Microsoft is set to acquire AI software company Nuance Communications – marking Microsoft’s second-largest acquisition ever.
The “Nuance deal would be a trophy for Redmond,” according to Wedbush Analyst, Dan Ives. “Nuance is in the midst of an unprecedented strategic turnaround the last few years under the leadership of CEO Mark Benjamin and we believe the company represents a unique asset on the health-care front for Microsoft.”
TechCentral revealed that the acquisition could value Nuance at about US$56/share, giving the company an equity value of about $16-billion.
“This can really help Microsoft accelerate the digitisation of the healthcare industry, which has lagged other sectors such as retail and banking,” says Bloomberg Intelligence senior analyst, Anurag Rana. “The biggest near-term benefit that I can see is in the area of telehealth, where Nuance transcription product is currently being used with Microsoft Teams.”
Microsoft is set to enable end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for Teams by the first half of this year. Jared Spataro, Corporate VP for Microsoft 365, says that this will address users’ security and compliance requirements.
“Teams will support E2EE for one-to-one Microsoft Teams calls, providing an additional option for conducting sensitive online conversations.”
He goes on to say that IT will have full discretion over who can use E2EE in the organization. E2EE for Microsoft Teams one-to-one ad hoc VoIP calls will be available to commercial customers.