Acquiring the compliance management vendor Qumas will broaden Accelrys' portfolio as it transitions toward offering more functions within its quality and compliance platform.
On 9 December 2013, the laboratory informatics vendor Accelrys announced that it has acquired the software vendor Qumas for $50 million in cash. Qumas, which is based in Cork, Ireland, focuses on controlled document management.
This acquisition will deepen Accelrys' life sciences focus and take it another step beyond its traditional concentration on R&D scientific software. Qumas adds a targeted governance, risk management and compliance platform to Accelrys' portfolio and positions Accelrys to deliver a comprehensive enterprise quality management (EQM) hub (see "EQM Hubs Unite Quality Management IT Systems Across the Value Chain" ). Qumas customers include approximately 250 life sciences companies, including manufacturers and clinical contract research organizations. This move is well-timed for life sciences enterprises looking for an integrated approach for managing product life cycles across complex product supply networks, which are the market segment most likely to benefit from Accelrys' functions.
Accelrys has achieved its current scale by acquiring relatively small point solutions for analytics and quality management and linking R&D labs with downstream product development and manufacturing. Qumas is Accelrys' second-largest acquisition to date, and gives Accelrys access to products that support a holistic approach to compliance adherence, improving visibility into quality and risk management processes, and managing regulatory information. In addition, Qumas has recently released specific applications for cloud- and SharePoint-based partner collaboration.
Gartner expects Accelrys will spend 12 to 18 months to partially integrate the main capabilities, and even longer to integrate the software's core code into Accelrys enterprise platform products. Alternatively, Accelrys could simply rebrand the software, loosely integrate it using Accelrys Data Management (ADM), service-oriented architecture and middleware, and evolve the software in parallel with Accelrys core products. In the long term, customers will benefit from broader support for quality and compliance through a common architecture that spans full product life cycles and multiple nodes of the value network; however, developing end-to-end capabilities will likely involve significant customization services.
Consider adding Qumas capabilities to support regulatory initiatives and quality initiatives for scientific and laboratory informatics programs, but understand the resources required for these projects.
Evaluate existing quality and documentation systems in the portfolio and road map. Push Accelrys for global contract pricing, bundled with Accelrys products.
Review the current lab informatics vendors in the IT portfolio and road map, and determine touchpoints where Accelrys and Qumas can add value.
If you are focused on holistic enterprise quality management hubs, evaluate touchpoints between both providers. Understand what support they offer for leveraging operational, quality and laboratory data into an EQM hub.
If you are building out laboratory informatics programs, evaluate the entire Accelrys product set while still considering its offerings a "patchwork" of systems. Many of the Accelrys tools are not deeply integrated and still require custom services on the back end for integration.