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Digiday has a story about how Amazon’s success in the cloud computing business has opened up opportunities for its technology rivals to make deals with its retail competitors.

The story notes that “Amazon Web Services is the biggest cloud-computing business on the market, bringing in $7.4 billion in revenue for Amazon in the fourth quarter of 2018. But over the last couple of years, a steady stream of retailers like Target, Walmart and Kroger have signed multiyear deals with its biggest competitors, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud … Both companies have made developments over the past couple of years to their cloud-computing businesses specifically targeting retailers.”

The story goes on: “Previously, a retailer might have built its own in-house data center or leased servers on a monthly basis. But today’s big-box retailers have huge data storage and web processing needs, as they sell more product online, offer a variety of shipping and delivery methods, and have multiple mobile applications to collect more customer data. Amazon got a head start — Amazon Web Services was open for business in 2006. But retailers have reason to be wary of working with them.

“Neither Microsoft Azure nor Google Cloud discloses exactly how many retail customers they have. But within the past two years, Microsoft Azure has announced contracts with Walgreens, Albertson’s, Walmart, Kroger and Gap. Google Cloud, meanwhile, has secured Target, Shopify and Home Depot as customers within the past few years. CNBC previously reported that Target, in particular, started considering moving away from Amazon Web Services after Amazon acquired Whole Foods, not wanting to give more of their business to a division of its competitor.”

Not to be overly self-referential, but this seems like a good place to point out that this was precisely the rationale behind our Retail Tomorrow podcast about the Kroger-Microsoft alliance, featuring people from both companies explaining it in some dept. As noted above, you can listen to the podcast here, or on iTunes and Google Play.
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