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How You can Embrace Disney & Telework to Get More Done Faster

We live in an increasingly flexible and connected world. It’s easier than ever to stay in touch and contribute from any location. Commute less and get more done is the new mantra.

At Reltio, we are distributed globally with employees all over the US, Russia, India, and more joining every day. We don’t mind where our present and future employees live, we just care that you like what you do, and want to contribute.

In many ways cloud services have made it easier to enable teleworking/tele-commuting for employees. There were always software tools for the at-home worker to stay productive, but cloud makes collaboration in real-time significantly more efficient. Shared editing of a document is a simple example of how teams can productively work together. Not too long ago, people would email back edits and versions of a word document in a serial manner, or leave it to the author to consolidate comments and revisions.

There are a myriad of cloud services available, which ones you use is up to company standard, or personal preference. Google has some of the most widely used tools such as fully integrated Gmail, Google Docs, Sheets, and Drive. They also have Google Hangouts with video and voice conferencing and full screen sharing. Those who don’t use Google Drive, gravitate towards Box and Dropbox for file sharing. Microsoft is also finally fighting back with OneDrive, coupled with Microsoft Office 365 now available for iPad and other devices.

Skype is also a preferred medium for many for video and chat. Many forget that Microsoft bought Skype from eBay back in 2011 for $8.5B. At Reltio, we favor Google’s productivity tools, for new employees who are unfamiliar with this new way of collaborating, it may take them a little while to adjust, but once they get it they love it. A fully agile enterprise needs to go beyond standard office productivity tools. Adding and taking advantage of a new breed of data-driven applications that are easy to use and mobile. For teams in the field, telework is an every day activity and they need similar business focused apps to provide information at their fingertips.


Obviously enterprises need to set standards for what services and applications to use, so  communication is clear and consistent. It can get frustrating for employees to have multiple modes of communication for meetings and collaboration. Not to mention the challenge to ensure information is kept secure, changes are audited, and data is backed up. But beyond technology, a company’s leadership needs to embrace and adopt the concept culturally, by accepting people who work best in their mode of choice.

Some employees may prefer not to telework, enjoying the camaraderie and collaboration of an office. Others may choose not to come into the office unless absolutely necessary. However, everyone must be encouraged to get together when face-to-face meetings are effective, and on occasion simply just to interact with their colleagues in person. At Reltio, we have a “lunch of the month” day where everyone is encouraged to come into HQ to meet up. As we continue our rapid growth, with 300% increase in employees in the last 12 months, beyond the family picnics and other get togethers, it’s important for us to look each other in the eye, not just the webcam.

For many startups like Reltio, it’s a 24/7 operation, we make ourselves available to our customers and partners whenever they need us. That doesn’t mean we don’t take time off to be with our families. Flexible working hours and mobile access means we can contribute anytime and anywhere. Disney really has it down to a science for kids and family. Thanks to Reltio’s telework philosophy and cloud technology, I am able embrace the magic by writing this blog post on my iPhone 6+. And use our own Reltio key account management applications, while waiting in line for rides at Disneyland. 

Data-driven … People-led

This month marked the four year anniversary we incorporated Reltio.

It’s a cliche to say what a ride it’s been, and I can’t believe how time has flown by, but all these things are true. When I look back at the notable events that enabled us to reach this point, I’m extremely grateful for the support of the investors, partners, customers and the Reltio team that joined us on this journey.

Many have asked what motivated us to start Reltio.

In 1997,  Steve Jobs and Apple told the world to:

This was true for Reltio in 2011 when we broke with traditional thinking at the time by:

  • Going beyond Master Data Management (MDM), a billion-dollar software industry that the team and I had dedicated 8+ years to
  • Embracing NoSQL databases over traditional relational databases, and applying powerful graph capabilities to uncover relationships across all data sources
  • Incorporating data-as-a-service to reduce the friction of on boarding third-party data sets, and allowing organizations to share data between groups internally, and to license and monetize their data
  • Combining reliable data, relevant insights and recommended actions across siloed master data, transaction, interaction and social data at Big data scale
  • Putting the frontline business user first, by ensuring that LinkedIn/Facebook-style data-driven applications, were immediately available as part of every deployment
  • All of this in a multi-tenant cloud unifying the goals of both IT and business teams

Like many startups, we had modest funding and were, and still are, taking on the Goliath’s of the industry. Steve Job’s had another quote that rang true:

Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.

