According to IDC, IBM Connections is the market leader in the Enterprise Social Collaboration market (aka Enterprise Social Learning). With a market share that is twice as large as Jive, IBM’s product has widespread usage among notoriously difficult markets such as pharmaceutical companies that need strict controls on data security and conversational relevance.
Pharma companies are facing significant challenges in the areas of drug discovery and innovation. A lot of products are going out of patent protection (and generics are moving in), Governments are openly revolting against the high cost of medications by overriding patent regimes (as in the case of the Indian Government that ticked off Bayer over its cancer drug), cost of innovation and drug discovery has gone up, and most importantly, Pharma companies have the unenviable task of performing a complex choreography to bring together islands of geographically dispersed talent.
And to top it off, we are seeing disruptive changes happening on the consumer side with mobile apps, gene mapping, and internet coming together to provide unprecedented data and control to consumers. I personally believe that Doctors will eventually (not in the near future) become less important as tools, information, and actionable knowledge force pharma companies to transform themselves into consumer electronics companies (If this sounds outrageous, I wrote this post after standing out in the hot California summer Sun and this might have re-wired my brain cells). If you would like to explore this thought a little more, check out “The Creative Destruction of Medicine – How the Digital Revolution will create better Healthcare” by Dr. Eric Topol.
Considering these current and emerging challenges, Pharma companies need every dose of technology and innovation (pun intended) to stay healthy (once again pun intended) and remain competitive. And ironically, Bayer is one of those companies that has embraced IBM Connections. Check out the video of Bayer’s CIO of Material Sciences Division talking about how IBM Connections is being used by Bayer to collaborate and innovate and even mentions that all other divisions of Bayer will eventually start using the product.