When You’re Finished Changing You’re Finished!

Lori McKellar

Lori McKellar

Director, Market Development, Life Sciences

Benjamin Franklin seems like a man wise before his time or maybe it’s true that the more things change; there are some truths that will never change. Regardless, Ben Franklin’s quote succinctly describes the change that the life sciences industry is experiencing.

Life Sciences organizations are grappling with increasingly stringent regulatory requirements, pricing pressures and skyrocketing costs. To drive revenue, organizations are exploring ways to identify new indications for existing drugs while continuing to expand into emerging markets. Business models also continue to change with business processes now taking place in collaboration with multiple external partners from academic research institutions to clinical research organizations to contract manufacturers and beyond.

As industry pressures and business models change, so must the technology that supports the business. Organizations of all sizes aim to streamline how information is shared both internally and externally and both colleagues and partners need a simple and easy way to access information both in the office and on the go. IT leaders must respond to these demands while trying to consolidate systems, determine when to use third party hosted applications (or even outsource altogether) and while trying to divert budgets away from maintenance to investments in technology innovations that will better support business needs. And of course, all of this happens in a highly competitive and regulated environment where securing and preserving intellectual property and being in compliance is paramount.

So where does that leave you? Perhaps feeling like you need a reminder of how to constantly anticipate, monitor, respond and adapt to change and some ideas that might provide guidance? If so, we can help.

On December 4th, we’ll be hosting a webcast where you can gain an understanding of the three pillars of the EMC Documentum for Life Sciences solution suite strategy. Our goal is to share with you our thoughts on how to unify content-centric business processes, derive greater value from some of the investments you may have already made, and provide you with ideas on how to free up maintenance dollars by consolidating systems and employing cloud solutions in a flexible and secure way.

Attend this webcast and hear Jennifer Wemstrom, EMC’s Senior Director of Life Sciences Product Management, share her thoughts on how we can redefine life sciences together!

We will be holding this event at two different times to accommodate multiple time zones. Register here if you prefer the 10:00 am EST event. Register here if you prefer the 12:00 pm EST event.

What are the changes you’re grappling with?

Inside The Cloud, Outside the Hospital: Where EMR is Headed

Michael Graetz

Michael Graetz

VP of EMEA Healthcare Sales at Information Intelligence Group – EMC

In healthcare, the idea of “the Cloud” can make some providers nervous. But if you read today’s blog by EMC Certified Solution partner, Lutech, (and their previous blogs “An Unlikely Proving Ground” and “EMR: Getting Doctors on Board”), you’ll see why the industry is ready for, and will greatly benefit from, a healthy dose of technology — in the Cloud.

Inside The Cloud, Outside the Hospital: Where EMR is Headed

MatteoTiberiby Matteo Tiberi, wHospital Division Director, Lutech

When done correctly, Electronic Medical Records (EMR) solutions can streamline workflow, increase efficiency, save money, and most important, enhance patient care by reducing wait times, speed diagnoses, and eliminate potentially dangerous errors inherent in a paper-based system.

Building a robust EMR and putting it in the Cloud brings a higher level of benefits. Without the physical constraints of a client-based solution, information can be accessed anywhere, via desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone. A doctor, nurse or other clinician can access critical patient data at bedside, in the pharmacy, in the waiting room while talking with a patient’s family, even in the operating room.

Before the Cloud, something as routine as a physician recommending a hospital-based test could have turned into a frustrating litany of back-and-forth journeys by the patient: going to the hospital to schedule the procedure, going back for the actual test, returning once again when the results are ready, another trip to deliver the report to the doctor, perhaps yet another follow-up visit days later, after the doctor has reviewed the results, and on and on.

With patient data accessible via the Web, most of that frustration goes away. With a few clicks, the doctor can schedule the test from his office… or his home… or his car… or his vacation cabin. He can view the results the moment they’re available. The patient travels less and gets treated faster.

But that’s just the beginning, because next-generation Cloud-based EMR’s will find their way into many new places, including the patient’s own hands.

Thanks to the Cloud, we are entering a period of empowerment, standardization, and the broadest collaboration ever. When comprehensive patient data lives in the Cloud instead of on a doctor’s paper chart or in a client-based machine, amazing things become possible, beyond the hospital doors.

