By Angus Liu
Pharma companies’ customer-facing teams are traditionally isolated from each other, but QuintilesIMS’ new commercial operations software called Orchestrated Customer Engagement (OCE) intends to form more synergies among them.
The idea of the software is to bring a pharma company’s commercial teams, including sales, marketing, medical affairs, market access, customer relationship and home office call center, onto a unified online platform where they can better communicate with each other and share insights.
The product is a “software as a service” (SaaS) hosted centrally in the cloud and can be accessed by users via a web browser. Google Apps is a common example of such software; users can access programs like Google Drive, Google Calendar and Gmail without having to download the software to their computers.
QuintilesIMS’ OCE incorporates technology suppliers like Force.com, Marketing Cloud, Heroku, Amazon Web Services, Reltio and others, connecting these applications and data using a common language realized by an interface called Lexi. The existence of such a common language reduces the costs for pharmas when bringing the data together and allows new applications to be added easily, said Swarna Subash, the CRO’s director of product management, in a video promoting the offering. Then all those capabilities are assembled onto another layer of platform.
Two final touches to the software are Ada, an artificial intelligence platform that uses statistical models and machine learning to help users identify future opportunities such as the next best customer or campaign approach; and Apollo, a user experience and user interface design platform added before the software is presented to users on the marketing teams.
The employment of OCE could help increase organizational efficiency by providing greater transparency and integrated processes, and can therefore improve profitability and speed up the time to market for new therapies as well as reaction time to market changes for established ones, wrote QuintilesIMS Chief Digital Officer Richie Etwaru in an introductory piece to OCE published on PM360.
The CRO intends to officially roll out the software in the coming winter.
OCE is possible in large part because of an alliance QuintilesIMS formed with customer relationship management provider Salesforce in late April. That multiyear agreement gives QuintilesIMS access to Salesforce’s services on business intelligence and communications. OCE’s core marketing-related applications, including digital marketing platform Marketing Cloud, user app-building service Force.com and cloud-based developer app development platform Heroku, all belong to Salesforce and are already widely used in the industry.
Also offering to streamline marketing services for the life sciences industry is Veeva Systems, which happens to have a long-standing relationship with Salesforce. Its Veeva Commercial Cloud brings together customer data, promotional content and multichannel management. Under that cloud-based solution, the Veeva CRM, built on the Salesforce Platform, particularly aims at better coordination across teams for seamless customer interactions, similar to QuintilesIMS’ OCE.
As Salesforce’s preferred worldwide CRM provider for the biopharma industry for 10 years, Veeva has already established a strong foothold, with customers including Amgen, AstraZeneca, Merck, Pfizer and Teva, among others. Based on a release, QuintilesIMS has already secured Merck KGaA as a customer of OCE.
About the Author: Angus Liu
Angus is an associate editor with FierceMarkets’ Life Sciences group. He earned his Master’s at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, where he worked as a health reporter besides learning pertinent skills in magazine editing and interactive production. Prior to Medill, he worked as a reporter for an online news publication in China for two years, covering general city news; he also used to work for an international travel agency before pursuing a career in journalism.