Blue Yonder relies on Microsoft Azure for the Best Retail Decisions

The specialist for artificial intelligence in retail is using Microsoft’s global cloud platform to advance its international growth.

Blue Yonder, a provider of machine learning solutions for retail is using Microsoft Azure as its primary cloud and data platform. Blue Yonder delivers more than 600 million automated replenishment and pricing decisions to global retailers daily, helping increase margins and enabling rapid responses to changing market dynamics.

“The fast-growing amount of data from customer transactions and replenishment processes makes it imperative that retailers switch to automated decisions based on data,” says Jan Karstens, CTO of Blue Yonder. “The high expectations of consumers in the face of contemporary cross-channel concepts like Click & Collect, where items are ordered online and picked up in store, can only be met using machine learning.”

Product availability and fresh are key challenges for the grocery retail sector. Fashion, on the other hand, needs flexible pricing strategies that can consider several influencing factors and guarantee that goods are sold by the end of the season. With machine learning algorithms, retailers get precise and reliable demand forecasts delivered every day, for every store and every product. The automated replenishment and pricing decisions can be adjusted to the retailer’s business strategy and KPIs. As a machine learning system, it constantly improves and even includes external data, such as the weather or holidays, into its decisions for increased accuracy.

Microsoft Azure offers the availability, performance and security that Blue Yonder needs for international growth.  To reach those hundreds of millions of decisions automatically, based on data, Blue Yonder requires not only its powerful algorithms, but also a reliable, performing and secure cloud computing environment. “Microsoft Azure enables retailers to use artificial intelligence not only to optimize existing processes, but also to pioneer new business models that will drive the transformation in their industry,” said Sabine Bendiek, Area Vice President Microsoft Germany.

Microsoft Azure allows Blue Yonder a high level of scalability, as well as quick and easy integration with retailers’ existing tech infrastructure. “We chose one of the leading providers of cloud technologies,” said Jan Karstens, CTO at Blue Yonder. “Microsoft Azure’s global availability helps us secure our international growth and make our machine learning solutions permanently available. Another key factor in this decision is Microsoft’s reputation as a globally reliable and respected partner that values data security. This is incredibly important for retailers.”

The cloud computing platform is based on Microsoft’s Trusted Cloud principles: security, data privacy, compliance and transparency. Its security is comprised of multi-factor authentication, biometric scans, smart cards, data encryption keys based on SSL/TLS protocols, physical security measures, as well as protections against natural disasters and power outages.

Blue Yonder and Microsoft first began collaborative talks last year. Since their successful conclusion, implementation has begun and Blue Yonder is already migrating its customers onto the Microsoft platform. “The cooperation with Microsoft gives us – above all – the possibility to expand our cloud and machine learning acquisition efforts to an international level,” said Jan Karstens.

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