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Sportswear giant Columbia will use Microsoft Dynamics 365, Azure to strengthen consumer engagement

by Dann Anthony Maurno
Assistant Editor, MSDW

A big-brand win for Microsoft and the Microsoft Cloud.

Columbia Sportswear plans to deploy Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Azure for its retail, call center, CRM, and merchandising operations, the companies announced today.

"[We] have a long history of leveraging innovative technologies to help connect active people with their passions," said Columbia's Chief Information Officer Michael Hirt in a statement. He expects that "Through our collaboration with Microsoft, we're implementing intelligent cloud technology to streamline our global operations and provide additional flexibility and convenience to our consumers."

The new software and cloud investments will support Columbia's wholesale businesses, brick-and-mortar retail stores, ecommerce, and mobile channels, the companies stated. In addition, Columbia anticipates being able to manage merchandise globally and streamline operations with increased efficiency through customized reporting and analytics.

Columbia Sportswear is implementing these innovations through Microsoft's platform Visual Studio Team Services, and says it is creating "revolutionary data platforms at scale" with Azure data services and integration platforms.

Columbia Sportswear, based in Portland, Ore., has grown from a small hat company in 1938 to a global brand in active apparel, footwear, accessories and equipment. Columbia are master marketers - you would know them from spokesperson Gert "One Tough Mother" Boyle, who is also the company's founder and chair.     
About Dann Anthony Maurno

Dann Anthony Maurno is a seasoned business journalist who began his career as International Marketing Manager with Lilly Software, then moved on as a freelancer to write for such prestigious clients as CFO Magazine; Compliance Week;Manufacturing Business Technology; Decision Resources, Inc.; The Economist Intelligence Unit; and corporate clients such as Iron Mountain, Microsoft and SAP. He is the co-author of Thin Air: How Wireless Technology Supports Lean Initiatives(CRC/Productivity Press, 2010).