FirstDoc User Group 2011 – a look back at the conference – Part 2

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In Part 1 of the FDUG 2011 series, I described the location of the meeting, and gave an overview of CSC’s plan and strategies. In Part 2, I’ll talk about the rest of the conference.

Going thin

After the break, two of the Pharma companies gave a presentation on a project that they were each involved with to upgrade their document management system.

I’m not at liberty to discuss the details, but it is obvious that the drivers in the pharmaceutical world are the same as in any other business. Namely,

  • Try and get as much functionality out of a product without writing customized code.
  • Aim to increase the useability of a solution
  • Make use of “thin” technology – (Portals).

The business cases presented described how CSC technology was being used to allow these goals to be met.  Always interesting to see, as this is a common theme.

Partnership Program

In the session  CSC described their “Partner Program” plans.

CSC’s goal here is to “put more effort into Partnerships to increase their usefulness.”  That is, with a good network of “CSC Partners”, CSC can meet client requirements, be able to offer more, and be more responsive (i.e. have more resources available) .

Companies that partner with CSC will fall into of three areas: Technology; Sales; Solution. Each area has its own “model” and KPIs that need to be met to be able to retain their status. “Customer Satisfaction” being the most important.

The message was that CSC want to seriously lift their game here. This will include certification, KPIs, working with the Partners to bring over a “unified” message.

Certification

As mentioned, CSC will be offering a certification program.

This will be made up of 4-tiered capabilities (Installation, Configuration, Customization, and Architecture). CSC are looking at some type of “boot camp” experience where individuals attend a week long course for each capability. This will be followed by several weeks of “shadowing” on client projects.

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The fact that CSC mention this, signals that they want to set a standard that people that partner with them will meet. Which is encouraging. The “certification” is for the individual (that is, it’s not transferable to other people at the Partnersite).

Curious to see how this one will pan out.

Total Regulatory Solution

In the keynote presentation, there was mention of CSC’s “Total Regulatory Solution”.

Jennifer Wemstrom (who flew over to this year’s European FDUG) presented CSC’s overview of their “Total Regulatory Solution”.

Underpinning this is CSC’s aim to provide the “Total Business Solution” that supports the creation, management and consumption of regulatory documentation in the Life Sciences industry.

In simple words, CSC have got all the tools (especially since their acquisition of ISI and their Publishing tools) to achieve this, but the tools are still disparate applications. CSC’s goal is that all these disparate systems will be unified. They will have a common interface, and a use a shared data model.

This is definitely the right move. In my years as a ECM specialist I have seen companies grow through the acquisition of other companies that offer a solution that compliments, or even enhances, the parent companies offerings. The next logical step is to integrate the applications that make up the suite so that the user is presented with a seamless “solution”.

At the same time CSC seem to be actively investigating offering more than just a suite of technical products. They have realised that they have a lot of skill and knowledge in this area, and are talking about Business Process Outsourcing, and offering their Total Regulatory Solution as a managed service. (This ties in with CSC’s goal to dive into the cloud.)

New Product Offerings

CSC realise that there are still a few “gaps” in their offering. They are busy with  three new products. These are all to do with the submission end of the process. It looks like CSC are really listening to their customers.

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FirstDoc User Group 2011 - a look back at the conference - Part 4

Business Process Outsourcing

In this area CSC have three offerings:

  • Staff Augmentation – where CSC staff will work “side by side” with the customer;
  • Tactical Outsourcing – where CSC will handle specific aspects of the regulatory process.
  • Functional Outsourcing of regulatory activity.

As mentioned above, CSC definitely want to make good use of the skills & experience they have built up, and want to expand into offering services rather than just technology.

To back this up, CSC described how they will be tackling staff training (resource development). They have three levels which includes a sort of “orientation/induction” level, “core training” for regulatory activities, and then, “client specific training” which addresses the activities that a client has outsourced to CSC.

Managed Services

CSC have a series of Managed Service Models. These include the traditional models of “on premise” or “hosted” through to “As a service” which includes “Dedicated”, “Private Cloud”, and “Public Cloud”.  A flavor to suit all requirements.

FirstDocs 6.3

Bill Meier spent some time discussing the CSC’s latest version of FirstDoc (version 6.3) which include a large number of enhancements.

A few of the high points include the fact that this version will be certified on Linux.

…continued in Part 3

Next Post: FirstDoc User Group 2011 – a look back at the conference – Part 3