Veeva expands physician-contact tools with Engage, a multichannel communications link

March 20, 2014

Company also announces a 10-year agreement with Salesforce.com

Veeva (Pleasanton, CA) started as a conventional (if cloud-based) salesforce-automation (SFA) tool, but in the past couple years has expanded its capabilities to include storage and sharing of promotional documents, laboratory filings, master-data management and regulated email. Now it is adding multichannel communications—with an emphasis on mobile—to its slate of offerings. The new service, called Engage, enables pharma sales reps to communicate with physicians via interactive voice or email. In effect, Veeva is providing what traditionally went into e-detailing systems as an extension of its customer-relationship management solution. The entire Veeva offering is cloud-based, and clients who purchase the services will be able to integrate both the actual communications, and documentation of those communications. Such integration is a major hurdle for pharma’s efforts at multichannel communications, where, often, each channel is being managed separately and the IT department is tasked with somehow bringing all the records together.

Paul Shawah, VP of commercial strategy for the company, says the Engage operates on both iPhone and Android systems and all common Web browsers. “With Veeva CRM Engage, the web channel no longer needs to be a disconnected silo,” he says. “Veeva’s customers can now easily add new channels as an integrated part of their promotional mix without any business disruption, helping create a differentiated customer experience, faster.”

Just before this product announcement, the company also made known a 10-year renewal of its partnership agreement with SalesForce.com, a major player in business SFA. Veeva has used SalesForce as its underlying IT platform since its beginning; in effect, Veeva CRM is a version of SalesForce built specifically for life sciences. The company, which went public last fall, has generated some rumblings in the market as to whether SalesForce might acquire it itself, or enter into competition with it, presumably necessitating a break in the partnership.