With Nuance deal done, Microsoft promises more industry AI, customer service convergence

March 8 2022

Microsoft has now completed its $19.7 billion acquisition of cloud and AI software provider Nuance.

Eighty members of the Fortune 100 use Nuance solutions, according to the company, which offers specialized AI-based tools and services for creating documents, analyzing voices and behavior, or diagnostic imaging in verticals including healthcare, financial services, telecommunications, government, and retail.

As part of Microsoft's multi-pronged announcement around the deal's completion, Microsoft Business Applications CVP Charles Lamanna and Nuance Enterprise Division EVP and GM Robert Weideman proclaimed Microsoft's increased strength in contact center solutions. The message: Nuance and Microsoft both offer solutions to meet the needs of customers via contact centers and other customer service experiences.

"Together, we will provide AI-driven solutions to engage customers through a variety of voice and digital channels," they wrote, noting their expectations of offering a "complete and compelling AI-driven customer engagement and contact center portfolio" across their sales and service teams, channel partners, and products.

Lamanna and Weideman presented a unified vision for the future of customer service that includes both human agents and more AI.

We envision a solution that is seamless and offers customers intuitive self-service experiences in every engagement channel…Agents must be able to become productive faster and work more efficiently, leveraging AI, actionable insights, intelligent case routing, and workflow automation across both legacy and modern services. We envision a simple user interface that is easy to understand and navigate, includes AI-powered knowledge management tools and reduces resolution times for any issue.

And the two appeared to be committed to creating blended solutions. For example, in expressing their commitment to cloud-based solutions while still offering "flexible deployment models". They stated:

Microsoft and Nuance will bring together our proven contact center solutions with scale, compute power, and security.

Further, they referred to "our solution" (singular) as being comprehensive and supporting low-code tools. And they predicted that a "combined solution will leverage Nuance’s biometrics solutions which have reduced fraud losses, increased customer satisfaction, lowered average handle times, and reduced costs."

A Microsoft spokesperson told MSDW that, despite these statements from the two product leaders, there are no near-term changes planned for either the teams or the products.

About Jason Gumpert

As the editor of MSDynamicsWorld.com, Jason oversees all editorial content on the site and at our events, as well as providing site management and strategy. He can be reached at jgumpert@msdynamicsworld.com.

Prior to co-founding MSDynamicsWorld.com, Jason was a Principal Software Consultant at Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC), where he implemented solutions, trained customers, managed software development, and spent some time in the pre-sales engineering organization. He has also held consulting positions at CSC Consulting and Monitor Group.

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