Coca-Cola turns to Microsoft's cloud and generative AI capabilities in $1.1bn deal

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

Pic:getty/da-kuk
Pic:getty/da-kuk

Related tags Coca-cola Microsoft

Microsoft and The Coca-Cola Company have announced a five-year strategic partnership: which will see the companies jointly experiment with new tech such as Azure OpenAI Service.

The partnership sees Coca-Cola make a $1.1bn commitment to the Microsoft Cloud and its generative AI capabilities. The collaboration ‘underscores Coca-Cola’s ongoing technology transformation’, say the partners, using Microsoft Cloud as Coca-Cola’s globally preferred and strategic cloud and AI platform.

The partnership will also see the two companies jointly experiment with new tech like Azure OpenAI Service across various business functions. This includes testing how Copilot for Microsoft 365 could help improve workplace productivity.

AI uses

Coca-Cola has boosted its partnership with Microsoft from a $250m agreement announced in 2020 to the $1.1bn announced this morning.

Coca-Cola has migrated all its applications to Microsoft Azure, with most major independent bottling partners following suit. It has already been using AI for nearly a year across functions such as marketing to manufacturing and supply chain and beyond.

The company is already exploring the use of generative AI-powered digital assistants on Azure OpenAI Service to help employees improve customer experiences and streamline operations, as well as uncover growth opportunities. 

Azure OpenAI is designed to give customers advanced OpenAI capabilities, combined with the security and business scale of Azure. In light of high demand, Microsoft currently limits access to Azure Open AI to existing partners.

Generative AI covers algorithms (such as ChatGPT) that can create new content across audio, code, images, text, simulations and videos.

The agreement announced this morning represents 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 - according to Coca-Cola.

"Our expanded partnership with Microsoft is an important next chapter in Coca-Cola's journey toward a digital-first enterprise powered by emerging technologies," said Neeraj Tolmare, senior vice president and global chief information officer for The Coca-Cola Company.

"Microsoft's capabilities help accelerate our adoption of AI to create incremental enterprise value."

"Through our long-term partnership, we've made significant progress to accelerate systemwide AI transformation across The Coca-Cola Company and its network of independent bottlers worldwide," said Judson Althoff, executive vice president and chief commercial officer, Microsoft.

"We're proud to support Coca-Cola as it continues to embrace the era of AI and looks to solutions like Azure OpenAI Service and Copilot to drive innovation across every area of its business."  

Unpackaging Coca-Cola's digital transformation: From AI to next-gen tech

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Digital is no longer a fancy idea: it’s a ‘must-have’ for big companies in today’s day and age. But what can digital deliver and how can digital add value? John Murphy, president and CFO, reveals what digital means for the company.

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