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Microsoft, Nielsen team up to offer cloud services for FMCG, retail segments

Microsoft, Nielsen team up to offer cloud services for FMCG, retail segments
Photo Credit: Reuters

Data analytics company Nielsen and tech giant Microsoft Corp has joined hands to develop a new enterprise data solution based on artificial intelligence (AI) for retail and fast-moving consumer goods companies.

Called Nielsen Connect and powered by Microsoft's Azure, the new cloud platform is aimed at helping retail and FMCG companies to get more value from their data and evolve beyond just data management, the companies said in a statement.

“Nielsen’s powerful data is as much of an enterprise asset as people and products,” said John Tavolieri, chief technology and operations officer at Nielsen.

“It’s our priority to make sure clients are maximizing their data assets, so Nielsen and Microsoft are breaking down the silos of the status quo," Tavolieri said.

The companies also said the cloud platform will not only integrate data but also spot emerging trends faster, diagnose performance gaps and let companies capitalise growth opportunities.

“The first critical step toward digital transformation, especially among retailers, is breaking down the barriers between customer and operational data to fuel insights for the business,” said Judson Althoff, executive vice president of Microsoft’s worldwide commercial business.

“Because retail happens wherever customers are and whenever they choose, Nielsen Connect provides high reliability at a global scale 24/7," Athloff said.

Interestingly, most Indian retail companies are adopting newer technologies to come out with strategies to fight the fast-growing e-commerce sector. While Kishore Biyani-led Future Group is believed to be working on a Retail 3.0 strategy, developer DLF Ltd has started a so-called 'Phydigital' strategy to help its malls' shopowners bridge the consumer understanding gap so that they can offer effective discounts in order to increase footfalls.

Amazon and some startups, too, are involved in the game with companies such as ToneTag using payments to bring about a change in offline shopping experiences and, at the same time, learn more about consumer behaviour.

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