Microsoft debuts its second 'vertical cloud': Microsoft Cloud for Retail

Microsoft's new retail cloud bundle is its second vertical cloud offering, following on the heels of the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare.

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Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft is making available in preview form its second vertical cloud offering: The Microsoft Cloud for Retail. The Cloud for Retail follows the Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare -- which bundled together Azure, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365 and Power Platform, along with various templates and connectors, to help healthcare customers deal with structured and unstructured health data.

The Microsoft Cloud for Retail is meant to provide an "end-to-end shopper journey." Like the healthcare cloud package, it combines services and features from Azure, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, Power Platform and, specific for retail customers, Microsoft Advertising. Like the healthcare cloud offering, Cloud for Retail is meant to bring together disparate data sources via a common data model.

Microsoft isn't making public the pricing for Cloud for Retail. In the case of Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare, the cost is $95 per user per month. It's considered an add-on and requires users to have their own licenses for Azure, Dynamics 365, Microsoft 365 and Power Platform.

On January 13, Microsoft also announced some new features for Dynamics 365 Commerce, its app that provides back-office, in-store, call center and e-commerce capabilities. Microsoft is making B2B commerce a built-in capability of the app, so that Dynamics 365 Commerce will offer both B2B and B2C commerce on a single platform. It's also integrating Dynamics 365 Sales and Customer Service apps with its Commerce app, which officials said will enable self-service buying options for business accounts.