• April 6, 2007
  • By Marshall Lager, founder and managing principal, Third Idea Consulting; contributor, CRM magazine

Verticals OnDemand Offers Miracle Cures

Life sciences CRM received a pair of focused new solutions to its various needs on Wednesday from Verticals onDemand. The specialty SaaS vendor announced it would offer healthcare provider data from Health Market Science (HMS) as a preloaded service, and also sales resource optimization software from TerrAlign. The HMS products are available now, while the TerrAlign ones will become generally available in Q2 2007. The two provider data products are HMS Profiles, a reference database of U.S. healthcare providers, and HMS Affiliations, a source of group practice, hospital, and long-term-care affiliations. "It has always been a big challenge for life sciences companies to keep their internal CRM databases up to date," said Richard Ferris, vice president of data engineering at HMS, in a written statement. Since the relationships between medical product vendors and physicians are complex and subject to several regulations, it's vital for vendors to be able to identify healthcare providers and their affiliations. Both products can be pre-populated in the customer's system and updated via Web services, as well as by field sales agents. TerrAlign, a maker of sales resource optimization software, will offer its TerrAlign 4 and TerrAlign eMap territory management products through Verticals onDemand as well. "Efficiently managing territory alignments is a key requirement for CRM success in the life sciences industry," said Matt Wallach, vice president of sales and marketing at Verticals onDemand, in a written statement. TerrAlign's mapping, optimization, and realignment features allow customers to design profitable territories, and evaluate and update them as needed. TerrAlign also provides services for promotional response modeling, field force sizing, account profiling, and call planning, according to the company. Verticals onDemand is designed and managed on the Salesforce.com Apex platform, as is TerrAlign. The integration of the two companies' offerings was thus easily accomplished. "Having already integrated our solutions on Salesforce.com's AppExchange, and knowing that the life sciences market has specific CRM requirements, it was a pleasure to see the formation and emergence of Verticals onDemand," said Jean-Yves Kainic, vice president of client solutions for TerrAlign. "We can immediately integrate with [Verticals onDemand flagship products] VBioPharma and VMedical, delivering the most complete, industry-specific CRM solution." Analysts expressed considerable interest in the development of these partnered solutions. "The timing is right for providing globally scalable, proven solutions built on Salesforce.com," says Dale Hagemeyer, a research vice president for manufacturing with Gartner Industry Advisory Services. "Multitenancy has already been proven in the financial services industry, where accuracy, availability, and security of data is also an important concern. This could be the announcement of 2007." According to Hagemeyer, medical and life sciences are are very attractive but underpenetrated verticals. "Siebel is very penetrated in the top 15 or 20 pharmas, as was Dendrite, which is now owned by Cegedim. A lot of care and feeding is necessary to maintain them," he says. Below Siebel and Cegedim, are entirely regional players; CRM applications with no upfront costs, no software to install or maintain, that come preloaded with all the data you need to run the business, represent a huge opportunity. "If they can get this established in pharmaceuticals and medical devices, they have an easy 'in' with healthcare providers, where there are 18,000 vendors instead of 200." Related articles: KOL Management in Pharma and Life Sciences
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