Microsoft has managed to ink a deal with Flipkart. India’s largest e-commerce business will now exclusively rely on the services of Microsoft Azure.
Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, announced the partnership with Flipkart at an event in Bengaluru with Flipkart Group CEO, Binny Bansal, right beside him.
This unique partnership seems to be more about analytics rather than hosting Flipkart’s content. In a statement released by Flipkart after the event, the company noted that Microsoft Azure would “ultimately add a layer of advanced cloud technologies and analytics to Flipkart’s existing data centers,” implying that Flipkart would continue to keep its data centers online.
That’s an important distinction to make: Flipkart intends to leverage the more advanced machine learning and analytical capabilities of Azure. It could use this data to improve its returns with advertising, merchandising, marketing, as well as providing better customer support.
“Combining Microsoft’s cloud platform and AI capabilities with Flipkart’s existing services and data assets, will enable Flipkart to accelerate its digital transformation in e-commerce and deliver new customer experiences,” Nadella said in a statement.
Flipkart’s partnership with Microsoft is a beneficial one for both sides. However, let us not forget: Flipkart didn’t have many options.
While Amazon does have a large AWS data center in Mumbai for its Indian clienteles; Flipkart is a competitor to Amazon and thus would avoid paying its competition unless necessary.
Google announced in September last year that it plans on opening a couple of data centers in India sometime in 2017. These data centers, however, are not online yet.
These circumstances then leave Flipkart with two choices: Microsoft Azure or IBM Softlayer, and that’s not very nice for a competitive environment.
Still, Microsoft managed to grab India’s largest e-commerce business as a client, and that’s some achievement. Amazon noted that India has the potential to be one of the biggest markets for the AWS services. Microsoft is only tapping into the market for its share.