As its war with Amazon escalates, Walmart is building up its own cloud

Business Insider | 2/14/2018 | Reuters
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Walmart has long been trying to keep up with Amazon in e-commerce, and it might finally have a chance t hanks to its own internal cloud platform.

The retailer's online sales have been been growing at a faster pace than the industry for the last three quarters, with online revenue climbing 50% year-over-year during the third quarter —its strongest-ever quarterly growth since 2009.

Cloud - Technology - Provider - Walmart - Shoppers

Without a third-party cloud technology provider, Walmart can better understand shoppers and ensure greater security, but some investors are concerned this approach will make it harder for the retailer to downsize if market conditions change.

The retailer has no immediate plans to provide cloud services for other companies.

Walmart - Inc - Chances - Amazon - Com

One of Walmart Inc's best chances at taking on Amazon.com Inc in e-commerce lies with six giant server farms, each larger than ten football fields.

These facilities, which cost Walmart millions of dollars and took nearly five years to build, are starting to pay off. The retailer's online sales have been on a tear for the last three consecutive quarters, far outpacing wider industry growth levels.

Rise - Thousands - Servers - Company - Swathes

Powering that rise are thousands of proprietary servers that enable the company to crunch almost limitless swathes of customer data in-house.

Most retailers rent the computing capacity they need to store and manage such information. But Walmart's decision to build its own internal cloud network shows its determination to grab a bigger slice of online shopping, in part by imitating Amazon's use of cloud-powered big data to drive digital sales.

Effort - Walmart - Amazon - Pricing - Functions

The effort is helping Walmart to stay competitive with Amazon on pricing and to tightly control key functions such as inventory. And it is allowing the company to target shoppers with more customized offers and improved services, two top executives told Reuters in interviews at Walmart's San Bruno and Sunnyvale campuses in California.

"It has made a big difference to how fast...
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