Are Life Sciences Organizations Ready for Business Transformation? The Returns Are In

The pressure is on for Life Sciences organizations to transform by accelerating time-to-market and improving efficiencies enterprise-wide. The word from the executive suite: reduce operational complexity, improve productivity and repurpose headcount to higher-skilled activities.

Are organizations responding? The answer is a resounding yes. Multinationals and midsize companies alike are beginning to adopt business-specific solutions for regulated content management in large numbers to help them accomplish these critical objectives.

And, we are pleased to report, many of them are adopting solutions from the Documentum for Life Sciences Solution Suite. In fact, we’ve experienced 6X solution growth over the past 3 years. Some customers are choosing individual solutions, while others are adopting the entire suite.

I had a chance to speak with the head of U.S. sales for Life Sciences industry solutions at Enterprise Content Division, to get his perspective on what’s driving this growth.

Question: What’s happening in the industry that’s driving the demand for our solutions?

There are many reasons, but what we’re hearing most often is that industry pressures are prompting them to adopt new business models, enter new global markets, and expand alliances and partnerships. As they execute on these initiatives, they simply must become more strategic in how they manage information across this extended network.

Central to the drug lifecycle is content: from discovery and regulatory approval to commercial production, regulated content “follows” the drug. Therefore, one essential path to improving efficiency and productivity is by implementing life sciences– specific content management solutions that streamline and simplify processes and serve as a single authoritative source of truth.

Question: What do you think has led to this market acceptance of our solutions?

I’d say it’s the fact that companies can use our solutions out of the box, without customization. The solutions are completely integrated and configurable—encompassing compliant clinical trial documentation, research and development, storing and viewing of archived submissions, and control of quality and manufacturing documents.

With a single source of truth, clinical, regulatory and quality stakeholders are able to link submissions and make sure content is accurate and up-to-date. With documentation in a single repository, it can be easily searched. This allows these organizations to make huge strides in reducing operational complexity.

Our customers are also telling us that they truly appreciate the flexibility of being able to use our solutions in a private, public or hybrid cloud, or in a traditional on-premise deployment. With any of these choices, they can be confident in security, privacy and access control.

Question: You mentioned pretty impressive growth for the solution suite over the past four years. What’s made the difference?

First, the great majority of life sciences companies have used Documentum for years – the gold standard for compliant content management. So when we determined that life sciences companies had needs beyond that—as compliance became a given and efficiency emerged as a key driver—we made a big investment in this industry.

That meant designing a very different solution suite with an information architecture based on industry reference models, and one that is flexible and configurable to meet the requirements of individual companies,their affiliates and partners. Usability is key here, too, because we learned that people at regional affiliates and infrequent users especially respond best to simple tools and a consumer-like experience.

And since our life sciences solutions are built on Documentum, all these companies can protect their existing investment when they adopt our industry solutions.

Question: Can you give us an example?

Sure. Really exciting news is that PAREXEL, a leading contract research organization (CRO), offers an end-to-end RIM and regulatory content management solution. PAREXEL is combining its InSight RIM platform with our solution suite to give companies a complete solution for a product’s complete regulatory lifespan, from strategy and planning to authoring, publishing, submitting and archiving.

Question: That’s fantastic news. What was PAREXEL’s reasoning?

Well, PAREXEL’s customers are facing a real challenge in navigating a regulatory landscape, both globally and regionally, that seems to become more complex by the day. PAREXEL wants to help them do that with a single solution they can use for regulated content throughout the product lifecycle. It just makes sense to bring together the industry-leading solutions all hosted within PAREXEL’s Regulatory Cloud.

Question: You use the term “industry-leading.” What do you mean by that?

That’s actually PAREXEL’s term! But given that seven of the top ten largest biopharmaceutical companies (according to the ranking in ) use Documentum for Life Sciences solutions, I think that’s a fair description.

Question: You noted that EMC made an investment in product development. But what else is responsible for this market acceptance?

We also brought on people in product development, marketing and services who understand the industry. For example, we acquired Sitrof Technologies back in 2013 to increase our Life Sciences services expertise to meet growing demand and we’ve developed an experienced, industry-leading sales team.

When I’m talking with our customers, I love that I can offer a team of qualified experts who understand the Life Sciences business, can help determine the best path forward and have experience with the validation component of the implementation. We also offer tools for migrating large volumes of data with minimal risk, which enables streamlined consolidation of multiple systems. That’s another important benefit.

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