Putting data integrity first in digital transformation
So much of the value of pharma R&D companies is in the data they produce and own. Yet when embarking on digital transformation programs – such as regulatory information management (RIM) migrations using a modern platform such as Veeva – many organizations overlook the work that will be involved in preparing legacy data so that it can be used optimally and confidently in the new system.
As many terabytes of information are moved across to the new platform, very real challenges around that data’s quality, integrity, completeness, and fitness for future purpose can arise. And unless these issues are addressed ahead of or as part of the migration, the new platform will never be able to deliver to its full potential.
Making smooth work of data migration for a mid-sized global pharma R&D company
In a recent client project that I worked on with Veeva and data migration specialists fme, the need for foundational data work was recognized and provided for up front. This had a direct bearing on the successful implementation and outcomes of the new Veeva RIM system.
The company, a global, mid-sized pharma organization, was embarking on a major international program to modernize its Regulatory documentation and submission management capability, which would require extensive content mapping and data enrichment.
fme brought immediate value here, able to fill gaps in the client’s internal knowledge. For instance, fme had expert knowledge of the target Veeva system, being a certified Veeva partner, and of the scope of the data clean-up, preparation, augmentation/enrichment, and validation that would be required.
Containing any risk with the fme migration-center
Crucially, fme was able to call into play its migration-center. This is its own proprietary platform for high-volume and complex content migration. The fme migration-center allows all the data verification and preparation work to happen in a ‘safe’, validated environment without disrupting the primary, live Regulatory Affairs system. The dedicated toolkit takes care of all the translation work by working on a series of ‘deltas’ – for example, starting with historical and fairly static records, then progressing to data that is still changing. This carefully honed process for data extraction plays an important role the minimizing risk of large-scale data migration work.
fme’s tools and experience reduced migration time by a third
The result of all this meticulous work, the vast majority of which was able to happen safely offline, was that the total migration took just 12 months – a whole six months faster than anything I have experienced previously in my two decades of large system implementations. Certainly nothing so comprehensive, involving such vast volumes of data and such extensive data translation and augmentation. The speed was quite phenomenal.
Importantly, it isn’t just the level of technical expertise that fme brings to such projects that sets the company apart. It’s also the consultants’ knowledge of Regulatory processes and data in Life Sciences, and their ability to bridge technical and business teams in getting across what needs to be done.
A certified partnership
As I said at the outset, data is probably THE most valuable asset a pharma R&D company possesses, so upholding its integrity and securing its long-term potential is absolutely critical.
For the global client, the new global Veeva system went live as planned and was hugely successful. It is one of many data migration projects fme has worked on with Veeva, whose platform today is the industry standard in Life Sciences for RIM modernization.
One of the hallmarks of fme’s work is the close relationship its consultants form – with Veeva, with the client, and with any other consultants who may be involved (in this case, me). Nothing is ever ‘thrown over the fence’; ownership of the project success is very much shared and respected.
I now work regularly with the specialist team at fme and, thanks to the meticulous planning and attention to detail which comes from such deep experience and subject matter expertise, our projects are among the smoothest I have ever witnessed.
Get started, risk free
Don’t let your migration start off down the wrong path. Set the right direction by taking advantage of a free 30-minute analysis with our Life Sciences expert and Business Unit Director, Ian Crone. His unique combination of sector understanding and technological knowledge give him an unparalleled perspective on the possibilities and pitfalls inherent in complex transformation initiatives in this complex and highly regulated industry.
About the author
Guest author Jon Sanford is an independent regulatory/RIM expert at Rubus Ilex. He has worked in the field of Regulatory Operations for two decades and has over 30 years’ pharmaceutical experience, which has included managing a team of Regulatory Operation professionals responsible for publishing regulatory dossiers across Europe and Asia and Latin America. He has also been the business lead on a number of Global Document Management Systems, Regulatory Publishing Systems and RIM implementations.