Archive | October 2011

Why do you need a partner in business?

When I started this post I had the title as “Why do you need a partner?”. I realized it would set different expectations  for different people. I knew I was going to talk about business/professional partnerships. Hence, I changed it to what it is now.

The reason I started down this path was a presentation I had to do at work this morning. We have been partnering with a vendor for over the last couple of years and have made some investments in the partnership in terms of money, time and resources. There was a point where we thought it probably isn’t getting us enough benefits to continue to invest in this partnership anymore. However, we wanted to take a pragmatic approach to this. So, we thought let’s review where we are, identify ways to make it work and despite these efforts if it doesn’t, then we can call it quits.

Just like I tried with my title for this post, I think it is key to set the right expectations when it comes to partnerships and alliances. While I do not want to get into the technicalities of partnerships, alliances and other such relationships and their nature, I thought I’d put down a list of things that would deliver value from relationships:

Value : There should be value that both the partners are bringing to the table. Be it investment, Experience, Resources or in any other form.

Benefits: There should be mutual benefits out of the relationships. As many of us might have experienced, irrespective of how binding the contract for the partnership would be, it just would not work if either party realizes there isn’t enough for them in that relationship.

Trust: Both the parties should trust each other and believe that the other party is working towards a mutual benefit and not its own.

Time: Both parties need to give the relationship some time to mature and start yielding results. Just because you signed a piece of paper or paid a fee doesn’t make you both tick instantaneously. Underneath all of it is people who are interacting and collaborating with people and while I am no expert at commenting on human relationships, I can definitely say that it takes time for those to mature.

There could be multiple other factors that would influence a partnership, but I thought these are the four fundamental pillars on which partnerships should be built on so they can flourish. While every partnership may not start with all these four aspects covered in equal parts, but I am confident that they will flourish once they all strike a balance in the relationship.

While the title is “Why do you need a partner in business?”, which I think might be obvious for most of you, I thought it is important to highlight what makes these partnerships tick.

As always, your feedback and comments are welcome.


Jumpstart your PV Operational Efficiency Improvement Initiatives through Oracle Pharmacovigilance Operational Analytics (OPVA)

I attended Oracle Open World (OOW) recently during the week of Oct 2nd. I got a sneak peek of the newly released Oracle Pharmacovigilance Operational Analytics tool. This tool is intended to provide a jumpstart to the efforts of Safety & Pharmacovigilance departments of MAHs and CROs in being able to monitor the operational performance of the organizations and identify the bottlenecks. The key point to note is that this tool provides only the Operational Analytics and doesn’t include the Scientific Analytics.

Some of the Key business benefits it will deliver include:

  • Insights into the case processing operations
  • Measure compliance and productivity across the organization
  • Provide ability to monitor the KPIs and metrics through dashboards in real time
  • Provide ability to drill down to identify the bottlenecks in the process
  • Improve productivity and save costs across the organization
  • Improve compliance and enable better patient safety

From IT Systems perspective:

  • Single repository of operational safety data
  • Star schemas that could be populated with data from internal and external sources
  • Predefined reports, KPIs, Metrics and Dashboards
  • Ability to customize and extend the dashboards and reports
  • Ability to view current as well as historical operational performance of organization and individuals
  • Out-of-the-box integration with Oracle’s Argus Safety
  • Built using Oracle BI (OBIEE) which gives ability to view dashboards on web as well as on mobile devices (iPhones and iPads)

Some of the key dashboards that are provided out-of-the-box:

  • Case processing history in terms of volumes, compliance and repetition
  • Case processing management in terms of volumes, compliance and workflow state SLA management
  • Personal user dashboards with individual’s case management and case history,

Some of the reports include:

  • Completed case volume overview and trends
  • Pending case volume overview and trends
  • Case version line listings
  • Individual case workload reports and line listings

OPVA is compatible with Argus Safety 6.0.2 and Argus Safety 7.0.

One of the key uses of OPVA for organizations that want to define additional metrics, KPIs, dashboards and reports is the start schema that is provided with the product. It comes with a set of predefined dimensions and facts that can be leveraged to speed up the process of developing the additional custom dashboards, KPIs, Metrics and Reports.

Dimensions provided by the OPVA schema are:

  • Period
  • Product
  • Study
  • List of Values
  • Users
  • User Group
  • Case Processing Site
  • Country
  • Enterprise (in a multi-tenant scenario more relevant for CROs)

The pre-built facts into the OPVA data mart are:

  • Case Version History
  • Case Routing History
  • Case Workflow History and
  • Pending Cases

I think this is a very good addition by Oracle to its stable of products and compliments the existing tools quite well. This is also a very good tool for customers wanting to jumpstart their efforts to measuring their safety operations (aka Case Processing), identifying the bottlenecks in terms of compliance and productivity and rein in costs through improvement plans to enhance these aspects.

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