Walmart's innovation lab has acquired two cloud computing startups for an undisclosed sum. Both OneOps and Tasty Labs are now under the purview of @WalmartLabs, the retailer's Silicon Valley subsidiary.
OneOps, which developed a PaaS that automates and accelerates the management of product releases, and Tasty Labs, a software development shop responsible for Jig.com and Human.io, have joined the technology arm of Walmart Global eCommerce. This could put Walmart directly into the cloud computing business, and with its corporate muscle, it's difficult to predict how Walmart could have an impact on the cloud space.
"OneOps will help us deliver on our plans to bring together best-in-class retail with best-in-class e-commerce to create amazing experiences for customers. We are proud to have them on board and joining our talent-filled team," wrote Walmart's Tim Kimmet on the @WalmartLabs blog.
Walmart did not disclose the terms of the acquisition agreement, but with the addition of OneOps, Walmart should be able to accelerate its PaaS and IaaS strategies. Much of the development will likely be internal for use within Walmart for ecommerce, but there's nothing stopping Walmart from becoming a cloud services provider in its own right. And should Walmart bring its traditional business strategies to the cloud world, it could upset the apple cart.
As for Tasty Labs, it is known for its marketplace site Jig.com and Human.io, a tool for building "microapps" for distribution to mobile clients. Both also likely fit into Walmart's overall strategy for ecommerce.
Walmart building its cloud offerings may not be too concerning, but the retail giant has a reputation for edging out its smaller competitors through aggressive pricing structures and marketing. Should @WalmartLabs decide it wants a piece of the cloud pie, could it push margins down for cloud services providers and other innovators that have been busy building the cloud computing market over the past few years?
For now, though, it looks like the core focus is on building its own cloud systems to improve the customer experience.