SharePoint as ECM solution for Pharma Companies

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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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column in sharepoint folder

Learn How to create and add a column (meta data) to SharePoint folders

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One can not modify the Content Type named Folder in SharePoint, as it is “sealed” always.

So I created a new Content Type based on Folder, added the custom column, added the content type to the library and magically I found my custom folder type in the New dropdown. Here’s the steps:
  1. Go to Site Actions, Site Settings
  2. Click Site Content Types
  3. Click Create
  4. Give the new content type a name such as “Sample Folder
  5. Set the parent content type group as Folder Content Types
  6. Set the parent content type to Folder
  7. Add the new content type to a Group. I put it back in the “Folder Content Types” group
  8. Click OK
  9. Scroll down to the columns section and click Add from new site column
  10. Name the column and set all the usual column options
  11. Repeat for any additional columns (Document Type,Entity,Date, etc)
  12. Click OK
  13. Go to your document library
  14. Click Settings and Library Settings, or in 2010 click the Library ribbon tab and then click Library Settings
  15. Click Advanced and set Allow management of content types to Yes and click OK (this may already selected)
  16. Scroll down to Content Types and click Add from existing site content types and add your new folder content type
  17. Go to your document library and click the New dropdown, or the New button in the 2010 Document ribbon, and add your new folder!
  18. Go to the View drop down and click Modify this view and add your new folder meta data columns.
There are no easy pre-cooked solutions in SharePoint, but the first step to make the right choices is to understand how it all actually works.

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9 New Features in SharePoint 2013 Preview

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Here we would like to share brief detail for Top 9 New Features in SharePoint 2013:

1. Authentication

Microsoft says that SharePoint 2013 Preview has been improved to make claims-based authentication easier to use. It extends support for application authentication via Open Authorization 2.0 (OAuth) as well as for server-to-server authentication.
Users can grant apps in the SharePoint store and catalog access to certain resources and data. Server-to-server security tokens that contain user identity claims enable cross-server authenticated access between, say, SharePoint 2013 Preview and Exchange 2013 Preview.
2. Business Connectivity Services
There’s been a bunch of new features added, including these: Support for OData Business Data Connectivity (BDC) connections, in addition to connections for WCF, SQL Server, and .NET assemblies. Automatic generation via Visual Studio 2010 of BDC models for OData data sources. An event listener with an event subscriber on the SharePoint 2013 Preview side, to enable SharePoint users to receive notifications of changes to the external system. Self-contained apps for SharePoint.
But wait–there’s more: Enhancements to external lists that bring them to functional parity with other SharePoint lists. The exposure of the REST APIs for web and mobile app developers to use. Six new Windows PowerShell cmdlets specifically for OData. And the ability, via Business Connectivity Services Client Runtime, to have side-by-side installations of Office 2010 and Office 2013 Preview on the same client computer.
3. eDiscovery
Showing SharePoint’s increasing presence in the world of litigation, eDiscovery improvements have been added that, unfortunately, are probably sorely needed. They include a new site template, the eDiscovery Center, which creates a portal for managing cases—you can access cases to search, hold content, and export content.
Microsoft has added improvements to in-place holds, including site-level preservation; the ability for users to work with content that’s preserved; and the ability to define the scope of preservation via a query filter. You can also now take the results of your eDiscovery search—including documents, wiki pages, Exchange email messages and tasks– and export them into a review tool.
4. Mobile Devices
Optimized viewing for mobile device users was a no-brainer addition to SharePoint Server 2013 Preview—it had to be done.
Other new features include the following: The ability to render a single SharePoint published site in multiple formats for different devices. The ability to enable a push notification service on a SharePoint site to send device updates to a Windows Phone device.
We’re not done yet: A new geolocation field type for use in mobile app development. The ability for some devices to display PerformancePoint Web Parts, Excel Services reports, and SQL Server Reporting Services reports. And finally, enhanced viewing of Office Web apps (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) via mobile browsers.
5. Records Management and Compliance
Reflecting perhaps not a dearth of added features, but the distance SharePoint 2010′s records management features had improved from SharePoint 2007′s, you’ll find that SharePoint 2013 Preview has enhanced compliance simply by extending retention policies to SharePoint sites.
This also applies to any Exchange Server 2013 Preview team mailboxes associated with those sites.
6. Business Intelligence
SharePoint 2013 Preview adds tons of new features, including the following: New features in Excel for business intelligence (BI): In-Memory BI Engine (IMBI) for near-instant analysis of millions of rows of data; Power View Add-in for Excel, which offers visualizations, animations, and smart querying to enable users to visualize modeled data; decoupled PivotChart and PivotTable reports allowing for the creation of PivotChart reports without having to add a PivotTable report on the same page; and the ability to do trend analysis from cells in PivotTable reports that use OLAP data.
It also adds Excel service enhancements such as an updated Business Intelligence Center site template, and improved timeline controls.
7. Social Computing
It’s no surprise that Microsoft wanted to beef up the social computing features in SharePoint, and with SharePoint 2013 Preview, it’s on track for doing so. Basically, it’s enhanced the administration and user experience, and added ways for enterprise users to collaborate more fully and naturally using social media features.
One way is by enhancing the ability create discussions—via two new templates called Community Site and Community Portal. Microsoft also redesigned the UI for MySites, and added Microblog and Newsfeeds features, and improved features users need around saving, synchronization, sharing, and moving content.
Because of the new MySites features, you’ll also find Microsoft made several changes to the User Profile service application settings in Central Administration around configuring permissions, privacy, micro-blogging and newsfeeds, and more.
8. Web Content Management
Microsoft improved the video upload process for content authors, and improved image display and performance of a site with its image renditions feature, which reduces the size of an image file that is downloaded to the client.
It added an integrated translation service that gives content authors or managers the ability to choose which content will be exported for human translation and which for translation by machine.
And cross-site publishing does just as it says, giving you the ability to display content in one or more publishing site collections. You can also designate any library or list as a catalog, enabling content to be reused on publishing site collections.
9. Workflow
Microsoft made architectural changes in SharePoint Workflow. If you want to have the nearly identical experience of building workflows in SharePoint 2013 Preview as you do in SharePoint 2010, you simply install SharePoint Server 2013 Preview.
But if you want the SharePoint 2013 workflow platform, you need to install and configure Windows Azure Workflow to communicate with your Preview farm. SharePoint Designer 2013 Preview includes new functionality designed specifically for Windows Azure Workflow, and called the SharePoint 2013 Workflow platform.
These new features include a visual workflow that uses a Visio 2013 Preview add-in, the ability to enable no-code web service calls from inside a workflow, new actions for the task process, the ability to start a workflow built on SharePoint 2010 from a workflow built on SharePoint 2013, and new workflow building blocks called Stage, Loop, and App Step.
Note that to manage and monitor the Windows Azure Workflow in SharePoint 2013, you must use Windows PowerShell.