The Microsoft Cloud for Biotech and Pharma Manufacturers Just Got Better

July 16, 2021

Merit for Life Science just became more powerful because Microsoft today announced a new level of integration coming between Dynamics 365 (D365) and Teams. This includes Teams integration with Dynamics 365 sales, marketing, customer service, and field service workloads with operations to follow.

Microsoft is essentially saying, “Use Teams as your front-end app for work, with everything else operating as a context-intelligent side pane within Teams.”  Merit for Life Science advances Microsoft’s base business and productivity apps to fit the unique needs of pharma and biotech, so this announcement is especially powerful for our industry and our customers. 

Multi-step Processes Get Mainstreamed

Why?  In biotech, our customer acquisition process tends to be multi-step, multi-party, and technical.  Sales steps are apt to include multiple negotiation meetings regarding specifications for source materials, and planned batches are shared during the customer acquisition process. So immediate access to that specific quality and operational information in support of those meetings is paramount. Once acquired, we have production readiness processes and a customer sign-off that must occur between the order date and firm scheduled batch production date. These production readiness processes further ensure clarity and agreement on what will be produced, stored, and delivered. There is often collaboration and sign-off with the customer during the production and delivery process, and customer order dialogue tends to extend into operational (current or past) data. 

For example, you may meet with your customer to convey that you’re able to use this stability-tested batch of enzymes instead of the original one specified, and it will accelerate the delivery of the batch by one week. And to confirm, you ask, “Do we have sign-off to proceed?” That discussion previously involved a scramble across multiple systems and e-mails. As Microsoft delivers Teams integration, the discussion can happen in a Teams meeting, with exact technical information being shared and signed off, captured into the customer history, and affecting the operational plan maintained in the system. A similar level of process steps, quality steps, confirmation, and sign-off can happen upstream with vendors and manufacturers and internally between quality control and operations.

Reinventing Collaborative Work with Compliance in Mind

With the ability to use Microsoft Teams as essentially the “front end” for workers in these highly collaborative roles, with sales, quality, technical and operational data available in the same pane, intelligent to the parties on the Teams call, work will be reinvented.  It becomes more digital with less cycle time, and everyone is happier.  A considerable amount of cycle time and task time can be taken out of these processes, bringing joy (as opposed to pain) to the knowledge worker performing these processes. 

However, care must be taken to remain in 21 CFR Part 11 and Part 820 compliance for all of these processes and protect intellectual property being handled and shared. This is where Merit for Life Science shines, enabling and amplifying the new capabilities of these base Microsoft technologies while ensuring our customers can manage their industry-specific workloads and maintain control and FDA compliance. 

See How It Works

Watch this video from Microsoft to see how seamless and collaborative work can be. But that’s just the beginning. These are exciting days for pharma and biotech customers who have moved to Microsoft’s Azure business platform using Merit for Life Science! If you’d like to see the impact that reinventing collaborative work can have for your life science organization, contact us for a demo today.