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Salesforce Life Sciences Cloud Is Coming: What Does This Mean for Veeva?

By Sasha Semjonova

Last year, we learned that Veeva – one of the most esteemed life sciences CRM solutions – was cutting ties with Salesforce. With the goal of moving their services onto their own home technology, this news alluded to a messy split; Veeva is currently built on the Salesforce platform, their customers still use that technology, and Salesforce have some thinking to do.

Now left with a looming gap in the pharma market, Salesforce have to work out where they can squeeze themselves in. This is where the Life Sciences Cloud comes in; a new offering in 2024 that has now been backed by IQVIA and has the potential to make monumental strides in this propitious industry.

Veeva Splits from Salesforce

In case you missed it, in 2023, Veeva announced that they would be moving their CRM software off Salesforce’s platform and onto their own at the end of their contract with Salesforce in 2025.

There are a couple of factors that make this split noteworthy, including:

  • Veeva is still contractually obligated to pay Salesforce as Veeva’s customers still use the Salesforce platform. They have to continue to do this whilst facing the technical and financial challenges of rebuilding the product on their own platform.
  • Salesforce is now reportedly free of their non-compete obligations. Contractual obligations meant that Salesforce previously couldn’t enter Veeva’s specialized and regulated market; that boundary is now gone.
READ MORE: Veeva vs. Salesforce: Who Will Win the Cloud Pharma Battle?

Entering New Territory

I mentioned in my previous post on this topic that it seemed like Salesforce’s goal was to build their own product for life sciences/pharma that will not be part of their Industries offering. The cogs had already begun turning, and with the hire of former Veeva exec Frank Defesche as SVP and General Manager of Life Sciences, it seemed that they were very conscious of their constraints and were paving a careful but adventurous path onwards.

Fast forward to today and it looks like a target has been acquired: Salesforce’s Life Sciences Cloud.

Life Sciences Cloud

As the latest cloud in Salesforce’s portfolio, Life Sciences Cloud was announced at Dreamforce ‘23 and it is set to be released this summer. Described as “the end-to-end, intelligent engagement platform for clinical and medical [organizations]”, this cloud will benefit biotech, pharma, consumer health, and MedTech companies alike.

Some of its top features will include:

  • Commercial Operations: Helps manage the commercial lifecycle with timely insights around contract compliance, pricing, inventory levels, and more with the help of AI. Specific tools in this feature category include Medical Sales Emails and Health Intelligence which is powered by Tableau.
  • Clinical Operations: Helps life sciences organizations set up and execute efficient trials, both traditional and decentralized, to better support participants, clinical sites, studies, and sponsors. Specific tools in this feature category include Data Cloud for Health, Chain of Custody Management, and Participant Management.
  • Pharma CRM: An engagement platform that will revolutionize the relationship between pharma organizations and stakeholders, using individualized correspondence and their medical, legal, and regulatory-approved digital content. Specific tools in this feature category include Healthcare Professional (HCP) Engagement and Einstein for Life Sciences.

Note: Some of the tools outlined are already generally available, with the whole package expected to be released over the course of the rest of this year and the beginning of 2025.

READ MORE: What is Vlocity (Salesforce Industries)?

IQVIA Global Partnership Expansion

Last week, it was announced that IQVIA, a “leading global provider of data, analytics, technology and services to the life sciences industry”, was expanding their global strategic partnership with Salesforce, aimed to accelerate the development of Life Sciences Cloud.

This expanded partnership will apply innovations from the IQVIA Orchestrated Customer Engagement (OCE) platform with Salesforce’s Life Sciences Cloud to provide customers with a “new single, end-to-end engagement platform.” Essentially, Salesforce IQVIA will bring the data, advanced analytics, and domain expertise, while Salesforce will bring their leading CRM software to create a more intelligent, integrated, and transformative digital healthcare solution.

“Our collaboration with IQVIA marks a pivotal moment for Salesforce Life Sciences Cloud innovation. It will transform the future of HCP engagement, bringing together our combined capabilities in CRM, AI, data, and the thought leadership of IQVIA, all on the trusted Einstein 1 Platform.” Frank Defesche, SVP and General Manager, Life Sciences, Salesforce

What Does This Mean for Salesforce and Veeva?

So, some pretty exciting advancements are being made, but what does this actually mean for Salesforce and Veeva?

Well for one: This is likely to provide Salesforce with a significant amount of springboard power into the pharma industry. Veeva as a product has its desirable features, and there’s a reason that it is used by 47 out of the 50 top pharmas worldwide. Salesforce can’t replace Veeva, but they can utilize their strong CRM, CDP, and AI capabilities to create their own unique cloud solution that unlocks a whole host of potential for the healthcare industry.

Specifically, we’re talking about the power behind real-time data and data AI. As Andrew Gross, the VP & Practice Lead of Acquis Consulting Group, distinctly puts it:

“Imagine having Data Cloud (the #1 CDP in the world according to Gartner) be able to connect and activate medical, social and behavioral patient data from different sources in real time – giving insight into patient/study risks, adherence to therapies in clinical trials, and the ability to identify populations for new clinical trials or care programs.”

It’s evident that Salesforce have their work cut out for them, especially in delivering the selection of tools promised through Life Sciences Cloud. They will be working with newly-released AI tools and ascertain models to deliver these but with the help of IQVIA, who knows what could be possible.

Summary

The battle is indeed on for Salesforce and Veeva and their major pharma platform offerings, and we will certainly have to keep an eye on how Life Sciences Cloud performs once it’s released.

In the meantime, we can only wait for the ball to drop and see if Salesforce will release the next industry-trumping product once again.

The Author

Sasha Semjonova

Sasha is the Video Content Lead at Salesforce Ben.

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