Jan 21, 2011

Cloud Computing and iPad based selling

We have seen before in this blog: the mad rush of pharmaceutical companies to develop sales force selling "detailing" materials on the iPad. A nice perspective on this is provided by Eye for Pharma The appeal in terms of cost, ease of use, and the flash factor is irresistible. The initial wave has been primarily in the guise of developing nice visual detail presentations. The CementBloc is one agency that is developing iPad based selling capabilities

The first wave of iPad based selling has been divorced from other sales functions.
But what about more complete sales force automation (SFA) systems? Since the iPad is so new, and not directly compatible (yet) with traditional pharma infrastructure and databases, it is not surprising that SFA would be delivered via cloud computing. What is cloud computing? -- internet based servers, using software as a service rather than infrastructure investments. The WSJ has a nice overview of cloud computing, or for more technical, see Infoworld.

A case study from cloud computing developer Veeva, on Millenium Pharmaceuticals sites a sales rep solution, to save IT costs. But this was using more traditional PC based clients.

The latest, according to Medical Marketing and Media, iPads will in February be enabled with sample signature capture using aVeeva systems new sales platform called iRep. The company reports it is compliant, and that several pharma companies have already signed on for the February launch.

Once sample signatures are solved, the rest of SFA on iPads in the clouds will not be far behind.