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Accelerating Mergers & Acquisitions in the Medical Device Industry & the Rise of Data Monetization

As part of a very busy month for Reltio, I attended and presented at an event organized by Q1 Productions dedicated to Medical Device Industry Corporate Strategy and M&A in Atlanta, GA. The meeting was very well attended including representatives from Medtronic, Stryker and other companies sharing their insights into techniques for more effective M&A.

The topic of my presentation was:

Accelerating M&A in the Medical Device Industry with Modern Data Management

We discussed how bringing together clean, reliable, relevant data in a timely fashion from the IT systems of both parties to support an M&A is still largely a manual, inefficient and potentially inaccurate effort.

The audience agreed that the complexity of data siloed across both companies made it very difficult to analyze information within the legal and time constraints of all pending transactions. If the merger goes through, all work is generally discarded, leaving the combined company to start from ground zero. If the merger is called off, someone is left with hardware procured to support the M&A that is wasted. 

As part of the presentation I detailed:

  • How a multi-billion dollar merger blended & analyzed data from hundreds of sources with full security & audit controls, without spending a dime on hardware
  • Why they can also now realize millions of dollars in increased negotiating leverage through better vendor/supplier management
  • Which groups are positioned to benefit from new data-driven applications that will significantly improve the efficiency of their day-to-day operations
  • I also provided a modern data management Platform as a Service (PaaS) 101 overview, so attendees could understand the difference between MDM, Big Data, IoT, Analytics, Graph databases and Machine Learning
  • What other opportunities, including data monetization, are now possibilities for the future

Due to a cancellation I also was asked to dive deeper in a separate presentation on the topic of Data Monetization.

Data Monetization, Chief Data Officers, and Industry Clouds

This session provided details on: 

  • What exactly is data monetization
  • Why Data as a Service (DaaS) is a prerequisite
  • How reliable data with full compliance and audit controls are needed as a foundation
  • What are the legal ramifications?
  • Who is responsible for thinking about monetization?
  • What is a chief data officer, and what is his/her role?
  • How does a CDO play well with a CIO?
  • What are industry clouds, and how will that change the landscape of industry specific data applications
  • And even a topic what the future holds for our children’s future career choices: whether to learn how to program or be a data scientist

Finally the next day I moderated a lively “war stores” panel on

Lessons Learned from Recent M&A Activities

Distinguished panelists included

  • Girish Gangadharan, Analyst, Corporate Strategy & Development, ANALOGIC
  • Richard B. Smith, Partner, MCDERMOTT WILL & EMERY

We discussed how over the course of the past 18 months, the medical device industry has experienced some of the highest levels of mergers & acquisition activity recorded to date, and as a result, many executives and organizations have sharpened acquisition skill-sets and have also learned substantial lessons. A lively debate ensued with the panelists and audience around recent experiences, lessons, as well as challenges that lie ahead for the industry as it continues to evolve and grow. The discussion continued throughout the day as attendees identified best practices across the business development spectrum; from identifying appropriate targets to negotiating in order to secure the optimal outcome.

Other key points raised included:

  • Managing expectations for earn outs as part of the deal
  • The difference between acquiring pre-commercial and commercial companies
  • Bringing together sales teams, and managing cost synergies
  • Retaining founders of start-ups and incentives
  • Legal and contractual requirements

Medical Device M&A continues to be hot. A recent infographic by Medical Device Trends shows some of the latest statistics: 
(BTW their site is a wealth of information and you should follow them @mdtrends on twitter) 

Contact me if you’d like to chat about your experiences in life sciences and medical device M&A, or if you’d like a copy of my presentations.

Cognizant and Reltio Webinar Recap and Replay

Click here to listen to the webinar replay

Master data management (MDM) as a discipline and a technology has had its ups and downs over the last 10 years. With significant investment in multi-million dollar projects, many enterprises certainly have the right to expect a more direct impact on the business.

With the explosion of data volumes and the wide adoption of cloud and mobile technologies, frontline business users are starting to expect a new breed of data-driven applications. They are comparing what they have today with the ease-of-use and agility of consumer applications such as LinkedIn and Facebook. 

