It’s clear that Wal-Mart Stores (s wmt) wants to stay on top as a major online retailer in the United States and abroad, as it takes steps to turn stores into fulfillment centers and bolster its virtual capabilities. What hasn’t been clear is how that transition will look, or how long it will take.
@WalmartLabs gave people a glimpse at its playbook on Tuesday by disclosing in a blog post the acquisition of OneOps, a finalist in the LaunchPad competition at GigaOM’s 2012 Structure conference, as well as Tasty Labs, whose CEO, Joshua Schachter, founded Delicious.
Terms of the acquisitions were not disclosed.
According to the @WalmartLabs blog post, OneOps has “developed a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) capability that enables us to significantly accelerate our PaaS and Private Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) strategies.” The OneOps acquisition could strengthen Wal-Mart’s chances of rapidly building, tinkering with, testing and deploying new applications onto walmart.com and other online retail sites affiliated with the company, such as samsclub.com. The unification of the back-end components of many sites is an ongoing project for Wal-Mart.
As for the Tasty Labs buy, it could lead to additional social experiences for site visitors. Wal-Mart has been incorporating social elements into its sites, such as pins from Pinterest as well as recently reviewed and fast-moving items. But with Tasty Labs’ Jig product, customers have been able to type in their needs and get responses about products that could help meet said needs.
However Wal-Mart ends up making use of OneOps and Tasty Labs, the company could well keep acquiring companies as it strives to enhance its hardware and software arsenal. Wal-Mart might find a new acquisition target at this year’s Structure conference, coming up on June 19-20 in San Francisco, where another batch of companies will compete in the LaunchPad event, including Factor.io, Mertica and SaltStack.