Eclipsys says strategy to fix SunriseXA is working

FRAMINGHAM (12/04/2003) - Eclipsys Technologies Corp. said Wednesday that new testing had shown that its strategy to address a flaw in the workflow engine for its flagship SunriseXA clinical information system would improve the performance of the system, a move that helped the company boost its share price by 27 percent.

In October, the company said that the SunriseXA workflow engine had been linked to slow response times in processing orders and other complex tasks, and it said then that it would begin the process of installing an older engine. That announcement shaved off 39 percent of the company's value in a single day.

Though analysts hailed the news as a step in the right direction, they warned that the announcement did little more than reiterate the company's already-announced approach to fixing the response time issue.

"Our reading is that the company has achieved the first step in putting their XA workflow problems behind them," said David Francis, an analyst at Jefferies and Co. who has a "hold" recommendation on Eclipsys and says the company still has work to do. "The company still has some issues to get through with customers to show that this is ready for prime time."

Eclipsys said that it had tested the software, using its older Clinical Manager workflow engine with its SunriseXA database, and found a greater than 30 percent performance gain over systems using the entire Clinical Manager project, a move that the company said validated its approach to the problem.

The company also updated its timetable for future releases of the software, noting that a version 3.3 of SunriseXA, designed to help customers who had already installed the SunriseXA suite, was upcoming, with a more extensive release -- version 3.5 -- coming next summer.

The next major release of the software will come in early 2005, the company said. Despite the setbacks, however, Eclipsys has continued to announce new partners, with hospitals in California, Texas, and Georgia all signing on since the announcement of the problems.

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