by Tony Peric on 02/08/09 at 2:28 pm
Tony Peric is Vice President of mortgage lender Placer Funding, Inc., He is also an expert in the mobile devices sector and Senior Editor for iPhoneCTO.
A couple weeks ago, I sat down with Genentech to understand how they are leveraging iPhones to enable their salesforce by not only providing the devices, but by developing iPhone applications that you will never see in the App Store.
Genentech is considered the founder of biotechnology industry and has been producing products that affect people with serious or life-threatening medical conditions. With the recent announcement of the merger with
Roche of Switzerland, Genentech is using available technologies to simplify efficiency and daily business tasks.
Genentech has taken a great leap into the mobile computing world by developing one of the most needed company applications; an employee directory called Peeps. By issuing iPhones to over 4000 employees, Genentech has effectively given each employee a mobile computer. Jane Pyle, an app developer for Genentech, says that introduction of the contact database for the company was a much needed application. Before, a sales representative in the field, would be asked a question and may have not had an answer. The rep would then have to go back into his or her car and bust out the laptop or get on the cell phone to call headquarters. Today, sales representatives can perform these daily functions in a more efficient and less costly manner.
The introduction of the iPhone has made this possible for Genentech. If a doctor asks a representative how one drug interacts with another drug the doctor is prescribing, the sales representative can pull out his iPhone and go into the contact directory of the Genentech staff directory to get the proper answer. W
ithout having to use vital resources dialing around, bugging operators or other departments, representatives can use the application to get to the appropriate person, with a Facebook like directory to get an answer. Instead of having to use a computer which would take 15 clicks, a Genentech developed iPhone application uses around two. In addition, sales representatives can also using Google Apps, Salesforce.com and several other applications developed internally by Genentech. Their motto is, “Quality over Quantity” and isolating the ‘one’ thing that makes the app work.
By modeling their internal website to closely resemble iTunes, Genentech has been able to bring into play their employees; using intranet voting for upcoming applications to ‘capture ideas’. Although there are certain applications which management requested to be completed first, employees get to request the most viable applications which should be built for them. With the launch of the employee directory, Genentech’s application development division has seen a heavy use from day one and expects to see increases as new apps come online.
Since Genentech is a biotechnology company, this could result in a massive amount of applications developed for the research division. For example, if a physician performing research on a project requests a string of DNA information from another department, theoretically the physician could open an application and locate the information by themselves instead of going to a computer or calling the department. When I asked if something like this was in development, the response was “no comment.”
With the merger of Genentech and Roche, there is a strong possibility that the employee directory may be put into use by Roche, as well as several other applications. iPhone enterprise technology has given the medical business the promise speed of efficiency and productivity, which directly translates profits.
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