A conversation with Angela Miccoli, Cegedim Relationship Management

Pharmaceutical CommercePharmaceutical Commerce - July/August 2014

Pharmaceutical Commerce sat down with Angela Miccoli, president, Cegedim Relationship Management NA since 2009. Here's what she had to say.

Editor's note: This profile was developed just prior to the news of the proposed acquisition of Cegedim Relationship Management by IMS Health (see here

). We'll be reporting updated information as it becomes available from both organizations.

Cegedim SA is a Paris-based software, technology and data services provider, primarily serving healthcare industries including life sciences, healthcare professionals and insurance companies. Its 8,000 employees operate in 80 markets across five continents; in 2013 it had a turnover of $1.2 billion. In the US, it is best known for Cegedim Relationship Management, a global business unit grown in North America over the past several years through hundreds of millions of dollars in acquisitions of various companies in customer relationship management (CRM); healthcare provider (HCP) data; regulatory compliance, transparency and disclosure; adherence and copay programs; and electronic health records (EHRs). Pharmaceutical Commerce sat down with Angela Miccoli, president, Cegedim Relationship Management NA since 2009. Here’s what she had to say.

1) Cegedim—the overall organization—might have a better-known reputation in Europe than in the US, which is relevant because so many pharma companies operate multinationally. Tell us about Cegedim overall, and then the part you lead, Cegedim Relationship Management.

During my 18 years of tenure at Cegedim, I have witnessed dramatic company growth which has transformed Cegedim from a predominantly European-based footprint to a leading global player. Our core mission is to deliver innovation to help the transformation in sales, marketing, medical and compliance operations in life sciences companies—which we enable through cloud and mobile technology, superior data insights and value-added services.

As a reference point of the global nature of our operations today, the R&D resources for our leading Mobile Intelligence CRM are located 54% in US, 16% in France, and 30% in the rest of the world. We believe that in Life Sciences, one size does not fit all, and thus, ongoing investments result in our ability to serve both mature and emerging markets which differ in healthcare structure.

Day to day, I have the honor of leading North America for Cegedim Relationship Management. I am very proud of the talented teams of over 700 people across the different business units, serving over 1,500 customers.

2) You yourself come out of the European base of Cegedim. Tell us about your tenure at Cegedim, and how you come to be working in this pharmaceutical-services space.

My background in global business development has put me in the very fortunate position of understanding the evolution of the healthcare landscape and the needs of Life Sciences, and to playing a pivotal role in the definition of the strategy of the company, while at the same time, giving me the opportunity to learn, understand and collaborate effectively with many different cultures.

After earning my MBA in the early 1990s, I decided to join the Italian operations of a technology service organization (subsequently acquired by IMS) since it provided the right mix of a career path opportunity and an international environment. It was this start that gave me the understanding of the fabulous mission of the pharmaceutical industry—improving care and quality of life for patients.

This understanding ignited my passion to be part of a larger mission that is not only to provide technology and service innovations to support commercial and compliance operations in Life Sciences, but ultimately to help Life Sciences customers serve their customers better.

Those customers of customers are patients, and there could not be more important work, at this critical moment of the industry’s transformation, and the overall impact of healthcare on the world economy.

3) Cegedim Relationship Management’s flagship product is Mobile Intelligence, a CRM platform for sales and marketing activities. What is Cegedim’s overall message on CRM, and how it should be applied in healthcare?

The evolution of needs and sophistication of the market have allowed CRM to evolve from a system of record—just recording transactions; to a system of engagement—a pivotal instrument to engage with customers, and deliver value through targeted, relevant content and channels based on needs and behaviors.

In parallel, the technology evolution has enabled the transformation from a software package which required customization, lengthy implementations and costly upgrades—to a cloud-based, software-as-a-service (SaaS) model where technology is consumed as a utility, is delivered out of the box with extensive configurability, and is upgraded seamlessly with no disruption to business and users. We have moved from projects of 12 months+ to less than three months with overnight upgrades.

At Cegedim, working collaboratively with our industry leading experts and customers, we have brought CRM to the next frontier, and are enabling a system of “anticipation design” as a tool to drive next generation outcomes and the future of marketing, sales, managed markets and medical affairs.

A system of anticipation requires the deliberate design of systems anchored in high quality information assets, and next-generation technology. To be specific, at Cegedim we are leveraging information assets such as our OneKey customer master database, Organization Manager for enterprise flexibility, Mobile Intelligence for engagement, and our in-process Customer Interaction Hub (CIH)—all anchored in behavior and systematic analysis of data streams to deliver predictive analytics. Systems of anticipation enable Life Sciences to forecast vividly, and with confidence, to make high quality decisions.

