In the world of technology, the term "cloud" is often seen as a mere buzzword, right up there with "big data" and "virtualization." However, many of today's largest tech companies understand the rising importance of cloud computing, especially in the business world.
With cloud computing, it is easier for organizations to obtain the technologies needed for their operations whilst reducing the cost of infrastructural overheads. SharePoint Online and Office 365 are two great examples of Microsoft leading the charge in corporate cloud solutions. SharePoint Online helps provide the same content management benefits as its on-premises counterpart, but without the need for any servers. Office 365 offers customers a cloud-based suite of popular Microsoft applications including Outlook, Word, and Lync.
However, Microsoft is not stopping there. On Tuesday, January 7, Microsoft announced the acquisition of Parature in a $100M deal. Parature is a leading provider of CRM, or customer relationship management and leverages cloud-based technologies to provide its customers with quick and effective support, with minimal intervention from IT. With this deal, Parature will add to the toolset of Microsoft Dynamics, Microsoft’s offering in CRM.
Bob Stutz, corporate vice president of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, wrote the following in a blog entry after the announcement:
"Today's announcement that Parature will join the Microsoft Dynamics family marks a significant milestone in our mission to enable organizations to deliver amazing customer experiences. The addition of Parature's cloud service solutions not only strengthens the Microsoft Dynamics CRM offering, but also accelerates our efforts to deliver differentiated customer care capabilities."
Parature joins SharePoint Online and Office 365 as the latest of Microsoft's cloud-based solutions, though it will certainly not be the last. In a world with an ever-increasing need for technology, cloud computing is one way to simplify technological challenges that many organizations face. Whether ensuring the satisfaction of customers and clients, or providing a secure intranet for a global organization, Microsoft is certainly keeping its head in the cloud.