Cloud to Edge for efficient, agile, and sustainable retail


Written by Tony Shakib, Partner General Manager, Microsoft Azure IoT


Persistent volatility in the retail market is forcing businesses to re-evaluate how they address key challenges. Prebuilt, edge-to-cloud, retail-specific technology solutions can help retailers increase the value of their data, empower store associates, elevate customer shopping experiences, and enable real-time sustainable supply chains.


Many retailers leverage Microsoft Cloud partners to get more insights out of their data using Microsoft Azure coupled with edge technologies, Internet of Things (IoT), and AI. Together these can not only help manage daily operations, but can also create more efficient, agile, and sustainable retail stores and supply chains.


Addressing key retail challenges with Azure-optimized solutions

Every retailer faces four main challenges:


  1. Inventory and inventory optimization. From manufacturing to store, retailers need to have the right products on the shelves at the right time.
  2. Modernized customer experience. Customers expect more from the in-store experience than they did just a few years ago. They expect easy, convenient, and seamless interactions.
  3. Empowered frontline workers. Retailers need to empower frontline workers—the backbone of retail operations—with the right data and technology tools to help them make the best use of their time, be safe, and connect with customers.
  4. Loss Prevention. Managing and reducing theft, as well as supply chain losses, are constant challenges.


Data provides the mechanism to solve these challenges. However, that data is often stuck in legacy systems with archaic deployment and authoring environments. Azure makes it possible for retailers to perform large-scale analytics on data pulled from all areas of the enterprise, and then use retail-specific data models to take action. Microsoft partners have leveraged these models to build a wide range of solutions.


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