Cloud CRM – Is this the Panacea?


I wrote in one of my last blogs about how I see the CRM products DNA changing. I also wrote about the two important guidelines that are being followed for product development. The logical extension to that is to explore if these new age/Nextgen products are finding acceptability in the industry.

Off late I find growing adoption among organizations for these new products. I will limit this blog to the Pharma business which I follow closely. Pharma business has traditionally been one of the late/slow adopters to new technologies. The unconventional business model and protection in terms of patents have always made Pharma companies a bit reactive in nature. But today; due the sudden environmental changes (growth opportunities shifting from traditional to new markets) and pressure on creating efficiencies across the complete value chain has compelled them to think proactively. Pharma has become one of the front runners in adopting newer technologies and CRM strategies in particular have been revisited with an aim to provide efficient, intuitive, Flexible, simple and insightful solutions to business.

So does this mean that the earlier solutions that were deployed after years of hard work and spending Millions of dollars did not meet the above criteria? Yes and No. Yes because these solutions were designed and built as if the world will never change. No because they did what was expected out of them and in many cases were very efficiently. It became a humongous task to maintain these solutions and organizations were faced with a bigger challenge of keeping these solutions in sync with the changing business needs. They were running a race against shifting finish line.

Getting back to drawing board and creating the drivers for the new solution started in various top 15 Pharma companies. The high level drivers that are common to majority of them are;

  • Increase effectiveness
  • Increase productivity
  • Enhance agility in responding to changing business needs
  • Lower operating cost
  • Increase operational efficiency
  • Reduce overall TCO

So the writing on the wall was clear… A. Get rid of the existing solutions B. Evaluate Cloud based solutions that meet majority of the criteria.

Few of the top Pharma companies have already taken this decision and are in an advanced stage of deploying their solutions (Refer Veeva site). So will these solutions act like a panacea? These solutions do tend to satisfy majority of the drivers that organizations have laid out, but is there something that the organizations are missing?

At the face of it and going by the trend in the market it seems that this time organizations will get this right.

Note of Caution:

  • Do not repeat the mistake of complicating the solution on the pretext of providing efficiency and enhancing productivity. (Customization is no longer a limitation of Cloud based solutions)
  • Look at a larger timeframe and see the spread of CAPEX and OPEX to take decisions on TCO
  • Evaluate what is the best deployment model (on premise/On demand or Hybrid)
  • Think over “Does it make sense to have a global solution or bouquet of solutions based on common philosophy?”
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About Amitesh Srivastava
I have over eight years' experience in IT and Business Consulting. I have been involved in business analysis, consulting and client management for reputed clients across life sciences domain, and possess good understanding of various commercial systems managing pharma sales and marketing processes

One Response to Cloud CRM – Is this the Panacea?

  1. Shilpi says:

    Do not repeat the mistake of complicating the solution on the pretext of providing efficiency and enhancing productivity….. very well-said. This is so true, not just for CRM but for all spheres.

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