Microsoft (MSFT - Free Report) recently announced its partnership with InMobi, a provider of enterprise platforms to enhance mobile based marketing. Per the terms of the deal, InMobi will select Microsoft Azure cloud platform to leverage its Arificial Intelligence (AI) based capabilities and data-driven meaningful insights. InMobi's10-year old Advertising Cloud will move to Azure. Both the companies will also team up to expand AI and blockchain related capabilities.
"The combination of Microsoft Azure with InMobi's marketing platforms will deliver new intelligent customer experiences and business insights to organizations around the world," said Satya Nadella.
This collaboration augurs well for both the parties. Azure will power InMobi to up its game in ad-tech industry. Azure’s AI capabilities will aid InMobi a great deal in improving marketing. Notably, the ad-tech marketing company competes with the likes of Facebook (FB - Free Report) and Alphabet’s (GOOGL - Free Report) Google platforms.
Microsoft shares have returned 16.8% year to date, substantially outperforming the industry’s 14.1% rally. This outperformance can primarily be attributed to its rapidly expanding efforts in AI and Internet of Things (“IoT”) based developments. Undisturbed focus on Azure remains a key catalyst.
Highlights on InMobi
Bengaluru, India based, InMobi will benefit from an enhanced customer experience brought about by improved target audience consequently leading to customized ads. The company also announced InMobi Marketing Cloud platform. The new platform will further strengthen customized marketing.
InMobi was reportedly valued at $2.5 billion in December 2015. It is backed by Japan's SoftBank Group and other venture capital firms. The company boasts of an impressive customer base comprising approximately 40,000 to 50,000 enterprises.
Azure Gaining Traction
InMobi’s Advertising Cloud leveraging Azure is a welcome move. In the third quarter of fiscal 2018, Azure revenues soared 89% at constant currency (cc) on a year-over-year basis. Data center expansion continues with Azure now in 50 regions globally, more than any other cloud provider.
The continuing robust adoption of Azure is expected to drive Microsoft’s top-line growth. According to latest data from Synergy Research, Azure trails only Amazon Web Services in the cloud infrastructure services market.
Given the increasing shift of enterprises to cloud, this collaboration presents a two way win-win situation. The gradual rise in connected devices, the combined data base of Azure and InMobi will provide enriched insights, consequently improving the customer experience with better targeted ads.
Zacks Rank & Key Picks
Microsoft carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
A better-ranked stock in the broader technology sector is Micron Technology Inc. (MU - Free Report) , flaunting Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.The projected long-term earnings growth rate for Micron is approximately 8.2%.
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