Previous Post: FDUG – Europe – Review of the Agenda
In this post I discuss the recently held 2011 FirstDoc User Group conference. Because there was so much content I am doing this in multiple posts.
Location and Venue
As described in my earlier post, this year’s FDUG was held in Vienna. At the end of each FDUG Conference , the organizers ask the attendees where they would like the next one to be held. Vienna came up on the list two years ago as a favourite, and clearly made its way to the top of the list. Not a bad choice.
The conference was held at the Marriott Hotel. The conference rooms were great, and the catering was superb. The breakfast available at the beginning of each day was an excellent idea!
There was a lot of people at this years user group. There were 53 attendees, representing 21 of CSC’s 47 Pharma customers.
- Marty Magazzolo – Global Practice Director, ECCM Life Sciences
- Paul Attridge – Head of Life Sciences ECCM Product Development
- Jennifer Wemstrom – Director, Regulatory Solutions
- Bill Meier – FirstDoc Product Manager
- Franciska Darmer – Life Sciences Solution Specialist
- Christopher Langebner – Senior Account Executive
- Steve Scrace – Senior Account Executive
- Pablo Santiago – Manager, CSC Spain
- Rober Svanetti – Life Sciences Manager, CSC Italy
- Tobia Griessel – Account Executive, CSC Germany
In my last FDUG post I talked about the proposed agenda. Fortunately there weren’t many changes.
You can view the agenda here.
KeyNote & Strategy Update
After a warm welcome by Bill Meier, the Conference kicked off with the KeyNote.
Marty Magazzolo, the Global Practice Director, took to the stage and gave an update on CSC’s strategy, as well as describing a little bit of the original goal of their purchase of FCG. Namely, it was to “be more inline with their customers’ business needs than rather being a pure IT vendor” (Even though in quotes, the previous statement is, most likely not exact, but gets the same message across.)
Business – CSC nows considers itself a “Global Technology and Business Services Company”, and operates in three lines of business:
- Business Solutions & Services
- Managed Services Sector
- North American Public Sector
Software Strategy – With it’s recent acquisition of ISI, CSC now has a range of products that allow it to offer “Total Business Solutions”.
In fact their Mission Statement is:
Provide end to end business solutions for processes involving the creation, review, approval, consumption & exchange of regulated and mission critical documents and content within a Life Sciences organization
To achieve this, CSC have created several “Total” solutions – These include one for Regulatory, one for Clinical, and one for Quality. These played a large role in this year’s conference.
At the same time, CSC admitted that the solutions are still made up of disparate systems. The goals for the future are to streamline them so that they use a common interface, a common database structure, and work together seamlessly.
Business Process Outsourcing – CSC feel that they can offer the expertise necessary to handle customer’s regulatory, and other, requirements. A benefit of this outsourcing model is that “skills are sharpened and rotated” allowing their (CSC’s) staff to gain skills in a wide area, and these resources can then be called upon, when necessary, for specific tasks. The cost savings, CSC claim, are seen when you compare to having specialist skills in-house full-time.
Cloud – Paul Attridge said “Everyone’s got a cloud”, and CSC are also “clouding up” and are looking at offering both private and public cloud service models.
System Integration – CSC’s message was that they intend to create better integration with other products. The goal is to be able to offer solutions to their customers that match the “real world” situation. Even if the solution requires integrating with other ECM related products (and is achieved through partnerships).
CSC are also trying to keeping an eye on the progress of the SAFE-BioPharma® Digital Identity and Signature Standard, to determine whether they will need to offer suitable integration capabilities.
User Interface – CSC add FirstDoc functionality to EMC’s “fat” client for Documentum – WebTop. EMC have announced WebTop is being phased out after Version 7 of Documentum. CSC are working to ensure that their SharePoint web part technology (SPX) will have the same features as offered by WebTop. At the same time CSC will be investing in creating an interface using EMC’s rapid application development technology, xCP. (In fact, EMC have asked CSC to help ensure that version 2.1 of xCP will provide complete content management capabilities.)
This brought us to the end of the Keynote and Strategy session. Before the coffee break Bill Meier shared with us an interesting article he had read over the effects of coffee – caffeine increase alertness in woman, but, in men, there is a drop in performance and confidence. (This link describes a little of what Bill was talking about).
I will cover the other sessions in a later post.