Microsoft buys Capptain for mobile analytics, cloud services

Microsoft plans to use the technology to boost Azure's mobile app development services

Microsoft plans to boost its Azure cloud services with its acquisition of Capptain, whose product helps developers track and analyze usage of their Web and mobile apps and implement customer retention strategies.

"We are hard at work integrating Capptain's solution with the wider Microsoft Azure suite of services so that enterprises can not only build mobile apps to engage customers and employees, but also analyze and optimize that engagement," wrote Microsoft official Omar Khan in a blog post.

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Capptain, based in France, defines its product as a "response marketing tool" designed to let developers slice and dice usage data, and based on that information, push targeted messages, announcements and offers to customers in real time.

For now, the Capptain tool, which is offered in a variety of tiers and price ranges, will remain available for existing and new customers.

According to Khan, Microsoft has made significant investments in cloud services for mobile app development, and the company expects the Capptain technology to bring the "vital new element" of real-time user and push analytics to Azure.

For example, Capptain's tool logs when, for how long and how many times people use an application, and where they're located. "Whether you use it to manage your server load, correlate marketing actions with user response or check peak usage times for a most effective PUSH campaign, you'll have all the information you need," reads a section of Capptain's website.

Capptain also provides analytics on how people behave within an application, such as how they navigate its screens, when they share or consume content and how much time they spent on the shopping cart.

The tool then lets developers granularly segment users according to a broad variety of criteria and establish how the application should reach out to them via push communications in order to engage and retain them.

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

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