Sally Gilligan, CIO, Gap Inc. and Rathi Murthi, CTO, Gap Inc. Source: CNW

Published: November 23rd, 2018

Earlier this month Gap Inc. announced that it is migrating its data platform, stores, online sites and more to the cloud, choosing Microsoft Azure to help move forward in its digital transformation.

“As we grow our value and active business and accelerate online and mobile, the ability to scale our technology in a secure environment to accommodate this growth is critical,” Sally Gilligan, chief information officer at Gap Inc. said in a press release.

Gap plans to use Azure’s platform-as-a-service to create personalized customer experiences in-store, online and on mobile devices for all its retail brands including, Old Navy, Gap, and Banana Republic.

The company’s digital transformation strategy will touch everything, from franchise brick and mortar store experiences to e-commerce, the company’s data platforms and product production as well.

“[Gap] is moving key inventory, stores and site capabilities to Azure for trusted, scalable and cost-effective computing,” stated the release. The adoption of Azure will span 90 countries and more than 3,100 stores.

The clothing retailer said it also plans to use Azure’s machine learning and advanced analytics to “gain a comprehensive understanding of customers across channels, and to deliver personalized merchandising, marketing and service for all brands in its portfolio.”

Azure will also support Gap’s DevOps model to help its “engineers and product management teams rapidly develop, deploy and test new capabilities,” the release said.

The California-headquartered company will apparently be working closely with Microsoft teams to help with the transition to Azure.

Gap says it is also using Microsoft Power BI’s business analytics platform to allows its employees to “visualize and act on information to create the best customer experience and drive the business.” Microsoft 365 will also play a role in the company’s digital strategy, making it easier for employees to communicate and collaborate, according to the release.

“Gap has been a global pioneer and leader in retail since they opened their first store in San Francisco in 1969,” said Shelley Bransten, corporate vice president for global retail and consumer goods at Microsoft in the release.

“We are thrilled to partner with them to further modernize their customer and employee applications, turn data into dollars, and build powerful new applications and services that drive digital transformation and put customers at the heart of their business,” she said.

On Nov. 20th Gap released its third-quarter earnings report for with a 6.5 per cent increase in revenue, though some Gap brand brick-and-mortar stores underperformed compared to others. Therefore on a Thursday earnings call Gap’s CEO Art Peck said the retailer plans to urgently shut down underperforming stores.

According to a Forbes report online and mobile sales were strong for the company in the quarter, with $3.5 billion in digital sales this year. The report states that Gap will continue to grow with its focus on a digital strategy that also includes investing in native mobile apps and improving site speed.

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