Retail giant Walmart today said it has entered into a five-year partnership with Microsoft to leverage its cloud solutions for making shopping faster for its customers globally. As part of the partnership, Walmart will tap into the full range of Microsoft's cloud solutions, including Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365, for enterprise-wide use to help standardise across the company's family of brands, the Bentonville Arkansas-based firm said in a release. Walmart and Microsoft engineers will collaborate on the assessment, development, and support phase of moving hundreds of existing applications to cloud-native architectures, it added. "Walmart's commitment to technology is centred around creating incredibly convenient ways for customers to shop and empowering associates to do their best work," Walmart chief executive officer Doug McMillon was quoted as saying in the release. "Whether it's combined with our agile cloud platform or leveraging machine learning and artificial intelligence to work smarter, we believe Microsoft will be a strong partner in driving our ability to innovate even further and faster," he added. Walmart is already using Microsoft services for critical applications and workloads and is now embarking on a broad set of cloud innovation projects that leverage machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data platform solutions for a wide range of external customer-facing services and internal business applications, the release said. "I'm thrilled to partner with Walmart to accelerate their digital transformation with Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365," said Satya Nadella, chief executive officer, Microsoft. The move is expected to help Walmart expand its online retail presence and compete with rival Amazon.com, which has been very aggressive in technology advancements.