August 15, 2014
The papers are signed, Cerner will acquire Siemens’ health information technology business unit for $1.3 billion. For some, this acquisition came as a surprise. For those who have worked with Siemens in recent years, however, the news confirmed concerns about the long-term sustainability of the Siemens healthcare division. Workforce reductions have occurred at Siemens Healthcare approximately every two years over the past decade, with many of these positions transferred overseas. Siemens’ move to globalization is just one example of a shift from a strong customer-centric, service-oriented structure to a less personalized, and more bottom-line driven, commoditized model.
In a word, uncertainty. According to an interview with John Glaser, CEO of Siemens Health Services, the company plans to provide more transition-related answers by the end of the year. A roadmap has been outlined for the next 18 months, but integrations and transitions beyond that are still to be determined. Glaser suggested that the Soarian product will be supported for the next ten years, but said nothing regarding other Siemens products.
Our initial prediction as to how Cerner will approach the acquisition of Siemens clients is that Cerner Millenium Clinicals will be proliferated across both Invision and MS4 hospitals. We also expect that Cerner will use the Soarian Financials as an alternative to Cerner’s Profit revenue cycle system.
Siemens customers also may have support challenges ahead, as both organizations struggle to meld their cultures together. These challenges will be revealed over time. It will probably be several months before the long-term strategies and customer support strategies will take form, so that customers can understand the impacts their particular organizations will experience as a result of the acquisition.
In any case, the answer right now for Siemens customers is don’t just wait and see.
The Cerner acquisition should pose questions and concerns for any of the 600+ hospitals using Siemens software or services. We recommend a proactive approach to determine how this acquisition will impact your systems, systems support, and overall operations. Options you should consider are:
Currently, we’re providing clients with guidance in the following areas — contract review, IT strategic roadmapping, and systems selection. If you’re seeking help in any of these areas, let us know!