PerkinElmer’s scientific collaborative platform is based on cloud technology it acquired from Wingu. Cost-effective electronic laboratory notebooks will promote greater efficiency and transparency in the research process.
On 17 March 2014, PerkinElmer announced that it will release a cloud-based collaboration informatics platform built on assets it acquired from the Google Ventures-backed software startup Wingu, which focused on operational efficiency for collaborative R&D activities.
PerkinElmer's offering will enable end users to leverage cloud technologies to support socially collaborative scientific research endeavors. Research institutions, academic laboratories and small technology firms increasingly serve as “innovation engines” for larger life-sciences-based firms, including pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. But smaller companies have found it too cost-prohibitive to adopt the traditional on-premises software deployments offered by more sophisticated leading electronic laboratory notebook (ELN) vendors like PerkinElmer. Cloud technology could lower the barrier to entry in IT and help organizations transition from paper-based to electronic research strategies.
This offering addresses leading vendors' fears of profit erosion and discomfort with the revenue model, which have limited their uptake of cloud solutions. Low-cost providers that lack solid financial backing offer most of the existing cloud-based ELN and scientific collaboration solutions. Adoption also has been hampered by weak platform functionality or capabilities; a lack of scientific modeling tools integrated into easy-to-use collaborative platforms; the difficulty of capturing widely varied research processes; and a lack of knowledge or funding for training on collaborative applications that support science.
PerkinElmer purchased Wingu in 4Q13, but did not widely publicize the acquisition. The resulting Wingu-based product release will help promote scientific organizations' adoption of digital research strategy in two ways.
If firms like PerkinElmer continue to offer cloud-based ELN platforms with deeper functionality, scientific organizations will have more opportunities to cost-effectively digitize scientific assets and capital without stressing IT groups or budgets.
Researchers need platforms that improve scientific collaboration effectiveness, innovation and data transparency. Most academic research environments employ paper-based lab notebooks. Researchers are often distrustful of one another, due to a handful of cases involving scientific data manipulation; many only share select datasets. Use of ELNs with integrated tools for data capture and modeling and to communicate results will promote a more efficient, transparent research process.
CIOs, laboratory IT directors and scientific informatics leaders at small research firms:
Evaluate PerkinElmer technology to enhance collaboration and improve digital strategies for electronic data capture, dissemination and scientific collaboration. Before making an investment, explore the depth of capabilities in the modeling tools and review workflows (such as data capture, authoring, collaboration and e-signature) at the lab process level. Review the scientific domains with scientists or lab group leaders to ensure that the platform supports them. Align the scientific strategy to enhance scientific collaboration and increase data transparency.
Evaluate this offering alongside capabilities from other cloud-based ELN vendors, such as Accelrys and Core Informatics. Determine if your laboratory staff can make configuration changes and collaborate on the platform. If the current offering does not meet your needs, consider delaying your purchase until the next generation of cloud-based ELNs provides deeper functionality.
If purchasing or replacing an ELN, focus your business justification on reducing IT complexity and lowering TCO.