Power BI for Office 365

Power BI for Office 365

Here is a quick update from an announcement made at the Microsoft WPC (Worldwide Partner Conference). Power BI for Office 365 is a self-service business intelligence (BI) solution delivered through Excel and Office 365. Power BI users have data analysis and visualization capabilities to identify business insights from their on-premises and cloud data. One of the most exciting new features of Power BI is Q&A, a natural language based experience for interacting with data. Microsoft still has not really made clear exactly what Power BI is, e.g. is it a new product, a re-branding, a new service? From what I can tell it looks like a little bit of rebranding of Power Pivot with some new features thrown in. Hopefully soon Microsoft will provide more details on exactly what this is, what are the costs, how is it configured and all those other fun questions. In the meantime, a little more about the Q&A feature. Q&A builds upon allows the use of natural language to find, understand, and report on your data. Here are a few examples: ?Show London clients? Power BI - Show London Accounts In this example, an Excel workbook with data about customers and their locations has been saved to Office 365. Q&A is interpreting the search query and displaying corresponding information from the workbook to create a list of customers that are based in London. ?Show number of products? Power BI Show Product Counts Similarly, ?show number of products? is being interpreted to count the number of products found in the data source. ?Number of songs per year? Power BI Show Songs per Year Further, Q&A automatically chooses a suitable visualization based on what is requested. ?Total number of employees for finance, HR, marketing in Europe by employee country? Power Bi - Show Total Employees by Country In this example, Q&A automatically chose to display three maps, one for each division. It opted to display maps because the country column is marked as a geography data column. ?Show our sales pipeline with opportunity size greater than $20,000? v So what will you need to get Power BI Q&A to work with your organization?s dataset? An Excel spreadsheet with a Power Pivot model saved to a Power BI site in Office 365. So, if you are using Excel and Power Pivot today, you are on the right track to use Q&A over your own data once it is available. Microsoft will be posting more about the features included in Power BI so stay tuned here for more updates. In the meantime head over to http://www.powerbi.com and check out more details.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM in Gartner Magic Quadrant, Again

The latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for sales force automation (SFA) has been published and Microsoft is once again in the Leaders Quadrant.

Another year, another Magic Quadrant.

One twist from previous quadrants, this year Gartner has separated Microsoft Dynamics CRM on-preFigure 1. Gartner Magic Quadrant for Sales Force AutomationOne twist from previous quadrants, this year Gartner has separated Microsoft Dynamics CRM on-premise and CRM Online, placing them both in its leader quadrant. The primary strengths of Dynamics CRM include integration to other Microsoft applications (the stack) including Outlook, Office, SharePoint, Lync and Skype. The new CRM ?process UI?, which will be fully available in October 2013), has already won praise for improving user experience.

According to Gartner: ?This Magic Quadrant for SFA, specifically for B2B sales professionals, has new entrants and reflects new market dynamics. Mobility via smartphones and tablets is on the rise, and social is becoming more important, while sales performance management plays a major role in our evaluation criteria.?

?Sales force automation (SFA) applications support the automation of sales activities, processes and administrative responsibilities for B2B organizations? sales professionals. Core functionalities include account, contact and opportunity management. Additional add-on capabilities focus on improving the sales effectiveness of salespeople. Among those capabilities are sales configuration, guided selling, proposal generation and content management, and sales performance management support, including incentive compensation, quota, sales coaching and territory management.?

The bottom line on the top tier SFA applications is they are all pretty good. It?s more important to just make a decision and start using it. Cost should certainly be a consideration, after all, if they are all in the leaders quadrant, how can they be that much different? And don?t let the vendors do your TCO for you, some are, shall we say, ?a little less forthcoming? than others.

