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2011 – The Year in Review

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Just like 2009, this past year has seen several significant mergers and acquisitions (M&A) announcements, including the acquisition of CambridgeSoft, ArtusLabs and Labtronics by PerkinElmer, and Software Point by LabVantage Technologies.  Interesting that last year M&A activity was minimal; almost as if the industry had taken a year off!

With regard to new product introductions, we have seen significant energy from several of the younger players in the field, including Two Fold Software which released several new LIMS modules this year and Genologics which continues to target the drug discovery field with specialized LIMS for genomics labs.

Size didn’t slow down Thermo Fisher Scientific; they launched major new informatics offerings starting at the Pittsburgh Conference and continuing throughout the year, including an updated SampleManager 10.0 that now leverages .NET technology, a new LIMS for clinical applications, and a new LIMS solution for water and environmental applications.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) LIMS continued to make news with the release of Ocimum Biosolutions’ Biotracker Lite SaaS On-Demand LIMS and Quality Systems International’s new WinLIMS Cloud Edition.  In these days of economic frugalness the advantages of paying by the month and eliminating the need for software maintenance contracts are becoming increasingly attractive options.

Despite the discovery that quite a few of the LIMS vendors from the LIMSource profiles had disappeared off the scene, most of the major players have been holding their own. In fact, the greatest number of announcements throughout the past year from LIMS vendors dealt not with the solutions but with sales.  LabVantage Solutions alone released almost a dozen such announcements.  Judging from the stream of installations and implementations announced by the vendors, the industry is healthy and concentrating on upgrades and sales.  2012 should see continued momentum.