A.P. Moller - Maersk Chief Digital Officer Ibrahim Gokcen said Microsoft Azure will provide one common platform shared by all of its transport and logistics businesses. "On Azure, we are also creating a marketplace of apps and digital products that improve operations and drive better business decisions," Gokcen said.
Microsoft said it is supporting Maersk's high-value assets, such as carrier performance, equipment utilization and supplier performance. "Microsoft Azure is the digital platform of record to power Maersk’s app store and help fuel business model innovations," the software developer said.
Maersk said data increasingly drives its operational improvements, whether in relation to the performance of its fleet of almost 600 containerships, or the nearly 4 million repairs carried out on its containers each year.
Meanwhile, Fortune Magazine said, "Microsoft is battling Amazon Web Services, the leader in public cloud computing, for big-name customers. Public clouds like Azure and AWS are huge pools of computers, storage, and networking for business customers to rent if they do not want to build more of their own data centers."
Damco, the logistics arm of the A.P. Moller - Maersk, has been using the Azure platform for about 18 months, said Johanna Heinz, global head of supply chain solutions with Damco. The company has been injecting data from its enterprise resource planning (ERP) software into Azure so it can do analytics with the data or develop new transactional models.
She said Damco has primarily used Azure to develop applications for customers or in collaboration with them.
For example, she described how Damco developed an application with a customer to create more visibility with one of its franchisee partners.
She said Damco is due to release a customhouse broker visibility app in the next two or three months that will combine data from customers, Damco and carriers so that shippers can keep track of entries, finding out if a shipment is being inspected or delayed, if additional documentation is required, and what costs are.
Data in Azure is segregated so that information from different carriers and customers, which may be fierce competitors, is secure.