Agilent Technologies is to acquire SSI in a move that will combine the former's analytical instrumentation, data systems and services with SSI's strong position in chromatographic data systems and informatics.
The acquisition will give Agilent one of the largest installed bases of chromatographic data systems, with more than 120,000 installations, and one of the broadest portfolios of laboratory informatics software in the life science and chemical industries.
"We believe that our combined product portfolios will enable customers to unify their lab needs with one software application, handling diverse data, applications and instruments from multiple vendors in a single, seamless and secure environment," said Jim Miller, director of software for Agilent's life sciences and chemical analysis business.
The company's offering would allow scientists to collaborate across laboratory operations, linking information from a wide range of instrument platforms and data sources, he added.
The combined product range would also cover the complete life cycle of analytical information, from data acquisition to knowledge management and retention.
SSI had annual sales of more than $18 million in 2004 and employs about 80 people, most of whom are expected to join Agilent. Its key products are OpenLAB and EXChrom Elite for handling and organising chromatography data, Enterprise Content Manager (ECM), a software platform that provides a secure, central repository for business-critical information, and Business Process Manager (BPM), a workflow package for streamlining, automating and optimising laboratory business processes.