Blend AI, machine learning and advanced software engineering to enhance operational resilience and boost productivity—all for just $1.5bn.

Global retail and wholesale pharmacy chain Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) has launched a new operating model for its “IT Run and Operational services” to accelerate its digitalisation program to advance innovation for customers, drive organisational efficiencies across the company and further reduce its cost base under their Transformational Cost Management Program.

This move is an expansion of an existing strategic 10-year partnership worth over US$1.5b with India’s Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) based on WBA’s review of its IT operating model and vendor landscape. As a result, the WBA global IT team will focus on leading and supporting strategic technology projects that create customer value through the development of new digital products and services on its business platforms.

Following a period of transition, TCS will provide Run and Operational managed services, including application maintenance and support, infrastructure and security operations. The TCS approach will blend artificial intelligence, machine learning and advanced software engineering to enhance operational resilience and boost productivity.

Said Francesco Tinto, Senior Vice President, Global Chief Information Officer, WBA: “WBA is building a scalable, sustainable and globally-unified IT operating model that is focused on digital transformation, automation of service delivery and innovation. The TCS strategic partnership will enhance our ability to rapidly address evolving business needs, support large-scale global technology solutions and promote investment in truly differentiating capabilities through a modernized platform.”

Said Ashish Khurana, Head, Retail Industry Solutions, TCS: “We are delighted to build on our long-standing relationship with WBA and enable its growth and transformation. We will leverage our contextual knowledge of WBA’s business ecosystem to harness the power of digital technologies to streamline and scale-up their IT operations, while helping accelerate transformational initiatives that enhance the customer experience.”

According to financial reports, the extended deal marks a revival for TCS’ retail portfolio, which was lagging in terms of growth last quarter, a traditionally strong quarter for retail.