PCMS’ Vision Commerce Suite is now available on Microsoft Azure, which will offer retail clients the “cloud infrastructure they need to drive powerful engaged commerce capabilities, create seamless shopping experiences and gain a competitive market edge.”

Separately, PCMS named Tanya Bowen as its chief digital officer, which is a newly created position at the company.

With the expanded cloud offering, PCMS said retailers can “design, control and revolutionize customer experiences across different verticals, geography or channels. Other benefits to the retailer include swifter implementation and heightened security.” Other capabilities include a platform for retailers to offer mobile “scan and go” payments.

Tony Houldsworth, global chief executive officer at PCMS, described the partnership with Microsoft as an opportunity to innovate and help clients “transform the retail experience.” The announcement comes at a time when retailers and brands are looking for cloud-based options to help elevate the overall shopping experience for consumers. That means offering more payment options and improving mobile commerce functionality.

Microsoft Azure “solution architectures” include scalable e-commerce web apps as well as various marketing functions to improve personalization. Greg Jones, director of business strategy for retail at Microsoft, said offering PCMS Vision on Azure “opens new opportunities for innovation for our mutual retail customers. As the cloud continues to transform this industry, both retailers and shoppers who use Vision Commerce Suite will benefit from a more seamless shopping experience.”

Regarding the new chief digital officer role at PCMS, the company said Bowen joins at a critical time, “with conversational, immersive, headless and IoT commerce technologies being rapidly developed and adopted across the world, and retailers swiftly evolving their transaction technology to enable consumers to scan and go or build mixed baskets over many channels.”

“Technology is a fantastic enabler, but it is understanding the end consumer and what drives a great brand experience that is the true differentiator,” Bowen said. “Whether it is a simple and convenient service such as click and collect; building loyalty through customer data and personalization, or empowering front-line employees with associate enablement tools, the industry needs to equip retailers with technology and experiences that engage both their customers and colleagues.”

The company said Bowen has more than 25 years of customer engagement, retail and digital technology experience. Bowen has been in a variety of senior positions at companies that include BT Expedite, NSB Retail and Aptos. “She is an expert in using technology to unify store, mobile, web and emerging sales channels to provide consistent cross-channel engagement,” PCMS said in a statement.