Going past an engagement CRM to an anticipation-designed CRM is one dimension of our transformation. We are keen on delivering the efficiencies and benefits of “as a Service” past software. In partnership with our customers and leading innovators, we are extending the “as a Service” design thinking and execution to deliver “Everything-as-a-Service.” Specifically, we are investing and delivering entire business processes such as compliance, the mastering of data, field force alignment and several key verticals all “as a Service.”

4) Is there anything to say about how CRM operates in the US market versus the rest of the world?

There are several things that make CRM in the US different from other markets: the healthcare system; the structure and influence of the different provider and payer stakeholders; the data sources and insights available; the maturity of the customer engagement business model; the multiplicity of personal and non-personal channels; and federal and state regulation.

For example, if we consider the managed market space, there are over 2,ooo managed market “payers,” over 1,500 benefits designs or plans, and over 3,000 products across therapeutic areas being tracked. We have enabled very comprehensive, yet simple-to-use CRM capabilities to empower important functions in Life Sciences CRM. Very specific to the US are also regulatory requirements for samples disbursed to healthcare professionals and tracking requirements in compliance, such as FDA’s 21 CFR Part 11 rules. In France and a number of other European countries, local regulations prohibit the provision of samples to healthcare professionals, and consequently, related capabilities are not required of the CRM system.

From a technology perspective, the US is also a market of early adopters. If we map in a chart of all the above elements, you will find the US to have more complexity in structure and quicker adoption of innovative technology. This is why the majority of R&D investments are US focused first.

5) Cegedim CRM has recently made a big push into social media for physicians, Docnet. It’s a crowded space with lots of players. What is Cegedim CRM bringing to the table here, and what are your expectations of how it will evolve?

Building Docnet, the enterprise social network for doctors, is not accidental. We have deployed Docnet successfully in almost a half dozen other countries, and the investment in Docnet is more than two years old. It is recent to the US market, but not new to Cegedim.

Docnet is first and foremost a “value channel” for doctors. More and more, the components of a medical practice’s business models are going digital. Doctors can now order samples, manage copay cards, procure knowledge, connect and share medical opinions with peers, manage their patients (via EHR), e-prescribe, and comply to guidelines—all digitally.

Docnet is the single channel that converges all of these business processes, currently available as standalone one-offs, into a consolidated workspace, enabling doctors to manage all these digital processes in a single portal. Docnet is also the first professional doctor social network where doctors are “safe to be social,” since it is the first in the market to adhere to the standards defined by SAFE BioPharma. These standards provide a secure, enforceable, and regulatory-compliant way to verify digital identities, and are recognized and approved by the FDA and the DEA in the US, and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in Europe.

For Life Sciences companies, Docnet represents a unique platform for pharma to engage with over one million doctors and nurses to empower them with medical information, content, and value-based service.

The journey for doctors being social has only just begun… Based on our research, doctors who are currently considered to be “active” on social networks log in at least once per week. Once per week is a small sliver of a doctor’s activity. A professional social network for doctors, such as Docnet, is the “encouragement” doctors need to go digital, and make social a value-creating part of their practice. When you look at it this way, this is very far from being a mature market, and opportunities and evolutions are endless.

6) Both CRM and social media are important factors in multichannel marketing in pharma—along with many other data sources. Does Cegedim CRM consider itself a “Big Data” provider in the multichannel marketing context?

Yes! Multichannel marketing (MCM) is the ability to conceive and execute orchestrated and targeted engagements through both personal and non-personal channels. These channels should be orchestrated across a single stakeholder group based on needs and behaviors, like physicians, for example, as well as the multiplicity of other stakeholders—other providers, payers and patients.

We partner with customers who are at different maturity levels in the multichannel journey. As a first step, our customers leverage our products, services and knowledge in studying the multiplicity of stakeholders, and understanding the “to whom,” “how,” “when,” “how many times,” and “why” of MCM before worrying about only “what channel.” The backbone of this exercise is in our OneKey healthcare professionals database which enables over 100 profiling, access and channel preference dimensions on seven million HCPs, which may be complemented with additional in-house or external data and market research.

