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Digital transformation in pharma, medical devices and biotech companies is one of the hottest industry topics this year. No big surprise, as digitization enables much closer collaboration within the health sciences network, innovate and operate in real time, and focusing on patient outcomes, just to name a few. But digitization is not the only topic the industry is discussing, right? You still need to keep going core business processes seamlessly. Or will digitization change everything?

To find out, SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG are pretty good indicators on latest industry trends, let’s have a look at the life sciences sessions there. The sessions can be grouped into the following six big buckets: digital transformation, life sciences R&D, operational excellence including track and trace in pharma, M&A and finance and HR.

TOP 1: Digital Transformation in Life Sciences

Even if digitization will touch every part and every process of the life sciences business –the key question is: Where should a life sciences companies start its journey to the digital transformation?

Get prepared for creating and executing your life sciences digital strategy with these sessions:

TOP 2: Big Data in R&D and Personalized Medicine

Networking and in-memory computing allow for the creation of new ways to develop drugs, medical devices, and services that deliver therapies to specific patient populations or even to one specific patient. This trend is enhanced by digital patients who take on more responsibility on their health and actively participate in connected health models. Connected health can unveil valuable real-world evidence data on the efficacy of a drug or medical device. Sounds easier as it is. It is actually pretty challenging to make sense of all this huge amounts of data from diverse sources and in many formats.

Find out how to overcome this hurdle and how to maximize life sciences R&D productivity at the following sessions:

TOP 3: Operational Excellence – Real-Time Transparency for Increased Patient Safety, Quality and Compliance

Governments want to ensure patient safety and prevent counterfeit drugs and medical devices. Consequently, they are introducing new regulations that increase transparency across the life sciences value chain, e.g. pharma serialization mandates. In order to comply, the industry will need to align manufacturing, packaging, logistics, and outsourcing processes. Overall, the quality of drugs and medical devices has been and will continue to be a top priority in life sciences. Facing growing competition, life sciences companies need to be able to operate a compliant but also streamlined way.

Learn in the following sessions how to collaborate to fulfill pharma serialization requirements efficiently and run your life sciences sourcing, SCM and manufacturing in a compliant but agile way:

TOP 4: Marketing and e-Commerce in Life Sciences

Whether you sell to wholesale distributors, hospitals or directly to consumers and patients, one thing is clear: your customers expect a seamless and consistent experience on every channel. This can be pretty challenging due to complex and changing portfolios and varying information needs of each different customer segment.

Get more insights on best practice examples how to improve customer experiences across channels:

TOP 5: M&A and Finance

To strengthen the focus on core competencies M&A, spin-offs and divestitures are happening at a record level currently. For example, the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry completed 35 M&A in Q1/2015 with a total value of $166.3 billion according to PwC. Just to give a comparison, total deal value in the whole year 2014 was $150.1 billion with 161 transactions. The efforts to integrate different companies or to separate divisions in case of divestures is immense. Further, CFOs in Life Sciences companies need to understand their business in real time and to be able to predict precisely impacts of various scenarios to improve strategic decision-making.

Learn in the following sessions how to best streamline Finance and M&A processes:


The dramatic transformation of the life sciences industry dramatically impacts what people do and how they learn, interact, and grow.

Explore how to enable your talents to drive change and grow in the following sessions:


Overall, on first sight it is obvious that digital transformation is a big topic, but it seems it is not the only one. On a second look, I think that all sessions touch on digitization as in-memory technology, IoT, networks in the Cloud, cyber security and other game-changing technology innovations are covered in every session mentioned above.

What is your point of view? Please share your thoughts with us at the comment section below, at the Life Sciences Demo Station at SAPPHIRE NOW, or on twitter @SAP_Healthcare. We very much look forward to hearing from you! Don't miss SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG 2016 and register now!