One of the primary keys to success is choosing a partner that can help guide you in your CRM journey. Yes, one can always ?go it alone? but that?s a lot like tackling your own home improvements. Yes, you can probably do it, and it will be an ok job in many cases. In others, though, it can be a complete disaster and end up costing you a lot more in the long run. It?s always better to have advice and guidance from a professional, BEFORE you get into trouble. The best partners will be that ?guiding light? to help get you going in the right direction. Once you are on the right path, then?s OK to spread your wings and take on as much as you want.

Choosing a partner might be easier said than done in some cases. One of the best sources, regardless of the actual application you choose, is to simply ask the vendor. The vendor has a vested interest in your success and they generally do a good job of telling you who their best partners are.

How Medical Device Technology Boosts Productivity And Lowers Costs

How Can Medical Device Technology Boost Productivity And Lower Costs?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/54851733@N06/5079939842/sizes/q/Despite a lot of less-than-stellar news for the medical device industry with layoffs and the medical device tax, the good news is the industry is still projected to experience very good growth over the next five years.

In fact, a new report shows that the implantable medical device market is expected to grow 8 percent between 2011 and 2018, according to an article on the MedCity News website. With growth comes the opportunity to improve the way things are done operationally.

Medical device technology and software applications in particular are a good investment to help boost productivity, improve efficiency and lower costs. With technology, medical device companies can gain better visibility into sales opportunities, guide sales teams to improved performance, provide better customer service, and help the marketing department take advantage of the rapidly expanding channels of information available to interact with and engage influencers. Plus, when it comes to social media, new mobile technologies allow for enhanced productivity and quicker responses to customer inquiries.

Traditionally, medical device companies have not been on the leading edge of technology. It has ranked last among the life sciences teams in adopting technological innovations. But companies can?t keep operating the same old way. They need to replace legacy systems and move away from managing their businesses with spreadsheets.

Implantable medical devices will be a $73.9 billion industry in 2018, up from $43.1 billion in 2011, according to projections from the Transparency Market Research report. Medical device sales teams must be able to stake their claim in the market, which includes reconstructive joint implants, dental implants and breast implants.

?All segments are expected to see growth because of the increasing prevalence of chronic disease and an aging population,? the MedCity News article reports, but notes the orthopedic implant segment will continue to dominate market value and growth.

Source: MedCity News, January 2013

Why Is Data Quality Key To Today?s Medical Device Industry Trends?

Quality Data Key To Today?s Medical Device Industry Trends.

quality-hospital-analytics | Photo Courtesy of johnfranciesim http://www.flickr.com/photos/81168466@N07/8230679458/sizes/q/Medtronic always has been at the forefront of?medical device industry trends. In a recent interview on MassDevice.com, Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak explains the need that a lot of life sciences companies have to prove the overall economic value of their technologies.One of today?s most challenging medical device industry trends is that medical device innovation must demonstrate economic value.?In fact, lowering costs is now mandated with the recent health care law changes.??Economic value, in simple terms, is projecting our value proposition in financial terms for our customers, not only the clinical benefits, but the financial benefits,? Ishrak says. This kind of thinking, he adds, is transforming Medtronic?s strategic priorities for the coming years.But health care?s very nature makes it difficult for companies to present medical devices not as a cost, but as an investment. ?The cost of healthcare is incurred during a procedure,? Ishrak notes, but ?the benefit of that investment, if you like, is realized at later time and potentially in a different place.? In this context, it?s difficult for any medical device company to follow a patient?s outcome and the health care costs after a procedure has been done.

Medtronic and other companies can begin making the case for investment by partnering with hospitals and running pilot projects to focus on areas that reduce health care costs. The goal is to produce quality data that proves their technologies can reduce overall patient costs.

A CRM solution can help companies like Medtronic by providing ways to monitor these pilot programs and hospitals.?Greater visibility through real-time analytics is the key to identifying areas where costs need to be reduced and where cost reduction has been achieved.?They then can use that data to put together more qualitative analytics and even a case study to prove the overall effectiveness.

?Once those pilots are successful, we intend to scale them across those systems and eventually do even broader market expansion,? Ishrak tells MassDevice.com. Going forward, Medtronic will assess economic value before spending money on products, he adds, a new approach that will require changing ?the mindset and the thinking and the culture in the company.?

