Oracle buys health software vendor Relsys
As a next step in its ongoing pursuit of vertical markets such as health care, finance, and retail, Oracle today announced plans to acquire drug safety software specialist Relsys.
The buyout of the pharmacology software firm is the latest in a string of almost 50 acquisitions garnered by Oracle in less than four years.
Neil de Crescenzo, senior VP and general manager of Oracle Health Sciences, told Oracle customers and business partners today that Oracle will use technology from Relsys to extend the existing capabilities of its own health sciences software suite.
"Pharmaceutical companies, biotech firms, clinical research organizations, medical device manufacturers, health science institutions and government agencies are expected to improve the collection, monitoring and analysis of safety data and help to proactively manage safety risk," de Crescenzo said, in a letter to customers.
"Oracle's leading health sciences software suite combined with Relsys's safety and risk management solutions are expected to enable customers to identify safety risks earlier in the development cycle, provide greater transparency into safety reporting, and allow companies to better perform post-market surveillance through an integrated and proactive risk management strategy."
Although mergers between Oracle and larger software firms such as BEA, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, and Siebel have caught the lion's share of attention, Oracle has also picked up dozens of smaller vendors, integrating their software to harness greater vertical or horizontal functionality for the Oracle software product line-up.
Earlier buyouts by Oracle, for example, have included two players in the vertical market of insurance software, AdminServer and Skywire Software, both in mid-2008.
Even last week, Oracle officials contended that the company is continuing an acquisition strategy in the face of an ever starker recession. "We planned to grow using a combination of innovation and acquisitions," acknowledged Oracle CFO Jeff Epstein, during last week's fiscal third quarter financial call with analysts.
Other acquisitions forged by Oracle since last fall, when the recession's onset first became glaringly evident, include Advanced Visual Technology (AVT), a specialist in retail space planning; mValent, a maker of software for collecting, comparing and reconciling deep configuration information of complex systems; and ClearApp, an application management software vendor.
Only a little less recently, Oracle added to its software functionality for the banking industry by buying i-flex in August of last year, and extended the capabilities of the Oracle utilities applications suite by purchasing Lodestar in April of 2008.
Although terms of the Relsys acquisition were not disclosed, it's just about certain that the weakening economy gives Oracle and other larger IT firms increased bargaining power in negotiating buyout deals with smaller vendors.