Nuance Communication:

IDC, a leading IT market research and advisory firm, has published a study entitled “Worldwide and U.S. Device and Print Management Market Shares, 2015: Year of the Evolving, Fragmented Market. “ For the second year in a row, it has identified Nuance Communications as the market share leader among global device and print management vendors.

Commenting on the study’s findings, Holly Muscolino, research vice president of document solutions at IDC and co-author of the report, added: “Nuance continues to lead the print and document management software vendor market with its Equitrac, SafeCom, and Output Manager solutions. Though the printing equipment manufacturers that Nuance partners with frequently have their own ‘homegrown’ solutions, Nuance products are often the product of choice for larger enterprises with extensive fleets of multi-brand devices.  AND Nuance Communication are growing via acquisition. They are buying TouchCommerce who are leaders in digital customer service and engagement. The price is US$215 million, with $110 million in cash and the rest in stock.   

TouchCommerce has a nice customer list! AT&T, Comcast, DirectTV, T-Mobile, Total Gym, Panasonic, Vodaphone and BNP Paribas. http://www.touchcommerce.com/
Martech Advisor had a great summary of ‘what’s in it for Nuance’.
• The Best of Self-Service and Best of Assisted-Service Solutions: The powerful merging of live chat, self-service guides and data-driven personalization has established TouchCommerce as a leader in digital customer engagement across mobile, web and messaging channels. The TouchCommerce assisted-service platform is the perfect addition to Nuance’s AI-powered customer self-service solutions, providing enterprises with the ability to efficiently and effectively engage with customers across all channels – phone, web, mobile, social, and more.

• Strong Customer Relationships and Synergies: The acquisition of TouchCommerce is a natural extension of Nuance’s Enterprise business and is expected to add attractive revenue streams and incremental organic growth. TouchCommerce has built and maintained strong customer relationships with premier businesses that include AT&T, Citizens Bank, DirectTV, Dixons, eHarmony, Panasonic, Telefonica and T-Mobile. While a majority of TouchCommerce customers already use Nuance solutions, less than 10% of Nuance enterprise customers currently use TouchCommerce, which is expected to create a significant growth opportunity for Nuance. In addition, the company expects to accelerate global reach for TouchCommerce through Nuance’s extensive distribution capabilities in EMEA and Asia Pacific regions.

• Expanded Addressable Market Opportunity: The combination of TouchCommerce digital assisted service and Nuance AI-powered solutions comes at a time when consumer preferences for customer service engagements are accelerating toward digital web and mobile services. A recent Forrester study (“Brief: Don’t Make Your Customers Call You For Service,” Forrester Research, Inc., May 16, 2016) found that consumers are increasingly using self-service channels for customer service, with 66% engaging in digital self-service. The acceleration of digital customer service solutions is expected to expand Nuance’s opportunities in the Customer Engagement market, a $3.7 billion market that is growing at 17% (RnR Market Research, December 2015).

• Enhanced Nuance Analytics and AI Differentiation: Nuance and TouchCommerce collectively enable billions of customer interactions each year, generating powerful data assets that, when combined with Nuance’s artificial intelligence technologies, will increase the automation and accuracy levels for a wide range of customer service applications. Nuance will also leverage TouchCommerce’s agent desktop to enable seamless escalation from virtual assistant to human-assisted service, with the system learning through every customer engagement. Finally, TouchCommerce’s real-time data and targeting technologies will be leveraged to deliver higher levels of personalization and proactive service across the platform.

 

Nuance Communications Alumni

Harjinder Sandu was a machine learning expert with Nuance Communications, but he left the firm to become CEO of his own startup called Saykara. This new group (Saykara) just scored $2.5 million in VC cash to drive its hush-hush plans for use of Artificial Intelligence in healthcare. Their website is a single page with a few job postings, but no clues as minimum viable products or strategy.  Check out Saykara’s minimalist website here – www.saykara.com

 

McDonald Dettwiler

A subsidiary of MDA won a contract to design and build space based, robotic arms. The work is part of program that will service and upgrade geosynchronous satellites already in orbit. DARPA or Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency is in charge of the process. The MDA subsidiary is known as Space Systems Loral (SSL). “The ability to safely and cooperatively service satellites in GEO would expand public and private opportunities in space,” Al Tadros, vice-president of Civil and DOD Business at SSL, said. “It could enable entirely new spacecraft designs and operations, including on-orbit assembly and maintenance, which could lower construction and deployment costs while extending satellite utility, resilience and reliability.” These space arms are not driving technological unemployment – but MDA is an interesting company, with interesting friends.

Kuka

Midea Group, Chinas major home appliance manufacturer announced that it will soon be the owners of 86% of German robotics firm Kuka. Much hang-wringing has gone on in Germany regarding the deal. But money talks. Midea will contribute 1 billion yuan (US$150M) in automation – to improve productivity and quality in manufacturing processes. Midea has already dipped its tows in the robotics world, having entered into 2 joint ventures in 2015 with Japanese firm Yaskawa.