9:48 AM, Oct 9, 2018 — Microsoft (MSFT) is taking a stake in Southeast Asia’s online-to-offline retail segment, signing a partnership with Grab, one of the regions bigger players in the O2O industry.
The companies have signed a five-year agreement in which Grab will use Microsoft’s Azure as its cloud platform while Microsoft will make an undisclosed strategic investment in Grab. The agreement will be for five years and the firms will collaborate on a “range” of technology projects including big data, artificial intelligence and mobility solutions, according to a joint statement.
Grab will use Microsoft products to improve passenger security and safety using mobile facial recognition as a replacement for checking IDs to help drivers and passengers identify each other, and to improve fraud detection and better predict fraudulent transactions on Grab’s platform, the companies said.
Passengers also will be able to take a photo of their location and have it translated into an actual address for the driver using Microsoft technology.
“The companies plan to leverage Microsoft’s natural language processing capabilities to provide customers with contextualized real-time translations and create an AI chatbot so Grab users can engage in interactive experiences,” the statement said. “Microsoft’s machine learning and AI capabilities will be used to power Grab’s advanced “recommendation engine” that analyzes user data and behavior to provide personalized services and content recommendations through the Grab application.”
Grab will pilot Microsoft’s Kaizala app, which is designed to improve efficiency and efficacy for customer service teams. The companies also will collaborate on deployment of in-car entertainment and productivity solutions across Southeast Asia, the statement said.
Ming Maa, the president of Grab, said the “deep collaboration” with Microsoft to transform the delivery of services and solutions in the region. The partnership presents opportunities to innovate in the industry and the region, said Peggy Johnson, the executive vice president at Microsoft.
Companies: Microsoft Corporation
Price: 110.40 Price Change: -0.45 Percent Change: -0.41