Walgreens Brings 122 Apps to the Cloud

Walgreens, the nation’s largest drugstore chain, is adding an impressive 122 apps to its cloud platform—including popular apps like Uber and Spotify for mobile shopping. The apps range in size, from small apps, like the Walgreens App for My Account, which lets you access your account balance and check your loyalty card balance, to larger apps, like the Walgreens Customer App, which includes a Find a Pharmacy function.

With more than 6 million apps in the Google Play Store, there are a lot of apps to choose from. So how do you find the ones that are worth trying, and the ones that are worth buying?

As the name implies, Walgreens is a drug store chain, and their customers have a wide variety of needs. In a move to serve these customers better, Walgreens has launched a cloud-based app for their computer tablets that includes more than one thousand categories of products, from medicines to beauty supplies, from baby supplies to personal care items.. Read more about walgreens hours and let us know what you think.

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. said that it has transferred 122 bespoke apps used for corporate administration and planning to the cloud, capping a years-long transition to a new enterprise resource planning system.

According to Walgreens’ Global Chief Information Officer Francesco Tinto, the deployment, which happened in fits and starts throughout the epidemic, consolidates applications formerly housed on computers scattered across hundreds of shops and data centers into a single platform on Microsoft Corp.’s Azure.

“That implies improved performance and quicker speeds in our inventory management, numerous transaction completions, invoice submission to accounts payable, and more,” he said.

The project, which spanned approximately 9,000 U.S. shops and was completed in May, was part of a five-year IT revamp that included apps for retail, merchandising, inventory management, and finance, among others, on a platform based on SAP SE’s S/4HANA enterprise resource planning software. The SAP system is only utilized for retail operations and not for the company’s pharmacy.


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Accounting, supply chain, and other key business activities are all housed in enterprise resource planning systems, which are a cornerstone of IT operations for big companies. S/4HANA software, which may be utilized on-premises or in the cloud, unifies operations and data into a unified system.

Mr. Tinto joined Walgreens in September 2019 after serving as CIO at Kraft Heinz Co. Walgreens’ new ERP system was in the trial program stage at approximately 1,000 shops when he arrived. In January of last year, he started moving the system to Microsoft’s cloud.

The ERP system was being pushed out at a rate of more than 350 stores per week at its height. But, according to Mr. Tinto, it was put on hold from March to June 2020 because the coronavirus overloaded the shops, supply chain, and personnel.

“That was a bit of a shambles,” he said.

Setting up a server to host an app in the cloud can now be done in a matter of hours, according to Walgreens; before, it might take up to a week.

Walgreens-Brings-122-Apps-to-the-Cloud

Walgreens Boots Alliance’s worldwide chief information officer, Francesco Tinto.

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. photo

The effectiveness of cloud-enabled ERP systems, according to Jerry Sheldon, an analyst at retail research company IHL Group, gives businesses greater flexibility. “You may receive a big upgrade once a year in an on-premise world,” he added.

Walgreens workers may now monitor store inventory using handhelds that link directly to a cloud-based system, according to a company spokesperson. The technology provided Walgreens with improved real-time insights about consumer demand for personal protective equipment, masks, and hand sanitizers during the epidemic, according to the firm.

According to International Data Corp, global public cloud expenditure is projected to reach $385.3 billion this year, up from $312.4 billion in 2020.

According to Leslie Hand, vice president of research firm International Data Corp., moving core business applications to the cloud allows retailers to modernize and scale up their ordering, distribution, and shopping platforms more efficiently and quickly than if they did it manually on their own servers.

“It’s all about being more nimble and lowering that overhead with SAP cloud-based offerings,” she added. “Retailers are driven to double down on investments and find the money, or figure out a method to fund these things in order to accelerate their resiliency,” she said.

To update their IT infrastructures, more businesses are speeding their move to the cloud. In July, Home Depot Inc. renewed a multiyear cloud-services agreement with Google Cloud, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. As it migrates systems to Amazon.com Inc.’s cloud, Capital One Financial Corp. said it plans to employ more than 3,000 engineers by the end of the year.

Agam Shah can be reached at agam.shah@wsj.com.

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The number of apps that can be downloaded to your smartphone continues to grow. Walgreens is now the latest retailer to join the trend, with the pharmacy adding 122 apps to its mobile app store for its customers.. Read more about does walgreens have apple pay and let us know what you think.

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