A glass full of Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola inks $1.1 billion AI partnership with Microsoft

The Coca-Cola Company (NASDAQ: KO) has announced a five-year strategic partnership with Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) for the tech giant’s cloud and artificial intelligence solutions.

The two firms first inked a partnership in 2020, with Microsoft supplying the beverage giant with business software, including its cloud computing solutions, Teams chat tools, and Dynamic 365, its enterprise software suite.

They have now upgraded this partnership to include Microsoft’s rapidly evolving generative AI capabilities. In their announcement, the two companies confirmed they intend to experiment with emerging tech, such as the Azure OpenAI Service, to develop solutions for various Coca-Cola business functions.

“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,” commented Judson Althoff, Microsoft’s CFO.

A vital aspect of the partnership will be Copilot, Microsoft’s AI assistant, which the company claims can enhance productivity and save enterprises thousands of man-hours.

At Coca-Cola, Copilot will be tasked with helping employees streamline operations, improve the customer experience, boost efficiency, and discover new growth opportunities.

The two companies didn’t disclose the breakdown of the $1.1 billion allocation, including how much of it goes to existing products like Azure and Dynamics 365 and how much goes to innovative generative AI products.

“Our expanded partnership with Microsoft is an important next chapter in Coca‑Cola’s journey toward a digital-first enterprise powered by emerging technologies. Microsoft’s capabilities help accelerate our adoption of AI to create incremental enterprise value,” commented Coca-Cola’s senior vice president Neeraj Tolmare.

The partnership demonstrates Microsoft’s continued dominance in the AI sector. Just a decade ago, the company was seen as a dying brand, following the same path as previous giants like PC maker Wang and phone makers Nokia and Blackberry. However, it reinvented itself with cloud computing and AI over the past few years.

Today, Microsoft pulls the strings at OpenAI, the ChatGPT maker and an AI market leader. This AI wave has tripled the company’s market capitalization over the past three years to hit $3 trillion, making it the world’s largest.

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