Oracle Delivers One-Stop Solution for Pharmaceutical Representatives

By Kathy Miedema, Oracle Applications User Experience

Oracle CRM On Demand Offline Client for Life Sciences Offers Remedy for Unwieldy Paperwork

No detail is too small in Oracle's quest to deliver an efficient, productive user experience in its new application for pharmaceutical salespeople. Oracle CRM On Demand Offline Client for Life Sciences, the first mobile application from Oracle developed for pharmaceutical sales representatives for use on a tablet PC or netbook, takes into consideration every aspect of the user experience in this enterprise application. Members of the Oracle Applications User Experience (UX) team not only examined which tools would best help a sales rep in customer-facing interactions, but also what visual clarity is required for the context in which the information will be used - for example, in clinics and cars, and graphical icons that could be triggered by any size finger or pen.

Oracle Offline Client for Life Sciences, which became available to some CRM On Demand R17 users in June, extends the reach of CRM On Demand R17, which was originally released in March. The application delivers special tools for the on-the-go sales rep who needs to be offline while talking with customers, leaving samples at clinics or hospitals, and gathering signatures, if required. Offline Client for Life Sciences provides an easy, one-stop venue for sales reps to analyze their territory, plan sales calls, easily access and present information on drugs, and gather the necessary documentation that their job requires.

Intensive research on how a pharmaceutical rep spends his day, conducted in several countries around the world, helped to set the direction for Offline Client for Life Sciences.

Photo by Martin Taylor, Oracle Applications User Experience
Using a pen, a sales representative can trigger icons on a tablet PC or netbook, above, in the new CRM On Demand Offline Client for Life Sciences.

"The vision here was that the next-generation mobile sales applications would be lightweight, focusing on the key tasks that a sales rep does in the field, but driven by the things they do in front of a customer -- and optimized for pen- and touch-based computing on a tablet device," says Piers Evans, the Oracle product strategy director for Offline Client for Life Sciences. "We wanted to build something very focused, very lightweight."

Oracle's user experience professionals got a good look at what pharmaceutical sales reps need during ride-along studies in the field.

This screenshot shows several of the user experience highlights in the new tablet PC-based enterprise application, Oracle CRM On Demand Offline Client for Life Sciences. Quick access to information about doctors and other medical clinic personnel and at-a-glance calendar information help a pharmaceutical rep plan calls efficiently.

"The pharmaceutical reps today struggle with multiple solutions," says Madhuri Kolhatkar, Director of the Applications Unlimited and Industry Solutions User Experience. "They have multiple touchpoints or artifacts to set up appointments with doctors and clinics.

"They don't have the information at a glance, so that they can work with the doctors, which is key because their timeline is about 4-5 minutes," Kolhatkar adds. "Giving people the right information at the right time is so empowering for these pharma reps, helping them build their relationships with physicians for the pharmaceutical products that they sell."

With those challenges in mind, Oracle's Applications UX team began crafting an enterprise application on which pharmaceutical reps could perform all of their key tasks throughout the day, said Jayanth Ananthakrishnan, a UX manager who led research activities for Offline Client for Life Sciences. The goal was to enable reps to leave the load of paper in the trunk of the car. Reps needed something to help them get through visits to clinics and hospitals with relative ease and professionalism. Ananthakrishnan said Oracle's tablet PC solution provides quick access to contact information, drug information including customer presentations, and follow-up paperwork.

"Especially in a clinic, pharma reps sometimes only get a few minutes with the doctor," he said. "In the U.S., they drop samples, then get the signatures. If the doctor asks for a presentation, sometimes they get a little more time to present."

The research done by the UX team helped define the actions a sales rep might take each day. The tools available in Offline Client for Life Sciences support the following tasks:

  • Plan your day: Contact information is stored efficiently and easily accessed from several areas. Calendar information is easy to find and easy to read.
  • Visit a customer site: Information about who's who, when they're available, and how to address them can be easily stored with contact information. Adding more notes is a simple click away.
  • Set up a sample drop: What drugs have you left before? How many samples were there? What does the doctor prefer to prescribe? This information and more can be recorded and accessed again as needed, with detailed precision or on the fly.


The signature page of Oracle CRM On Demand Offline Client for Life Sciences offers pharmaceutical sales representatives the ability to capture required documentation quickly, if necessary, even in the middle of a presentation.

  • Get a signature: Simply click, and the signature page is available. If another doctor happens to walk by, a sales rep can easily set up a new signature page and capture that documentation too, with just one more click.
  • Deliver a presentation: Whether it's just a few slides or a full-length, detailed presentation, Oracle Offline Client for Life Sciences provides fast navigation and sorting abilities, so information can be shared in just a few seconds if necessary.
  • Complete the call report: Oracle Offline Client for Life Sciences stores data, allowing a rep to pre-populate some reports and speed up the process of filling out required documentation later, after the visit to the clinic or hospital.

All of these tasks can be done offline, so being connected is never an issue. "It's focused on the key things the rep needs when they're in the field without connectivity and/or in front of a customer," Evans said.

Kolhatkar said that more follow-up enhancements are planned for Offline Client for Life Sciences. "We're looking at improving the way Life Sciences customers work, and providing tools for people on the go."

For more on the user experience research behind CRM On Demand Offline Client for Life Sciences, check the Usable Apps Web site.


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