream, and Microsoft OneDrive, Walmart associates will have access to leading collaboration, productivity and sharing tools so they can save time and work better.

Advent Closes Investment in 80 Percent Stake in Walmart Brazil

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Walmart Inc. to retain 20 percent stake

BOSTON and BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) and Advent International announced the closing of Advent’s previously announced investment in an 80 percent equity stake in Walmart Brazil. Walmart Inc. has retained a 20 percent stake in the business.

Advent is a global private equity fund with a strong local presence and extensive experience in retail investment both in Brazil and internationally. Since the opening of its São Paulo office in 1997, the fund has invested in 30 Brazilian companies from various sectors. Advent has been active in the retail, consumer and leisure segments worldwide for 28 years and has completed 75 investments in 22 countries.

About Walmart

Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, nearly 270 million customers and members visit our more than 11,700 stores under 65 banners in 28 countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2018 revenue of $500.3 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity.

About Walmart Brazil

Having a presence in Brazil for the last 22 years, Walmart Brazil has today 438 stores in 18 states, with 55,000 associates. In 2017, the company’s total sales were more than R$25 billion.

About Advent International

Founded in 1984, Advent International is one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors. The firm has invested in over 330 private equity transactions in 41 countries and as of December 31, 2017, had $42 billion in assets under management. With offices on four continents, Advent has established a globally integrated team of over 190 investment professionals across North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia. The firm focuses on investments in five core sectors, including business and financial services; healthcare; industrial; retail, consumer and leisure; and technology, media and telecom. After more than 30 years dedicated to international investing, Advent remains committed to partnering with management teams to deliver sustained revenue and earnings growth for its portfolio companies.

About Advent International in Brazil

Advent International has been present in Brazil for more than 20 years. During this time, it has invested in 30 Brazilian companies, always with a strategy focused on revenue growth and operational excellence. Advent’s Brazilian investments have included several retail companies such as Dufry, the largest global travel retailer, Quero-Quero, Allied, International Meal Company and Fortbras.