Veeva adds reporting to its master data-management offering

Meanwhile, acquires Zinc Ahead, a content-management company

Veeva (Pleasanton, CA) started out as a pharma-specific salesforce-automation provider; in the past couple years, it has extended its scope into other clinical and commercial arenas, including the master data-management (MDM) function that tracks demographic and affiliation data on healthcare providers. The latter service, called Veeva Network, incorporates Veeva’s own MDM dataset (which is separately named as OpenData) as well as services around updating and linking MDM data. Those services now include a reporting function, so that users (rather than their IT departments) can quickly extract desired slices or groupings of the data, thus making the MDM resource more accessible and usable.

The new product was announced at this week’s PDMA Sharing Conference (Baltimore, Sept. 27-30), the annual gathering of sample-accountability managers in life sciences.

As evidence of how competitive the MDM field has become, Veeva has been engaged in a running battle with IMS Health over access to the MDM assets of the latter; at the moment, IMS forbids Veeva users from accessing its MDM resources. There’s a back story to this dispute: Veeva, while it has acquired several MDM vendors (notably a company called Advantage MS) over the past couple years, promotes the concept of user-sourced MDM data. Veeva Network users file updates (or requests for updates) to Veeva, and Veeva’s 200+ data stewards proceed to update the MDM records of specific healthcare providers. IMS Health (which had an existing MDM business) acquired Cegedim Customer Relationship Management in 2014; one of Cegedim’s assets is OneKey, a comprehensive, global MDM database of HCPs. There is litigation going on between the two organizations; Veeva has offered that it can manage a third-party administrator (TPA) arrangement such that IMS data does not become commingled with its data. Further muddying the waters, IMS acquired a leading competitor, Mobile Intelligence, to Veeva’s CRM platform when it purchased the Cegedim assets.

Simultaneously with the Network announcement, Veeva announced the acquisition of Zinc Ahead, an Oxford, UK IT company that assists life sciences companies in meeting compliance requirements for regulated promotional content, such as advertising and meeting planning. The acquisition is a nice fit with Veeva’s existing business in managing regulated content via Veeva Vault. Zinc Ahead has marekted a service called Zinc Maps, to track the currency and accuracy of promotional content.

“The merging of Veeva and Zinc Ahead will create a best-in-class solution that supports every step in the digital content lifecycle—from creation to expiration—developed and supported by top software and life sciences talent,” said Peter Gassner, CEO of Veeva.