Microsoft has a wide range of enterprise solutions that help companies support everyday operations. From computer operating systems to customer relationship management suites to cloud computing services to Office software, the tech giant remains a fixture in the IT industry. As impressive as Microsoft's portfolio is, the business has achieved similar results in its acquisitions over the years. From Yammer to Skype to Nokia, the Redmond, Washington-based vendor has upped its acquiring game recently.
Yammer is one of Microsoft's most important acquisitions in recent years, due in large part to the current social scene. Companies are doing all they can to analyze the interactions between their customers via social media, including studying posts, likes and shares through these channels. This was one of the main reasons why Microsoft acquired Yammer for $1.2 billion, CRN reported.
Firms that can tap into this valuable content can create more personalized service to establish long-lasting customer relationships - a true advantage in highly competitive markets where supporting consumer demands is sometimes more important than just pricing.
The news source reported that Microsoft has integrated Yammer with some of its other tools, including SharePoint and Office 365 - a strategy that the vendor is known for doing when it acquires other businesses.
Microsoft acquired Parature - a cloud-based customer engagement provider - in January for $100 million. A Microsoft press release indicated the move will greatly benefit its Microsoft Dynamics platform by incorporating self-service capabilities to improve how businesses deliver customer experiences to their audiences.
Bob Stutz, corporate vice president of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, explained that customers are more educated and connected than ever, forcing companies to find ways to communicate with audiences through any challenge and device.
"Parature is a perfect fit for every business and will enable us to offer customers one of the best cloud-based solutions for customer self-service. This is a compelling combination for organizations committed to delivering the best service experience that consistently exceeds their customers' expectations," Stutz said.
Microsoft's presence in the cloud computing space has expanded rapidly over the years, due in large part to its continued acquisitions of service providers in this burgeoning field. In 2012, Microsoft acquired Marketing Pilot, a marketing automation provider.
A Microsoft Dynamics blog explained that the move will help Microsoft take advantage of the shift to online and digital customer engagement - a space that is taking off. MarketingPilot offers both on-premise and cloud deployments that allow organizations to measure their return on investment for interacting with audiences.
The marketing automation industry is poised to reach impressive heights in the near future. The blog cited an IDC report backing up this point. The research firm predicted this segment will expand faster than any other CRM-related sector during a four-year period.
Nokia and Microsoft had a history before the major acquisition in 2013 - a figure that totaled $7.2 billion, Liberty Voice reported. The tech company provided Nokia developer tools to make custom applications for Windows Phone. After an uptick in Nokia handset sales in the beginning of 2013, the time to strike was then for Microsoft, which is now creating its own operating system and phones under the Nokia brand.
Microsoft's play for Nokia is a clear indication that the business is doing all it can to become a player in the burgeoning smartphone industry - a field that is currently dominated by Android and iOS. What Microsoft has over these other operating systems, however, is integration with enterprise solutions such as Office 365 and access to the company's other suites for a holistic computing experience.
Skype was a well-known commodity before Microsoft acquired it for $8.5 billion in May 2011. The service was popular among people who wanted to video chat for personal or professional reasons. Liberty Voice reported that the Skype division now serves a major purpose for the enterprise space, operating Lync, Microsoft's unified communications and VoIP solution.
Keep up with Microsoft with the right partner
The deals listed above are just the tip of the iceberg regarding Microsoft's long list of acquisitions over the years. The organization will continue to acquire companies, making it challenging for businesses to always keep up with how these moves influence their use of the vendors' IT solutions. Luckily, there are ways to take a more hands-off approach to IT by partnering with a managed IT services provider like Beringer Associates.
We are a Certified Microsoft Gold Partner, so we are always in tune with the latest trends impacting Microsoft suites, especially following major acquisitions. We analyze our client's unique demands to create achievable expectations for both parties and then tailor our services to support these requirements over time.
Whether your business uses Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics or any other Microsoft tool, we will make sure your company gets the most out of these important solutions day in and day out.