— Steve Jobs, Fortune, November 1998

It’s precisely because of the people that in two short years since we made Reltio Cloud available we have been able to:

As we pause to reflect, I’d like to acknowledge everyone who we consider part of the Reltio family:

  • The faith of investors providing capital to help us accelerate our vision
  • The extremely talented and hardworking team at Reltio
  • Their families for supporting the incredible sacrifice that all employees make, each and every day, leaving their homes, often logging miles of travel and working countless hours
  • The skill and professionalism of our solution, services and data partners, who make the platform better every day
  • And of course our customers, present and future, who also “Think Different” by becoming the first to benefit from our unique solution

I’m excited about about the future, and together we are already looking forward to going beyond “the next big thing”.

Helping Software & Service Providers Deliver Data-driven Applications

My one year anniversary at Reltio is just around the corner and it’s been quite a ride. I’m particularly proud of our rapid growth in which we have grown our partner ecosystem to 9 Data as a Service partners, 16 service and technology partners, and counting. I’m also particularly excited to formally announce al Powered by Reltio solution in conjunction with ZS Associates. See Reltio and ZS Join Forces on a Revolutionary Oncology Solution.

It’s been amazing to see how partners have embraced the Reltio Cloud platform and the market opportunity with open arms. Each finding differentiated ways to collaborate with us in order to bring to market new and innovative solutions. Ultimately delivering rapid time to value to customers. 

In support of our partners we are unveiling two new programs:

Powered by Reltio

Powered by Reltio enables technology and service partners to rapidly create and bring to market new data-driven applications leveraging Reltio Cloud. Partners can complement an existing offering, or create an entirely new application, addressing unmet business needs by brining their domain expertise to life in easy to use, LinkedIn-style applications.

Powered by Reltio data-driven applications take advantage of a modern data management Platform as a Service (PaaS). which includes built-in master data management, big data scale, a commercial graph and Data as a Service (DaaS).


Delivered by Reltio enables third party data partners to monetize their data offerings directly into the Reltio Cloud and applications, giving frontline business users access to their data through Data as a Service (DaaS).  Data providers get a new, unique channel that reduces the IT effort required to onboard their data, while also benefiting from an Amazon-style delivery of their data by-the-record in real-time.

Powered by Reltio partners collaborate and leverage Delivered by Reltio partners, bringing together the perfect blend of applications and data to market.

On a personal note, it’s been a very rewarding experience building Reltio’s alliances and partner programs. Unlike many companies who view partners mostly as a sales channel, our focus has always been on the end-customers and how we can collaboratively help them Be Right Faster. Powered by Reltio and Delivered by Reltio is another example of how we are doing just that.

Data-driven Apps will Power the Next Generation of Pharma Marketing

This week, I was invited to present in front of a distinguished group of pharma marketing professionals at the recent Digital Pharma West conference held in San Francisco.

It’s clear that there continues to be significant interest by marketers to use data to help improve campaigns and outcomes. My presentation detailed how Pharma marketing is undergoing a tremendous change with new stakeholder and marketplace dynamics, with a more sophisticated consumer, and interconnected digital world.

Clearly the vast amount of information that marketers need to internalize to develop effective campaigns is simply daunting. Legacy IT systems set up to address repeatable processes are not able to scale to modern day demands, and contrary to popular opinion, standalone visualization and analytics isn’t a panacea either.  

In fact, a recent survey by Trailblazer research of marketing professionals highlighted the following reasons for their dissatisfaction of their existing marketing applications and processes:

  • Ease-of-use

  • Limitations surrounding customization capabilities

  • Lack of partner/vendor support

  • Lack of in-house expertise

  • Excessive costs

  • Difficulties surrounding implementation

It’s no wonder that marketers are crying out for linkedIn or Facebook-style enterprise data-driven applications equivalent to those that they themselves as consumers get to use on a daily basis.

In fact the survey further revealed some of the data management pain points preventing marketing teams from being agile and more targeted in their efforts, and their corresponding plans to address the issue:

Many of the 10 pain points can be addressed through a modern data management platform, that offers reliable data through master data management, big data, data-as-a-service, seamlessly fused with relevant insights with recommended actions through analytics and machine learning.

