Microsoft acquires organizational analytics company VoloMetrix

The acquisition will be used to improve Microsoft's Office 365 productivity tools

Microsoft announced Thursday that it will be acquiring VoloMetrix, a Seattle-based company that provides analytics to help businesses better understand how their organization works.

According to a blog post by Rajesh Jha, Microsoft's corporate vice president in charge of Outlook and Office 365, the deal is supposed to boost the tech titan's efforts to make employees more effective at their jobs. VoloMetrix's technology will be integrated into Office 365, in particular, its forthcoming Delve Organizational Analytics product.

Companies currently using VoloMetrix's services can get insights about how their business functions, like how their employees are working and how different groups inside the company interact with one another. It's powered by software that integrates with calendar and email servers along with other business applications to gather metadata about how people are working.

VoloMetrix then pulls all of that information together to create aggregate analytics about how different organizations work together. It's information that is supposed to give company decision makers better insight into how their firm actually works on a day-to-day basis.

That dovetails with Microsoft's plans for Office 365, which has picked up more tools to help users collaborate, and has an organizational analytics service coming later this year. Microsoft showed off Delve Organizational Analytics at its Ignite conference earlier this year. It's designed to provide employees and businesses with more information about how their work habits compare with their colleagues using information gathered from Office 365. Office 365 customers can already access Microsoft's Delve service, which lets users view shared activity among people who they work with.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Microsoft will continue to honor the agreements VoloMetrix has with existing customers like Facebook and Symantec, but the company will stop selling its services to new customers.

In addition to the acquisition news, Jha said that Microsoft plans to launch an early preview of Delve Organizational Analytics by the end of this month, and launch the service later this year.

This deal is one in a long series of acquisitions Microsoft has been making to improve its Office suite in different ways. Over the past year, the company has bought other firms, including Wunderlist maker 6Wunderkinder and email app maker Acompli. In addition, the company announced last month that it was acquiring FantasySalesTeam to boost its CRM products.

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