Broadliner Tech Data is inviting resellers and developers that have a focus or expertise in the healthcare and life sciences sectors to join it in developing an ecosystem through which they can collectively drive new partnerships and business opportunities in these fast-growing markets. Development of Tech Data’s healthcare and life sciences ecosystem is well-advanced with over 100 companies already taking part in workshops and meetings aimed at bringing businesses with complementary skills together. The most recent Meet-Up event was held at IBM’s offices in London and attended by more than 60 companies including business partners, their end-user customers and ISVs. Alliances have already been formed with the parties involved developing joint plans to build and take solutions to market. A solution for cellular identification and genetics profiling, using IBM’s PowerAI Vision platform, is already being promoted through the vendor’s own healthcare ecosystem. Another alliance has formed to develop and market a chatbot, running on IBM Watson Administrative Assistant, that will provide answers to the specific questions that cancer patients might ask about their condition, 24-hours a day. As well as connecting partners into appropriate vendor contacts and programmes, Tech Data is providing, where required, expertise and professional services support to fill any gaps that partners and developers may have in their own capabilities. Neil Cornish, Business Development Manager, Industry and Healthcare Ecosystems at Tech Data UK, said: “the idea is to bring reseller partners who perhaps already have a practice focusing on healthcare or life sciences together with developers or start-ups who have expertise in AI and other specialist technologies and how they can be applied. The aim is to build an ecosystem and a set of solutions that we can then promote to the market. We want to put niche specialists, who understand the challenges that need to be addressed, in contact with the businesses that understand how to give solutions industrial strength and put the appropriate scaling and security around them.” He believes Tech Data is ideally-placed to develop and drive value in key markets such as healthcare: “we understand and have strong connections into all the different partner communities and the expertise in emerging technologies, such as AI and analytics, IoT and cloud. As a trusted advisor to them all, we can provide that bridge between the vendors, partners and specialist developers and ISVs, and work with them all to develop solutions and take them to market.” The UK healthcare sector is making massive investment in AI technologies. In August, the NHS announced a €285m investment to create the National Artificial Intelligence Lab with the aim of bringing together the UK's top minds across the healthcare and technology industries to accelerate research into new fields and treatments. Tech Data is running a series of Market Readiness Workshops for healthcare and life sciences solutions, and further events are being planned. These are especially useful for partners who are not yet involved in the healthcare market.