Mainstream vendors do not have to buy to take over health IT

Major IT players are getting into health IT in many ways, including simple distribution.

One assumption of companies in the health IT space is that for mainstream companies to take over they have to either buy them out or build their own competitive products.

While there are firms that have bought into the space, as with Dell buying Perot Systems. Microsoft has become a health IT major practically from scratch, and IBM is also investing heavily.

But that's not the only way it can go.

Sometimes it can start with something as simple as distribution. Tech Data, a major IT distribution company, just added Greenway Medical Technologies to its vendor list.

Greenway is a dedicated supplier of Electronic Health Record systems for health clinics, based in the west Georgia town of Carrollton. But it's barely within the top 50 in the space. Next to companies like Cerner and McKesson it is a minnow.

But now it's a minnow with distribution. Tech Data increases its presence in health IT, learns about the customers, and can either expand the relationship or move on to new ones at its leisure.

The importance of this story isn't the deal itself but the trend it represents. All areas of the main health IT food chain are looking to get into health IT. Vendors who specialize in health IT are gravitating toward the majors for long-term survival.

History shows it's the right way to play.

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