Once multiplicity is solved, doing MCM on a myriad of channels is the easy part. At Cegedim, for example, we can immediately enable marketing activities on more than one dozen channels via our Mobile Intelligence platform, ranging from face to face, call/service center, closed loop marketing (CLM), remote detailing, video, phone, mail, samples, events, social, copay, managed markets and KOL influencers, and several others.

The transition to “Big Data” comes when three main dimensions of the MCM journey are addressed: (1) Can you collect, rationalize, enable quality, collate, and derive insights from data from all marketing channels? (2) Can you integrate with non-marketing information sources to enable data enrichment? and (3) Can you process structured, unstructured and semi-structured information in a manner that can tell why a customer activity happened, what the activity means—and more importantly—what is the best subsequent activity with the customer in real time?

These dimensions converge on a capability we are delivering at the end of 2014 called “Customer Interaction Hub” (CIH). The Cegedim CIH will be a first to market, best in class, and in some cases, world-class innovation existing at the intersection of Big Data, Open Integration, and Behavioral Analytics.

One can think of the Cegedim CIH as the mixture of data, information technology, statistics and psychology that will enable the answering of questions such as, “what does this mean?,” “why should I care?,” and “what should I do about it?,” with the added confidence of knowing that the subsequent move/activity is the one the customer is most passionate about.

7) Another facet of Cegedim CRM is regulatory compliance both for sales/marketing practices and elsewhere. You’ve made some key acquisitions in recent years in this area. How is it all coming together, and how receptive is the market to Cegedim CRM’s compliance offerings?

At Cegedim we have walked a maturity journey in the US with our customers, accentuated by the BuzzeoPDMA acquisition back in 2005. Today we are one of the most trusted partners for compliance in life sciences and healthcare. Trust is a key attribute of the relationships with our customers. Over 60% of life sciences companies in the US entrust Cegedim with a variety of compliance services ranging from DEA and FDA consulting to State Services, Samples and Inventory Reconciliations/Management, CIA compliance and transparency reporting.

Second is the evolution of globalization. In Europe the phenomenon of compliance is “coming to a country near you.” The subtle reality is that in the US compliance and transparency in particular matured beyond just the pharma company to the entire healthcare stakeholder chain over a period of one decade. For Europe that maturity period is virtually nonexistent. For example, France adopted spend reporting compliance in the mature state impacting multi-stakeholders immediately as it currently is in the US.

Given that we have a mature, operational and deep global footprint, we are best poised to help global pharma companies turn the maturity and globalization of the compliance phenomenon into a value creation exercise instead of simply a cost avoidance exercise. Our compliance insights offering is globally ready ahead of many of our competitors, and oriented around a set of mature business processes.

8) Healthcare reform in the US is changing the face of the industry, and is having a significant impact on pharma industry operations. Where do you see all this going, and where will Cegedim CRM’s place ultimately be?

Where I see the most important transformation accelerated by US healthcare reform is in the providers and payers space with the creation of new groups such as accountable care organizations (ACOs), which are assuming financial risks, and are reimbursing their members based on their ability to improve patient care at lower costs. It is interesting to observe the vanishing of the boundaries between two traditionally distinct healthcare stakeholders. According to Cegedim research, in the past year, there has been an increase of 46% in the rate of healthcare professional participation in ACOs, and we forecast this path to continue in the future.

In these new engagement models, the first objective is for us to help our customers to precisely identify these new stakeholders; how they are structured, and what their maturity level is in enforcing protocols and pathways. Through our OneKey healthcare-professionals database, we are best positioned to map and update employment and affiliations for both Integrated Delivery Networks (IDNs) and ACOs, down to the individual level (physicians and nurses). We also identify and update key committee decisionmakers and EHR adoption rates, making a very complex providers and payers landscape easier to understand.

The second objective is to help our customers evaluate the impact of the transformed stakeholder landscape for their specific business and products, and in conceiving new stakeholder engagement models. In this respect, we have also implemented strategic alliances with consulting organizations such as PwC, which leverage the backbone of our OneKey data insights.

9) Where are you finding the personal-fulfillment goals you might have?

At a personal level, it continues to be extremely exciting to be part of industries in deep transformation, both from a life sciences and technology perspective, and to continue to strive and invest in innovation. Cegedim has made many innovations in the several years I have been here, and the days never look the same, one to the other!

Cegedim enabling me to live in different geographies has more than satisfied my desire of multi-culture immersion, and makes me very proud today of my children’s trilingual ability—English, French and Italian—while they begin taking classes in their fourth language—Mandarin!

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