Microsoft targets health-care industry with new cloud offering

Key Points
  • Microsoft is working to ensure that existing industry customizations work together for health-care customers.
  • The company plans to bring out more industry-specific clouds over time.

In this article

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella gestures as he speaks during a Bloomberg event on the opening day of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 21, 2020.
Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Microsoft is targeting the health-care sector with a new Cloud for Health Care bundle — a customized solution incorporating existing products like the Azure cloud and the Teams communication app for businesses.

The move shows that Microsoft intends to deliver more growth in Azure as it competes with Amazon: by tailoring its wares to the needs specific industries. In 2017, the company announced an initiative to focus on health care and five other industries, such as manufacturing and retail. It added media, communications and automotive last year

Industry customizations are already available in Dynamics 365 and Power Platform products, like a patient portal. Now Microsoft is keen to ensure they work together to provide the best possible experience for customers.

Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare is available to customers in public preview with a six-month free trial, Microsoft corporate vice presidents Tom McGuinness and Greg Moore said in a blog post Tuesday. It was not immediately clear how pricing for the bundle will differ from the standard fee for individual products in the bundle. Microsoft will provide more details in the fall, a spokesperson told CNBC in an email.

Azure derives a greater portion of its revenue from large enterprises than market leader Amazon Web Services, RBC analysts led by Alex Zukin said in a note to clients on Sunday. Go-to product collections for various industries could yield more widespread enterprise adoption. Azure revenue growth slowed to 59% in the first quarter from 62% one quarter earlier, although it continues to grow faster than other parts of the company. Microsoft does not specify Azure revenue in dollars.

Google's cloud organization is also targeting health care and other individual industries, and Salesforce offers a Health Cloud.

Microsoft offloaded health assets in 2012 with the formation of Caradigm, a joint venture with GE. Microsoft said last week it's working with UnitedHealthCare to bring out an Azure-powered app that can help companies in their efforts to return their employees to offices.

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