A cloud based mobile SaaS application powered by a leading BI platform
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A leading pharmaceutical company invested billions each year developing drugs for a broad spectrum of medical conditions. A sales force of over 3,500 representatives helped bring those products to the North American market. Every day, representatives called on physicians to introduce new ways to treat their patients’ needs.
Given their customers’ demanding schedules, sales representatives had to make each call as productive as possible. Homework was mandatory: Representatives had to understand each doctor’s prescribing habits in order to identify the appropriate products and position them effectively. To help with this, each week a BI team provided the field with a spreadsheet containing the latest product, physician, and competitor data for their territories.
As a tool for informing representatives, the spreadsheet got the job done. But it didn’t encourage – and sometimes even inhibited – conversation with the customer. For one thing, the file size was so large it took a minute or longer to look anything up. The spreadsheet required a laptop computer to use, making sharing awkward and reports had become so complex that navigating them was a chore.
The company needed its sales team to sell, not struggle with data. There had to be a better way.
We created a mobile business intelligence application that representatives could use to inform their discussions with doctors. With this app, users could compare products, view total sales by physician and browse pre-call planning reports via a graphical dashboard interface on their iPads.
For quick responses, the app kept frequently accessed data on the representative’s mobile device so that even the most complicated queries yielded results within seconds. To answer more unusual requests, the app connected to the Cloud, where the company’s business intelligence system and data warehouse were stored. With this approach, even online responses were 300 to 500 percent faster than offline responses had been with the old spreadsheet.
Results were so promising that management decided to expand the application to include analytics that could be shared with doctors, along with promotional media such as brochures and videos.
This journey began with a client who knew little about BI technology. It didn’t matter. Working in tandem, engineers configured the system in the cloud while consultants worked onsite with company employees to design their reports and dashboards. A pilot app was ready in six weeks. The completed version, with pre-call analytics, rolled out to to the first 800 users three months later. The rest of the field soon followed.