Déjá vu all over again
GE Purchases OneSource Services

GE Medical Systems acquired depot repair service firm OneSource Services Inc. on Sept. 6 for an undisclosed amount.

“The combination of OneSource’s depot repair and modality capabilities with our existing clinical services expertise, furthers our commitment to providing a more comprehensive and flexible service offering to in-house groups,” said Dale Jones, President & CEO of GE Clinical Services, Inc. (CSI) “This transaction will not only expand GE Medical’s portfolio into new and complementary areas, but more importantly, will enable us to better serve the needs of healthcare providers and their patients. With the addition of OneSource Services, GE Medical will broaden its focus on modality specific areas to help healthcare providers biomedical departments enhance their service productivity.”

OneSource was founded in 1997 by a team of investors led by A. Ray Dalton. Prior to that, Dalton had acquired National Medical Diagnostics Inc., a nationwide biomedical service and technology management provider. Dalton sold National MD to GE in 1996 and it was later reorganized to create GE CSI, the subsidiary that OneSource will now be aligned with.

Dalton remained in a management position at GE for almost a year before leaving to start OneSource. At that time he told 24×7, “If you look at my career path, I’ve never been one who likes to be comfortable. GE is a very big company and they are very successful but they are not very entrepreneurial. I have a lot of entrepreneurial blood in my body and I love the opportunity to build and grow new enterprises.”

Ironically, at HealthTech 2000 in Dallas last May, Dalton spoke about GE’s acquisition strategy during an industry panel discussion. There he listed several defunct independent servicers and asked, “What happened to all these companies? GE acquired them all since 1996. We have to recognize that a dynamic is changing the market. No one wants to compete against [GE] but we have to recognize that the market is changing.”


A. Ray Dalton

Acquisitor At Large

A. Ray Dalton has done it again. The animated innovator (don’t call him an entrepreneur) sold another business to GE Medical Systems and the ink on the check wasn’t even dry before Dalton was looking towards another project.

Recently, Dalton spent a few minutes with 24×7 talking about the sale to GE, the prospects for independent healthcare technology service firms, how small businesses can succeed and, perhaps most intriguing, what will A. Ray Dalton buy with all that cash from GE.

When did you start OneSource and was the goal to eventually sell it?
We started this company in Oct. 1997 and the strategy was to start a nationwide company that could provide outsourced services — services that were not done by an on-site group, either asset managers, insurers, in-house biomedical. So we completed 10 acquisitions, everything was going great, we were building it up and to almost $20 million in size.

When and how did GE come into play?
Earlier this year we were contacted by GE and they expressed an interest in being in this business and said they had seen what we were doing and they felt it fit in with what they were doing. Several times we just said, “No, we’re not ready yet.” But they continued to come back and put a deal on the table that seemed to make a lot of sense.

Is it more that GE wanted to get into the depot repair business or did they like OneSource?
I think more the second. What they were recognizing was depot was one of the elements of it but we were also the number one servicer in laser which was very interesting to them. So when you look at our product line, there is laser, anesthesia, respiratory, and then the depot side, it was an easy decision for them because it got them into a lot of businesses at once. We had six service centers around the country and those six centers gave them the type of presence they needed very quickly.

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web wormX-Rates.com

Fluctuating markets, fluctuating borders and that wacky Euro were driving the Web Worm to print for currency conversion information, then a simple and reliable Web source quickly yielded relief: exact exchange rates for many international currencies without squinting at the Wall Street Journal for 20 minutes.

X-rates.com is a G-rated site with a fast and effective currency calculator. Our dapper digger quickly figured out how many millions of Italian lira were required to buy a bellissimo silk tie on an auction site. From the main X-rates.com page, click “calculator” in the upper left and you’re off to Exchange City.

d01c.jpg (8787 bytes)X-rates.com’s privacy policy is sensible, but it doesn’t take responsibility for its advertisers, and the Worm squirmed when an animated Entrepeneur.com banner ad took on the appearance of a downloading virus. Don’t click! It’s a very dirty trick, and it’s presence mars the X-rates.com site.

The savvy surfer loves money – all money. The lure of the lira! The romance of the ruble! And the sunburnt splendor of the Australian dollar! So, our plagerizing python enjoyed the pinups of international cash (click “photos”), and discovered the site’s interesting hook (X-rates.com sells foreign currency online and delivers it by registered mail.) The Worm would give the site a thumbs up if he could.


d01e.jpg (6883 bytes)You Gotta Love It!
Deep Blue grabs boffo Q
There’s a celebrity even geekier than Bill Gates. It’s Deep Blue. Not a teenaged hacker-turned-rapper, Deep Blue is the supercomputer built by super computer-maker IBM that dethroned chess king Garry Kasparov three years ago after a battle royale. From there it was a rocket rise to stardom for “D.B.”

A Q-Score ranks a celebrity’s star power through a survey of average Americans. It is most often used by advertisers to evaluate a spokesperson’s popularity, but in “the biz”, a good Q carries bragging rights.

So how hip is this IBM RS/6000 SP? Deep Blue is a long way from Einstein’s first-place 56 or Elvis’ 33 rating, but with a Q-Score of 9, Deep Blue kicked Count Chocula’s sugar-coated butt (the breakfast vamp only ranked a 7) and slapped Gilbert (Q-8) Gottfried like we all wished we could.

Now following the tracks of Robot from “Lost in Space”, Deep Blue is doing cameos on prime-time TV. In July, Deep Blue appeared with Al Gore on the Fox network show “Futurama.” D.B. played an intern in Gore’s “Vice Presidential Action Rangers” charged with protecting the Earth’s time-space continuum.

We think the nerdy Cray T3E and retiring VAX need better agents.