Microsoft selects first UK strategic partner

Health software firm iSoft will benefit from the sales might of the US giant

Health information systems provider iSoft has become Microsoft's first UK strategic alliance partner - and only the second in the health field.

Financial details of the deal are not being disclosed but under its terms Microsoft will package iSoft's Lorenzo suite of products for sale to third-party service companies and give the UK company more help with the .Net development of the products.

iSoft spokesman Alex Gray said: "We had a close relationship with Microsoft but this will give us better access in development. Microsoft will get the benefit of a strong presence in the health information market and a push for .Net."

Lorenzo has been benchmarked handling 10,000 users and Gray said that a recent benchmarking exercise will extend that figure for the scalability of the suite. iSoft’s largest installation so far is in Singapore, with more than 2,000 users.

iSoft is providing the applications for three of the multibillion pound NHS IT local service provider contracts. Its products concentrate on the clinical information side of health data and were either developed in-house or bought in through the company's series of acquisitions.

Late last month its $700 million all-share takeover of rival provider Torex was cleared by the Office of Fair Trading. Earlier this year, iSoft reported revenues for the six months to 31 October of £40m with profits of £9.2m.

The company is well placed to take advantage of the NHS' planned splurge on IT systems and has announced a $100m investment in its Mumbai coding shop.