Eye on Oracle

Mar 25 2009   5:05PM GMT

Oracle shores up health sciences group with Relsys deal

Shayna Garlick Shayna Garlick Profile: Shayna Garlick

Oracle has certainly had its share of customers in the health services industry. Its Oracle Enterprise Manager is used in hospitals across the country, and healthcare firm AstraZenca has used Oracle intraMedia to help manage its clinical images.

Still, the software giant has never dominated the pharmaceutical or healthcare niche, according to analyst Judy Hanover in this Wall Street Journal blog post.

But that might be about to change.

Oracle announced Monday that it will acquire Relsys International — a leading provider of drug safety and risk management analysis software — in a deal that’s expected to close in the first half of this year. According to Oracle’s press release, its purchase of Relsys will further Oracle’s position in the health sciences industry:

The release also stated that Oracle and Relsys will combine to deliver a unique suite of software applications, focusing on end-to-end drug safety processes across clinical development, post-market surveillance and patient care.

Oracle showed its commitment to the industry last June, when it announced the creation of its new Health Sciences Global Business Unit. The Relsys acquisition is only the latest investment in the business unit, which was designed to provide applications in the health sciences industry. The business unit currently offers a variety of health sciences applications, including Oracle Clinical, Oracle Life Sciences Data Hub and its Siebel Clinical Trial Management System.

The Relsys purchase is also another example of how Oracle is turning away from making larger acquisitions (think BEA and Siebel), to focus on buying smaller companies in niche markets.

In October, Oracle announced it would acquire Primavera, a provider of project portfolio management (PPM) software. A month later, Oracle snatched up software-maker Haley Ltd. in a move that analysts claimed would propel it into the financial and social services industries. And, most recently, Oracle announced its plan to acquire mValent, a leading provider of application configuration management solutions.

What industry will Oracle jump into next?

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