AB InBev Turns To The Cloud And AI For Digital Transformation
Companies of all sizes are embracing cloud computing services to reduce infrastructure costs, increase agility and build new services. Over a third of the companies Lopez Research interviewed are using public cloud infrastructure services but what’s impressive now is the range of services companies are adopting. Advanced analytics using cognitive functions is an excellent example of the cloud computing market’s expansion beyond infrastructure.
Many companies have the issue of legacy infrastructure, but few can say their business goes back hundreds of years. In the case of AB InBev, its company history spans more than 600 years. As Tassilo Festetics, the Vice President, Global Solutions at AB InBev, said in a telephone interview, “The world changed around us. At one point, sales were dictated by how fast a salesperson could drive a motorcycle between locations. Today, AB InBev needs to digitize all aspects of its business to be successful.”
How does a company of this size and age begin transformation efforts? It starts with delivering customer-facing workflows where the return in investment is evident. To accomplish its transformation goals, the company has gone all in with Microsoft. It’s using Microsoft’s Azure infrastructure, AI cognitive services and the Microsoft M365 suite. Increasingly, companies are sharing that the selection of a software solution, such as the M365 suite, has impacted their choice of cloud providers. The company faced numerous challenges in its cloud transition. Its data landscape was extremely fragmented based on multiple mergers and acquisitions.
“The only way to resolve this issue was to rebuild from scratch. You go directly to the cloud. No other route makes sense. The biggest benefits lay in tapping into technologies that weren’t available before.” said Festetics
One of the challenges in selecting a cloud service for a global brand focuses on creating a consistent cloud footprint around the world that also adheres to the regulations of a specific geography. Data governance issues require transparency of data location and policies. Network latency for global operations is also an issue when you’re transiting data from destinations that range from Asia to Latin America. AB InBev transitioned 40 percent of its workloads to the cloud within one and a half years. A rapid journey for a company of its size.