Microsoft and Kesko have signed a new strategic collaboration agreement with the aim of strengthening K Group’s position as a forerunner in digital commerce in Finland and internationally. The agreement covers Microsoft’s cloud, artificial intelligence, productivity, and security solutions that will help K Group develop the next generation of intelligent digital services for its customers and personnel.
The cooperation is a continuation of an earlier agreement whereby Kesko transferred a significant part of its IT infrastructure to Microsoft Azure. The new agreement further expands the use of Azure and enables K Group’s business to be even more scalable, innovative, and agile. In addition, the agreement includes Microsoft 365 services, which improve the collaboration, communications, and productivity of K Group employees, as well as Microsoft’s security solutions that protect K Group’s business from cyber threats.
A key part of the agreement is the utilization of Microsoft’s artificial intelligence in the development of K Group’s digital services. K Group intends to utilize Microsoft’s latest AI innovations, such as Azure AI and future Copilot solutions, to create smarter, more personal, and customer-oriented services in its various industries. For example, in the grocery trade, artificial intelligence has significant potential in building customer experience, optimizing product selection and making logistics more efficient. K Group has already introduced the first generative artificial intelligence solutions to support the creation of product information.
“We are very happy to deepen our strategic collaboration with Microsoft. K Group is a forerunner in the digitalization of the retail sector, and we will continue to build competitive advantage and value for our stakeholders by making the fastest use of the opportunities offered by new technology in our business. Microsoft supports this by being among the first to provide us with the latest technology and strong support for its rapid scaling,” says Arto Hiltunen, CIO at Kesko.
According to Hiltunen, with the help of new technology, K Group will be able to provide its consumer and corporate customers with increasingly high-quality and personal services and experiences. As examples, he mentions the K-Ruoka mobile application, which is popular among customers, and the digital tools offered to K-retailer entrepreneurs to build a store-specific customer experience. With the help of automation and artificial intelligence, Kesko is also able to further improve the efficiency of its business processes and cost efficiency.
“K Group has shown courage and vision in promoting digital transformation. We are proud to support their vision and growth. This agreement is a great example of how Microsoft can help Finnish companies leverage the potential of cloud and AI to create competitive advantage and value for their customers,” said Juho Friberg, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Customers at Microsoft Finland.
More info on:
Kesko: Arto Hiltunen, CIO, tel. 050 306 4065, [email protected]
Microsoft: Pekka Isosomppi, Communications Lead, tel. 040 516 2399 [email protected]