Information technology giant Microsoft on Monday announced a “strategic partnership” with Flipkart, wherein as a first step, the online retailer will adopt Microsoft Azure as its exclusive public cloud platform.

The strategic partnership was aimed at providing consumers in the country the best online shopping service, it said.

Microsoft chief executive officer (CEO) Satya Nadella and Flipkart Group CEO Binny Bansal announced the partnership at an event in Bengaluru.

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“We are launching our strategic partnership together. I have always been an admirer what Flipkart has done, in not only starting e-commerce, but now in payments and logistics. It is really getting India on the map… I’m pleased to announce that Flipkart has chosen Microsoft Azure as its exclusive public cloud platform,” Nadella said.

“Of course this is just a start, because ultimately for us as well it is all about being able to support entrepreneurs of India to be able to create global scale businesses, and when we think about our mission that’s at the center of it,” he said.

Starting with computing infrastructure, Microsoft Azure will ultimately add a layer of advanced cloud technologies and analytics to Flipkart’s existing data centres. Microsoft’s strong presence in India along with its global scale allows for continued growth and expansion, setting the stage for the long-term partnership, Microsoft said.

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“This partnership allows us to leverage our combined strength and knowledge of technology, e-commerce and markets to make online shopping more relevant and enriching for customers,” Bansal said. He said Flipkart in its tenth year of operations had taken e-commece to about 50 million customers and the question now was how to take this to 500 million people in the next 10 years.

Microsoft said Flipkart plans to leverage artificial intelligence, machine learning and analytics capabilities in Azure, such as Cortana Intelligence Suite and Power BI, to optimise its data for innovative merchandising, advertising, marketing and customer service. With ‘powerful insights’ about its business and new, intelligent services, Flipkart can deliver increasingly relevant and personalised experiences to its customers, it added.