ZS joins with Reltio to offer sales decision-support for oncology


ARTiS Oncology and Specialty now works with the Reltio master-data-management platform

Oncology is one of the hotter areas of drug commercialization now, and oncologists themselves have traditionally been most demanding of pharma companies and their reps for relevant, meaningful information on oncolytics and their therapeutic use. (At the same time, they are also among the least accessible to sales reps, according to industry surveys.)

To address this situation, ZS Associates (Chicago), the well-regarded consulting firm on sales and marketing practices in life sciences, has joined with Reltio (Redwood Shores, CA), a fast-growing data-services company, to offer the ARTiS platform for offering decision support resources to sales and marketing personnel.

ZS, as the company says, brings 30 years of sales and marketing expertise to the solution; Reltio brings a data-delivery platform that starts with master-data management (MDM), which identifies physicians, their location, affiliations, and a growing array of prescribing trends, deidentified patient data, formulary information and multichannel marketing results. The end result should be a reliable tool for guiding reps’ and marketers’ decsionmaking in how to interact with oncologists.

Jaideep Bajaj, ZS chairman, notes that while Reltio is an enabler of what could be broader and more flexible ARTiS implementations, the company works with others in the business-intelligence field, such as IBM Cognos and Microstrategy, on ARTiS. “Reltio brings MDM capabilities to the table that pharma clients will want to take advantage of,” he says. ARTiS, and applications like it, are part of what Bajaj sees as the new wave of pharma rep evolution: the rep as “orchestrator” of related information to inform healthcare providers to make better decisions.

The ARTiS announcement is in line with another recent development, ZS Associates’ partnering with Veeva Systems to provide “suggestions” (i.e, online recommendations) to reps in the field to improve their productivity.

For its part, Reltio sees a rep-efficiency tool like ARTiS as one part of a broader mission to connect multiple consumers of data and information in pharma management, with the welter of that data becoming available in healthcare. “We’ve worked with ZS on a number of applications,” says Ramon Chen, VP marketing at Reltio. “MDM should be thought of not just as a “customer master data” framework, but as foundation for connecting data beyond CRM.” Reltio press announcements speak of “data lakes” (which, presumably, goes beyond the 2000s-era concept of a “data warehouse”) and connecting enterprise-level business functions seamlessly.

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