Source:?MassDevice.com, January 2013

Why Is Quality Data Key To Today?s Medical Device Industry Trends?

Why Is Quality Data Key To Today’s Medical Device Industry Trends?
quality-hospital-analytics | Photo Courtesy of johnfranciesim http://www.flickr.com/photos/81168466@N07/8230679458/sizes/q/

Medtronic always has been at the forefront of medical device industry trends. In a recent interview on MassDevice.com, Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak explains the need that a lot of life sciences companies have to prove the overall economic value of their technologies.

One of today’s most challenging medical device industry trends is that medical device innovation must demonstrate economic value. In fact, lowering costs is now mandated with the recent health care law changes. “Economic value, in simple terms, is projecting our value proposition in financial terms for our customers, not only the clinical benefits, but the financial benefits,” Ishrak says. This kind of thinking, he adds, is transforming Medtronic’s strategic priorities for the coming years.

But health care’s very nature makes it difficult for companies to present medical devices not as a cost, but as an investment. “The cost of healthcare is incurred during a procedure,” Ishrak notes, but “the benefit of that investment, if you like, is realized at later time and potentially in a different place.” In this context, it’s difficult for any medical device company to follow a patient’s outcome and the health care costs after a procedure has been done.

Medtronic and other companies can begin making the case for investment by partnering with hospitals and running pilot projects to focus on areas that reduce health care costs. The goal is to produce quality data that proves their technologies can reduce overall patient costs.

A CRM solution can help companies like Medtronic by providing ways to monitor these pilot programs and hospitals. Greater visibility through real-time analytics is the key to identifying areas where costs need to be reduced and where cost reduction has been achieved. They then can use that data to put together more qualitative analytics and even a case study to prove the overall effectiveness.

“Once those pilots are successful, we intend to scale them across those systems and eventually do even broader market expansion,” Ishrak tells MassDevice.com. Going forward, Medtronic will assess economic value before spending money on products, he adds, a new approach that will require changing “the mindset and the thinking and the culture in the company.”

Source: MassDevice.com, January 2013

Do Medical Device Technology Firms Need Supply Chain Transparency?

Medical Device Technology Firms Need Supply Chain Transparency.

improving-business-transparency | Photo Courtesy of Alex Segre http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexsegre/2863323135/sizes/q/In any company or industry, managing the supply chain and its product-related information is important to business success. For life sciences organizations, supply chain and risk management are especially crucial due to the industry?s intensifying cost, price and regulatory pressures.Medical device technology companies stand to gain significant benefits by creating end-to-end?supply chain visibility?such as cost savings and faster growth, according to an article on the Supply & Demand Chain Executive website.

But what exactly is ?medical supply chain visibility??

As a supply chain creates products, it simultaneously generates enormous amounts of information ? about materials and products, plus vendors and customers. At every turn, there?s also transaction information, including purchase orders and manufacturing orders, invoices and delivery notes. How should companies manage all of this complex data? What regulations must they meet along the way?

Organizations need an end-to-end solution to manage the entire supply chain and risk management process, including suppliers, relationship trends, governance and compliance. Achieving effective medical supply chain visibility starts with assessing a company?s current supply chain and pinpointing steps needed to help achieve full visibility. Then, companies can move on to implementation, improving the transparency in organizations and people, processes, data and technology.

This solution also must be able to integrate seamlessly with other data systems, take advantage of robust workflow capabilities and provide deep business intelligence that can improve operational efficiency.?It?s important to integrate a number of product?data management systems, including a procedural process that ensures timely, accurate and consistent data classification.

This end-to-end solution offers potential benefits to medical device technology companies, the Supply & Demand Chain Executive article explains. Perhaps most significant to the safety-critical medical device industry, supply chain visibility also can help enhance patient safety and reduce regulatory compliance risks, thanks to comprehensive tracking and record-keeping.