Imagine the benefits when social workers and home care attendants have their clients’ medical records at their fingertips, in the client’s own home. Or first responders who can access an accident victim’s allergies and alerts, right from the ambulance, before they even arrive at the scene. Or neighborhood pharmacies that are able to refill prescriptions more rapidly. Or the patients themselves, seeking a second opinion, or, when traveling, accessing their critical data in an emergency.

The Cloud makes it all possible, but only if EMR solutions are well-crafted. They must be standardized. They must be intuitive, easy to use and understand. They must be comprehensive. And, above all, they must be secure. Technology currently exists to facilitate all of this. Forward-thinking designers and engineers who get there first will dramatically change their companies’ bottom lines, while changing healthcare forever.

Are you moving your healthcare clients into the cloud?

Simplifying the IT Landscape: Data Migrations and Archiving

Mike Kan

Mike Kan

Mike is the head of Channels & Alliances in EMEA, and focuses on how trends, technologies, and products impact the channel in EMEA and globally.

With almost any growing IT landscape, our customers express two seemingly contradictory objectives:

  • IT costs are too high and need to be reduced.
  • Data needs to be maintained to address governance requirements throughout its lifecycle.

Florian Piaszyk’s mission at Germany-based fme group (which recently joined the InfoArchive Consortium) is to help guide companies through such complex tasks. In the blog below, he describes some of the typical challenges and real-world approaches to help IT address these challenges, transform, and “renovate for the future”.

Simplifying the IT Landscape: Data Migrations and Archiving
Florian Piaszyk, fme Group
Manager of EMC Certified Solution, fme migration-center for EMC InfoArchive

In my experience, a typical IT environment consists of two primary categories, which most of the time and resources are spent on:

Legacy Systems, comprising applications that have been superseded by new solutions or have been inherited as a result of a business acquisition. These are of low value, but must be supported to ensure access to the data is available to meet compliance regulations and reporting, audit or legacy discovery. They are often running on non-supported infrastructure, and there is limited knowledge of the applications within the company. They are expensive to support and represent a risk to the business.

Active Applications, which support the day-to-day running of the business. Applications that run on high-end servers, high-cost storage platforms and are supported by expensive backup systems and configured for high availability and disaster recovery. As the volumes of data being generated and managed by these systems grows, so do the costs. Without effective management, performance degrades, backups cannot be completed in available windows, additional software licenses are required, and upgrading applications becomes extremely difficult and time consuming.

It is likely that organizations trying to solve these issues will have introduced some form of archiving tools. Typically these are “point solutions” addressing a particular system or data type and result in the creation of an increased number of information silos. Or they use backup as an archive, which ultimately addresses only the compliance challenge, but doesn’t offer data management or cost reduction benefits, and can introduce other challenges.

Today, companies have a great opportunity to reduce the complexity of their IT landscape, if they consider the following recommendations:

  1. Sophisticated tools – to ensure simplicity (ironically) you need sophisticated tools to help you determine what goes where and in what form it’s preserved and to handle compliance requirements in regulated environments.
  2. Product documentation – check to see that your vendor’s documentation is clear and straightforward, so you can get started on your own, right out of the box.
  3. Customer service and training sessions – be sure the vendor you work with can provide superior capabilities when you deploy something new. Especially if it’s a more complex situation they should be experienced in advising you on the best project approach.

With this approach, they can simultaneously achieve the following:

  • Increase the performance and reduce the storage and backup cost of their infrastructure by separating static from active content,
  • Manage structured and unstructured information in a single enterprise archive, and
  • Quickly and react flexibly to different requirements of archiving, decommissioning or even migration projects.

Bottom line? It’s simple. When addressing IT complexity is done right, IT transforms and is better prepared for to address the needs for the future.

When considering a data migration, archiving or app decommissioning project, are you taking the “simple” approach?

