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    Coca-Cola and Microsoft announce partnership on cloud and generative AI initiatives

    A Coca-Cola plant in Whitestown, Indiana, 30 July 2023 (Photo: iStock)

    Microsoft and Coca-Cola has announced a five-year strategic partnership to align Coca-Cola’s core technology strategy systemwide and enable the adoption of leading-edge technology.

    As part of the partnership, Coca-Cola has made a $1.1 billion (£880 million) commitment to the Microsoft Cloud and its generative AI capabilities.

    Through the partnership, the companies will jointly experiment with groundbreaking new technology like Azure OpenAI Service to develop innovative generative AI use cases across various business functions. This includes testing how Copilot for Microsoft 365 could help improve workplace productivity.

    “Through our long-term partnership, we have made significant progress to accelerate system-wide AI transformation across The Coca-Cola Company and its network of independent bottlers worldwide,” said Judson Althoff, executive vice president and chief commercial officer at Microsoft.

    “We are proud to support Coca-Cola as it continues to embrace the era of AI and looks to solutions like Azure OpenAI Service and Copilot for Microsoft 365 to drive innovation across every area of its business.”

    Coca-Cola has migrated all its applications to Azure, with most major independent bottling partners following suit. Coca-Cola has also been innovating with generative AI for nearly a year and has already leveraged Azure OpenAI Service to reimagine everything from marketing to manufacturing and supply chain and beyond.

    The company is currently exploring the use of generative AI-powered digital assistants on Azure OpenAI Service.

    “This new agreement builds on the success of Coca-Cola’s partnership strategy with Microsoft, showing our commitment to ongoing digital transformation,” said John Murphy, president and chief financial officer of The Coca-Cola Company. “Our partnership with Microsoft has grown exponentially, from the $250 million agreement we initially announced in 2020 to $1.1 billion today.”

    The agreement reflects a significant step in advancing Coca-Cola’s digital transformation, focused on providing expanded access to Microsoft’s cloud and AI platforms — as well as solutions such as Microsoft 365, Power BI, Dynamics 365, Defender and Fabric — to enhance efficiency and scalability while fostering innovation across the system.

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