Migrating data to the Veeva RIM Suite

Within recent years, a wave of cloud implementations has been sweeping across pharmaceutical companies, large and small. In the highly regulated and technologically conservative pharmaceutical industry, this amounts to nothing less than a landslide, impacting numerous business processes and, in general, ways of getting things done.

One of the reasons for the widespread impact of the introduction of cloud computing is that often we are dealing with critical, regulated data supporting complex business processes.

 

What is it about data migration?

An integral part of the move towards cloud solutions is the migration of historical data to the new solutions. This is an activity which traditionally has caused challenges as well as headaches for many a project stakeholder due to its complexity and the resulting challenges in meeting project timelines, budgets as well as quality objectives.

In this article, we will be looking at data migration from legacy systems to the Veeva RIM Suite or elements thereof.

This is an area where acute and detailed awareness of the interaction between system setup and the actual working of business processes is crucial. A substantial proportion of the data to be migrated will be business critical. Data in scope for these migrations relate to the customer’s Quality System (QS) and often also to core business processes.

 

Products are at the core

Initially, it is critical to understand how you as a company work with products, how you define products, what the characteristics of products are, and how products integrate into most likely numerous business processes. Subsequently, it is key to build an understanding of how your company’s definition of a product correlates with the product definition utilized within the Veeva RIM Suite. For RIM migrations this is particularly complex because documents to be migrated will often be shared across multiple products.

And then, it is always good to remember that a migration project is an excellent opportunity to clean up, mainly to build a solid data foundation for the future solution, but also to restrict the data scope of your migration to what is actually needed going forward.

 

How ACE makes the difference

In order to realize the benefits of a new RIM system, it is crucial to transform the existing metadata to fit the new data model by metadata mapping and by applying the ACE-process: Analyse, Clean, and Enrich.  These processes are typically performed in dry runs, where rules are defined, applied, tested, reviewed and revised in an iterative process. In a classical waterfall project, such a cycle lasts from weeks to months, as the full scope of data is loaded into a sandbox environment in each iteration. This creates a very slow learning loop, and often causes migration projects to feel rigid and inefficient. However, by applying an agile methodology and our ACE-tools, we have managed to reduce each iteration to a single day, thus dramatically improving the speed of feedback to the team creating mapping rules and applying the ACE process.

This is one of the core benefits of BASE’s ACE process. By building knowledge of Veeva RIM and all related business processes into our ACE tool, we dramatically reduce the required effort by business resources in this otherwise time consuming and difficult part of the process. While at the same time improving the quality of deliverables.

In short, utilizing BASE’s migration framework building on our bespoke ACE process, this represents a great business case for any migration project, since it can be utilized to reduce project time and cost, while also increasing the quality of the metadata that is loaded into RIM, ultimately increasing document findability and thus efficiency for the end users.

 

How BASE makes the difference

In short, a few characteristics are critical for whether your migration project turns out successfully or not:

  • Close collaboration between the migration project and line of business experts is key – make sure that your implementation partner knows the target system(s) as well as the related core processes!
  • Agile, short learning-loops ensure project efficiency while functioning as a means of sharing knowledge between IT and line of business
  • Use of intelligent tools (e.g. advanced analytics and AI) improves project efficiency as well as the quality of end deliverables
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