Sunday, October 26, 2008

Cloud computing


The current buzzword in IT is CLOUD COMPUTING. This tech wave too rides on the collaborative trend in business activities.

Cloud computing is a nice poetic descriptive word. This refers to the concept of IT as a service. Data and information is present on the internet (cloud), and clients using various devices can access it from remote locations. It is a very exaggerated or amplified form of LAN (local area network). Companies like Cisco are betting big on this tech wave - and those who become clients of Cisco for this technology, are expected to enhance efficiency of businesses through the cloud computing phenomenon. Essentially, the "cloud" meets all the computing needs of the subscribing company.

Egs.: Google apps is an application where documents are present in the "cloud". Basically data and information is not stored in an in-house server. It is like a website of many a company. The website data does not sit in an in-house server. The website is hosted from another location. This is similar to say many e-mail ids, which are not created on in-house servers.

IMS is another some-what similar example on how it provides data to client companies these days. IMS is a premier market data provider for pharma companies. Client companies are given a password and allowed to access the data from IMS website.

How can cloud computing benefit pharma or healthcare companies?
Let us say a pharma company starts storing its sales data "in a cloud".

Let us take a hypothetical example of Brand Bo whose sales data is in the "cloud". Now presume, a Medical Representative (MR) from Madurai (in Tamil Nadu) logs in and checks the brand performance in various MR territories of India. And he sees that one of the highest sellers of Brand Bo is from Manipal.

So this kindles the curiousity of the MR from Madurai, and now he wants to check out why Manipal sells most. Now remember, it is because the data is in the "cloud" that the Madurai MR comes to know that Manipal sells most of Brand Bo. The Madurai MR can now send an e-mail to the Manipal MR asking for further information on how he is selling such high quantities of Brand Bo.

Further, if an analytics software is present along with the data - all the MR has to do is click on the sales figure of Brand Bo in Manipal, and the MR from Madurai can get a nice bar graph of the doctor segments that are prescribing Brand Bo the most.

Let us assume Brand Bo is being well supported by ENT segment in Manipal and is the main contributing doctor segment, while in Madurai it is the OBG segment that is bringing in the prescriptions for Brand Bo.

Thus, the gentleman from Madurai can use this tip to launch a special campaign, say call a doctor meet for all ENT specialists of Madurai, in a nice hotel, serve dinner, make a powerpoint presentation on Brand Bo, and excite the prospects of Brand Bo in the ENT segment. And may be even create a videoconferencing discussion between ENT specialists of Madurai and ENT specialists of Manipal.

This is a hypothetical example on how "cloud computing" can be applied to enhance business results, and make the working of the field force more efficient.

Cloud computing can, to put it in a sentence, HELP GET MORE BANG FOR THE MARKETING BUCK.

It is perhaps for this reason that companies like Infosys are repositioning themselves as TRANSFORMATIONAL AGENTS for client companies providing not only software for companies, but also software-as-a-service along with analytics and consulting. Thus, IT companies are trying to play a lead role in helping transform business results for companies.

Thanks for reading this blogpost, wish you all a VERY HAPPY DIWALI (festival of lights), please do scroll down to read all other blogposts, click on older posts icon wherever necessary.


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