Source:?Supply & Demand Chain Executive, January 2013

What Does Robotic Surgery Tell Us About Medical Device Innovation?

What Does Robotic Surgery Tell Us About Medical Device Innovation?

robotic-surgical-innovation | Photo Courtesy of -SHANE NOIR- http://www.flickr.com/photos/shane-noir/5985470715/sizes/q/Life sciences companies face increased pressures, both to demonstrate improved patient outcomes and to prove that their product or drug will reduce costs. A perfect example of how?medical device innovation?can reduce overall health care costs ? while winning over surgeons, patients and hospitals ? is?robotic surgery.The leading surgical robots cost up to $2.3 million, but hospitals consider them good investments. That?s because of the ways the machines lower ?the downstream costs? of surgeries, according to a recent article on the Fortune Magazine website.?Robotic surgical procedures typically result in less tissue damage than standard techniques, allowing patients to heal faster, which minimizes recovery time and hospital stays.?With the new health care law focusing on positive outcomes and lowering readmissions, this is one of the best benefits of robotic surgery.And the robots are very much in demand. Hospitals are finding that having robots pulls in more patients and can even result in an increased number of surgeries performed. While the market has grown significantly in recent years, this type of surgical procedure started off in urology about 10 years ago. Once the clinical benefits became clear, this method expanded into areas such as gastrointestinal and cardiovascular surgery.The most popular surgical robot today is the da Vinci, made by a growing Silicon Valley-based company called Intuitive Surgical. A well-designed, closed system of proprietary hardware and software, the Fortune Magazine article calls the da Vinci ?the iPhone of its category.? The machine is so intuitive, according to the article, that children with strong video gaming skills take to the new interface better than (at first) most surgeons.A contrasting design is the Raven, a smaller, experimental machine developed by engineering professors at two university robotics labs. With its lower price tag of $300,000 and open-source model, the article compares the Raven to Google?s Android platform phones. By opening this technology to anyone, the Raven could spur even more?medical device innovation?and further reduce health care costs.Source:?Fortune Magazine, January 2013

Microsoft MarketingPilot Update from WPC 2013

MarketingPilot: what it means for the new marketer and your business

Another quick from the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference – WPC 2013 sessions. This is an overview and a few screenshots of a MarketingPilot session presented by:

  • Jamie Fiorda, Director, Worldwide Product Marketing
  • Jeff Marcoux. Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Dynamics CRM

The entire video link is below, if you want to watch. It’s about an hour so I am giving you the Cliff’s notes version.

http://bit.ly/14O7KHq

As a recap, if you are not aware, Microsoft purchased a marketing automation and marketing resource management application called MarketingPilot in October 2012. MarketingPilot delivers powerful, integrated marketing management solutions that can help you better understand your customers, get exceptional insight and control over budgets and resources, and create automated, measurable multi-channel campaigns that deliver real results to the top line.

Microsoft has been busy revamping the user interface and user experience. It will match the user experience we will see in the new Dynamics CRM 2013 release (formerly called Orion). Screenshot below.

In addition, they are focused on adding deeper functionality both within MarketingPilot as well as the integration with Dynamics CRM.

The positioning of MarketingPilot will focus on two areas. The needs of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and the needs of the functional marketing team.

The CMO?s top concerns – reducing costs, decreasing time to market, managing budgets better, and measuring performance of their marketing investments.

The functional marketing team?s needs are more tactical and focus on assigning and completing tasks related to campaigns, materials, resources, events and digital campaigns. Tracking and reporting on these activities are also very important.

The stated advantage for Microsoft and MarketingPilot is the connected database and history of contacts, accounts, opportunities and customer care. It?s delivering on the promise of a single repository for marketing, sales and customer service.

MarketingPilot - Integrated Marketing Management

?MarketingPilot with Dynamics CRM

 

Prior to the demo the B2B marketing, maturity model was presented. I liked this slide and can easily where we are at, as well as many of our clients and prospects. It?s a pretty good summary of where organization fits in their marketing maturity (or strategic use of marketing). Where do you see your organization?

