Monthly Archives: April 2014

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SharePoint as ECM solution for Pharma Companies

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A growing number of global pharmaceutical companies are deploying SharePoint as the means to manage the Process.

Companies cite two principal reasons for adoption: one the need for a flexible platform that provides a basis for ad hoc collaboration of project teams without the intervention of IT, and two, the need to consolidate the plethora of legacy systems acquired over decades, which are expensive to maintain.
With the emergence of SharePoint as a viable ECM platform, pharmaceutical companies are evaluating its role in their enterprise content management architecture and strategy. Some believe that SharePoint’s role should be initially limited to accessing content stored in other environments, and there are tools available on the market to address that requirement. But, other companies are ready to make the move to using SharePoint to manage and store their regulated content. For those companies, it is encouraging that the market is responding with solutions targeted specifically at managing controlled content in pharmaceutical companies.

While analysing the need of Pharmaceutical Company, it is found that following are the biggest concerns:

SharePoint Concerns

Intellectual Property Protection
Success of any Pharmaceutical Company depends on its Intellectual property, and the biggest worry for the company is safety of this Intellectual property.

To gain larger market any Pharma Co will need Intellectual property Bank, and how they are storing this important data is also critical for the business.

SharePoint has integrated Permissions tightly within itself, so you can rely on SharePoint for safety as the one who don’t have access to data can’t see the data.

Going one step ahead, you can integrate ADRMS (Active Directory Rights Management Services) and now you safeguard this documents outside SharePoint too, imagine a scenario, you had one important file regarding patient on your local hard disk drive, and your local admin has access to your machine, so eventually that file, but with this ADRMS integration, you can password protect this files outside SharePoint too, so that your valuable data remains in your control only.

Risk & Compliance Management

In most pharmaceutical companies, there is always a need to improve inconsistent handling of service and complaint issues related to their marketed products. From both regulatory and business liability perspectives, it is critically important to pharmaceutical and medical device companies that they have robust and compliant drug safety monitoring processes.

We can achieve the same using Out Of the Box (OOTB) features of SharePoint mainly through permissions and Approval workflows.

It can support Auto Escalations also after predefined time, which can lead in faster execution.

Cross Functional Communication

We can bring together cross-functional (e.g. pricing, sales, planning) stakeholders to discuss the inter dependencies and brainstorm an optimal future state that accounted for their various needs. This collaborative process can lead organizational buy-in and better communication that continues to permeate the culture even after implementation is completed.
Just consider an organization with 15 departments and the document has to through all the departments, this can be nightmare for the boss or document owner to track the changes or merge the comments and represent them in single view, SharePoint can be the solution in this case, it will allow single document to transits through multiple departments, it can capture the comments, get involved in approval and at last present itself as finished document.

Research & Development (R&D) Portfolio

Main Problem with R&D is to calibrate the impact of technical and commercial uncertainties and funding options on the expected value of specific R&D projects.
To address this, SharePoint can involve R&D portfolio in the company’s portfolio review process. As an impact Client can continuously improve their R&D process and tools.
Client can now make accurate estimates of the value of investment opportunities in new chemical entities (NCE) and product line extensions (PLE).

Generate risk/return calculations that support the R&D management team’s resource allocation decisions.

Identify expected revenue gaps to be filled by in licensing compounds.

Business Intelligence (Get single view from multiple source of data)

Multiple source systems. Multiple data vendors. Incomplete data. Bad data. Looking for insights by hand. Paying too much for the result; getting too little in return.
Those are just some of the challenges pharmaceutical companies face in trying to integrate data and derive insights to improve sales and marketing. Today, pharmaceutical companies rely on data-driven insights, which require reports and performance metrics available at executives’ fingertips.

Pharmaceutical executives need real-time, 360-degree views of customers for brand planning, focused marketing, promotions and campaigns. But building a platform to integrate data and deriving insights can take years. How can companies integrate and interpret mountains of data to get a 360-degree view of customers without resorting to laborious and manual processes.

SharePoint has Business Intelligence features which can help achieve this in the form of dashboard that integrated sales, market activity, marketing programs and other data.
Develop drill-down reports that gave information on multiple dimensions for individual brands
Completed a “360-degree” informational view that showed detailed activity and reports for key customers


Using SharePoint, it is possible to address above concerns. System can also take care of certain pharma risks listed below:


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Alfresco Integration With SalesForce

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We will connect two important aspects of the business, Customer Relationship and Customer/Vendor Documents. Basically, we are connecting SalesForce(CRM) and Alfresco (ECM). SalesForce limits storage of document based on the edition subscribed/used by the customer. Also, modules in SalesForce storing documents are silos. So, Alfresco ECM helps to overcome the limit of storage and share documents across modules. Alfresco is complete ECM and provides features needed for Document Management. Started by ECM industry veterans and built on open standards and open source infrastructure, it provides simplicity, power, and flexibility at a lower cost than many alternatives. Alfresco provides document, content, and record management and collaboration software to 1100 enterprise customers in 40 countries.

Benefits of Integrating SalesForce with Alfresco:
The Alfresco Integration for Salesforce offers full document management capabilities to sales teams and other Salesforce CRM users. Integrating Alfresco with SalesForce increases sales productivity by reducing emails, cost, time, and enabling easy accessing to deal document anytime, anywhere even by non-SalesForce users.
Few concrete benefits of such integration are:
  • Better search capability from SalesForce leveraging best search feature of Alfresco.
  • Content limitation in SalesForce based on the edition used by customer limits sales team to upload document and manage it, so Alfresco Integration allows to upload unlimited document leveraging best central respository engine
  • To leverage good features of ECM like Alfresco, where customer wants versioning, workflow management, custom metadata, transforming documents to PDF or  image, tagging, editing with Microsoft office, deletion, collaboration with prospects or partners etc
  • SalesForce have document storage features in Chatter, Notes & attachment, Knowledge base, Libraries, Document, these documents can be stored to Alfresco in more structural leverage all ECM features. SalesForce modules where document is stored are silos so in order to share documents among each other could be possible using Alfresco Rest API
  • Access to content for non-Salesforce users
  • Extend content access to mobile devices
Technical Details:
Alfresco and SalesForce partnership have launched an app in SalesForce connecting Alfresco cloud and then syncing document to on-premise instance using sync feature. But with custom development leveraging CMIS and Rest API features supported by Alfresco, we can connect SalesForce to on-permise Alfresco installation in order have secure documents behind firewall as requested by most of the customers.
Below shows a Basic Connection Architecture: