UPDATE - SAP buys heath care CRM suite to bolster mySAP

German software vendor SAP has acquired a suite of software applications and several other intellectual property assets from...

German software vendor SAP has acquired a suite of software applications and several other intellectual property assets from health care industry software developer Infinite Data Structures (IDS), the company announced yesterday. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

SAP purchased IDS's integrated managed heath care (IMHC) software suite of customer relationship management tools for pharmaceutical and medical product manufacturers. IMHC includes applications for developing contracts, handling chargebacks, administrating sales and rebates, and generating sales reports and marketing analysis.

SAP acquired IDS because it saw a gap in its own tools offerings, and because it saw "the functionality that could close this gap," said SAP's general manager of global solutions, Harald Stuckert. He said SAP's general strategy is to partner as needed to enhance its own products, but that IDS was too small to make partnering feasible. Purchasing IDS's software assets outright was the better solution, he said.

SAP intends to expand IMHC and integrate it into its mySAP customer relationship management (CRM) application, according to company spokeswoman Bonnie Rothenstein. SAP said it will soon add an IMHC-derived contracts, pricing, and chargeback component to mySAP.com. The new component will be initially targeted at customers in the pharmaceutical, biotech, medical supplies, and health care wholesale and distributor industries, but will later be expanded for adoption by other industries requiring trade relationship management tools, Stuckert said.

Stuckert said work has already begun on interfacing IMHC with mySAP CRM, but estimated that full integration of the two products will take six months. Expanding tools based on IMHC for use outside the health care industry is a multi-year project, he said.

About 15 IDS staffers have joined SAP, working out of the company's newly created SAP Global Solution Center. The Global Solution Center opened last week in Pennsylvania.

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