Through the acquisition, Agilent aims to marry analytical instrumentation, data systems, and services with SSI's chromatographic data systems and informatics. The deal would give Agilent one of the largest installed bases of chromatographic data systems -- SSI has more than 120,000 installations - and a broad portfolio of laboratory informatics software in the life science and chemical industries.
The acquisition would enable Agilent to provide a "family" of software products that "addresses the complete life cycle of analytical information, from data acquisition to knowledge management and retention." It will also allow scientists "to collaborate across laboratory operations, linking information from a wide range of instrument platforms and data sources," Jim Miller, director of software for the Life Sciences and Chemical Analysis business, said in a statement.
SSI had annual sales of more than $18 million in 2004. Based in
The company's "key" products include: OpenLAB, a Web-based software framework that joins a chromatography data system with comprehensive Enterprise Content Management and Business Process Management; EZChrom Elite, a chromatography data systems with more than 60,000 licenses installed and the ability to control more than 290 instruments from 26 vendors; Enterprise Content Manager, a software platform that provides a secure, central repository and content services that enable organizations to "capture, manage, legally sign, archive, and re-use business-critical information; and Business Process Manager, a workflow product for "streamlining and automating laboratory business processes."
Agilent has been the exclusive distributor of SSI's ECM since July 2004, and is currently using the technology in-house. An Agilent spokesperson said the unit expects to "expand the application" of this technology within the business group.
More broadly, Agilent said that following the acquisition it plans to "continue development and support of each of these product lines with a commitment to open systems, industry standards, and interoperability with other instrument hardware and software providers." Agilent also plans to support and enhance SSI Instrument OEM partnerships, the company said.
Agilent did not say when it expects the acquisition to close, but the spokesperson said it will likely take one month.