Start-Ups Emerge as Tech Vendors of Choice

Businesses are getting more comfortable buying technology from start-ups and other small outfits, a shift that could usher in a period of slower growth for tech giants such as Hewlett-Packard Co. and Oracle Corp.

Spearheading the change are tech buyers such as Vanguard Health Systems Inc., a Nashville, Tenn., health-care company that has a $100 million-plus annual tech budget. In the past, Vanguard Health used to stick with just a few tech vendors such as Microsoft Corp. and Cisco Systems Inc.

But more recently, Scott Blanchette, Vanguard’s chief information officer, chose a three-year-old start-up instead of one of its incumbents for software to help spot trends in clinical data. The software from the start-up, Explorys Inc., costs less and could get up and running faster, he said.

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