  1. Access customer data without IT or 3rd-party support

  2. Add new social or messaging channels quickly and with ease

  3. Analyze cross channel efforts to gain marketing insights

  4. Deliver consistent messages across all channels

  5. Deliver relevant, contextual messages to customers in order to create ongoing dialog

  6. Do A/B testing to improve email campaigns

  7. Integrate messages, data, and insights across siloed channels

  8. Turn unknown website visitors into identifiable prospect opportunities

  9. Use predictive analysis to improve marketing effort

  10. Use real-time data and insights to drive personalized next-best offers

During the session we also discussed what the future holds, including IoT and growing interest in data monetization

A lively panel following my presentation offered further insight from experienced pharma marketing executives appropriately titled “OK, So Pharma Is Now Successful at Data Aggregation, So What? How to Take an Applied Approach to Leverage Data in a Meaningful Way: Using Data to Meet Objectives.”

The panel was moderated by Nuvan Dassanaike , Vice President, Lead, Global Integrated Marketing at Mylan and included: 

  • Bill Keller , Vice President of Marketing , Acadia Pharmaceuticals

  • David DeJonghe , Worldwide Director of Marketing, Digital Solutions and New Product Development , Lifescan, a Johnson and Johnson com

  • John Vieira , Senior Director, Global Brand Strategy, Edoxaban , Daiichi Sankyo

Being data-driven may sometime be deemed an overused term, but for marketing professionals in pharma, it’s very much becoming the norm. If you would like a copy of my presentation or to exchange thoughts on how data is the new lifeblood of life sciences, please send me an email or leave a comment below.

Timely Reliable Business Data – Is the Apple Watch in Your Future?

The first shipment of Apple Watches arrived for over a million people yesterday. Among the eager consumers sending doodles and their personal heart beats are enterprise frontline business users wondering what the future holds for them. Will the Apple Watch help them in their day-to-day business activities like the iPad has?

Back in September 2014, CRM Buyer magazine speculated “Where Apple Watch Leads, CRM Will Follow?

CRM system users are a versatile bunch. Some 29 percent of participants in a recent survey accessed CRM through four devices: laptops, desktops, tablets and smartphones. Twenty percent said they used a combination of three of the aforementioned form factors, and about 81 percent said they used multiple devices to access CRM

And salesforce.com in March 2015 announced their suite of applications and tools for the Apple Watch. Including Salesforce Wave.

What about use case beyond purely process-driven CRM applications?

Healthcare and life sciences already have compelling enterprise data-driven applications, ready to deploy for the Apple Watch, and for integration with other wearables.

Last month IBM announced it would create the Watson Health Cloud, which would combine data from Apple platforms such as HealthKit and ResearchKit with IBM’s “cognitive computing” platform named Watson. With the Watson Health Cloud, IBM is seeking to make sense of decades of clinical research and social data. 

It makes sense, given the small visual form factor, that the Apple Watch can and should be used to gather information quickly. Displaying only the most relevant and recommended actions to the business user. Of course in the enterprise, data must be reliable, with full compliance and audit history as a backbone.

For healthcare and life sciences, the Apple Watch is a natural fit. Data-driven applications are available today for any use case or business challenge, deployable on any form factor of device for frontline business users. 

What will the future hold for a data-driven wearables in other industries? Only time will tell.

We are hiring @Reltio
Work from anywhere and be a part of a data-driven future.

Why Life Sciences Must Have Patients with Their Data

The Reltio team spent a couple of wonderful days at eyeforpharma in Philadelphia (#efpPhilly). We met with healthcare professionals involved with leading edge new treatments, commercial experts driving innovation through breakthrough thinking, cancer survivors with incredible courage, eloquence and passion in their presentations, and fellow technologists with offerings to automate and streamline processes and management of vast quantities of data.

While we were not able to attend eyeforpharma Barcelona a few weeks prior (#efpbarca) in person we certainly benefited from the reports and insights of virtual participation and reporting through excellent blog posts such as this one by @pharmaguy, and the enthusiastic tweet-by-tweet reporting and commentary by @alanROYGBIV

Much like Barcelona, patient-centricity was a big focus in Philly. Some of the best patient and patient centricity related presentations were nicely captured in tweets by chairwoman Jill Donahue ‪@jillengagerx, who herself kicked off the proceedings with an inspiring presentation.

