McKessonHBOC to conquer the Dutch hospital information systems' market through Siac

San Francisco 30 July 1999 Siac, a Dutch provider of hospital information systems (HIS), has been acquired by McKessonHBOC. This American company was formed by the merger of the drug distributor McKesson and the health care information systems vendor HBO & Company. The overall strategy consists in offering connectivity to health care participants and decision-makers to lower total costs of medical care. McKessonHBOC intends to concentrate its efforts in the Netherlands on the promising sector of psychiatric care because of the excellent strategic opportunities for tight co-operation, based on the support of Information and Communication Technology.

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Siac, a Dutch provider of hospital information systems (HIS), has been acquired by McKessonHBOC. This American company was formed by the merger of the drug distributor McKesson and the health care information systems vendor HBO & Company. The overall strategy consists in offering connectivity to health care participants and decision-makers to lower total costs of medical care. McKessonHBOC intends to concentrate its efforts in the Netherlands on the promising sector of psychiatric care because of the excellent strategic opportunities for tight co-operation, based on the support of Information and Communication Technology.

Siac has computerized 19 out of 105 hospitals in the Netherlands and has been the fastest growing HIS provider for years. McKessonHBOC in turn, forms the global leading company in the hospital branch. For the first time, an American HIS vendor is able to acquire a substantial market share within the Netherlands. Han Knooren who is appointed as the new manager, expects McKessonHBOC to largely invest in product development, related to speech recognition and Web technologies. The current product family likely will be maintained since the overtaking company doesn't plan on massively burying the Dutch health care sector with American systems.

Chief Executive Officer Knooren aims at the complete outsourcing of the ICT services and technical management by the hospitals. McKessonHBOC covers nearly 5000 hospitals throughout the world with high standard applications systems software and has a turnover of 19 billion euro. In the near future, more acquisitions will follow in Europe. As such, Siac constitutes the second acquisition on the European continent. McKessonHBOC already has built a strong basis in the United Kingdom with some 500 employees and a range of major agreements with the National Health Service. Last month, the hospital division of Cap Gemini in France was taken over. Among the ICT-companies worldwide, McKessonHBOC, as turnover is concerned, is now in seventeenth place.

Siac has been concentrating itself exclusively on the Dutch hospital market. Via its subsidiary VPI, the company equally provides software for facility services, such as hospital catering. Siac has a turnover of 15 million euro and also deploys activities within twelve regions of psychiatric care in the Netherlands. Siac and VPI together employ 100 people. Until recently, both companies were subsidiaries of ICL Benelux, which is owned for 80 percent by Fujitsu in Japan. Since ICL will be introduced to the stock market next year, the company has decided to focus on its basic activities. Two years ago, ICL already left the British health care division to Siemens.

The Siac software has been on the market for eight years. In the meanwhile, it has been mainly redesigned for the 32-bit development environment of Oracle/Centura. After a period of rapid growth, the company was dealing for a while with implementation delays, unsatisfied customers, and the transfer from Progress to Oracle. McKessonHBOC also has struggled with difficulties. The company has come under pressure from shareholders after aggressive accounting practices were uncovered at the former HBO unit. Seven board members have resigned but the US Court of Justice is still investigating the heart of the matter, according to the Automatisering Gids.


Leslie Versweyveld

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