Cloud computing is going retail, so to speak. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has been the leading force in enterprise networking for many years, and has been looking to move its enterprise into the cloud with its Microsoft Office 365 suite of enterprise tools. After Microsoft has recently announced cloud-computing deals with the City of Chicago and the U.S. Department of Defense, the company has secured two more deals with large retailers that put Microsoft as the territorial leader in the segment.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) secured some deals recently with JC Penney Company Inc. (NYSE:JCP) and British retailer Tesco. After those transactions, Microsoft business division chief Sanjay Manchanda said, "Six of the top ten U.S. retailers now use Office 365."
What is the draw about Office 365 in retail? Retail is considered one of the most volatile industries in terms of employment, with seasonal work forces, high employee turnover and near-constant employee training, retailers likely have a need to secure some tools that improve communications among managers and the short-term employees, plus tools that can expedite the training to turn these employees into effective sales associates. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Office 365 has tools like Lync Online for instant messages, Skype for voice and video conferencing, plus familiar suite software like SharePoint, Outlook, Word Excel and PowerPoint. Also, the suite has Yammer for social-networking capability in the enerprise.
"We've tried to make the person the center of the technology as opposed to the content," Manchanda said. That seems to be sweet music for JC Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP), as chief tech officer Kristen Blum said the company will be looking to improve its customer service by using "cloud-based collaboration tools to increase communication between team members."
What do you think about Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and its Office 365 Office suite? Do you think Office 365 will help retailers? How do you see this affecting consumers and the retailers' bottom line? We'd like your thoughts in the comments section below.
DISCLOSURE: I hold no positions in any stock mentioned.
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