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01/19/2021

How Walmart Manages 1.5 Billion IoT Messages a Day

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Senior Editor
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Walmart manages more than 7 million unique Internet of Things (IoT) data points across its U.S. stores, which means each day connected devices send almost 1.5 billion messages regarding temperature, operating functions and energy use.

Sanjay Radhakrishnan, VP, Global Tech, Walmart, revealed that to help manage this massive volume, the IoT team within Walmart Global Tech has built “proprietary software that uses advanced algorithms to detect anomalous events in real time and take action to fix issues quickly.”

One thing Walmart uses IoT for is to help it maintain food in coolers and freezers at the proper temperature.

“Global Tech is helping our Real Estate team to ensure proper food quality through monitoring our refrigeration units with IoT systems,” said Radhakrishnan. “Our IoT application not only monitors the temperature of the individual unit to ensure proper food safety standards, but also looks at how the equipment is performing and takes proactive steps towards maintenance repairs to reduce the cost and down time caused by equipment failure.

“If the signal received requires additional information, it is sent to the maintenance team through a cloud application where the team will triage the issue and determine the best course of action. That could include leveraging a store associate to take additional steps, repairing an IT connection issue, submitting a work order and getting a technician on-site to look at the unit or by making changes remotely to the equipment.

Walmart also uses IoT sensors on stores’ HVAC and energy systems to remotely monitor and respond to community energy consumption needs. According to Radhakrishnan, Walmart has a roadmap for the future of IoT in its stores that will include “other types of equipment, other types of algorithms and data processing and additional locations.”