Veeva adds sample and promotion ordering to its cloud-based CRM

Announces more contract wins; integration with other software platforms in sales force automation

To hear Veeva's VP of product marketing, Paul Shawah, tell it, Veeva (Pleasanton, CA) is now in a position to deliver a steady stream of enhancements, based mostly on customer demand and the attention span of its programmers. The latest: sample and promotional item ordering. "We already have such sample-management functions as electronic signature capture and inventory management; now sales reps can put in orders directly from Veeva CRM, and avoid the inconvenience of going to a sample-ordering portal and rekeying data," he says.

The company remains on something of a roll, benefiting from its early decision to go with a cloud-based platform (built on one of the pioneering cloud-computing firms, Salesforce.com), and being ready to port its software to the Apple Computer iPad, which continues to be the interactive tablet of choice for pharma sales teams. In recent months, the company announced contract wins with Actelion Pharmaceuticals and Human Genome Sciences Europe, and software integrations with Group DCA (makers of Digital Detailing system that physicians can opt into) and with Concur, a provider of travel and expense-reporting tools. The Concur partnership is notable in that it is built off the same Salesforce.com platform that Veeva uses, which opens up the range of Salesforce.com partners to Veeva.

Shawah says that over the past year, questions about relying on cloud-based IT platforms have dwindled to a "nonissue," and that, for sales organizations considering interactive tablets, the Apple iPad is the choice of 95% of customers in life sciences. "There are two disruptive changes going on here—cloud-based computing, and the iPad," he says. "We’re seeing a step change in the industry, where this combination is becoming an essential business resource."