Information Transparency in the European Oil & Gas Industry

Jasmit Sagoo

Jasmit Sagoo

Jasmit Sagoo, Principal Systems Engineer, EMC Information Intelligence Group

Transparency (both regulatory and voluntary) is vital to any industry as it is the only effective way to keep all stakeholders, decision-makers and the public more informed about the realities of individual initiatives. This is no more important than in the oil and gas industry. Transparency can reduce environmental concerns or confusion that involved parties might have and ultimately reduce risks associated. This is nowhere more important than in contentious projects, such as those associated with fracking.

Information transparency is vitalFracking has the potential to revolutionise the supply of energy in the short to medium term and as such cannot be ignored. In the United States, shale gas has seemingly emerged from obscurity to become the main engine of economic recovery in the country. Meanwhile, Europe’s future gas supply has seldom been less certain. According to figures from Oxfam, Europe currently imports half of its energy, with Russia the top supplier for both oil and gas. Indeed, European countries paid more than £200 a person to Russian oil and gas companies last year.

Europe clearly needs a long-term solution to its energy needs and one that will allow it a measure of independence. On the surface, shale gas seems the perfect fit.

But many Europeans are not so sure. For some, the social and environmental impacts of fracking, the process by which shale gas is extracted, are too big a price to pay for a secure energy supply. Many Europeans worry that fracking will disrupt their local communities and bring with it mining techniques that may not be safe. There is a perception fracking could also cause gas to leak into the water table, potentially polluting potable water reserves. Though these contentions have yet to be proved, the worry remains.

Opinions on fracking vary greatly across EMEA. In France, Bulgaria and Romania fracking is illegal because their governments are concerned about the potential environmental impact. Other countries, such as Germany and the Czech Republic, are considering Continue reading

Betcha Didn’t Know We (At EMC Documentum) Did That!

Lori McKellar

Lori McKellar

Director, Market Development, Life Sciences

We’ve all experienced it. You’ve done your preliminary research for a vacation, car or other consumer good. After reviewing the websites of the top brands, checking out available ratings and reviews, and checking in with friends and family who may have made a recent similar purchase, you’ve gained some clarity but you are still confused. On the surface, all the options sound pretty similar. This familiar consumer experience also holds true when searching for solutions in life sciences.

If you look at the competitive landscape for life sciences solutions, you see multiple, viable vendors. Yet, if you peruse their websites, you’ll see a pattern of familiar and similar messages focused on performance, scalability, access, ease-of-use, efficiency, configurability, compliance, control, collaboration and cloud. With so many vendors extolling similar benefits to customers, how do you ask the right questions and make the right decision?

With so many vendors extolling similar benefits to customers, how do you ask the right questions and make the right decision?

It’s never easy. Buying cycles for significant, mission critical applications can be a complex process. The key is to cut through the clutter. To make a good decision, you need to search deeper and increase your knowledge and understanding. In our recent Life Sciences Customer Advisory Board meeting, our conversations not only focused on the “what” but more importantly, on the “how.” Understanding “how” vendors are delivering their stated value is key to simplifying decision-making.

Here are some examples of the “how” approach to get you thinking. Instead of taking the claim of global scale and performance for granted, ask how. Instead of focusing on a single business process, look beyond it to determine how critical information flows in and out of that process….is there an opportunity to share or link content instead of having to import and export the same information across systems? If cloud is important to you, understand how you would deploy it. What type of cloud solution do you need – private, hybrid, or multi-tenant― or maybe some combination of all three? And, it would probably be good to know how the vendor will get you from your current solution to the new solution and how to address all the (soon to be legacy) data that needs to be retained and accessible.

At EMC, we want to answer your “how” questions. And, we suspect that there’s a lot we’ve been up to lately that you may not be aware of. Therefore, we are launching a video series called, “Betcha Didn’t Know We Did That.” These are short, snappy and fun video snippets that highlight some of the ways we’re redefining life sciences with the EMC Documentum for Life Sciences solution suite.

We hope these videos will catch your attention, make you smile but more importantly, highlight challenges that we’ve all grappled with. We hope these videos entice you to ask us questions, have deeper conversations with us and understand the how. Our first video is focused on the regulatory submission process. If you’re looking to bring control to this mission-critical process, take a peek below. Keep checking back for new videos and the start of new conversations.Together, we can redefine life sciences!

What would you like to redefine? Share your comments below.