To kickoff EMC World (Momentum) 2014, I attended the session “EMC Life Sciences Solution Vision and Strategy” given by Jennifer Wemstrom and Adam Kelch. I was pleasantly surprised with the content – especially the vision that Jennifer and Adam presented for moving forward in the life sciences sector.
EMC kicked off the presentation reminding the audience that EMC has been focused on delivering the following 3 solutions to the life sciences industry:
- EMC Documentum Quality and Manufacturing
- EMC Documentum Electronic Trial Master File (eTMF)
- EMC Documentum Research and Development
This effort started in Dec 2012 with launching of the eTMF solution. Since then, EMC has been focused on delivering the remaining solutions. In addition to focusing R&D resources on the solutions, EMC acquired Sitrof Technologies, a Life Sciences consulting firm, to focus on Life Sciences.
Jennifer, formerly with CSC FirstDocs and now with EMC IIG, remarks on where EMC can improve really hit home with many of the users and integrators sitting in the room. She stated that EMC was focused on responding to the following common issues common to their life sciences clients:
- Improving the Interface: Improving usability, Tailoring Interfaces to en-users’ needs, offering mobile
- Driving down Total Cost of Ownership
- Better External Collaboration. Having the ability to better share information with other companies (moving away from the closed internal repository)
Adam next presented the details on how EMC was addressing these issues with D2 as the method to improve the user interface.
To drive down TCO, Adam stated IIG is focusing on the R&D Solution to make improvements in this area. The R&D solution (Submissions Management) typically includes numerous disjointed components. Excel Spreadsheets for planning and managing the submission, Documentum to Author, Review and Approve, 3rd Party Publishing tool, Storage of Legacy Submissions (typically outside of Documentum), etc. To reduce TCO, EMC is looking to reduce the dependency on other components and natively provide more functionality. To do this EMC:
- Acquired Technology to better handle the storage of legacy submissions within Documentum
- Was adding functionality to allow for better planning and managing of the submission in the R&D Solution
- Improving integrations with various Submissions Publishing Tools (Parexel’s Insight Suite was mentioned)
It wasn’t clear in the presentation how these approaches would significantly impact TCO. The largest cost components tend to be the user licenses and ongoing maintenance.
However, the discussion on Better External Collaboration seemed positive although the information shared was minimal. I’m assuming that limited information was available since this strategy is still in the early planning stages. EMC wants to make it easier to share content with external partners. I would imagine this step involves providing the interfaces and security around the ability to allow partners (CROs, 3rd Party Manufacturers, etc.) into their Documentum system in a controlled manner. Of course licensing came up as a question. While Adam stated nothing has been worked out, he did state that they were looking at a different licensing model. The one being introduced for collaboration in the Energy sector is usage based rather than named user. As Documentum applications have matured at our clients, access for external users is always coming up. In fact some have moved to SAAS offerings from other software providers for these interactions with external users. However, in my experience, these SAAS offerings are only leveraged when content is being actively used. Archival is still being done in Documentum. So it would be great if the content could originate and stay in Documentum. I’m definitely very interested to see EMC’s approach to serve this need to interact with external groups in a controlled manner.
Overall, this session did a great job of keying up what we will be hearing more about over the next few days. As committed to last year, IIG has gone after Life Sciences with a full-suite approach. I’m looking forward to hearing more from IIG in later sessions. Please comment back with your thoughts or any experiences you have in working with the D2 Life Sciences applications.