Microsoft inked five-year agreement with Coca-Cola to provide business software

Microsoft Corp on Monday agreed with Coca-Cola Co on a five year deal to provide business software as well as its chat apps Team and digital tools to facilitate the customer services agents.

Companies though did not share the financial details of the agreement but said that it will also include Microsoft’s cloud-based business applications platform Dynamics 365 which is in direct competition with Salesforce.com Inc. Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 combines components of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) along with tools like artificial intelligence and productivity applications.

In general-purpose business software market, Microsoft is holding a stronger position with its email and word processing apps. But for its business specific software like apps mostly used by front desk employees including sales or customer services, Microsoft is continuously putting its efforts in exploring more markets or winning more customers.

Coca-Cola will be using the technology from Microsoft to arrange and manage data on several of its internal systems and it will fetch the information from those systems using artificial intelligence to properly respond queries, said James Phillips, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft’s business applications group.

In the initial stages, Coke will be making use of the technology internally by providing the system to its employees allowing them to easily get the information or perform processes like requesting vacation time, searching for last payroll slip or availability of educational courses. They will be performing all such processes on a single system rather to move across several separate systems for different jobs, said Phillips.

Microsoft’s software would help Coca-Cola in replacing its legacy system which was fragmented and disparate previously, said Barry Simpson, Coca-Cola’s Senior Vice President and Chief Information and Integrated Services Officer.

Customer service agents of Coca-Cola would eventually be using the system to quickly responding queries from the customers of beverage maker including large retailers and grocers, Phillips said.