?Marketing Maturity Model

So, on to the demo and what we were shown. Consistent with Dynamics CRM, the starting point for most users is a dashboard view. Like CRM, it is configurable by role and by user.

?MarketingPilot Dashboard

Navigating will also be the same between CRM and MarketingPilot In addition the concept of a List View and Detail View are also used, similar between the two, but not exactly the same UI. Here is a Campaign List View.

?MarketingPilot Campaign List

And selecting one of the records, we see the Campaign Detail View.

MarketingPilot Campaign Detail

Approvals and routing are usually a big deal when it comes to marketing. Often there are lots of people that have input for the look and feel, the positioning, the types of material; etc. Notice the Route for Approval button highlighted below.

MarketingPilot Routing and Approvals

Job or Task tracking

MarketingPilot Jobs and Tasks

In the demo, a search for a particular white paper was performed. Which takes us to another useful capability, content management, content markup, development (landing pages, web pages, etc.), and even content tracking (how often has the material been opened, downloaded, clicked, etc.).

Moving, a nice add is global search. Notice it at the top of the screen?I really hope we see this in CRM as well!

MarketingPilot Global Search

Content Management

MarketingPilot Content Management

Content Markup

MarketingPilot Content Markup

Content Tracking

MarketingPilot Content Tracking

?Another important area to most marketing teams are the ability to conduct email campaigns. There has been light details on these capabilities to date. The demo was brief and did not provide much more details, however, they did indeed demonstrate there are HTML email managing and tracking capabilities.

HTML Email Performance Tracking

MarketingPilot Performance Tracking

HTML email and template editing.

MarketingPilot Email and Template Editing

In today?s business world, social media campaigns are a very important requirement for marketing teams. As we saw with the email capabilities, we will see social media campaign management and tracking.

MarketingPilot Social Media Campaign

Twitter posting made from MarketingPilot.

MarketingPilot Twitter Support

That covers the highlights from the demo and recording. The session ended with some details on what?s coming in the office release, which has been delayed. The original information we were getting from Microsoft is MarketingPilot would be included in the Orion release. The information below now confirms it will not be in Orion, and rather, will be in a Q1 2014 release, currently code named ?Mira?. One of the nice adds will be visual nurture and workflow capabilities.

MarketingPilot Mira Update

And for our international clients and friends, below are the 17 markets and 10 languages that will be included with the Mira launch.

MarketingPilot Markets and Languages

A couple of questions that still remain open are current availability with Dynamics CRM integration and pricing. On current availability, we heard from Microsoft that MarketingPilot 15 was released, and it stated the integration is available; ?MarketingPilot 15 and the MarketingPilot Connector for Microsoft Dynamics CRM is expected to be available in the month of March, and will be offered to customers in the United States and to existing MarketingPilot Online customers worldwide.?

Well, there are a few caveats and back-pedaling on that, namely (from the configuration guide):

  • MarketingPilot and the Connector are initially provided to a limited audience of customers and partners (referenced as Customer in this document).
  • The customer must have subscribed to Microsoft Azure which can be requested as a free trial or paid subscription. (MH: I really hope they make this step completely automated like so many of the partner add-ons do ? sorry, but setting this stuff up on your own is for techies only).
  • In this subscription the customer will need to create a Service Bus of an available namespace of his choice and two queues (MH: See what I mean…)

For all intents and purposes, this is really not available yet. In fact, a question in the Q&A was asked and Jamie Fiorda responded that he doesn’t recommend anyone going and selling this just yet.

Regarding pricing, the statement is a flat ?no pricing is available at this time?.

All in all some exciting things to look forward to. It?s still a bit pre-mature to go out and start using MarketingPilot but it looks like good progress. Unfortunately, a little slower than our initial expectation, but progressing none the less.

