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Applied Bio, Deloitte Consulting announce alliance to provide comprehensive informatics solutions for life science cos.
FOSTER CITY, Calif.—Applied Biosystems and professional consulting services provider Deloitte Consulting LLP signed a strategic alliance agreement in late February that will allow the two companies to work in concert to provide comprehensive informatics solutions that reach from the bench to the boardroom.
The alliance comes as many large pharmaceutical and life science research-based organizations struggle to find ways to integrate and leverage data generated in the lab to provide enterprise-wide accessibility.
"We have certainly been challenged by some of our customers' requirements for large-scale systems and distributed computing," says Michael McConnell, vice president strategic partnerships for Applied Biosystems. "But this alliance with Deloitte allows us to provide customers with the expertise to handle these requirements."
The wide range of services provided as a result of the alliance is a virtual laundry list of the tasks companies want to achieve to both better leverage the intellectual capital held in a company's research data, as well as provide peak operating efficiency. Areas of expertise for the two companies include laboratory and instrument integration, protocol development and deployment, workflow automation and data management and analysis, among others.
According to McConnell, Applied Bio saw a need for this top-to-bottom service some time ago and late last year put out a request for proposal seeking a strategic partner. "Deloitte stood out for us since it has a high presence in the market and was already engaged with many of the accounts that we are also working with," he says.
For Deloitte, the opportunity to work with Applied Bio comes as the consultancy looks for ways to move its services from the very top levels of executive management to laboratory level. "We needed to expand our consulting and scientific ability," says John Maddalon, senior manager with Deloitte National Life Sciences practice. "We've done a lot of ERP and traditional consulting, but saw this as an opportunity to get more into the lab, which is a natural extension of what we already do well."
The power of the alliance, both parties say, comes from deploying the informatics solutions Applied Bio brings to the table with Deloitte's expertise in process re-engineering and change management—vital functions as labs move from paper-based systems to enterprise-wide data management.
"Clearly, it can be a real challenge to re-engineer a paper-based system," says McConnell. "It is a lengthy process, but it is (an area) where Deloitte has a lot of business and experience."
Likewise, Deloitte saw Applied Bio as strong in both laboratory tools and informatics with contacts and relationships at the laboratory level that Deloitte didn't have. "We are very familiar with Applied Bio and have known them as a leader in the space," says Maddalon. "Since we were looking to expand our reach into the lab, it made sense we should do it with a proven leader."