This week we sat down with ShiSh Shridhar, Microsoft’s Global Retail Strategy Director. We learned more about JDA’s partnership with Microsoft and how AI is quickly going from big picture to best practice.

Here are the five insights he shared about how artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud technologies are moving the market and empowering retailers to stay ahead of the curve:

1. Why is the adoption of AI, ML and SaaS-based technologies becoming so critical to retailers these days?

Retailers have been accumulating large amounts of data over the years, but for the most part this data has been underutilized. Over the last few years, a few forces have converged that have created the tipping point for AI and machine learning (ML) in retail.

2. Which forces are creating the tipping point to bring AI/ML into play?

An explosion of publicly available data has now enabled retailers to combine sales data with data sets that include demographics, weather, economic indicators, social media data and more, to quickly determine the impact of external influencers on specific categories, SKUs and stores.

The emergence of IoT and the resulting data has been another force that has enabled enhanced visibility about customer behavior and preferences. All this data forms the essential fuel for AI/ML.

Artificial Intelligence Microsoft and JDA

3. How can this data support retailers in staying competitive?

This abundance of data has enabled AI and ML models to be far more accurate than in the past, and as a result see much better ROI than ever. Adding to this, the cost-benefits, scalability and elasticity of managing training data sets and hosting the AI and ML models in the cloud has democratized these solutions.

This democratization of AI and ML is enabling retailers to harness the power of all the data that they have been accumulating to drive better efficiencies in customer engagement, employee empowerment and operations.

4. What makes the SaaS component so important?

Combining this with SaaS capabilities not only democratizes AI but also means more rapid deployment of solutions and services within organizations and agility moving into the future.

Microsoft AI and Machine Learning with JDA Blue Yonder

5. How is Microsoft committed to supporting these technologies and the retail community with JDA? What makes this so important?

Microsoft is helping to make innovation faster and more accessible for developers and organizations. By leveraging flexible tools, APIs, advanced machine learning and the power of the cloud, businesses can advance toward their digital future.

Microsoft Azure is driving enhanced organizational productivity and data-driven experiences, making it the ideal platform to bring JDA’s vision of an Autonomous Supply Chain to life.

The powerful combination of JDA’s proven applications with Azure will empower customers to take advantage of real-time insights for smarter business decisions and profitable business growth.

Want more information? We have you covered.

Microsoft and Blue Yonder, a JDA company, recently surveyed retailers around the globe on the technologies they’re investing in and the results may surprise you. See how brick and mortar retailers everywhere are using technology to remain relevant and compete with eCommerce.

Download the full report for all the details.