Industry leaders discuss key influencers and developments in life sciences over the past year.
Accenture’s annual SAP Leadership Council event occurred last week. Co-sponsored by Accenture and SAP, the event welcomed attendees from 10 of the top 20 global pharmaceutical companies, providing a vital opportunity for peers to learn from one another and discuss methods of driving cost reduction, better decision-making and strategic advancements.
The industry highlight of this year’s event was the discussion panel on “Agility in an Environment of Change for Life Sciences” which I had the opportunity to co-host with Joe Miles, SAP Global Vice President for Life Sciences. With representatives from Merck KGaA, Abbott Laboratories and Cardinal Health on the panel, we discussed the need for enterprise technology agility in an environment of large scale mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, asset swaps and partnering. We debated global standardization and consolidation versus local relevance and adaptability and the overall need for a balance between ‘super global’ and ‘super local’ systems.
The need for more agility and ability to respond to changing market needs as well as declining operating margins was palpable. Joe Miles from SAP had the opportunity to explain how simple finance on the S4/HANA environment will be able to provide consolidated finances across multiple legacy environments (non-SAP and prior versions of SAP) through a real time transaction feed from these environments directly into S4/HANA as the system of record. For companies going through acquisitions and divestitures this was a welcome option for providing the consolidated financial information to the business community in a significantly shorter period of time than it takes today.
From the audience, delegates of the top global pharmas offered valuable insights. When we asked participants to name their biggest ask of SAP, their response was for SAP to move to the cloud, to make it easier to implement, in a rapid manner and at a lower cost.
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