She was followed soon after by Anita Burrell, formerly of Sanofi, who encouraged the audience to focus on each person vs. a classification of a patient, and to truly get at the heart of what each individual cares about.

The next day Bruce Lavin Vice President, Medical Affairs North America UCB in turn visualized the 5 Cs of patient value.

But the best and most engaging presentation in my opinion came from Jack Whelan, who is a cancer survivor with ongoing treatments.

I was fortunate enough to sit at lunch to talk to Jack and hear a little bit about his story, and how he has a rare incurable form of blood cancer, a lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma called Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia (WM). Jack has been presenting at conferences, spreading hope to all for a while now, but from my perspective hearing it first hand was both sobering and inspiring.

As a provider of technology that both manages data, and delivers it to frontline users in the most reliable, relevant and actionable way we know how, it is clear that efficiencies, agility, effectiveness and answers can be found within related data. Through our cloud-based platform we can dynamically uncover relationships across the spectrum, showing HCOs who employ HCPs, affiliations between HCPs and their peers, activities and interactions of HCPs recommending drugs to Patients, who ultimately benefit through trials or ongoing treatments.

As we continue to improve our technology for the wide variety of challenges facing healthcare and life sciences organizations, it goes without saying that patient data must be a key part of the mix. We believe that accelerating the convergence of this data, and making it actionable, while correlating outcomes to recommendations can help along every part of this journey.

At Reltio, our mission just got a little bit more important.

Can Data as a Service (DaaS) be the Magic Blend for a Healthier Life Sciences?

In my 12 years consulting for PwC and subsequently IBM, I estimate that I participated in life sciences strategic consulting projects totaling in the tens of millions of dollars in revenue. The vast majority of these projects were commercial IT and data architecture assessments to address key business pain points, or to determine how best to support new requirements in an ever changing life sciences landscape. Each architecture was inevitably complex and resulted in unhealthy complications including low ROI, unmet business requirements, long times to value, and ultimately significant tensions between business and IT.  

Developing a good IT vision and implementing the governance and enforcement needed to support it is a major challenge for life sciences companies. Usually, the architectures evolve organically based on point solutions to satisfied business requirements. These are the typical dynamics due to corporate budget cycles, lack of experience, the need to deliver business value quickly, and frankly office politics that do not favor successful governance or changes in direction.

This is why modern data management and architectures are now focusing on the data first. Then subsequently enabling data-driven applications to be rapidly created to solve any business problem. The ability to bring in data sources of any kind into a simple low cost, big data, cloud platform to manage the information, understand it, query it, share it, and make decisions from it isn’t trivial. The quality and latency of access to reliable data is often “the” bone of contention between IT and business, as well documented in the post “Bridging the Gap between IT and Business” by Dr. Tom Redman (aka the data doc himself).

So what will help life sciences companies cut to the chase, and truly allow them to have data-driven applications that both IT and business can agree on? I passionately believe that Data as a Service (DaaS) is a key component in this equation.

What is DaaS? Simply put, it’s the ability for data to be delivered regardless of geographic or organizational separation of provider and consumer. Today data from third party providers is still often delivered through batch files, IT dependent ETL uploads, laborious comparisons of what data has changed between updates, difficulty gauging the quality and value of the data provided, and slow manual communication back to data provider about corrections, uncovered by field teams that could be applied to improve data quality.

@Reltio we believe that data-as-a-service integrated into a modern data management foundation, and fully accessible by data-driven business applications are a game changer. But just sourcing and having on demand access to data is not enough. Data has to be converted into reliable information, by seamlessly cleansing and blending together related data from third party vendors, and social and public data sources, but also across departments within the enterprise. As a bonus it should also be flexible enough to be used as the backbone technology for data monetization.

This is why I joined Reltio, and why I’m focused on recruiting and enabling leading data providers through Reltio DaaS. In life sciences we are fortunate to have companies such as MedPro, DarkMatter2BD, Healthcare Management Systems and Enclarity (now LexisNexis) as data partners through our Delivered by Reltio program. Reltio DaaS benefits both pharma companies and data providers providing a two way on demand consumption of data, and closed feedback loop that can reduce the cost of improving data quality and delivery.

This is truly an exciting time, and I believe fully integrated DaaS is an integral offering that will enable life sciences companies to achieve an agile and data-driven architecture they need to succeed.