This webinar replay shows how enterprise data-driven applications backed by a modern data management Platform as a Service is breathing new life into MDM, and allowing both IT and businesses to be more agile and effective. It delves into specific industry use cases from Life Sciences, High Tech, Information and Entertainment to illustrate how organizations in these industries are leap frogging competitors by using data as a strategic asset.

Helping Software & Service Providers Deliver Data-driven Applications

My one year anniversary at Reltio is just around the corner and it’s been quite a ride. I’m particularly proud of our rapid growth in which we have grown our partner ecosystem to 9 Data as a Service partners, 16 service and technology partners, and counting. I’m also particularly excited to formally announce al Powered by Reltio solution in conjunction with ZS Associates. See Reltio and ZS Join Forces on a Revolutionary Oncology Solution.

It’s been amazing to see how partners have embraced the Reltio Cloud platform and the market opportunity with open arms. Each finding differentiated ways to collaborate with us in order to bring to market new and innovative solutions. Ultimately delivering rapid time to value to customers. 

In support of our partners we are unveiling two new programs:

Powered by Reltio

Powered by Reltio enables technology and service partners to rapidly create and bring to market new data-driven applications leveraging Reltio Cloud. Partners can complement an existing offering, or create an entirely new application, addressing unmet business needs by brining their domain expertise to life in easy to use, LinkedIn-style applications.

Powered by Reltio data-driven applications take advantage of a modern data management Platform as a Service (PaaS). which includes built-in master data management, big data scale, a commercial graph and Data as a Service (DaaS).


Delivered by Reltio enables third party data partners to monetize their data offerings directly into the Reltio Cloud and applications, giving frontline business users access to their data through Data as a Service (DaaS).  Data providers get a new, unique channel that reduces the IT effort required to onboard their data, while also benefiting from an Amazon-style delivery of their data by-the-record in real-time.

Powered by Reltio partners collaborate and leverage Delivered by Reltio partners, bringing together the perfect blend of applications and data to market.

On a personal note, it’s been a very rewarding experience building Reltio’s alliances and partner programs. Unlike many companies who view partners mostly as a sales channel, our focus has always been on the end-customers and how we can collaboratively help them Be Right Faster. Powered by Reltio and Delivered by Reltio is another example of how we are doing just that.

Explaining Data-driven, One Slice of Pizza at a Time

While a lot has been written about what it is to be data-driven, up until now there has been relatively little written about enterprise data-driven applications, and how it relates to other types of applications, and data management infrastructure.

I thought it might be fun to extend the pizza analogy that was previously blogged about by Albert Barron, IBM Software Client Architect, in which he cleverly showed the differences between on-premises systems and “as a service” concepts through the various components that make up a pizza meal.

If you will forgive me I’m taking his “pizza as a service” concept to an even cheesier level. Starting with a baseline of software as a service, modern data management Platform as a service (PaaS)data-driven applications and adding the following capabilities:

  • Data as a Service – to provide the raw multi-domain, structured and unstructured data from third party, social and transaction sources (such as through our Delivered by Reltio partner program)
  • Master Data Management – to create reliable data by cleansing, verifying, matching and merging, ultimately uncovering affiliations and relationships between siloed sets
  • Analytics – to deliver in context, relevant insights with visualize cues specific to the role of the frontline business user
  • Machine Learning – to give recommended actions, that can be immediately actioned within the data-driven application, by the user or autonomously executed on their behalf. With closed loop feedback to continuously improve outcomes


So there you have it, the secret “sauce” of data-driven applications delivered as a pizza for your enjoyment. Sorry I didn’t squeeze the beer into the post, but I think beer can be taken as foundational, like big data infrastructure and cloud for today’s modern data management Platform as a Service.

If you’d like a more technical view of what a data-driven application entails, please check out Phil Russom, PhD’s first of its kind checklist for data-driven applications.

Better data, better pizza, #berightfaster