Earlier this week, Microsoft announced the release of its new product suite for the healthcare sector, Amalga. Almaga includes the Azyxxi solution, which they acquired from Medstory, and the Global 2000, hospital information management (HIS) solution being used at the medical tourism destination, Bumrungrad International Hospital.
A relatively minor announcement in the grand scheme of things, but a couple of points in the announcement are worth noting.
Once again, Microsoft made it clear that the Global 2000 HIS solution, (now called Amalga HIS) will not be sold in the US. Obviously, Microsoft doesn’t want to alienate existing HIT partners in the US, though not sure why Microsoft would be all that concerned as it is unlikely that other HIT vendors will run from Microsoft and into the arms of Red Hat/Linux or some other system.
I say this from experience.
Many moons ago, I made a prediction that ERP vendors would abandon their relationship with Microsoft when they acquired Great Plains and then Navision. I was not alone in this prediction. Sure, Microsoft’s ERP partners were all nervous and distanced themselves from Microsoft for a period of time. But within a relatively short period of time, these companies were back talking with MS and putting the MS certified sticker on their website. Why? Quite simple, their customers told them to. No customer was going to change their MS-based infrastructure just because Microsoft got into the market. So, expect Microsoft to initially target overseas markets for Amalga HIS, but in time, they will be selling it in the US if it makes business sense (i.e., their Amalga-Azyxxi customers ask for it).
As for Microsoft making a new category of software, ala Unified Intelligence System (which is the former Azyxxi) – well maybe it is new to the HIT space, but this is very old in other sectors, such as manufacturing where there have been such systems for years. Amalga (Azyxxi) will go GA sometime in the first half of 2008.
And where did they ever find that name Amalga – sounds like something out of a Bugs Bunny cartoon – short for amalgamation, but maybe that gives us some idea of their overall HIT strategy.