Sign up for our newsletter if you would like to receive timely information on MarketingPilot as well as CRM 2013.

Can Mergers And Acquisitions Promote Medical Device Innovation?

Mergers And Acquisitions Promote Medical Device Innovation

promoting-medical-device-innovation | Photo Courtesy of LukeDaDuke http://www.flickr.com/photos/lukedaduke/482643891/sizes/q/The last couple of years have shown a definite increase in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in healthcare and pharmaceuticals. As large pharmaceutical companies face revenue losses from expired blockbuster drugs,?buying technology and research is a good way to spur?medical device innovation?while stretching already tight research dollars.Today, the big questions concern which companies are buying, what types of companies they?re looking for, and how much they?re willing to spend, according to an article on the Xconomy website.For the large companies, these activities help the short-term bottom line with the potential for large future payoffs should the technology prove successful.At Merck, about 60 percent of the company?s revenue comes from alliance-related products and patents. That?s a significant percentage, especially from a company that spends an average of $5 billion annually in research and development. Similar percentages are becoming common at pharmaceutical and biotech companies of different sizes.Large pharmaceutical companies, the Xconomy article reports, face increasing competition from large biotechnology companies, specialty pharma and generic drug businesses. This situation favors smaller firms seeking buyers or alliances, as well as their investors, since an acquisition by a larger partner offers an often welcome payout.If big pharmaceutical companies hold out for lower acquisition costs, independent biotechs may become even more powerful competitors in the market for M&A deals as well as alliances. That?s especially true, according to the article, if these biotechs already have products on the market generating revenue.

The process, however, isn?t easy.?Mergers and acquisitions involve many people and require significant due diligence.?For these investments to have maximum return-on-investment, any company with a focus on M&A activity needs tools and processes to streamline this complexity as much as possible.

Fortunately, innovative companies are bringing unique approaches to tackling this complex problem. Partnering and alliance management are the keys to finding some of these solutions.

Source:?Xconomy, January 2013

3 Strategic Ways To Improve Medical Device Sales In A Changing Market

Improve Medical Device Sales In A Changing Market

improve-medical-device-sales | Photo Courtesy of uuoinc http://www.flickr.com/photos/59919717@N05/5486413657/sizes/q/in/photostream/The business model is changing for pharmaceutical and medical device sales. The confluence of regulatory pressures, competition and payer influence is creating a perfect storm, with today’s market demanding better health care outcomes at lower cost.To compete, companies must adopt broader, more integrated strategic processes, according to an article on the Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry website.

“In this market no company can afford to waste its resources,” the article explains. “Considerable infrastructure, resources and expense go into the work of clinical affairs, regulatory affairs and reimbursement,” and in the absence of an integrated view, “companies are likely to overextend themselves.”

Customer-facing people, such as sales representatives, are the most impacted. The conversation no longer can be about the latest gee-whiz feature. Instead, it must be about how the product or drug will increase safety, improve efficiency, lead to better outcomes and lower costs. Clients want to hear how it will accomplish all those goals.

Plus, sales representatives now are working with a committee from the health and business side of the organization, including purchasing, legal and administration. It’s no longer just about the physician. That means sales representatives are interacting with five or six people in the buying chain, who all have different needs.

Companies can attain greater insight into this world and its implications for medical device sales by meeting three strategic requirements.

  1. Develop a strategic process for managing your product portfolio: This process can optimize limited resources, resulting in competitive product lines and growth platforms.
  2. Bring the right resources to decision making: Combining clinical, regulatory and reimbursement perspectives can ensure a comprehensive view of market requirements.
  3. Ensure this comprehensive market perspective remains at the forefront: These perspectives offer crucial insights into shifting needs and buying decisions, new evidence expectations and hidden costs.

To accomplish these strategic goals, companies will need a global information system to define and capture data about constantly changing market requirements. Tools, technology and training, includingmedical device sales CRM software, are the best ways to address the challenges that come with having all these different conversations.

Source: Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry, January 2013