Henry Schein & Internet Brands Partner to Offer Software for Dentists

Today Henry Schein and Internet Brands announced the formation of Henry Schein One — a joint-venture crafted to be a leading provider of software and solutions to the dental office market. The subtext of the formation of this joint-venture is ironic on the one hand and totally logical on the other.

It was probably a decade ago when DemandForce forged a dental practice referral relationship with Henry Schein. At the time DemandForce was emerging to bring new software and marketing solutions to the dental arena. Henry Schein was then, and remains, the leading provider of dental products for the dental practice and sells one the industry’s leading practice management software platforms – Dentrix.

So when DemandForce and Henry Schein began collaborating a decade or more ago, it was a compelling combination. Henry Schein had a army of account managers helping dental practices around the country. That channel proved to be a huge leverage for DemandForce, enabling it to add customers at a very low CAC (customer acquisition cost).

That model worked great and DemandForce certainly benefited with a great exit to Intuit for just south of half a billion dollars in 2012. Intuit perhaps had an overly aspirational ambition to apply the DemandForce marketing platform across their footprint of SMBs. Not achieving that ambition, Intuit would go on to sell DemandForce to Internet Brands some four years later for an undisclosed price.

So that leads us to today and the launch of Henry Schein One. Stanley M. Bergman, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Henry Schein, Inc. said this:

“With this agreement, we combine two dental technology leaders who together will create a powerful new engine to accelerate our customers’ growth. We believe our customers will have the most extensive suite of integrated programs and services, operating on leading practice management systems, to enable dental professionals to be more efficient and to increase their ability to deliver high-quality care to patients.”

Strategically, this is a smart move. There is a new generation of dentists beginning to take on a greater share of the dental practice market. With an entire generation of baby boomer dentists nearing retirement age, newly trained dentists will have grown up with the Internet. These new dentists and dental practice owners will increasingly look to new tools and software solutions to make their patient experience as easy, reliable and satisfying as possible.

Can Henry Schein One deliver on this aspiration? Time will tell.

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