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Siemens and StorageTek agree to market each other's products


Siemens and StorageTek agree to market each other's productsFirms plan joint sales calls in sophisticated archiving situationsArchiving has long been considered one of the trickier aspects of PACS installations. PACS firms that seek to

Siemens and StorageTek agree to market each other's products

Firms plan joint sales calls in sophisticated archiving situations

Archiving has long been considered one of the trickier aspects of PACS installations. PACS firms that seek to fulfill storage needs won't find their task any easier with customer interest growing in enterprise-wide image management solutions that encompass more than just radiology images.

Partly to make it easier for customers to implement these types of systems, archiving firm StorageTek and PACS vendor Siemens Medical Systems have entered into a nonexclusive, co-marketing agreement for each other's offerings. The deal is the first of its kind for Louisville, CO-based StorageTek, which has traditionally relied on OEM/VAR agreements and on its direct sales force (PNN 8/98) for distribution of its storage offerings in the healthcare sector.

When a complicated PACS purchase such as multi-hospital PACS is being discussed, staff from StorageTek and Siemens will jointly meet with the client. As hospitals become more sophisticated and ambitious about their long-term storage needs, they realize that the archiving strategy must go beyond the radiology department to encompass data from other healthcare information systems, said Rik Primo, director of IS and PACS for Siemens of Iselin, NJ.

"In many cases you have to address deep archiving for information technology within the hospital or within the enterprise including many hospitals," he said. "The moment you address the deep archiving needs for these enterprises, you really have to involve IT professionals, and that's where we believe there's an advantage to bringing in the folks from StorageTek."

Customers could choose Siemens to be the prime contractor for the sale, with StorageTek serving as the subcontractor for the archive component, said Tim Chunn, senior applications consultant for StorageTek. With this approach, a single purchase order would be issued to Siemens.

Alternatively, the hospital could purchase the archive directly from StorageTek in conjunction with a Siemens PACS purchase. Both companies will support their respective products after the sale, Chunn said.

Joint sales activity can be initiated by either StorageTek or Siemens, and the firms could also work together on responses to RFPs, Chunn said. In addition, cross-training is planned for each firm's products.

The two companies have already worked together on large-scale PACS installations at two sites, including the Cleveland Clinic, which has installed a number of StorageTek archive offerings. StorageTek handles service and support for the archives.

The Cleveland Clinic will also serve as a test site for StorageTek's new 9840 tape drive (PNN 1/99), which offers increased reliability and improved ad-hoc image recall performance compared to other media such as DLT and optical disks, he said. General availability of 9840 for use in PACS installations is expected in the first quarter.

The agreement between Siemens and StorageTek is nonexclusive, however, and both companies will continue to work with other vendors as situations warrant. In addition, StorageTek is open to signing similar agreements with other PACS firms, Chunn said.

"We want to be the archive vendor of choice no matter who the PACS vendor is. The hospitals will choose the vendor that makes the most sense for them," Chunn said.

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