According to reports, Microsoft has once again entered into a partnership with Walmart. It is not for the first time when the two have collaborated as they first announced a partnership in July under which Walmart committed to using Azure, Microsoft 365. The retail firm also agreed to deploy advanced technologies by Microsoft such as AI, Internet of Things tools and other technologies with the hope of modernizing the working of its retail unit.

Once again on Nov 5, the official of Microsoft and Walmart came together to announce the extension of their previous agreement. Under the extended agreement, Walmart will expand its Texas-based Innovation Hub. The Innovation Hub, which is also known as cloud factory, is expected to be launched in 2019. It will be equipped with 30 technologists that would be included from both Walmart and Microsoft.

Under the extended agreement, Walmart would also move internal apps to Azure. It would also work on the developing new cloud-based applications. According to the officials of Walmart, Microsoft’s Cognitive Services will be deployed for the development of new applications. Besides, chat bot technologies and machine learning of Microsoft will also play a greater role in the new apps thus developed.

The agreement between the two is different from the contracts that are signed between two businesses. Microsoft has partnered its own customer for a great business deal. Microsoft has, in this particular deal, has positioned itself as a replacement to Amazon. Amazon is known for its cloud services and well-established online retailer which has set a tough competition to brick-and-motor retailers.

Through the agreement, the companies together have given a new name or definition to the term ‘partner’. A couple of years back, when the tech giant talked about its partners it primarily implied to a reseller or integrated partners, OEM or ISV partners. More recently, the company has started to use the term ‘partner’ quite loosely. For Microsoft, some of its customers are also its partners.

For the convenience behind using the word ‘partner’ is the working of Microsoft’s engineers and technologists together with its customers on a number of projects such as developing a new app and more. It has been almost decades since Microsoft has been deploying its team within the infrastructure of its customer’s key areas.

But this time, the officials of Microsoft have maintained a slightly different approach from how it has been partnering with its customers on certain projects. A year ago, Microsoft cut down on its jobs as it reorganized its salesforce it also hired 3,000 plus developers into the salesforce, as stated by Judson Althoff, Microsoft Executive Vice President at Microsoft’s Worldwide Commercial Business. Althoff further added that the company can now better work with its customers and help digitize their business the way they desire to. The announcement was made during the Citi Global Technology Conference that took place in September this year.

At the time of reorganizing its salesforce, Microsoft also developed a customer success organization, which is non-billable consulting.