Unilever goes cloud-only with one of the largest cloud migrations

cloud migration

Accenture, Microsoft and Unilever have completed one of the largest and most complex cloud migrations in the consumer goods industry. The migration has helped Unilever become a cloud-only enterprise.

Accenture and Microsoft, together with their joint venture, Avanade, worked closely with Unilever to deliver the transformation in just 18 months with minimal disruption to business operations. According to Unilever, it has not only helped ensure resilient, secure and optimised operations for Unilever, but also aligns with Unilever’s sustainability commitment by helping the company to build on the progress it is making towards curbing carbon emissions.

With Azure as its primary cloud platform, Unilever said it will be able to accelerate product launches, enhance customer service and improve operational efficiency, as well as provide a platform to drive innovation and growth.

It is hoped that the creation of an agile, high-performing digital core that delivers greater efficiency will provide Unilever with increased computing power to explore new ways of working. Unilever’s adoption of a cloud-only approach should significantly improve business resilience, strengthening security and enhancing control of the IT landscape.

The move should unlock new innovation opportunities, such as utilising industrial metaverse technologies that use real-time data from factory digital twins to accelerate (light house) factories of the future and build upon existing cloud data platform to power insights and predictions.

It should also accelerate the ability to identify trends and make decisions faster. By leveraging the power of the cloud, artificial intelligence and its strong data foundation, Unilever can forecast and adapt to changing market needs faster than ever before. For example, this will enable Unilever to achieve perpetual breakthroughs in research and development, allowing for new and innovative products to be developed faster and with greater efficiency.

Also, the move is expected to reducing Unilever’s carbon footprint by exiting its data centres and introducing Green Cloud Advisor, which facilitates Unilever’s transition to a more sustainable and efficient cloud environment.

“Unilever is a truly data-powered organisation. We are using advanced analytics to make better-informed decisions quicker than ever before. Working with Accenture and Microsoft on this global transformation project, we can respond to ever-changing consumer needs faster, allocate our resources more effectively to focus on what drives growth, and bring services and products to the market faster,” said Steve McCrystal, chief enterprise & technology officer at Unilever.

“The path to business resilience now and in the future is through total enterprise reinvention – which involves the transformation of every part of the business – with cloud at the core. With access to the full continuum of cloud capabilities, including generative AI, Unilever has the elasticity to drive innovation faster, accelerate growth and continue to set the pace as a digital powerhouse and leader in its industry,” said Nicole van Det, senior managing director and global account executive at Accenture.

“Together with Accenture, we are proud to expand our longstanding partnership with Unilever,” said Judson Althoff, executive vice president and chief commercial officer at Microsoft. “With Microsoft Azure as its cloud foundation, Unilever’s end-to-end digitisation will enable rapid innovation across its entire business. From embracing the industrial metaverse across its factories to reimagining how its lines of business can do more with tools like Azure OpenAI Service, Unilever’s digital-first approach will empower it to grow resiliently and exceed the industry’s pace of innovation.”

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