Microsoft to acquire Nuance

The technology juggernaut is acquiring the company as part of its push into artificial intelligence and cloud services for the healthcare industry.

Microsoft announced it will acquire Nuance Communications in a nearly $20 billion bid to wade deeper into the fields of healthcare artificial intelligence and cloud services.

According to a news release, the acquisition will be completed at the close of the calendar year and is part of Microsoft’s efforts to provide industry-specific cloud offerings. The technology behemoth has already dallied with the field with the introduction of Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare in 2020, bringing Nuance’s conversational AI and cloud-based ambient clinical intelligence is another step in Microsoft’s strategy.

The acquisition will enable Microsoft to augment its Cloud for Healthcare with Nuance’s solutions, expertise, and relationship with EHR providers and empower healthcare providers, the release says.

“Nuance provides the AI layer at the healthcare point of delivery and is a pioneer in the real-world application of enterprise AI,” Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, says in the release. “AI is technology’s most important priority, and healthcare is its most urgent application. Together, with our partner ecosystem, we will put advanced AI solutions into the hands of professionals everywhere to drive better decision-making and create more meaningful connections, as we accelerate growth of Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare and Nuance.”

Nuance also brings AI expertise and customer engagement through Interactive Voice Response, virtual assistants, as well as digital and biometric solutions to companies across all industries, the release says.

“Over the past three years, Nuance has streamlined its portfolio to focus on the healthcare and enterprise AI segments, where there has been accelerated demand for advanced conversational AI and ambient solutions,” Mark Benjamin, CEO of Nuance, says in the release. “To seize this opportunity, we need the right platform to bring focus and global scale to our customers and partners to enable more personal, affordable and effective connections to people and care. The path forward is clearly with Microsoft — who brings intelligent cloud-based services at scale and who shares our passion for the ways technology can make a difference. At the same time, this combination offers a critical opportunity to deliver meaningful and certain value to our shareholders who have driven and supported us on this journey.”