Microsoft's Twofer: 2 Deals in 2 Days for 2 Separate Goals

3 minute read
Erika Morphy avatar
Looking for a connection between its acquisition of Metanautix and Talko? Don't bother, there probably isn't one.

On Friday, Microsoft acquired a Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup called Metanautix that specializes in helping large enterprises navigate "oceans" of data.

It followed this on Monday, with the announced it was buying Talko, a Boston-based start up focusing on voice-based workgroup productivity. Talko may be better known as being one of former Microsoft CTO Ray Ozzie's creations.

Microsoft is no stranger to acquisitions and rarely is it immediately clear how any one acquisition fits into its big picture. These two deals appear to be truly disparate in that they are addressing respectively, where Microsoft wants to go and, shoring up where it has been. 

Building the Intelligent Cloud 

Joseph Sirosh, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Data Group announced the Metanautix acquisition in a blog post.

The company has been focusing on building solutions to address what Sirosh called the "data supply chain" or rather, the lack thereof. Quickly finding and accessing corporate data — no matter type, size or location — is a longstanding problem for companies that has never been completely resolved.

Metanautix's particular approach is to use search through the private and public clouds where the data likely resides without moving the data into a centralized system. It can integrate data across both traditional data warehouses such as SQL Server, Oracle and Teradata as well as the open source NoSQL databases of MongoDB and Cassandra. Metanautix does this by making "a wide variety of data query-able by SQL, the most widely used data query language — at speed and high scale," Sirosh wrote.

Learning Opportunities

Microsoft plans to add Metanautix's technology into SQL Server and the Cortana Analytics Suite, he noted.

"It is another important part of our ongoing efforts to build the intelligent cloud and help our customers fully realize the value of their data," he wrote.

Fueling Skype for Business

Gurdeep Singh Pall, Microsoft's corporate vice president of Skype, got right to the point in his blog post about the Talko deal. It's all about Skype — especially Microsoft's new Skype for Business services within Office 365. This is also an acqui-hire as Talko more or less said in its own blog post about the deal: "Talko's been acquired by Microsoft to help fuel future innovation in Skype and Skype for Business." 

Its service will sunset by March 2016.

Talko employees are joining the Skype team and "together, the new technology and talent will help us deliver great new features and capabilities in both Skype and Skype for Business," Pall wrote.

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