Microsoft Nuance Acquisition – What’s the Deal?

by - 20 April 2021
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On the 12th of April 2021, Microsoft released a statement that they and Nuance entered into a definitive agreement, under which Microsoft would acquire Nuance for $56 per share. This is Microsoft’s second-largest acquisition after LinkedIn, which speaks to their AI strategy. 

Nuance is an AI technology company focusing specifically on the healthcare industry.

Who are Nuance 

Nuance is a leader in digital speech recognition, exploring and developing conversational AI to help the world, across all industries, but with a particular interest in healthcare.

They have worked with major banks, government departments and have been a pivotal component of voice assistants for major technology companies, such as Apple. 

The History of Nuance and Microsoft

In 2019 Nuance and Microsoft partnered to develop speech recognition processing solutions, for the healthcare space under both, Dragon Medical and Project EmpowerMD

This project was such a great success that, it in part, influenced Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Nuance. 

The History of Nuance and Apple

Nuance is the company behind Apple’s Siri, “we are the fundamental provider of voice recognition for Apple,” says Nuance CEO Paul Ricci

Nuance Communications began as a spin-off of SRI International. Members of SRI International then split out of the business and formed a new company called Siri, Inc in 2007. In 2010 Apple acquired Siri, Inc. which lead to the current version of Siri as a native feature on iOS devices. Siri first debuted on the iPhone 4S in 2011 and on iOS 6 for the iPad in 2012.

What’s next for Nuance and Microsoft? 

Microsoft has been using Nuance’s Dragon AI technology in its healthcare solutions for some time now. Transcribing virtual visits, taking notes and integrating information into patient health records. 

Now that Microsoft has full access to Nuance’s technology suite, we are excited to see where Microsoft can use Nuance’s other technologies, digital and biometric solutions, interactive voice response and virtual assistant, across all Microsoft platforms.

“Beyond healthcare, Nuance provides AI expertise and customer engagement solutions across Interactive Voice Response (IVR), virtual assistants, and digital and biometric solutions to companies around the world across all industries,” according to Microsoft’s blog.

AI is technology’s most important priority, and healthcare is its most urgent application. Together with @NuanceInc, we will put advanced AI solutions into the hands of professionals to drive better decision-making and create more meaningful connections.— Satya Nadella (@satyanadella) April 12, 2021

We are excited to see what the future holds for Nuance’s technology, across the Microsoft suite.

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