Veeva Systems enlarges its stake in customer master data management (MDM)

Veeva OpenKey database service will provide a standardized quality level for global healthcare-provider reference data

At an Eyeforpharma customer-engagement conference opening today (March 24) in Barcelona, Veeva Systems has announced a new approach to customer reference data for the life sciences industry, Veeva OpenKey. Veeva had previously ventured into the customer MDM market with its earlier announcement of Veeva Network, following by the acquisition of an established data company, AdvantageMS, and partnerships with Symphony Health Solutions (Horsham, PA) and BMI System (Montrouge, France). Now, it is positioning itself to be a global MDM provider, including a partnership program with a growing number of data providers, systems integrators and consulting firms, according to Tim Slevin, SVP of global solutions at Veeva.

Veeva Network, which continues as an offering from the company, consists primarily of cloud-based MDM software to enable pharma companies to maintain and validate their own healthcare provider (HCP) data, with a boost from the database content that Veeva owns, explains Slevin. Veeva OpenKey expands the database offering, currently covering the US, the UK, Australia, and China with plans for expansion into the top 50 global markets including Japan and other major European countries by 2016. France, for example, will be coming online imminently followed by the remaining top five regions in Western Europe. One driver in Europe, for both Veeva and its pharma clients, is to address the voluntary EFPIA standards for disclosure of payments to HCPs (roughly equivalent to the US’ Physicians Sunshine Act). Preliminary results from a Veeva survey, also announced at the eyeforpharma meeting, show that only 39% of European pharma companies are confident in their aggregate-spend data-gathering. Cross-border transactions are a particular problem.

Another key element of Veeva OpenKey is the alliances that Veeva is forming with a variety of data companies that specialize in life sciences, including Axtria (Berkeley Heights, NJ), Crossix Solutions (New York), Decision Resources Group (Burlington, MA), Liquid Hub (Wayne, PA), OpenQ (New York) and Zephyr Health (San Francisco). These companies offer an array of data capabilities, ranging from data analytics, digital profiling, social media tracking, to compliance and R&D collaborations. According to a Veeva statement, the company will “eliminate” the complications of “restrictive vendor contracts” to enable better data integration and sharing.

In unveiling Veeva OpenKey, Veeva is stepping up its head-to-head competition with Cegedim Relationship Management, which markets the OneKey service—a global MDM offering that is already up and running (draw your own conclusion from the brand names here!). According to Veeva, its partner ecosystem frees companies to maximize their data investments. The relationship with Symphony Health Solutions, a competitor to Cegedim Relationship Management’s new owner, IMS Health, adds some more spice to the picture. But the bigger picture is the dramatic expansion of companies offering analytics on varieties of HCP, patient and other types of data, which these companies, and a host of others, are engaged in.