Let’s calculate the capital bureau of Microsoft.
Editor’s note: This article is from the micro-channel public number “LiuXingLiang time” (ID: liu_xingliang), Author: LiuXingLiang.
On April 12th, local time in the United States, Microsoft officially announced a heavyweight acquisition with a price of 19.7 billion U.S. dollars. The acquisition target is Nuance, an intelligent voice technology company. This is Microsoft’s second largest acquisition after the 26 billion acquisition of Linkedin. Acquisition.
Hearing this news, many people’s first reaction may be: Microsoft is the trench, $19.7 billion! Others may be puzzled: Nuance? Never heard of it! Why is it worth $19.7 billion?
After careful consideration, I found that Microsoft was in the next big game.
Let’s calculate the capital bureau of Microsoft.
When it comes to chess, we are all familiar with it. We don’t seek quick victory. Because it is almost impossible to meet a well-matched opponent, quick victory is almost impossible, so we must pay attention to the layout. The layout is strategizing, through a meal operation, occupy a favorable position, the situation, first of all consolidate one’s own territory, and at the same time attack the opponent.
The capital bureau of Microsoft is exactly the same.
In this game, the chess player is Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and the chess piece is Nuance. Unlike the chess game, there are more than one opponents. Microsoft’s opponents are those at the top of the global market value rankings in recent years: Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook can also be added.
Different from the chess pieces on the chessboard, each piece is different in the capital game, and each piece has a certain value. The value of this piece of Nuance is extraordinary.
Those who don’t understand the situation all think that Nuance is lucky and meets a local tyrant like Microsoft. In fact, anyone who knows knows that a savvy company like Microsoft is a real trench, but it is not stupid. What’s more, the price of 19.7 billion US dollars is not a small amount. How detailed investigation and evaluation should be done? Therefore, it is necessary to introduce the piece of Nuance.
Nuance may not have heard of it, but many people should have heard of and used Siri. Siri first used Nuance’s speech recognition engine.
When you say “Hey, Siri, please help me check the weather in Beijing today” to an Apple phone, you may not know it. Nuance’s speech recognition engine translates what you say into an Apple phone that can recognize it. The sentence “Hey, Siri, please help me check the weather in Beijing today”, and then check the background weather service to tell you the result of the query.
In this process, Nuance’s speech recognition engine acts as a keyboard-like input function, but it frees people’s hands. Voice is the most accustomed way of communication for humans. Nuance acts as a behind-the-scenes hero in the process of voice interaction. It actually acts as the “brain” of Siri.
According to Bloomberg reports, more than 80% of companies worldwide have used Nuance’s speech recognition engine technology, and technology giants such as Apple, Amazon, and Samsung have also used its solutions.
At present, the most important business of Nuance is to allow doctors to recognize the conversation between doctors and patients through voice interaction, form the patient’s electronic medical record through machine translation, and then filter out keywords in the electronic medical record. The patient provides auxiliary diagnosis, which greatly improves the doctor’s work efficiency.
It is reported that Nuance has provided technical services to more than 500,000 doctors worldwide.
The connection between Nuance and Microsoft also comes from this business, because it uses Microsoft’s cloud services. This Microsoft acquisition is equivalent to turning a partner into a family member.
It can be seen that Nuance’s value point lies in two aspects, one is technology and the other is business.
The technology is speech recognition.
As we all know, several core technologies of AI: machine learning, natural language processing, computer vision, speech recognition, robotics…speech recognition occupies one of them. And Nuance is basically the first company to engage in speech recognition research among these companies, and has in-depth technology accumulation in this field. This is the reason why several other giants initially adopted Nuance’s speech recognition engine.
Microsoft acquired Nuance and included its speech recognition technology. Microsoft also had its own voice recognition technology team before, and it also has voice recognition functions in the Windows operating system and chat application software Terms. With the technology and team of Nuance, Microsoft’s voice recognition technology will undoubtedly be greatly improved.
At the same time, Microsoft’s acquisition also hit Apple. Apple estimates that Nuance’s technology will not be used at all in the future. Apple previously relied entirely on Nuance to set up its own voice team for research and development, with the intention of getting rid of its dependence on Nuance. This is what he wanted, but everything came too suddenly and it is estimated that there must be an adaptation period.
The acquisition of Microsoft also cut off the idea of other giants acquiring Nuance technology.
Voice interaction is an important entrance for human-computer interaction in the future, and it may even become the most common entrance. It will universally replace the current mainstream keyboard interaction method, so it has become a giant in speech recognition and synthesis technology in recent years. The battleground. A few years agoIt can be seen that various smart speakers have entered the game.
So, everyone actually wants to take advantage of Nuance’s troubles and take it as their own. This time Microsoft took the lead and caught the others by surprise. Other giants will have a faint sense of loss.
In the capital market, the fight for chess pieces is the same as grabbing red envelopes. It’s really “slow in hand”!
The business is healthcare.
Medical and health care is definitely a sunrise industry in developed countries. It is an industry that is promising in the future. Therefore, many leading companies are optimistic about this industry and have a layout in this industry.
For example, Google set up a team specializing in the treatment of cancer early on, with the help of AI to find new treatments. Microsoft is undoubtedly one of the giants in healthcare.
Nuance has built a complete set of electronic medical records and auxiliary diagnosis solutions on Microsoft’s cloud platform with the help of intelligent voice technology, transcription technology, and keyword matching technology, and already has a large number of users. For Microsoft, this is the fastest way to enter the medical and health business.
On the whole, Nuance’s intelligent voice technology and medical and health services will not only help Microsoft obtain technology and business, but it must also be noted that Microsoft’s cloud computing business is also enhanced.
As we all know, Microsoft has experienced three generations of heads. The first generation of Bill Gates mainly relied on Windows, the second generation of Ballmer mainly relied on Office, and the third generation of Nadella relied on cloud computing.
At present, Microsoft’s own business on Microsoft’s cloud computing platform is mainly Office 365. Although Microsoft’s cloud computing has surpassed Google, it is still a long way from the first Amazon.
In this case, providing more and stronger technologies on the cloud computing platform and expanding business in more vertical fields is the only way to attract more cloud computing customers. AI + cloud, empowering cloud platforms and cloud services, and providing customers with more intelligent services, is an inevitable requirement for cloud computing.
Intelligent voice technology is an aspect of AI that will enhance Microsoft’s cloud service capabilities. And medical health has opened up an extremely broad vertical field.
Of course, whether the purchase price of 19.7 billion US dollars is high or low, we are not experts in asset appraisal, and we do not judge it well. However, the acquisition of Nuance is still quite promising. It will strengthen Microsoft’s overall technology and business.
Microsoft has made frequent actions in recent years, and many of the products we are familiar with have been brought under his door.Such as Skype, LinkedIn, Github… and Nokia’s mobile phone business, although Nokia’s mobile phone business was eventually sold.
Obviously, Microsoft is realizing the rapid deployment of technology, products and business through capital operation, and continuously expanding its own business territory. Its purpose is obviously not reconciled to slip from the previous throne, trying to win Apple’s current position. Iron Throne.
In the technology sector, there are successful and failed cases of huge acquisitions. So for Microsoft’s acquisition of Nuance this time, is it a show or a good move? From a strategic point of view, I still think it is the latter.
As Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said: “Nuance provides an artificial intelligence layer at the healthcare delivery point and is a pioneer in the application of enterprise AI in the real world. AI is the most important priority in the field of technology , Health care is its most urgent application. As we accelerate the development of Microsoft Cloud in the fields of health care and Nuance, we will work with our partners to deliver advanced AI solutions to professionals around the world. Promote better decisions and create more meaningful connections.”