Microsoft and Indegene, a health care and pharmaceutical technology company, today announced a strategic alliance that brings together Dynamics 365 for Sales and the latter's Omnipresence platform.
Medical subject matter experts and sales personnel in life sciences organizations gain access to customer relationship management (CRM), omnichannel engagement, analytics and content management capabilities, from Indegene's platform. Sanjay Virmani, executive vice president of Indegene, told eWEEK that it is the content management piece that will set his company's upcoming solution apart from traditional CRM tools.
"All these manufacturers need to use CRM and associated sales and management tools," acknowledged Virmani. Where those solutions fall short is in "providing the right information" to sales representatives in the highly-regulated health care industry.
Virmani describes the sales process in the life sciences industry, which includes medical device manufacturers, biotechnology firms and pharmaceutical companies, as "very content-driven." For example, representatives are often tasked to discuss the latest studies for drugs or other medical products. Needless to say, the information needs to be technically correct and stand up to scrutiny from medical practitioners, regulators and other health care experts, requiring robust tools and controls for the authoring and approvals workflow.
Regulatory compliance adds another wrinkle to the life sciences CRM experience.
Unlike most other industries where sales reps shower prospective customers with free samples, handing out drugs like candy can land a company in trouble and spell a quick end to a pharmaceutical rep's career. When medical samples change hands, life sciences organizations are generally required to collect forms to adhere with compliance regulations, explained Virmani.
This summer, by offering an integrated Omnipresense solution for Dynamics 365 for Sales, life sciences companies will have access to a cloud-driven, mobile-friendly CRM solution that can act as the launchpad for their reps' daily activities, claim Microsoft and Indegene. More importantly, it will streamline content management, unlocking the hidden productivity in organizations that are wrestling with disseminating the right information at the right time to their reps, added Virmani.
The solution will "tear down the barriers of content creation by offering content authoring, approval and distribution tools designed specifically for life sciences," stated the companies in a May 16 announcement.
Perhaps inevitably, artificial intelligence (AI) techniques are also being used to enhance the product. "Finally, robust analytics, complete with machine learning, will be built directly into everyday tasks and workflows, creating seamless, data-driven recommendations with predictive and prescriptive insights."
The joint offering will be available to life science manufacturers in the U.S. in July, with global availability to follow roughly a month later save for some regions that may require more extensive localization work, Virmani said.
Earlier this year, Microsoft announced a partnership with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center as part of the technology titan's Healthcare NExT initiative. The collaboration involves using AI to enhance productivity in health care environments and empower clinicians. Some partners are using Skype for Business Online to power their virtual doctor's visit platforms.