Pharmaceutical Commerce - March/April 2013 - (Page 28)

Information Technology Sales automation tools make strides in addressing industry needs continued from page 1 Ironically, the longer-term effects of this upheaval are to diminish, to some degree, the importance of the customer-relationship management (CRM) aspect of SFA. As the vendors of CRM systems adapt their offerings to the iPad, and as desired data (such as physician master data) becomes roughly equally available regardless of the vendor, CRM becomes a more-commoditized IT resource. CRM vendors are moving rapidly to build out their CRM systems with other capabilities, particularly business analytics— and the competitive race rachets up another notch. “Veeva Systems made the right bets on cloud-based CRM and on the iPad,” says Eric Newmark, program director at IDC Health Insights (Framingham, MA), an IT marketresearch company. Last summer, Newmark projected that Veeva (Pleasanton, CA) is now the leading life-sciences CRM vendor in the US, having doubled its client base in each of the past three years. (Oracle’s offerings, CRM On Demand and its Siebel Systems subsidiary, are said to be the global leader, and Cegedim Relationship Management, which claims 200,000 users worldwide, is of comparable scale.) Newmark’s company is about to commence a new market study; results are expected this summer. Other CRM vendors with some lifesciences presence include Synergistix (Sunrise, FL), StayInFront (Fairfield, NJ), Update CRM (Vienna, Austria) and; the latter is significant because Veeva is a licensee of SalesForce’s cloud-based IT platform. Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM is being tried by a few manufacturers. A new-to-the-US company, Interactive Medica (Madrid, Spain), is about to be launched in the US by Mark Cieplik, an industry veteran. Ovum, another IT market research firm, issued a report last summer giving Oracle Fig. 3. A mock-up display of promotional material in Veeva’s iRep CRM platform. Credit: Veeva Fig. 2. Trinity Pharma’s just-launched Agile M tool aggregates sales and customer data to provide a sales-effectiveness dashboard. Credit: Trinity and Cegedim a tied score of 6.7 for “market impact” (roughly, share of market), while giving Cegedim and Veeva a tied score of 8.0 for “market evolution” (innovation) and Oracle a score of 8.5. Veeva entered the market several years ago with one of the first cloud-based CRM offerings for life sciences, and has had to overcome some initial pharma-industry resistance to cloud computing, based mostly on concerns over data security. “But the industry is past that concern today,” says Paul Shawah, VP CRM strategies at Veeva. “The advantages of scalability and rapid implementation are compelling.” Veeva continues to emphasize its “true multitenant architecture,” in that it builds one version of its platform, and all customers use the same platform, hosted remotely. When Fig. 1. A 2012 Highpoint Solutions industry survey focused on preparations for product launches. 28 Visit our website at March | April 2013 Veeva performs an upgrade, that upgrade applies to all clients simultaneously— drastically different from the scenario of a site license and the need to maintain and update each site. Bedminster, NJ-based Cegedim, which used to be primarily a site-license vendor (the company has been doing life sciences CRM for a couple decades), mostly offers cloudbased implementation now—but in three Mobile Intelligence versions: MI Touch (for the iPad); MI Pocket (for smartphones) and MI PC (for laptops and desktops). Feeling the competitive heat from Veeva, it upgraded its trio of systems three times in 2012, and Neeraj Singhal, VP of product development at the firm, says that the company is looking at deployment on the just-announced Microsoft Windows Surface tablet, running Windows 8 Pro. “There is a point to Veeva’s claim of multitenancy,” says IDC’s Newmark, but ultimately it depends on the “nimbleness” of CRM vendors’ in-house programming capabilities and, in the final analysis, the prices they charge for their offerings. Low-maintenance implementation of a CRM would appear to be a must these days, if the results of a study from HighPoint Solutions (East Norriton, PA), an IT advisory firm, are to be believed. The company surveyed a cross-section of pharma companies (big, medium and small) in the past year, looking for trends in how they prepare for product launches. What it found was that the teams that should be most interested in making these preparations— sales, marketing and IT—don’t talk to each other and don’t have the same priorities (Fig. 1). In particular, SFA is a priority only of the sales team—not IT, and not marketing. Conversely, the IT team is looking ahead to the need for business analytics, but the sales team is not. “This is not so surprising when you find that another result of our survey is that 50% of companies doing product launches do not have an integrated launch plan between product marketing, sales, regulatory compliance and IT,” says Mark Zubey, head of the commercial effectiveness practice at HighPoint. Zubey says that for this reason, it is recommending that pharma companies put as much of their IT resources into the cloud as they can; the support from internal IT departments that might have been there in the past is no longer there. CRM plus All CRM vendors provide the basic capabilities of displaying healthcare provider (HCP) information and history so that reps can track their appointments and past business with the HCP. The iPad brings a new level of usability to displaying sales presentations and promotional materials (more about that later), and then various sales-assistance tools, such as a mapping function to help the rep make the next call and related functions. Veeva works with a network of related service providers, including J. Knipper for sample accountability and fulfillment, Terralign for geographic plotting, and Concur, a widely used expense-management tool, for rep expense accounting. Most recently, Veeva has introduced Veeva Vault, a complementary, cloud-based service for storing and retrieving documents. The PromoMats component stores promotional materials and other collateral; another module stores and retrieves clinical trial documents. Like Veeva’s multitenancy for its CRM platform, the central storage enables a marketing team to keep a current version of promotional materials “on file” with the assurance that the entire sales team (nationally or even globally) is seeing and using the same documents. Cegedim, meanwhile, touts its “native” applications—service modules built into the MI platform, including AggregateSpend360, for compliance with the Physicians Sunshine Act for reporting expenditures on HCPs, and OneKey, a global database of HCPs. (The

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pharmaceutical Commerce - March/April 2013

Pharmaceutical Commerce - March/April 2013
Top News
Brand Marketing & Communications
Supply Chain/Logistics
Information Technology
Manufacturing & Packaging
Legal & Regulatory
Meetings and Editorial Index

Pharmaceutical Commerce - March/April 2013