Should Cloud Giants Buy Retail Chains (and Telcos) to Get Control of the Network Edge?

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By Lian Jye Su | 2Q 2017 | IN-4629


Whole Foods' Acquisition Provides Real Estate for Edge Computing


On June 20 (2017), Amazon sent seismic waves across the U.S. fresh food retail market when the Internet giant announced its US$13.7 billion-deal to acquire Whole Foods. Although it is not finished revolutionizing online retail, warehouse robotics, and cloud computing, Amazon has been disrupting even more industries, spanning from smart home, to land, and to sea logistics. Now, the fresh food market is next on the chopping block.

The acquisition of Whole Foods is a sound strategy for Amazon for two reasons: firstly, the fresh food market is a non-cyclical market with relatively inelastic demand. Secondly, Whole Foods’ nationwide coverage gives Amazon real estate to deploy distributed mini data centers, creating virtual edge computing, storage, and networking capabilities at residential areas. The amount of Big Data that can be generated through purchasing behavior will only give Amazon more edge in terms of its machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities.

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