Back in July, Walmart and Microsoft announced a partnership that would include Walmart committing to use Microsoft AI, Microsoft Azure, and Microsoft 365 to modernise its operations. As of the 5th of November, they’re expanding their partnership even more.
As a part of the extension, Walmart will be expanding their Innovation Hub that’s located in Austin, Texas. Moreover, they will be migrating thousands of business apps to Microsoft Azure. According to company officials, they will be using chatbot and machine learning technologies.
This example showcases how, in certain cases, Microsoft views their customers as partners. As is evident from it, Microsoft’s engineering and management teams are closely working with Walmart’s team, so marking their relationship as ‘partnership’ is more than accurate.
The concept, however, isn’t new. In fact, Microsoft is known to support key customers in such a way. Judson Althoff, Microsoft Executive Vice President, said that Microsoft team members collaborate with their customers by coding with them and making sure that everything they do is truly digitised.
In exact words, Microsoft refers to some of their key customers as ‘digital partners’. Althoff cited Boeing as an example of this, explaining they’ve used their digital aviation assets, migrated them to Microsoft Azure, then proceeded to co-sell them to other airlines all around the globe.
This demonstrates that not all of Microsoft’s customers are created equal. While the key players are certainly treated in a way described above, some are still treated like small-scale customers.